December 21, 2018

Advent 2018

"Light after Darkness"


This year included possibly the most difficult thing our family has faced in the death of Jacqueline's nine year old friend, Kate.  Not only have we had to navigate helping guide a child through extreme grief, knowing this experience will forever shape Jacqueline, we have also had to come to terms for ourselves that sometimes outcomes don't make sense.  It is easy in tragedy to get buried in darkness and despair, and the greatest gift we can receive is the ability to find hope for the future in, and on the other side of, that darkness.  Sometimes, if we pay attention, God provides us with guides to help us find that hope, and sometimes they come from unexpected places.  Since Kate's death, we have been blessed to be guided through a lot of this process by Kate's mother, Trish McKay, who I believe God has used to show us that no matter how deep the darkness, we are still allowed to have more glorious expectations than ever.  This is exemplified best by Trish's own words:


I am so grateful that there is joy after sadness.  There is light after darkness.  That there is not one bad thing that happens to me that cannot be redeemed.  That God can turn my pain into my purpose.  I know that this might sound crazy to you, but I am actually excited to see what God uses my life for now, because I have no idea!  After Kate went to heaven, all sense of me being in control vanished.  I am free from all that entails.  I am God's, and he is writing my story, and the ending is better than I could have even imagined.  I just have to wake up open to what this day brings, work hard, serve others, and love.

I'm incredibly grateful to know that there will always be something for which to look forward and even more grateful to have had that proven to me this year through unimaginable tragedy.

-- Emily Richardson-Dion


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