"Oh taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!" (Psalm 34.8)
Bittersweet. This is the word that describes so much of my experience now. Things like enjoying Kung-Fu Panda with Lucas, and Midi's cousin Mina's family are bittersweet. Bitter because I think of how much Nathan would have enjoyed the slapstick humor and how much Midi would have enjoyed the verbal silliness with me and what a fun day out it would have been for my family. But yet it is also sweet. Seeing Lucas laugh heartily and talk about scenes from the movie with me days later is sweet. Growing in my love for Lucas is sweet.
My heart is expanding. I can feel it growing. My capacity to love better is greater. Even a wonderful thing like this is bittersweet. Bitter because I wish that I could love Midi and Nathan with this improved me. This will not go away this side of heaven. But it is so sweet what God is doing with me as I continue to trust in Him. What He is doing out of the ashes is a miracle. There is no rational explanation for why I am not a complete mess. I am not willing it to happen. I get strength, comfort, truth and perspective from the Word. I drink the Living Water. And I have a committed family of faith that loves me and lifts me up. I am a blessed man.
So while I will always feel the bitterness of loss and pain until the day I die, I am able to experience sweetness in life with Jesus greater than I was able to before the tragedy. I vowed to Midi that I would honor her. I believe that I do so by loving others with this sweeter love that I am able to give - to Lucas, to family, to my community, to my friends, and to the lost.