“It’s broken!  It’s broken forever!” cried my daughter as tears streamed down her face.  Her cardboard car that she spent several hours building on Saturday, had its roof  crushed by her big brother as he crawled past it to get to some materials he wanted out of the closet.  She sobbed in my arms, “It will never be the same! It’s broken!”   Dramatic outpouring over a box that was destined for the recycle bin, you say?  To the average observer, that would seem to be the case, but I know it was about more than the box.  Over the past few months our family has experienced some life altering events.  First we got a call on the way home from vacation that my father-in-law passed away.   We packed back up the family, and drove 13 hours to attend the funeral, and while we out of town we got a call that my father passed away, and we packed back up and drove 15.5 hours back to my parent’s home to prepare for funeral number two.

Two grandfathers gone, sad family members.  Home four days out of thirty.  Life changed forever.  Questions I’ve heard over the last few weeks, “Why do things have to change?”  “I want things to stay the same.”  “I miss my Grandpas.”   Then today the box… simple cardboard, ripped, altered, changed.  Too much for a seven year old heart to bear. So she sobs, screams, shakes in my arms.  “It’s broken!”  Finally, she settles –  climbs from  my lap, and sits in the “rumble seat” she made for her dolls to sit in.  Head bowed against the wall, curled over in her Ariel costume… on last time in her “car”.  And now I cry.  Cry for her pain that she can’t put into words.  Cry for my broken heart that will never be the same.  And then I feel HIS arms around me, saying, “Take heart. You have things to look forward to today.”  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11   After a while, she climbs out of the box, walks to get a soft towel to dry her tears, gives me a hug and asks, “How long until we leave?”  She is ready to leave the box and move into her future.  I too am reassured that my future is secure, and I will get out of my “box” of sadness and move into the life I am to live today.   Psalm 30:10-12 Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me! O Lord, be my helper!” 11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;  you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, 12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

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