The Election, Death and Saying GoodBye

It has taken me a couple of weeks to process everything that happened the first couple weeks of November and honestly, I'm still not sure I understand it all or know how to put it into words.  I struggle with wanting to be completely transparent in my writing without sounding like a martyr or giving you an invitation to a pity-party you don't want to attend.  If there is anything I have learned deeply over the last few years is that
one can not appreciate the good without tasting the bad
There is a profound part of my being that wants so desperately to see the good in everything, ignore the pain and sadness, focus only on the happy.  I am a human being who longs for pure joy. It is built within my DNA to crave people, interaction, and find happiness.  Why do I struggle to grasp that perfection of bliss?  Wasn't I created to live in a world of perfection?
no sadness. no pain. no death. no doubt. no fear.
It all goes back to the story of this one couple who exercised their freewill in a garden a long, long time ago.  (ehem, Adam & Eve)  Freewill.  It is a gift given and revealed in my choices.  Some of my choices are on the right path which unveils snippets of that perfect world awaiting my entrance.  Then there are the not so great choices which drag me into a vulnerable state of insecurity, fear and doubt.  I do see how my choices are intermingled with the world around me and how I am molded by the choices of others.

What do I do with all of that?  How do I ignore the bad and focus only on the good?  I can't. You see, without all the bad and sad, I can't appreciate the glad (channeling my inner Dr. Seuss).
those who sow in tears shall reap in joy and singing
// Psalm 126:5 //

The first couple weeks of November were full of sadness and massive disappointment. The previous nine months of campaigning was an intense, enlightening experience.  The opportunity to meet so many people in our Community and dig into politics was/is quite an interesting journey.  My husband has always expressed his desire to be in politics but, I never could have imagined the process.  I could easily fill pages in a book about the people, the experiences, the emotions, and the sacrifices of walking through a political campaign.  When November 6th had finally arrived.  I was eager to greet the day with hope, anticipation, and excitement.  Everything we (Eric and our family) had been striving for was about to launch into the next chapter of our lives.

My focus on the election Tuesday morning would be heavily sidelined by 10am that morning.  I had received news that one of the high school students in our youth group had taken his life.  Talk about a punch to the heart.  The high school ministry, students, and members of my church family were thrown into a devastatingly sad and somber state.  Over the next couple of weeks, I would witness an
outpouring of compassion and love so intense
I still get chills thinking about it weeks later.  What an overwhelming blessing to be a part of a community of people who genuinely understand the hope that believing in something larger than all of us is an irreplaceable survival tool.  As I traveled through Tuesday with unpredictable emotions about the election and the loss of life, I relished in the fact that I am cherished by the King.

Tuesday evening came and the election took a turn that was completely unexpected.  Here is where I am still sorting out all that transpired over the last 9 months of our lives. Oh, the hours we spent analyzing and reviewing the campaign trail.  Coming out of the fog and disappointment we quickly realized that there was not one decision we would have done differently.  Eric ran his campaign with
uncommon integrity and class
When you start breaking down the numbers and percentages, Eric ran a phenomenal race.  He stood firm against compromise in his values and beliefs in an arena that is rough.  I walked into this campaign season with 100% confidence we were walking the path God had carved out for us.  It would be easy (and natural) to question why he didn't get elected.  The results were not what we expected but, I believe in a God who can do amazing things with the unexpected.  I refuse to put Him in a tiny box where he is confined to my limited ideals.

Photo taken in 2009
Later in the week, as I continued to process all of the emotions, I got a call from my family in California.  My last remaining grandparent had a stroke and she wasn't doing well. I had a sweet very memorable conversation with my Nana.  She is one hysterical, wise, loving Lady.  She hung up on me before I could say goodbye and my Dad called me back.  It was a bit curious that he had called me back and then it struck me... this might be "it" for Nana.  He handed her the phone again and all I could do was repeat a gazillion times, "I love you Nana.  I love you so much."  I'm sure I annoyed her, I couldn't find any other words.  Trying to keep it all together, my voice cracked (dagnabbit!)  Precious Poopsie says, "Now you stop that.  Stop it right now."  I burst out laughing and she began to sing a song she has always sung to me, "Bushel and a Peck".  Oh how I love this woman.  I HATED saying goodbye to her but, I know she is on her way to seeing Papa again and meeting Jesus face to face.  The sweetness of that reunion comforts me.  She is surrounded by my family and being loved on as she waits.

I adore my family and it is so difficult being away from them in tough times.  My Dad just began chemo treatments for a rare blood disorder (CAD).  I wait in anticipation of his healing and know my Dad is in good hands...the earthly kind and the heavenly kind.

If you will continue to read a little longer (I know this is a long post!), I wanted to share a little of my journal that I wrote a couple of weeks ago.  I was encouraged by the words as if they weren't mine but I was reading another persons writing.  I think sometimes when I pour my heart out onto a piece of paper, it is not necessarily for me in that moment but for the future me.
November 13, 2012
I am enjoying a quiet morning in a coffee shop.  Reflecting on all that has transpired in the last week.  I find myself resting in God's strength and hope.  I am learning that He gives me what I need each day.  He gives me daily doses of respite and blessings in the chaos.  Just when I think I can't take another disappointment or curve in the road of life, He lifts me up with a supernatural strength to face it.  I toughen up because its not my right to wallow in the sadness.  It is my responsibility to reveal God's strength, compassion, love, and joy.
May you be blessed as you walk through the trials that life brings so that you can appreciate the cherished blessings in your days.