Five years ago today, we had a heartbreaking ultrasound and an unexpected loss. And so every March 20th since, I've made plans to do something fun with my kids to ease the hurts of that difficult day.
Today I took Liley to one of those paint-your-own-pottery places. We were going to paint a tile and add it to our others that we've painted over the years.
So there we were...a four-year old girl plus a "You-break-it-you-buy-it" policy.
(You see where this is headed.)
I heard the sound of shattering ceramic and spun around to see my wide-eyed little girl staring at the pieces.
The owner walked to the register and waited for me there with a stern look on her face (This was the "You-break-it-you-buy-it" part). Without a word, I met her at the register and pulled out my wallet.
The problem was, I had budgeted only a certain amount for this pottery day, and what I had to pay for that shattered Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle was three times what I had budgeted for our time there, so we had to leave without painting anything.
So basically we showed up, broke something, paid for it, and left.
But not before the tears started.
Not my daughter's. Mine.
I told my sweet girl it was okay, that I knew it was an accident, that I wasn't upset. But something inside me was so profoundly sad for a lot of reasons in that moment. I didn't even finish paying for the broken pottery before my face crumpled up and I headed straight into the ugly cry.
"Super pleasant shop owner" appeared unmoved. I know she didn't understand what day it was. Nor that I had so looked forward to doing something fun with my little one on a day that always stings a bit. Nor that it killed me to pay $16 of our family's money for something and have nothing to show for it.
Even worse, I couldn't stop the tears. We left the shop but even when we got into the car, I cried harder than I have in a long time. I tried hard to stop my crying because I did NOT want my daughter to think my tears were about her breaking the figurine. I finally had to pull over, step out of the car for a moment, and pull myself together.
This was just one of those days when I realized something: God is good, I know that. But when things hurt, they hurt. His love is my strength and peace. But it doesn't make me immune to disappointment.
We're not spared hurts, losses, or heartaches. Stuff gets broken. People suffer. This world disappoints and comes up short.
But you know what? That's actually a blessing. Really. The hurts we encounter remind us that we weren't made for this world. We long for heaven when we hurt.
And that is such a gift.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.