I've been at a loss for words the past few days.
With the death of my friend's daughter, Selah, it seems like Eva's death and the darkness afterwards have just caught up to me. And my words feel trivial.
Selah's funeral was yesterday in Uganda. Her parents posted pictures on facebook and her memorial video as well as the eulogy that her dad and mom read.
When I prayed for a peace beyond all understanding for them I had no idea what it would really look like. It appears that Dave and Janna have showed me a peace that surpasses all understanding in how they are grieving their precious Selah.
I did not have that peace when Eva died. Or did I? Maybe in the beginning I did. But as time progressed I struggled more and more with anger. I let that peace go.
The grace and strength that Dave and Janna have showed the world is truly extraordinary. Extraordinary because that grace and strength is God given, I know. I hated it when people called me strong after Eva died. Because I knew that I possessed no strength. And anything I did have was a straight gift from God.
I know that when Eva died my heart was shattered and I wept every single day for eleven months. I somehow skipped one day at 11 months and then wept every single day after that for the next several months.
A few things stuck out to me when Janna was remembering her Selah. One was that before her daughter died she thought that if one of her children should die she would sink in to a grief that rendered her insane and unable to care for her other children. It's amazing how God keeps us stepping one foot in front of the other when the unthinkable happens to us. Before Eva died I never imagined any of my children dying but if I had I would have been sure that I couldn't survive. Now I am equally as sure that I could survive the death of another one of my children. Survive. Barely. But, yes, survive. Because now I know God doesn't give you the grace to accomplish something until you are called to endure it.
The other thing that stuck out to me was something I had already been thinking about but Janna was able to articulate particularly well...that 34 days with Selah was enough. Not because that's all she wanted with Selah but because that's all God gave her. And that had to be enough. Because God knows what he is doing, even in the storm.
To quote Ann Voskamp Peace isn't the absence of the dark it is God's presence in the midst of the dark.
And that is what a peace that surpasses all understanding looks like. God. God's presence in the midst of the darkness.