When tragedy strikes…

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When I was just shy of 16 years old, my dear friend Cara died in a car accident. Hers was the 3rd death of 5 in one calendar year at my high school. It was a time of terrible pain and loss. I don’t think there was a student who didn’t lose a close friend. It was terrible.

Over the years, I’ve tried to make sense out of everything. I know God’s plans are bigger than my own so I never did really figure it out. One thing I do know to be true : the trials we face in our own lives help to prepare to witness to others as they go through trials. 

Fast forward to this weekend. One of my students was killed in a head-on collision. I know how his friends are hurting. I know how their hearts ache. I know they feel like they’ve been punched in the stomach. I know that this pain will not end at the funeral. Or next week. Or next month. Or next year. This will leave a hole in their hearts and lives permanently.

I know that pain. I know the look on the parents’ faces when you reach milestones that their child never will. I’ve been there. I am there.

I believe that along with everything else I’ve learned these last 10 years (wow I can’t believe it’s been that long!) I have learned that MY trials are how God teaches me to minister to others who are hurting.

Today, I told my students that I am praying for them, that I want them to know that God has a plan – even if we don’t understand it, and that this week, we get to be reminded of the hope of the resurrection, Easter, at the end of this week.

I pray that God will use me through the weeks that come to be the light he has called me to be.

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