Recently, I've had to confront the idea of death. Not that death is merely an idea, but for me it kind of was. I've been fortunate enough to never have someone I knew unexpectedly pass away until a couple of weeks ago. When I heard the news, I was immediately shocked and heartbroken. I realized that I have no tools to deal with this. How should I respond? What should I do? How can I make it all better?

I want to make it all better! But I can't. No one can. Someone died, and now they are gone. It can't be undone or fixed or made better. I can't rewind time and convince this person to stay home that night. I can't jostle this person awake after they've taken their last breath. I can't hug my loved ones and heal their broken hearts. It had never been so painfully obvious to me that I am not God and therefore have no control. My heart was broken, and that brokenness led to fear.

I was scared! Scared that I would wake up in the night to learn that my husband died on the way home. Scared that one of my children would be diagnosed with an irreversible illness. Scared that my mother’s heart might give out or my father-in-law may pass away in his sleep. I can’t stop these things from happening no matter how hard I might wish or take precautions or call my husband’s phone a thousand times or check on my sleeping children in the night just to listen to the sounds of their peaceful snores. My perception of control was shattered.

In this season of thankfulness and life and giving, I found myself consumed with the antithesis. Where do I go from here? I have no answers. The fact is, I am not the giver of life and health and safety. I am not the healer of sickness and sin and death. This child that we celebrate was given to me freely, and He is! He was and is all things! This infant. This God sacrificed His control. Sacrificed His power, His protection, and life. His resurrection and perfection were given to me. And I know it was given to my family who died those weeks ago. So now, I find my fear and brokenness has been blended with love, peace, joy, and fulfillment. That fear is not gone. Not yet at least... not until God decides it'll be my time to be with Him in Heaven as well. Until that happens, I'll live in fear and anticipation in equal measure knowing that what is coming is far better than what has been.