All four of our children are so unique in personality. As a general rule, Kylie and Haley are more alike than Katie and Brandon, while Katie and Brandon were more similar to one another than Kylie and Haley. One example is in their reactions. If you look at these pictures below you can see what I mean. They are reacting to Tim and I kissing. This is how they react EVERY TIME Tim and I kiss. It makes Tim and I laugh. Admittedly, Tim and I used to purposefully kiss at the dinner table just to gross Katie and Brandon out for the simple reason that it was fun to torture them and we enjoyed the giggles of Kylie and Haley.
One of the things that I have learned over the last almost 11 weeks is that I cannot choose my circumstances. I didn't choose to be born into a middle class family in America, or to be a petite female with brown hair and eyes. I didn't get to choose having 3 biological daughters. I didn't get to choose when or how my son died. Likewise, I can't choose to bring my son back. I didn't get to choose whether he had an autopsy. I didn't get to choose the results. I didn't get to choose the expenses that resulted from his death. I can't choose to take away the pain my daughters feel. I can't choose what people say to me or how they treat me throughout my life.
The only thing that I get to choose is my REACTIONS to my circumstances.
The Bible says, "Choose you this day who you will serve" (Joshua 24:15). Do I want to serve God in this circumstance or do I want to serve myself by wallowing in my own misery?
The Bible also says, "In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us" (Titus 2:7-8). My reactions have a profound impact on others---my children are watching, my friends are watching, people I don't even know are watching and they are studying how we are REACTING to tragic circumstances.
I have found in this horrible circumstance, that coping with pain comes so much easier if I choose to rejoice, rather than mope. Philippians 4 says, "Rejoice in the Lord always; and I again I say, Rejoice." There is ALWAYS something to praise God for, even on the days when I feel the only thing I can praise Him for is getting out of bed that day.
Finally, when I choose to serve Him, God gives me joy and peace. A few verses later in the passage of Philippians 4 it says, "rejoice" then "the peace of God, which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." This idea PROVES to my heart that God's word is true. The Bible is not just some book that humans wrote for the fun of it. It is a Supernatural book that has not changed at all since it was written. Yet the book always is true and it always applies to life, no matter who the reader is, what the culture they are from is like, or what generation the reader is living in. It's hard work, I stumble and fall OFTEN in my reactions, but I rejoice in the fact that I get to choose my reactions and I am so thankful for the guidance I can glean from God's Word.