Eclipse (ie: Temporary Darkness)

Were you as fascinated as I by the solar eclipse that travelled across the United States last month? Although not in the path of totality, I will admit that I brushed up on my science and then remained riveted to the TV, marveling as the details of this amazing phenomenon were broadcast.

How amazing that the moon’s direct orbit between the earth and the sun temporarily blocked out the light, creating about two minutes of complete darkness for those within a 70-mile-wide path from Oregon to South Carolina!

During the course of the day, massive crowds across the country eagerly huddled to wait for the skies to dim. When their corner of the world finally darkened, they turned their faces upward and admired the heavy shadow simply because they knew it was bizarre and fleeting. Then rejoicing with smiles of relief, they clapped and cheered to see the light again.

Setting science aside, I could only think of all those who have lost their lives to suicide.

They, too, felt the temperature dropping and the darkness coming, but instead of marveling at it with awe and anticipation, they were overwhelmed by the fearful weight of this dimness in their lives. What if they had known their eclipse was only temporary? And that the sunlight was only masked and would certainly be returning? What if we could have somehow reached them and assured them that their crisis was only a temporary situation?

If only… If only…

Let us all always remember and lovingly remind those we care about that any darkness in our lives is fleeting. The rays of the sun – although sometimes masked – are always permanent. Whenever we experience seasons of depression, anxiety, or despair (and we will!) let us trust that the radiant love of God’s faithfulness is always there veiled behind any cloud or any eclipse we temporary experience.

The sun will shine again!



Plan B

A well-meaning friend recently gave me a colorful little plaque that reads:

“Life is all about how you handle Plan B.”

Wow! And isn’t that the truth?

It is human nature to construct a plan for our lives and to work diligently towards the goals we set. Likewise, it is perfectly normal to be disappointed when things don’t work out the way we hoped and dreamed.

None of us who lost children, spouses, siblings, parents, or friends to suicide intended for this to be a part of the plan we envisioned for our lives. Certainly we had lofty aspirations for our children, the anticipation of spending more time with our siblings and spouses, and the normal expectations of our parents growing old and naturally dying before us. But with every suicide, dreams fade, hopes and goals dissolve, and simple expectations turn into heartbreaking regret.

Time to move on to Plan B:

  • Life without the joy of watching your child grow up.
  • A too-quiet house and silent evenings without a spouse.
  • No sibling to tease or hang out with.
  • No parent to call for advice.
  • No co-worker’s desk to walk past each morning.

For all those suffering loss – regardless of what kind – It takes great courage and strength to journey through the dark and unfamiliar valley of death. It takes great resolve to push depression and bitterness aside, take a deep breath and get on with life. Plan B is definitely tough!

In our human flesh, we believe we know what “Plan A” should have looked like. It humbles me to consider the idea that while I might think I know what is best for my life, God ultimately has a clear picture of who He wants me to be and what He wants me to accomplish for Him.

  • Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
  • Ephesians 2:10 states: “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”

What about you? Has Plan A miserably failed? Are you trying to formulate Plan B?

Keep your chin up as you get acquainted with your “new normal”. Leave your heart open for happiness to tiptoe in. In time, brace yourself for new joy! And always, let us trust God’s faithful goodness and seek Him for all the provisions we need.