Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Last Photograph

People are always giving me a hard time for wanting to take group pictures.  I've always been one for  capturing memories, but there's usually at least one person in any group photo who grumbles as I reach for the camera.  That was the reaction I got from my brother and sister on Thanksgiving when I wanted a sibling picture.  I'm glad I was persistent.  That was the last photo we have of my brother.  I look at that picture and remember how happy we all were that night, unbeknownst to us that it would be the last time any of us would ever see him.  We talked and laughed; Brian played with his nieces and nephews.  We knew he'd been struggling with anxiety and depression but that night he gave us all hope.  He seemed to be on the upswing.  We had no idea that just three weeks later we would be grappling with all the questions that plague those who face the loss of someone they love to suicide.

I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that he is gone.  None of this seems real yet.  Maybe it never will.  We all have so many questions swimming in our heads but one thing I know with absolute certainty is that even in the face of the greatest tragedy and pain God is with us.  Not a moment has gone by when He has not been near.  Not a tear has slipped down our cheeks that He hasn't counted.  Not once have we cried out and He has turned a deaf ear.  God doesn't stop being good simply because we walk through periods of suffering.   I find myself leaning into God's goodness all the more since the news of Brian's death came barreling into my life.  I find hope in the truth that I have a Savior who has suffered.  God can relate to pain.  He's been there.  Done that.  Conquered it.

My joy is in knowing that, while my heart breaks, there is coming a day when all pain and suffering will be forgotten, as Jesus himself wipes away every tear from our eyes.  I don't know how many days I have left on this earth, and I know that every one of them has been permanently marked by my brother's death.  But I also know that a day is coming when Jesus will make all things new.  The temporary pain of this world stirs in us a longing for something more.  We seem to know intrinsically that heartache and pain is unnatural.  Because it is.  We move through a world wrecked by sin and it's our pain that points us heavenward.  Our hearts cry out for our hurting selves to be restored, and that is the promise we have in Christ.  One day our suffering will be redeemed and we will forever live in the light of His grace.  No more death.  No more tears.  Praise God for giving us reason to hope.

10 comments:

  1. Beth...we're praying for you and your family.

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  2. Beth,
    I'm so very sorry for your loss and the sorrow you're enduring. God is with you and my prayers will be with you and your family too.
    -Angie Kasuske & family

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  3. Beth, we have not stopped praying for you and your family since we heard of your brother's death. We will continue to pray for strength, peace and comfort in the midst of your questions, sadness and grief. I am so glad you have this picture...I am glad you were persistent!

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  4. Amen sister. Praying for you guys daily and praying that this draws pepole closer to Him.

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  5. Well said...true character comes out in times of tragedy. SO proud of you & your unwavering faith. We miss Brian & loved him so much. Can't wait to hug you on Tuesday. Sending prayers to you and the entire family. - Tallie

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  6. I'm so sorry to hear this. I'm really compassionate to your grief. Thank you for sharing.

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  7. Thank you for sharing your heart with us Beth. It is such a grace to observe the anchor that God is to your soul in the midst. Much love.

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  8. What a special picture and moment for you all to have shared, I appreciate your faith during an unspeakable trial, May God shine His face upon you. Brian looks like someone I wish I had known, julie

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  9. Beth, just reading this over a month later. What hope Our Savior has given you amidst your sorrow and questions. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. God will continue to meet all your needs amidst this time of grief. Praying for you and your family. Karin Bailey

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