Can we prepare?

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In Pastor Kevin's class on suffering tonight, someone commented that we, as Christians, need to prepare for times of suffering.  While I agree that we need to be growing in our faith always, I don’t believe that we can really prepare for the tragedies that await us in this life.  Some might see it as my simply being na├»ve, but Kristen not making it through her surgery was not even a possible scenario in my world.  And then it happened.  As with others who have unforeseen things happen to them, we were blindsided.  Those situations are a test of our faith, and I’m not sure we can even know how we’ll respond until we’re faced with it.  Ah, there arrives that desperate need for God’s grace.  That's something Pastor Kevin has prayed for us from the beginning.  I am grateful for that specific prayer.

The 6-month mark came for me last week with all the suffocating ache I remember from August.  It really knocked the wind out of me.  All day last Sunday, I remembered the day of Kristen's surgery...how well things were going, then how terribly wrong it all went.  Last Monday and Tuesday were filled with memories of the hospital. Then the 17th...thinking back to saying goodbye to Kristen and watching as she breathed her last breath in her daddy's arms.  And that awful trip home, to a house full of reminders.  Days like that are so hard…I get to the point where I don't even know what to pray.  I feel completely wrung out and restless, wishing I could just sleep for a week, but knowing I'd just lie in bed thinking too much.

As awful as days like that are, I still know that God is there, that He has a greater plan, that He is in control.  I know that He knows my pain and heartache, that He loves me so much that He was willing to allow His own Son to die on a cross for my sins.  Having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the only preparation for dealing with the tragedies of this earthly life.  It can certainly feel like it's not enough, but I can't even begin to imagine where I would be without it.