I used to think I liked surprises until one day I was out at night and there was a phone call. And in an instant everything changed. What I knew to be true before was true no more. It took maybe ten years for my mind and heart to catch up.
For a while, phonecalls at unexpected times –like late at night –sent me spinning. If we’re honest, sometimes they still do.
There’s many types of surprises, but lately it seems the headlines I’m hearing from family and friends are not-always -good-news ones.
Friends and family sprung with the new year just underway with news they never expected and don’t want to carry. But have no choice.
News that sweeps them along on roads they never wanted to walk, with consequences and new realities they didn’t want to have to grasp and grapple with. But have no choice.
And it feels so impossibly heavy, and others want to help them carry it, and they can and do in many cases, with words, and gifts, and hugs, and meals, and verses, and visits and prayers. But even still there are some pieces that just can’t be carried by anyone else but the one they have fallen upon; those lonely, painful fragments that must be carried alone.
That’s when it’s good to remember that even when it doesn’t feel like it, even when every thought is one of panic, or pain, or despair, no matter how hard you try to make it otherwise (and oh how you try), He is still there with us. The one who can come into even the darkest, loneliest of corners alongside us. And when all we want to do is hide, that’s okay too. Sometimes all we need to know is that it doesn’t matter how deep we go, he can always go deeper, wider, higher.
He loves us. On that we have no choice.