It was today, August 17th, many years ago that my life changed forever. It was the day the skies went grey; the day they were bruised with shades of pain and anguish. The day where pain flooded the depths of my heart so harshly that breathing was merely an option. It was the day that gave space in my heart and mind to an array of unwanted questions and thoughts. August 17 was the day I last saw my sister this side of heaven. It was day that has forever been etched in my heart as the day that changed it all for me, my family, and our community.
Today, my heart aches in reminders of my sister’s laugh, her tender touch, her constant care and all that could’ve been. Today reminds me of all the pain and chaos that entered our lives on that day. August 17 reminds me of going to bed each night hoping to wake up each morning from the horrible dream I just lived through.
Although today is a reminder of what we lost, it is an even greater reminder of what we gained. We gained a greater desire for Hope. We gained a greater desire for eternity; a longing to see her again in the presence of Jesus. Today makes our hearts tethered to heaven that much more.
Today reminds me that we do not mourn as those who do not have hope, but instead, we mourn with confidence that our hope is anchored to heaven. We mourn rejoicing in the undeniable truth that our light and momentary troubles are achieving an eternal glory that far outweighs the deep aching on this earth.
Today reminds me that our pain is not wasted. It reminds me that what Satan intends for evil, God uses for good. It reminds me of the victory and power of the cross. It reminds me that Jesus trampled death in its entirety with outstretched arms and a crown of thorns.
Today is not my favorite. But today is by far one of the greatest reminders that heaven is real and that heaven is closer than it was yesterday. It is a reminder that my heart yearns for the shores of forever more and more with each day that passes. Even though the earthly pain never truly subsides, my comforts rests in the truth that God uses all things for good.
The remnants of August 17 weaved together a narrative far greater than one I could’ve written myself. It reminds me that God takes the broken pieces of our hearts and hems them together into a tapestry of hope; a tapestry far more beautiful and precious than anything I could’ve ever threaded myself.