My heart is heavy today*.
I woke up this morning to learn that a dear friend, and radiant member of the BBB community, passed away suddenly. She had been battling against the repugnant monster that is anorexia, and it stole her life, way way too soon.
She was radiant in every sense of the word: encouraging, loving, faithful, kind, funny, and truly a warrior.
There is comfort knowing that she is in the sweet embrace of Jesus, without pain and in complete peace. My prayers are with her family in this devastating time.
This harrowing and tragic news really hit me hard. I couldn’t shake it. Not only because we were close, but also because it hit so close to home.
It was a grave reminder that anorexia kills.
It is not some punchline to a joke, or an easy dig on a podcast to get a cheap laugh.
It is a mental illness that has the highest mortality rate among all mental disorders.
This isn’t going to be some soap box for mental illness awareness. Even though it just so happens to be Mental Illness Awareness Week.
I don’t know why bad things happen. Why God allows tragic events to take place. Why we lose loved ones, or get a bad diagnosis. Why there’s infidelity, abandonment, abuse. Why there are shootings, natural disasters, plane crashes. Why does He spare some and not others? I simply do not know.
And it is in times like this where it is easy to shake our fists at God and doubt His existence, doubt His goodness.
And to be honest, that can feel good – Let out all the emotions we have inside. Manifest the hurt and sorrow we feel in rage at the One who supposedly “made it happen.”
Where were you? How could you? Why? Don’t you care? Why didn’t you…Why couldn’t you…Don’t you care at all?
I can’t answer those questions. I don’t think any of us will ever know the answers until we meet our Maker face to face one day.
But I do know that we live in a terribly broken world. One where there are tragedies out there. Not that God plans, but that are a result of the fact we don’t live in the Garden.
We’re not in this alone.
I’m not going to lie, typing these words tonight, it’s taking all of my strength to say these things, as I am so angry and hurt that God called his daughter back to Him so soon. But I have to muster all I can to truly believe that He is in control and He is good.
Imagine a child who is tremendously angry and hurt. She runs to her father and He lifts her up. And she’s furiously kicking and pounding His big strong chest with her little fists. Just getting out all her rage and fury and sadness and everything – until she can’t fight anymore and just collapses in His arms in exhaustion. But she doesn’t fall, because she’s in His arms – just like a little Raggedy Ann doll.
He wants to uphold us. He wants to soothe our hurting spirits. He wants to be our strength. Our lifeline. Our comforter.
He’s got you.
He is holding you, bearing the force of your cries and anger. He’s taking it, and is loving you through it. We just have to stop for a minute to hear His soothing voice.
But even amidst sorrow, there is still hope. Because my friend is free. Free from the pain. Free from the fear. And she is dancing with Jesus tonight in Heaven.
In tragedy, we just have to remember that Jesus was, and is, and is to come.
And He has known suffering. He has walked it. And there is nothing that we’re going through that He hasn’t also gone through. And He is right beside us in our grief, crying with us.
Let Him console you.
*Written Thursday, May 25