Isn't it crazy how you can get 20 phone calls, texts or e-mails a day and just know that they have relatively minimal significance but then you get that ONE. The scary one. The one that says "my life is going to change after this phone call." And somehow you know just a millisecond before it happens. So that phone call happened on Thursday. My beautiful, vibrant, strong, light-up-a-room beloved aunt was killed in a tragic car accident. There is a Leslie-shaped hole in our family and there always will be.
God does not abandon us. He is gracious and loving and there have been amazing glimpses of His hand even through the overwhelming grief and heartbreak. My cousins, my aunt's only 2 children were together with their children for spring break. They live in Utah and Minnesota--had they been at home, the miles separating them would have made their grief even more unbearable. They found out the news of their mother's death together, sharing their grief and supporting one another. Thank you, Lord for this blessing. When I found out, I was at work (and I hardly ever work on Thursdays) and it was the end of the day, patients were gone, I had a dear friend with me for support who immediately called Buck, and my kids were already taken care of because I was working. Buck and I were able to go to my mom right then. If I would have been home, I am afraid I would have scared my kids or had to scramble to find someone to be with them but God really had all of that taken care of in that moment. I know these are just glimpses and there are many other ways God is working even in the midst of unspeakable pain.
My mom and I flew to Florida to be with my grandparents, and on the drive to their house from the airport, my mom glanced out her window and gasped. There in the distance, with virtually no rain in sight, was a beautiful rainbow. God's covenant to His people. He does not abandon us. He is here. "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you," James 4:8. So thankful He's near.