Over at Christianity Today, an absolutely compelling interview with Kay Warren (Rick Warren’s wife) about their year of “grieving dangerously” after their son Matthew’s tragic suicide last year:
I said at Matthew’s memorial service, “We’re devastated, but not destroyed.” I don’t know that you ever stop being devastated by catastrophic loss. In the last year-and-a-half of his life, we lived right on the edge every day. I would talk about it with close friends and say, “It’s like sitting on the edge of hell.”
I determined some time ago that I was not going to let anything destroy me. I had my years of saying to the Lord, “You were at work in Matthew’s life yesterday, today, and you’ll be at work in my life every day until I meet him again.”
I heard an incredible sermon by Hillsong’s Brian Houston last summer, called “Glorious Ruins.” He talked about Lamentations, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and all of what happened to Israel. Ezekiel, chapters 36 and 37, talks about how Israel was ruined. God says, “I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt. The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it” (Ezek. 36:33-34 NIV).
This corresponded with a favorite quote by Eric Liddell, the Olympic runner. He said, “Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God’s plans, but God is not helpless among the ruins.” That phrase “God is not helpless among the ruins” has kept me where I can say, yes, devastated but not destroyed. My life has been torn down to the foundation, ruined, and yet, at the same time, and God has a plan for us.