April 16, 2007 - Virginia Tech Massacre
April 18, 1906 - San Francisco Earthquake
April 19, 1995 - Oklahoma City Bombings
April 20, 1999 - Columbine Shootings
And sadly, on this week the lists just keeps getting longer.
April 15, 2013 - Boston Marathon Explosions
April 17, 2013 - West Fertilizer Explosion
And for me, personally, this week in history has also painful.
On April 14, 2007, my dearest friend Morgan was in a boating accident.
On April 15th, I was told of her condition, and I flew to her bedside at a trauma hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.
I stayed with her two days, and returned home doubtful, but hopeful, for her survival.
Sadly, after a very emotional week, on Friday, April 20th, she was taken off life support and passed away thirty minutes later.
God is Good. And he is gracious. This same week, in 2007, another of my closest friends would have her second baby. And in my grief, they invited me to spend a lot of time with them as they eagerly anticipated her arrival. A sweet girl who's 6th year of life is celebrated this week. The third week of April to me is also about new life and new beginnings, amidst sadness, hardness, and goodbyes. God allowed me to feel quite a range of emotions in April of 2007.
That week in April reminded me that God is real. That he is GOOD. That he provides. That he gives and takes away.
It is in those difficult trials, those days where you don't know how you will even get through it, how you will wake up in the morning and do it all over again, that God reminds you that he provides you with exactly enough mercy to get through each day. Enough for each moment.
Like the manna in the wilderness, there was only enough for that day. And the days you need that extra manna, there it will be. When the Israelites went to bed each night, they could not store up for the morning. They had to trust God that he would provide each new day.
And I will tell you, living through those first days, weeks, months, and year of a tragedy, that was so very true in my life.
That first week, God provided abundance grace and mercy, holding that sweet baby for the first time, seeing joy in my friends' lives, understanding that God truly is in control was a perfect provision. It was the much needed extra manna for those hard days. That first year he provided shoulders to cry on, friends to be with, and more importantly the comfort of His love, sovereignty, and redemption.
God has taught me a lot in these 6 years. Losing Morgan was one of those "Ebenezer" experiences where everything is different, a time I can look back on and be reminded of God's faithfulness in seeing me through the hard times and grief.
He is the provider of the manna in the wilderness. He knows our needs. He meets us in them.
I know he wastes nothing, and that he uses our sorrows and heartaches to comfort others as he has comforts us. I know he is good.
Pictures taken 3.22.13 at the Morgan Meredith Rohde Memorial Bench at the Torrey Pines Glider Port in La Jolla, CA.