Friday, June 26, 2015

The Preparing of Hearts

I can't call Avery's death a tragedy. How she died, yes, absolutely. But that she died? I can't. I just can't.

Avery loved God in a way I never understood when she was alive. She lived for Him. And, while she certainly loved me like crazy, I can't help but think she saw me more as her foster mom. The earthly mama-heart loving her like my own while the ultimate goal was reuniting her with her real father: God in Heaven.

She lived her earthly life with the sole purpose - and soul purpose - to ensure one day she would go home to live with her Lord and Savior. And she did just that. How could I think it was tragic that she made it safely home into her Daddy's arms? 

But even knowing that.... man, it's hard, you know? To be, well, to be here when she's not.

I miss her every single second of every single day and unless you've gone through such heavy loss you won't understand how it is entirely possible to stand around a kitchen with friends joking and laughing about making dip and how you were named while half of you aches with a sorrow and grief so strong it threatens to steal your soul.

It's confusing and hard to make sense of, so I try not to focus on that part. Instead I try to think about how God can prepare a heart without us even knowing that's what He's up to.

After Avery's death I realized the multitude of ways God prepared our hearts for her departure. Different things she had said and done. The way she was able to spend one on one time with every one of her dear friends and siblings before her departure. The scripture she quoted and explained. The letters she wrote and the declarations she made. 

She was so happy in those days before her passing. More so, she was at peace. A peace that kind of unnerved me, if I was being honest. It's like those last days of a long vacation when you know it's coming to a close, when you sit back a little longer and just reflect on the fun you had, the memories you made. And you think, yes, this was good. But I can't wait to get home. 

It's almost like she knew.

And most certainly, God knew. Because He was so busy preparing our hearts.

I went to a concert the other day. Jon Troast has played at a couple events we've had in Avery's honor. He opened for Jamie Grace, played at Avery's birthday celebration and performed on this amazing historic boat when we announced AVERYday Ministries was committed to building a house in Haiti as a way to continue Avery's passion and dreams. I'm a big fan of Jon and you should be, too.

His concerts are always full of laughter and this incredible way he has to make profound statements in the most lighthearted, easy way. His music has thought and feeling and depth, while mostly being upbeat and dance-able - not to mention easy to sing along with. I always walk away feeling like I would have missed something important if I hadn't attended.

But I wasn't expecting this.

Jon turned to the audience and told us that recently his youngest brother passed away suddenly and very unexpectedly. A week earlier, not knowing any of this was about to occur - he sat down and wrote this song.... now, you tell me God doesn't love us enough to prepare our hearts well.