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Tuesday, February 14, 2006 

Wait In The Fire

I can't tell you how many times the words, "This is the tragedy of my life" have passed my lips. It's one of my favorite phrases, and I use it more than I probably should. The truth is, my life has known little actual tragedy. Sure, I've had death in my family, but now my husband is a funeral director, and he comes home and tells me stories of REAL tragedy. He tells me about people who aren't sure if they will ever see their loved ones again, who don't know how to deal with the sudden loss of someone they love, who have nothing to cling to. I feel so deeply for these people that often I don't let Dustin finish his story. I don't let him tell me about the tragedies, because I can't stomach that kind of pain.

It is for similar reasons that I don't watch the news. I can't handle real life tragedy broadcasted to my living room. There is a sadness that seeps into my skin from the tales of woe and heartache of strangers, and honestly, there are so many people I know and love who must struggle with their own heartache, I can't handle the burden of strangers, it is too much for me.

Dustin and I were on our honeymoon when Hurricane Katrina hit. We had no idea it had even happened until we returned home and witnessed the aftermath of it all in the papers and on every television channel and every radio program. One of my bridesmaids and dearest friends, Tifferbob, was living in Mississipi at the time, and because she was here for my wedding, she was stuck. She couldn't get back to her husband for weeks. Finally, she was able to get a flight into Texas and her husband drove for 10 hours to pick her up. Once electricity and phones were restored she started sending me emails about the people that had shown up to help, the people who had looked this tragedy in the eye and realized they could do something to make it less of one. She talked about the good and the bad of that time, and I sat in my warm dry home thousands of miles away and lapped up her words of hope. She was living in the midst of catastrophic tragedy, and throught it all she found something deeper than the pain of destroyed homes, a husband out of work, neighbors who had died. She found something to take her through that tragedy and on with the rest of her life. Tiff thanks her faith for getting her through, and I find so much in that statement. She credits God for getting her through the two days she didn't hear from her husband. I can't tell you how impressed I am with her attitude.

I am somewhat of the opposite of Tiff. When I experiance something I think of as a personal tragedy I weep, wail, curse and beg the question what have I done to deserve this. I don't often see the fact that I'm growing, being pulled and stretched, being molded into something greater than I was before. It is painfully difficult for me to see that any good at all could come from something that hurts so much, or interfers in the plans I had laid. I've said it before and I will say it again, but I do NOT handle difficulty with much grace. I am slow to be grateful for the good, I tend to focus on the tragedy and not on the things that are going right. I hope that I am changing from this little by little. I am learning to be more graceful and grateful. I am learning about the silver lining - it's there, you just have to brave enough to look for it.

I'm grateful for the examples I have in my life of people who are graceful under fire. They make me want to be better when the tragedies of my life happen, they make my want to possess what they have: grace.

Posted by Sarah

Dead I am the one, Exterminating son
Slipping through the trees, strangling the breeze
Dead I am the sky, watching angels cry
while they slowly turn, conquering the worm

Dig through the ditches,and
Burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula

Dig through the ditches,and
Burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula

Dead I am the pool, spreading from the fool
Weak and what you need, nowhere as you bleed
Dead I am the rat, feast upon the cat
Tender is the fur, dying as you purr

Dig through the ditches,and
Burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula

Dig through the ditches,and
Burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula

Do it baby, Do it baby
Do it baby, Do it baby
Burn like an animal

Dead, I Am The life
Dig Into The Skin,Knuckle Crack The Bone
21 To win

Dead I am the dog, hound of hell you cry
Devil on your back, I can never die

Dig through the ditches,and
Burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula

Dig through the ditches,and
Burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula

Do it baby, Do it baby
Do it baby, Do it baby
Burn like an animal

Dig through the ditches,and
Burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula

Dig through the ditches,and
Burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula

Dig through the ditches,and
Burn through the witches
I slam in the back of my
Dragula

Is this some sort of pop culture reference that I am not catching or is it bad poetry?

Sarah,
Good post, by the way. I wish grace didn't seem like such an innate quality, as then my attempts to acquire it wouldn't seem so futile.

I'm also curious why "Burn like an animal" was boldened.

Sarah, you do pull through, though. You do pull through.

Sarah, I liked your post (and welcome back!) believe it or not, it shed some light on my life. I went through my own personal tragedy last summer when I was diagnosed with something called Transverse Myelitis. It has changed my life, who I am, how I do things. I didn't realized until I read your post that possibly, "I'm growing, being pulled and stretched, being molded into something greater than I was before". It is amazing how I couldn't see it at the time, but thank you for pointing it out to me. I am a different person than I was 8 months ago. To paraphrase the Rolling Stones, "you can't always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need". Perhaps that tragedy was what I needed to make changes in my life. I appreciate you thoughts on it. Thank you.

Sarah, when I lost my first child and husband, I kept it all inside. I drank and took pills and never really dealt with it.

When I lost James, I did what you describe. I think it was healthier.

My neighbor and best friend, when she lost her daughter, screamed to the heavens. It didn't lessen the pain, but I think in the long run, she will be better off than if she tried to pretend it didn't hurt.

Annegb, you hit it on the head.

All of life is response, both active and passive.

Best regards from NY!
»

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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