The last few days have been rough. As a community, we have experienced a loss that will reverberate and continue to be felt for a long time. Ty and Terri Schenzel, a dynamic, God-loving couple who poured themselves into our city were tragically killed in a car crash late last week. The news spread like in the old days, phone calls to those closest and then outward in the circle. The interesting thing about it is that no one would have believed they were on the outer part of the circle; these people had the ability to draw everyone close and love them equally, while making each feel special. The downside to this phenomenon is the devastating feeling of loss.
In our house this same week, we have experienced another form of loss that is profound. Our daughter left yesterday to embark on the next chapter of her story, attending missionary training school halfway across the country. As her parents we are excited for, proud of and rooting for her. We understand and agree that this is the next thing that God is leading her to do. And last night as she landed in her new state, I received the last text I will get for quite a while, as all communication except snail mail is impossible. That last sentence is the kicker for me. I’m becoming acutely aware of how much I lean on hearing from those I hold the closest.
What do these two situations have in common? Special people who were just here are now gone. Those left behind must learn a new way of living. The place where they now are is so much better than where they were, at least, it had better be because a lot of sacrificing is being done to not have them here now! We have a choice as to how we will respond, there has been a time of mourning and soon it will be time to rise up and show how we were impacted by these special people and do something about it, which is exactly what they would want us to do. I don’t know what that looks like yet, I’m going to give myself a little time to adjust, show myself and others a little extra grace and allow us to really feel this loss.
And then I’m going to praise God for the time that I had and ask Him to show me what’s next.