Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A burdened heart

If any of you have been watching the news, you might have seen that 4 people, including a woman from Atlanta has been missing on Mount Rainier for over a week now after horrible blizzard conditions on the mountain came out of nowhere. Well, that woman, Michelle Trojanowski, goes to our church. Kyle and I don't know her personally, but she is highly involved with the leadership of our church and many of our friends are very close to her. We've had several prayer gatherings at our church to pray for her and her friend (who is a very skilled and experienced hiker) and the other two people.

My heart has been very burdened to pray for her and I've had the reassurance (which I can't explain) to not give up hope. I know that the longer she is gone and the worse the conditions are, the more amazing her survival and rescue story will be. I also know she could very well be dead. Search and rescue teams were finally able to get in the air after a week of terrible conditions, but the two helicopters and one Cessna plane with infrared technology came back with no results. It really could go either way still and if you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that I like to stay positive.

It's been a challenging time for us. Our church service on Sunday used some of the same scripture that was used in Skylar's memorial service and we sang most of the songs that we did at her memorial. I was a mess, but just like our service for Skylar, it was full of hope, even though we also recognize we are at God's mercy and are not in control. Anything can happen. We are reminded that prayer is not a vending machine. You can't say a prayer and get back what you ask for all of the time... If that were the case, we'd all be god and that would just be scary. As much as I like to think I'm not a selfish person, I have to continually change my thoughts and prayers to be less about me. I can also admit that I certainly don't know what is best for everyone and I can tell you that you would not want me (and everyone else) to get what we pray for all the time.

Situations like this leave a lot of questions... most start with "why" and end in a big ?

I think it's safe to say that prayer is challenging for a lot of people - if we don't get what we ask for, then why do we do it? For me, it's more about the relationship, talking to God and being honest about where my heart is and what I am feeling or struggling with in life. I can't tell you how many times I begged God to heal Skylar knowing He could do it. I didn't give up on that until she died. I also knew that God could use her death to reach a lot of people and put us in a place where we could relate to people who we couldn't otherwise relate to. I knew that either way, whatever happened was for a reason. I trust God to do what is best for this world, which includes each and everyone of us and our personal lives. We live in a world where there is suffering and there is death. I truly believe that we were not made for this. I can't tell you how wrecked my heart was and still is after losing Skylar. There were some days I laid in bed and wondered why my heart was still beating - how was it physically possible?

I want to be clear that I think God listens to prayer all of the time and sometimes He answers. I feel like prayer is very mysterious, much like God Himself and our faith. We don't know why some things are answered and some are not. We can't quantify how it helps. We aren't sure if it even makes a difference sometimes. We do know that the bible has many instances where God hears and answers. Also, the Lord's prayer that most of us have heard may times - Christian or not - is supposed to be the example set for us on how to pray.

Right now, I know their supplies must be getting low if they're not out of food and other supplies already. I put myself in their shoes and I can imagine that I would be losing hope of being found. I would be cold, exhausted and wanting to be home. Putting myself in their shoes has helped me pray specifically for them in addition to their rescue and God's will being done.

All of this to say, please keep Michelle, her guy friend that is with her, and the two other Korean hikers on the mountain in your thoughts and/or prayers if you do pray. Michelle's family has travelled from Florida to Washington in order to be close to them and are just waiting to hear anything. I can tell you from personal experience that 'not knowing' can be worse than knowing. Their emotions must be on overdrive right now. I have been praying for peace and comfort for the families of the hikers and that we would have knowledge of their fate soon.

Well, to change pace a little bit - my next post will be posted tomorrow and will be much more light-hearted as I will post pictures from Nora's 3rd Birthday party!!! The Gooden family traveled from Knoxville, TN to the American Doll store at North Point Mall in GA and we had an amazing time! I am so excited to share that day with you - stay tuned! Nora has certainly captured my heart and I'm sure she will yours too. 

1 comment:

  1. I'll Pray for Michelle and have kids at my school do the same. Can't wait to see what you guys did with the red headed wonder!
    Danika Cito