I awoke yesterday morning and was greeted with my husband handing me his phone. I glanced down to see an article titled: Three American firefighters killed in a C-130 crash while battling the Australian fires.
My heart sank. My husband is a C-130 pilot. And one of his greatest joys and passions within his job is that of being an aerial firefighter.
While this is not the first tragedy to hit the small C-130 community, it doesn’t get easier. I don’t get numb to it. It is my worst nightmare.
My heart is heavy and is breaking for the precious lives that were lost. For their families, friends, co-workers, whose lives are forever changed.
And I’m finding myself curious what I am choosing to hold on to in the midst of this tragedy. Am I holding on to hope and fear simultaneously?
The hope that nothing like this will happen to my husband and also the fear that something will?
As I close my eyes and allow myself to be still, I feel the unsettledness in my stomach. I observe my hands clenched in a fist. And I become aware of my desperate need for air.
Allowing the tears to fall, I take a long, deep breath in. And as I exhale, I let go of my fear and my agenda for hope, and I set them at the feet of my Father, God.
To be fixated on the fear of ‘what if’ and on the hope of avoiding tragedy and hardships, is not living. There is no life. And it bears no fruit.
Whether we are walking through our own personal tragedy or watching a tragedy hit too close to home, there is beauty and joy to be seen, to be felt and to be experienced, even while in the midst of deep pain and heartache.
To find that. To experience that. Comes when we let go of our fear and our agenda for hope. Allowing our hearts to be opened and filled with His peace. His love. And His comfort. That surpasses any and all understanding.
And when the uneasiness returns…and it will…making the choice to do it all over again. And again. And again.
Heavenly Father, may You hold tenderly, the hearts of those who are experiencing deep pain and loss today.
May You reveal to them in unique and powerful ways, Your presence and Your love.
And for those of us who are sitting with an unsettled feeling in our stomach, knowing this could have been us, our spouse, our friend, our family member, may we courageously place that fear at Your feet and rest knowing You have us.
No matter what. YOU have us.