No matter that I believe in God and a higher plan, sometimes life just isn't fair. An old childhood friend lost her husband to a tragic ATV accident last week. He leaves behind his wife and three young children, ages 2, 6 and 8. When I heard the news, my stomach dropped, and stayed that way for days. These are the kinds of things you hear about on the news, or the kinds of the things that happen to "friends of friends" or "people you heard of." This one just hit so close to home.
In an instant, everything she thought her life would look like changed. The plans and dreams were shattered. Life will go on for her and her children, but it won't remotely resemble how she thought it all would go.
I stand at quite a few big crossroads right now. In the past year we have been making some decisions that could change the course of where we are headed. But they have been deliberate choices, carefully thought out and prayed over. This tragedy in my friend's life reminds me that for all my planning, for all my careful execution, in an instant things spin in a completely different direction.
Knowing this friend, I have been able to imagine the heartache she feels at a much more connected level than I usually would. I have imagined the sobs coming out in gasps, the neverending stream of tears, the lonely ache at night, and the pain of hugging her fatherless children. She has a strong faith and the support and love of so many friends and family, but none of that can ease the moment when you just have to cry.
I am holding everyone a little closer these days.