"It was God's plan..." I've heard this more than once over the past 4 weeks. You know what...that's not true. God did not plan for Violet to be sick or for her to die any more than we did. But you know what? God WILL be glorified. He is still in control and He is using tragedy to heal the brokenhearted, to redeem the lost, to bring His children together and to their knees.
In reading Angie Smith's book this morning (again, I am floored at how perfectly her writing mirrors exactly where I am in the moment) I read this quote from Henri Nouwen:
Our glory is hidden in our pain, if we allow God to bring the gift of himself in our experience of it. If we turn to God, not rebelling against our hurt, we let God transform it with greater good. We let others join in and discover it with us.
Angie says, "What the Lord has given us can either be taken into ourselves as pain or given back to Him as a holy offering, one that glorifies His name and gives meaning to our loss."
I remember even in the earliest hours of Friday, 5/15/15, when Violet was still alive, before we knew she was going to die, I began saying that God was refining me and I didn't want to miss even one lesson that He was teaching me through this.
Here's the thing - I've never been one of those people who talk about God. In fact, I've wrestled with the idea of salvation and God and if I truly was his child most of my adult life. I assumed that since I never really felt His presence that I was lost. I was angry, bitter, hateful, entitled...sinful. Since Violet's story began God has made it so abundantly clear He is not only present, but He is holding me so closely and tenderly. He has utterly broken me so I can never rely on me or what I know or think I can do ever again. It is in this brokenness He is healing me.
So I will continue telling Violet's story over and over.
God WILL be glorified.