I had already ruined my own day, and her text just brought it home. And still has me sitting here in tears.
I don't even know what my issue was yesterday except that I was down. I hadn't slept most of the night before (actually, pretty sure that was a lot of my issue). Nora slept soundly as I tossed and turned, laying awake for hours feeling heavy. I woke up feeling heavy and couldn't seem to shake it all day. Felt like there was a lot to worry about. A lot not quite right. A lot of things gnawing at me. A lot of uncontrollables I wish I could.
Throughout the day I just felt worse and worse, frustrated with my own inability to either figure it out or suck it up or give it up or even really name it. Ever been there?
Out of love more than anything else, my dear friend text-responded to my "How's the week been?" by telling me of a funeral she had just attended.
I barely know the actual connection...a good friend of Elisa's I've only met a time or two...and even then it is his brother's family. But as Elisa shared their story, it was mine.
Husband and wife headed to Rome as missionaries in 2009, now have three little girls, 6,4 and 2...home in Atlanta for a short furlough, heading back to Italy in 2 days when a semi hit their truck and killed mama instantly.
Says online how urgently she wanted to share God's love with a dying world. Committed to proclaiming His Gospel in dark places. How much she loved and ministered to her children. How much she loved Jesus, how much she loved to care for others.
Elise told me about it because her heart was broken. She told me I was a beautiful gift.
I was NOT feeling, looking or acting like a beautiful gift yesterday. To anyone.
I burst into tears and immediately pulled up the story and the mission's FB.
Which gave me this.
I don't even have the words.
I don't know how many times God has to give and give and give me perspective before it's permanent and unable to be shaken.
I never met Kyra. I don't know her story. I don't know any more about this little family than any other reader.
I do know furlough. I know three daughters. I know what it is to pack them up and leave family and go. I know the heavy burden of so many living in darkness, the joy of being Light, the gift of being the wife of a godly man, the gifts and challenges of learning a new culture and new language with your family, the much "behind the scenes" work and heart of a missionary mama.
I know she saw that truck and thought of her girls in the backseat and opened her eyes before my Father. Our Father. I know her, now, to be our sister.
And I hurt for her husband like I would hurt for Matt, hurt for her girls like I would for mine.
Deeply. Don't even know what to do with it but push it upwards and trust Him.
And here I am--beautiful gift or grouchy gift or beautiful burden or whatever I am--with one life, just like Kyra. No promise of any days ahead, no promise of anything going my way, no promise of any riches or health or security or future or safety or tomorrow.
One of which I wasted.
Thinking about me.
Twenty times over I've thought I figured out that secret of being content that Paul talks about in Philippians.
Tonight? I think it's just getting out of the way. Getting out of The Way.
Tonight I think it's making every day, every moment, every worry, every wish, every hope, every dream, every job, every conversation, every goal, every ambition....HIM. HIS. for Him.
Every time it slips back to me and mine, I just ruin it.
That my life might be well-lived for the things that matter most.