I have spent a lot of time over this past year remembering.
Yesterday marked one year since the car accident that ended the earthly life of my close friend's daughter.
I called and texted with my friend and with her kids throughout the day, remembering her life and reminding them that they are loved and not forgotten.
As early evening came on, I got a text from another dear friend telling me that her water had broken and asking if I would I please pray for a smooth labor and delivery.
Through the night, I texted her encouragement to keep pressing on, knowing that it could be hours and hours of hard work.
Today when her baby boy was born at home I was so happy, rejoicing with her.
I was in the middle--in the middle of this thing we call life...this thing we call life that also encompasses death.
This life wherein I change diapers and check math papers and hit my knees trying to ease the weight of a mother's sorrow because her little girl no longer lives on this earth.
This life I live that has me unbuckling carseat straps at Target while my phone beeps to tell me I have a new message. I pause with my purse handle freshly tossed onto my shoulder to read the text--a 9 lb 10 oz baby boy. I laughed out loud in the drizzling rain, so proud of what this mama accomplished.
And there I was in the middle.
In the middle of hurting for one mama and sharing the joy of another.
We also have been finding out some difficult things for us here that I will share over time. I sat in the library parking lot, oh-so aware that life is really hard sometimes.
Sometimes hard is good and sometimes hard is, well, hard.
I'm blessed to have friends with whom to share life, the mundane everyday as well as the fun things and the serious and the really hard things.
This may sound odd to some, but I'm thankful to have had my heart shattered because it has allowed me to hurt with those who hurt, rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
Sometimes life gets a little too real, know what I mean?
But I'm trying hard to feel, because I know that
"...we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Romans 5:3-4