For the past few days, I had been ignoring on my local news site a story about a tragic car accident occurring on Thanksgiving Day. I have been avoiding reading bad news in general. Imagine my shock to learn the accident involved people I know!
Today, I received an email from one of my personal finance class graduates who was writing from the hospital. The horrible news stories were about her family! Her husband and one of their daughters were killed in this terrible accident. This student was herself seriously injured and two other children were hurt, one critically and still in intensive care clinging to life.
I thought I was misreading the words in her email, but, no, they were clear. Every time I read that one sentence, it meant her husband was not alive. It is so difficult to emotionally comprehend that the student with the bright blue eyes, big smile, and mind whirling in vibrant thought could be gone already. That's how I will always remember Stu. He often looked like his world was being lit up and expanded.
In the first couple classes of the personal finance course, Trudy sat with her head in her hands, obviously wondering if any of this material was going to help considering the hole they found themselves in. Stuart listened quietly, looking like he was just waiting, expecting, hoping that if they hung in there, something was going to click and catapult them.
Trudy and Stu became some of my favorite people. In our three months together, they came a long way in their financial journey, from hopelessness to peace. Their changed countenances were evident to everyone in class. My heart leapt in my chest every time I heard them share victories. Trudy exclaimed in several of our later classes, "We are for the first time in our marriage on the same page! I have peace, financial peace!"
I am tearful thinking of their progress, and I have mixed feelings. Separated just when they have reached a place of increased unity? Or, YES! They got to enjoy another level of unity and awareness before being separated for a time! It is in the perspective, isn't it? (Isn't everything?)
A measure of comfort to me comes in the joy of playing a part in some of their peace, some of their hope, and some of their healing. My heart aches and my eyes weep, but I am also humbled to have witnessed a handful of the wonderful growth moments Stu and Trudy shared together.
The reason I do this work is to bring peace and hope into the lives of families. This is part of my God-given mission. Life is too meaningful to let the distractions of money problems dull family relations and experiences on this earth. While I know there are many types of assaults on the family unit today, I feel a duty in arming families against at least one of the fiery darts of the adversary.
May you and I keep moving forward on our journey of peace in this life.