Yesterday we went to the library for Story Time. It was wonderful, as always, although we were late enough that we only got the final story and the craft, but that is about Hannah’s attention span anyway. We did our craft, and I was able to catch up with some of my friends from Greenwood Park who were there with their grandchildren. As we were talking, I noticed that Hannah was trying to pull on the door to get out while another child was pushing trying to come in. This would have been okay except that the door went over her toes, scraping one of them pretty badly. Of course she began to cry, and Ms. Laura ran to get a bag of ice and the first aid kit. We cleaned the cut and got her a band-aid, which usually works miracles, but not this time. All I could do was hold her and let her cry, trying to assure her that it will be okay. I cringed for her, and hated for her to experience this pain, but all I could do was hold her close and comfort her. I know that the pain is temporary, and that it will heal and won’t hurt anymore, but that doesn’t help her now.

For some odd reason (I’m starting to think it is a coping mechanism) I started to think about how our physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual pain is similar. Sometimes things just happen. There may not be a reason for some things. Maybe not every painful thing we experience is a test from God or a curse from Satan. Maybe bad things just happen. And when they do, we cry and hurt and suffer, and I think that God just holds us. He whispers to us that everything will eventually be okay. He knows we hurt now. He understands that we are not supposed to just quit hurting because sometime in the future we will recover. He knows that one day it won’t hurt, but that right now it does.

It is in these moments, just like when I was able to hold Hannah tightly in the Library Monday, that we draw close to God. It is at these times that God is able to hold us, and while everything else is put into perspective, we know that we are loved. It may not take the immediate pain away – in fact it won’t. But we know that we are not alone in our pain.

In the last week we have felt pain and wondered why. We wonder if this is a test from God or an obstacle provided by the devil, and we know we may not ever understand why we went through this experience. But we know that we are not, nor have we ever been, alone. We have been so encouraged by prayers, by comments on our blogs and in person, by hugs and tears, laughter and food. We know that those who have reached out to us have been the arms and hands and lap of God, holding us close and comforting us. You have helped us through the most difficult part, and now you continue to support us as we occasionally feel the twinge of sorrow that reminds us of the pain.

We are well aware that there are many people who have sorrow equal to or greater than ours on a daily basis. I hope it doesn’t seem that we are trying to draw attention to ourselves through our online ramblings. For me it is therapeutic to write, and this is much easier than calling everyone individually. But ultimately we are seeking a level of transparency in our lives so that whatever God does for us will be an encouragement for you. We want God to be glorified through our lives so that whatever you are up against you will see that the same God that has been faithful to us in good times and bad ones, will deal similarly with you. We don’t have it figured out at all – far from it. I feel like we have more questions today than I did several years ago. But just knowing that God is in control gives us confidence to face the future with more certainty and less fear.