When I Can't Fix It.

The last couple weeks have been hard. I went to a 15 year old's funeral last week. He collapsed while he was playing basketball... playing basketball. A kid who was an excellent athlete, loved by so many, fun and respectful, gone way too soon. It doesn't make sense. I wish this was the only thing that happened, but you know that saying, when it rains, it pours? It's been pouring lately.

I'm a fixer. I love being able to put things back the way they should be. I love helping other people figure things out. I thrive in harmony and when things are the way they should be.

The last couple weeks have been full of things I can't fix and I hate it. I can't tell our students that their friend is coming back. I can't get rid of the cancer filling my friend's body. I can't fix any of it and it sucks.

Things are broken. The world is broken. Sometimes we have to sit among the broken things and realize we can't fix it. We have to sit among the situations that don't make sense.

We can't explain away the death of a 15 year old. We can't explain away cancer. Honestly, when we try, we can do a lot more harm then good.

I've realized the only thing I can do is pray and be there. I don't have any answers, I don't always know the right things to say, I don't have the ability to fix things, but I can be there. I've realized that sometimes I can get so caught up in trying to fix things and figure out solutions that I miss what I should really be doing...showing up and being present because sometimes things aren't fixable and all you can do is be there with the answers of this doesn't make sense, but you're not alone.

(After I wrote this I came upon a post that had perfect timing by Heather Plett about what it means to "hold space" for people and it's can read it here)

They held his hands up.

My aunt passed away suddenly a week ago. She had been sick, but it wasn’t expected and was a shock. She had just moved back to Michigan after living in Australia for the past 35 years and her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter moved here too. So to get the call that she was gone was hard, it was too soon and it sucked. She wasn’t supposed to leave us yet.

There’s a story in Exodus about when the Israelites are fighting and when Moses held up his hands, Israel was winning, when he let them down, the other people were winning. Well…obviously, his hands got tired and when they did his friends brought a stone for him to sit on and then they did what I think is really cool…his friends held his hands up---"one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset."

These two guys didn’t have to do that. They could have left Moses and let him grow tired and take on that responsibility on his own, but they didn’t. They held his hands up. I am no Bible scholar so I don’t even know the context, but what I do know is that Moses’ two friends shared in this responsibility and offered support to him.

The past few weeks have been kinda crazy, overwhelming and hectic for me. I told my mom the night before I got the news about my aunt that I didn’t have the energy to deal with one more emotional thing. And honestly, I didn’t. My hands were tired, so you could say, but this is the really cool thing…people held my hands up.

Nothing about this last week has been easy for me or my family. My cousin lost her mom. My mom lost her sister. And it sucks. But I have been surprised and overwhelmed by how people have shown up. They have held our hands up.

They brought dinner to feed our entire family plus some.

They cleaned my cousin’s house from top to bottom.

They send a “praying for you” or “is there anything I can do for you?” text.

They call you to keep you occupied during your drive home.

They think for you at work when you can’t find the energy to do it yourself.

They come help you finish your yard work.

They send you gas money.

And, really, the list could go on. Yes, nothing about this has been easy for my family, but it for sure has been a testament to how people show up and how they have held our hands up.