Sometimes the bottom falls out. It happens every day. I’ve known people who were hit by drunk drivers and their futures were forever changed. I’ve had both friends and family members who were struck by cancer when they seemed the picture of youth and health. I, personally, was told over the phone by my first husband that he had been involved in a slew of things I had known nothing about and he didn’t want to be married anymore. I was three months pregnant with Trinity. Sometimes the bottom falls out and we are left reeling.

It was this exact time of year 7 years ago that a phone call changed my life forever. I went stone cold, felt sick to my stomach, and had to sit down for fear I would fall over.  I can look back now at the journey I’ve been on since then and see the miracles God has worked in my life. In the midst of it all there were good days filled with excitement and hope for a fresh start with my soon-to-come beautiful daughter, and there were days when I cried. A Lot. I thought the stream of tears would never stop. I remember being overwhelmed with blessings and abundance and love from those around me and being overwhelmed at not being up to the life I now faced. I felt cared for by friends and family and I felt incredibly alone at the same time.

Some friends of ours have recently experienced unspeakable tragedy. This loving, vibrant, amazing family has seen everything they thought their future would be crumble in the blink of an eye. My heart aches for them and I have spent time on my knees crying and praying on their behalf. I can pray, I can make meals, I can offer up whatever help they might need but I’m left feeling helpless to make a dent in the hurt they are experiencing.

I pray Romans 8:26-28 over them daily “But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

The truth is that even when we can’t see our way past the next week, or day, or hour, God holds our big picture in his hands. Tough times change us forever. Sometimes the parts of us that are broken can never be repaired to the way they were. But God can use the shards to create something new if we let him. I can tell you from experience that it was a long road that did not heal overnight but God’s plans for me were far greater than what I could have planned for myself. Blessings so wonderful have been bestowed that I still sometimes scarcely believe they’ve been given to me.

In the middle of this tragedy that will have ramifications that last their lives, I plead with God that this family can experience healing. I pray that one day they are able to look back and see that he worked powerfully in their lives through these hurtful hours, weeks, months, and years to come. If there’s one thing we can be assured of, it’s God’s unlimited capacity to use our mess and brokenness for his ultimate glory on our lives. In the mean time I pray they will know and feel how loved and prayed for they all are and that they would feel the arms of their savior wrapped tight around them. Most of all, that they will take comfort in the fact that the Holy Spirit (along with everyone who knows them!) is pleading with God on their behalf in groanings that cannot be expressed in words, according to His will.