Wrestling With Tragedy

By Joy O’Neal

mcftmh (3).png


The school year is off and running. Homework, packing lunches, wardrobe debates, and studying for spelling test have become my daily activities. Its week five and my heart is already aching for a slower pace. During the school year, it seems like the weeks fly by, and it's Friday on top of Friday. As a mom, I find myself searching the weeks wondering if we ever sat down as a family and really had conversations. 

Confession moment: my kids and I ordered out every night this past week. My husband is currently on a business trip to Japan and GrubHub was the only way I managed to survive.

When did our lives become so busy? While I was reflecting and whining about the mundane, my life was brought into perspective by the passing of my partner teacher's husband. An unexpected tragic death of a sweet husband and father. 

The homework, packing lunches, wardrobe debates, and studying didn't seem so important in the face of eternity. I felt my heart begin to shift around the importance of kingdom purposes. Although I've heard it many times throughout scripture, my heart was fully embracing the meaning of James 4:14 when he calls life a vapor.

Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.


FTMH Quote Share.png

Like many of us do in times of tragedy, I began to ask God the hard questions. Where I found myself is what I wanted to share with each one of your sweet mama hearts today.

Why does my soul see such goodness in You when my flesh sees confusion?

How does my spirit continually utter words of Your praise when my flesh cant even manage to form a sentence?

What is this overwhelming faithfulness that swims over my soul at the single mention of Your sacrifice?

There must only be one answer- I am truly me when I am fully Yours.

We serve a full God even from empty hearts.


These little heart questions to my Creator landed just as the Holy Spirit intended. He is in the midst of it all! Even when tragedy strikes or life begins to feel like someone cranked up the treadmill to an uncontrollable speed, our God is GOOD! 

Pause your mama heart today and reflect on the things eternal. Have a real 2 Corinthians 4:18 moment over your day, week, and year. 

As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Even if like me you made a new best friend in the GrubHub delivery girl this past week, praise God for the eternal things!  

If you need a B12 shot for your soul, then run over to YouTube and pull up Most Beautiful/So In Love (feat. Chandler Moore) that Maverick City Music released this past week.