One of my favorite things about going to the Moody Bible Institute for college was the amazing professors I had in my life. And one of the highlights of every semester was when we’d invite a favorite professor to come to our dorm floor for “Q & A Night.” On one such occasion I remember asking my professor a question regarding relationships in college between girls and guys. I said something like, “Dr. Nelson. I have a friend who doesn’t talk to girls about his relationship with God. He says it’s because he’s afraid that if he does talk about God, they’ll fall in love with him. What do you think about that theory?” Now, besides the obvious (that college boys really do sometimes say the most ridiculous things) my professors response had such a lasting impact on me that I’m still thinking about his words as I sit here tonight. When I finished my question, my professor just shook his head and said, “What a pity. What. A. Pity. We have been given to one another to get through this life.”
We have been given to one another to get through this life. I’ve been thinking about those words all day today. I thought about them this morning when we found out our friend’s dad has inoperable cancer. I was thinking about those words when I got a text from a friend who is in a long and painful adoption wait. I was thinking about those words when I picked up Emma from school today and saw the little girl whose Mommy is on her third round of chemotherapy. And I was thinking about those words as I tucked Freddo into bed and he asked me, “Mommy, where is Charlie sleeping tonight?” All day long today I was reminded of how truly broken and painful life is in this earthly place. Of how much pain is all around me. Of how much pain is in me. Of how much pain bleeds through the words of each one of our mangled lives.
And as I prayed through each one of these painful things…I was also reminded of the beautiful, spell-binding reality that in the midst of all this searing pain…we have been given to one another for that very purpose…to get through this life. God has given us each one other, because this life is going to be bad enough at times that it really does take one another to get through. Because ultimately it takes the love of God in one another to get through all this pain and to make it to the other side.
I was thinking about this last night as more tears covered my pillow after yet another day of life without my baby boy. Thinking about how deeply thankful I am to have Reid in my life as we walk through the painful suffering of burying a baby. Since the day we said “I do,” I have seen millions of ways that we have been given such a gift in one another as we struggle through this life. I also see this in the precious little people we get to live life with every day. The sunshine that each one of our little glories have brought into our lives during this season of suffering, only reminds me all the more poignantly how much is missing from our lives as we live apart from baby Charlie. And the friends and family the Lord has given us in this season have also been God’s tender reminder to us that we have been given a gift in one another as we walk through this life as the Body of Christ.
Does it make it easy? No. There is nothing easy about a baby’s grave. There is nothing easy about cancer on a Mommy’s face. There is nothing easy about infertility, or abuse, or addiction, or heartache. But every time I think of the incredible gift God has given me in the people He has placed in my life…I hear again my professors words. It is a deep, deep pity if we miss out on the beauty of the relationships that we’ve been offered in one another. And a deep, deep joy…when we don’t. When we embrace in full…the people God has given us to get through this crazy life.
Thank you to all of you who have been that to us during this devastating pain. Your prayers and love have meant the world to our family. And I cannot wait for the day when we will all finally enter into the joy of our Master, in a place where there’s no longer anything painful to “get through”…just joy. Upon joy. Upon joy.