On June 16th my only daughter graduated from High School with many cheers from the Warner throng way up in the nosebleed section of the Eastman Theater. It was a happy occasion for all of us, and one she worked very hard for. She had no doubt she would finish strong…those of us who watched through all grading quarters may not have been quite so confident then…
While June can be a happy month for brides, and students at the passing of one more school year, June is a painful reminder for our family as we remember Lori going home to be with the Lord June 12th, just three years ago.
Loss can be debilitating or motivating…or both. It all depends on your attitude. And even with the best of attitudes there’s only so much you can control. On some occasions we are simply overcome by it….other times we can harness the emotions of it and make it work for us.
Lori would have been extremely proud of Leah. Lori was a gifted student herself…and worked very hard to instill the value of doing well at school to the kids…as unwilling as they were at times to listen. I know a big part of Leah’s push at the end was to honor her mom.
Where does that leave the rest of us. We all experience loss in one form or another…and we all react to it differently…some better than others. I remember an elderly friend from years ago whose husband left her around Christmas time for a younger woman years before. She could never move on. Well…the fact was that she chose not to move on. The joyous time of Christmas became a somber, depressing torment for her. A snowy prison of sorts. She would warn us well in advance of Christmas that she was going to have a hard time and be depressed…and she was. It didn’t have to be.
Jesus told us to leave our burdens at the cross.(Matt 11:28) And in other places in scripture he tells us to cast our care on Him.(Psalm 56:11) He promises rest and peace in every situation…we just have to trust him and let him deal with the things we can’t handle. Sounds easy enough…but we seem to like to hang on to our pain. We let it define us…control us…bind us. I would bet some of us have never let the Lord truly have any of our pain and suffering and worry. Why would we give it to him…it’s ours…we own it. We earned the right to be miserable! “Nobody knows the trouble I seen…” you get it.
But sometimes… when we do trust God, make the next right decision, and work hard….good things happen… even in tough times. Doors open, wounds are healed, painful memories soften…the scales drop off our eyes and we see the blessings around us.
So here’s to Leah and all the sons and daughters who graduated to the next level of life. You all did great! Speaking for all parents everywhere….we love you and are so proud of you…and praying that God brings your future into focus these coming years for His purpose, His honor and His glory!