I’m glad you are here to celebrate! Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details here. Celebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Consider it as a weekend celebration. Whenever it fits in your life, add your link. Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.

We’ve been walking through some stuff with our extended family these past few weeks. It’s been a mess — and not the beautiful kind of mess I often write about.

It’s the ugly mess of life. The kind of mess that jars you and makes you wonder when you’re going to wake up and go back to the way things are supposed to go. It’s the kind of mess that you’re not sure will ever be okay, even if you do keep saying, It’s going to be okay; It’s going to be okay.

We’ve lost our 17 year old nephew to suicide. The day after his memorial service, his dad (Andy’s step-brother) died of a heart attack. Two unexpected funerals within ten days is an ugly mess.

We have this remarkable family that we love so much, Andy’s step-mom and sister, teenage nephews and a niece.  Their sorrow is overwhelming and there’s not one thing anyone can do  to make it okay.

Jen Hatmaker said, “Sorrow is a tricky bedfellow with a God who is good.”

Isn’t that the truth?

I’m sitting here with chin resting in my hands, staring at the screen, wondering if I can just end this post with Isn’t that the truth?

I remember that this is a celebration post.

So here it is, so raw that it’s coming straight from my heart, down my arms, and out my fingers. It’s bypassing thinking too much, rather simply coming from my core.

Sometimes life gets ugly, but that doesn’t mean God is ugly. Sometimes life hands you a mess, but that doesn’t mean God is a mess. Sometimes life takes a turn for the worse, filling your whole being with sadness, but that doesn’t mean God is worthless.

God is good. This is faith — believing God is good in the thick of an ugly mess. It’s trusting there is more than the ugliness of this world. We can see it when we look:
The tight hug.
The offered job.
The small text.
The tears shed.
The sun shining.
The breathing in.
The beating heart.

God is good. 

We know it through the actions of His people.


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  1. I'm sorry you are experiencing so much sadness and ugliness. You do need to find the celebrations day to day and I hope your memories help guide your healing.

  2. I am sorry that your family is going through these painful losses. I'm afraid I have no words that are likely to make it better, but know that my heart is aching for you and your family and that you all will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. I am so sorry. So tragic. Life is scary when you have so much you love in it. So much pain is possible. I'm amazed at your strength and ability to share. Your faith, family and keen sense of your self shine through. My thoughts and prayers to you.

  4. Ruth-I read your post last night. I've been praying for your family this morning. For peace that passes understanding, for the work of art that is faith.

  5. Oh, Ruth, my heart aches for you today. Suicide is such a tragic thing, especially so when it is child. Your faith is so strong and I know this is what will get all of you through it. Prayers for you and your family.

  6. After I read your post, I didn't want to add mine. So regular, all is well. These ugly times are so profound in our lives. Death is real and raw. God is there, too, living in the ugliness with us. Feel the embrace.

  7. I cannot begin to imagine what your family is going through right now. This is such a tragic, awful situation for all of you. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. These are the times when faith is tested the most. Your faith runs so deep and pure that you are able to find celebration in the small moments of your life. You have been in my thoughts and prayers. I hope the words reach out and hug you tightly since my arms are too far away.

  9. Ruth, there is such unspeakable sorrow in this world that your celebration site brings light to a restless world. The Lord guides our days as fragile and uncertain as they are. May your family remain strong in light of the deep sorrows you feel. My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.