I want you to know that even though things seem so perfect through the window, they are not always so. We have normal household problems like an expressive teen, forgotten clothes in the washer, and never-ever ending cups to clean. But we also occasionally have big problems, too. Just like you. As you well know, there are valleys in life and mountaintops.
For the past year-and-a-half we traveled through a valley of the deepest kind, one so dark and of such depth that for a long time, we could not see the way out. I became obsessive about trying to make things right again, frantically trying to fix the broken, until finally Tim said with a catch in his voice, "Lori. It will never be right. It can never be right. You have to accept that."
In our valley, thinking on the Just, Pure, Lovely was more than I could do. It was enough to simply breathe…Breathe, hug my babies, and distract myself with busyness. My thoughts were scattered. I talked to mean people in my mind, I tried to rationalize, I questioned, I asked God his opinion, I became angry. I knew to change my thoughts to the just, pure, lovely, and many times that did work for a few minutes, but the good thoughts flit away so quickly I could not capture them.
I avoided my camera, I stopped creating things, I didn't read to the kids. I stopped logging into this blog. I knew those things would help me, but I. Couldn't.
This valley did not have a gradual incline at the end, like many do. There was no tunnel to walk through. We had to scale the cliffs to get out, bruising our shins and breaking skin in the process. A light fog followed us as we left – our days will never be as bright as they once were, and we will never be as carefree as we once were – but we did – yes, we did – find the strength to climb out of that valley.
As with all bad experiences, good came from it: We are wiser. We realize our strength. We are more protective. We know that God is here. For real. We have a perspective of what is a true tragedy, and what is not.
We are more "we."
What's next? Next is exciting. Next is freedom. Next is knowing we can survive something horrific and …survive! Next is believing that even though there is bad in this world beyond comprehension, there is also good if only we seek it. Next is security that comes from faith in our God who never causes bad things to happen, but who can create a pearl from a teardrop.
Next is seeking the Just, the Pure, and the Lovely.