Unsolicited Peace

20 01 2009

I have been blessed with peace in my life recently, but not the peace I wanted.  It’s a peace I’ve been blessed with before, however it is somewhat precarious because I sometimes find myself forgetting, ignoring, or fighting with it.  To better understand, here’s a short history of my (short) adult life:

2002 – Got laid off, got married, moved to Seattle, started junior year of college, got job flipping burgers
2003 – Tons of schoolwork, lots of burgers flipped, we got pregnant
2004 – Graduated college, moved to Kent, Daniel born, got job at a bank call center
2005 – Raising Daniel, changed departments at work, we got pregnant
2006 – Moved to Fife, Jonathan born
2007 – Raising boys, work moved to Tacoma, we moved to Tacoma, labored on fixing up new house
2008 – We got pregnant, wrangling boys, Megan born

It would be an understatement to say we’ve been busy the last seven years.  So when 2009 came around, Michelle and I were excited at the prospect of a down year.  My tenure at work earned me a boost in vacation days, and we were finally going to have a year where we weren’t anticipating moving or having a baby!  The Allen Family ship was sailing out of chaotic waters towards peace on the horizon.

Then there was an emergency meeting at work.

I was joking with my manager going into the meeting: “hey, are you giving references? yuk, yuk, yuk!”  The message at the meeting was, in a nutshell, “You guys are awesome, times are bad, we’re closing this call center… Sorry”  I turned to my manager, “no seriously, are you giving references?”

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Job, Grief, and the Cross of Christ

28 06 2008

A week ago last Thursday, my wife and I found out we were expecting our third child.  We were both stunned as our youngest is just three months and were a bit overwhelmed by the thought of such a quick “turn-a-round.”  However, after the shock wore off, we both grew in our excitement over the thought of a new baby on the way.  We told our parents and friends and many in our church family.  We scheduled our first doctor’s appointment and began talking with both of our girls about their new sibling.

A week after finding out we were expecting, we sat in the doctor’s office watching the ultrasound screen and tried to take in the what we were seeing.  On the screen there was what looked like our child’s tiny little body, but there was no heartbeat and no movement.  The doctor silently and intently stared at the monitor.  Amy and I did the same.  Our delight was turning to concern and, after a gracious explanation from the doctor, it turned to mourning.  Although our child’s little body remained, its life was gone and so were our expectations.

Emotions have come like waves.  At one moment, I feel nothing- ready to move on.  The next I’m so overcome, I feel like sobs are going to explode out of me.  Telling Rylie (our 3 year old) and watching the waves continue to crash upon my wife have all been moments of piercing rawness- moments that expose vulnerability and frailness in me I’d rather not discover.  My heart hurts for my family and for thoughts of what would have been.

And through all of this, this last week of extreme emotional highs and lows, I have been walking through life with Job. Read the rest of this entry »