Saturday, July 31, 2010

This week, our church family unexpectedly and inexplicably
lost a sweet member, 20-year-old Liz LaVelle, to a tragic car accident.

My first reaction to this news was nausea...how in the world could this happen?

I'd just seen Liz! I'd just read her facebook status; she'd just gotten her wisdom teeth taken out! How in the world could she be gone? I remember when she was born! How could her mother possibly be coping? Her father? Her brother and sister? Her enormous family, myriad friends?

Following nausea was agoraphobia. I wanted to hug Jonathan so tight and get with him inside my house and lock the doors and close the windows.
How could we ever return to the streets, drive a car, go on with normal life when something this senseless could happen at a moment's notice?

Liz was a believer in Jesus; she loved the Lord, His word, and His church. All who knew her know without a doubt that she is in heaven with the Father. Even from a distance, her faith had been blessing me: I've been enjoying her facebook statuses, which had been full of encouraging Scriptures, thoughts, prayers... she was blessing others even across silly cyberspace.

So, what's left for us to grapple with in our minds, when something this senseless happens?

God is good.

This, we must cling to. This we know. Without this central thought in our mind and our hearts...we cannot go on. How could her sister think to run the dishwasher? How could her mom go to the grocery store? Carry on with mundane tasks that seem so wrong and trite in light of enormous loss?

Because God is good, we can leave our houses...say goodbye to loved ones at parting, even for the evening...read the paper...clip our toenails...cook a meal.

I don't understand this. I don't really want to understand this truth.
But somehow, I know it.

Liz was an extremely well-loved and, unassumingly, a major contributing member to a large family and a larger church family. She was completely gorgeous...helpful, sweet-natured, loved children...was like Mary Poppins in their awe of her. It goes without saying that there will be a enormous hole. Her sister Kate said to me yesterday, "my life will never be normal again."

No it won't. It's confusing. It seems senseless.

But somehow--and I think it's through the Lord's Providence and His enduring goodness--amidst everything, we can say that we're thankful.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Non-Memphis/Highland friends, read more about Liz's life here.


  1. Wonderfully written! Such a tragedy!

  2. yeah. she was...and is.

  3. what a great post and memory of Liz! I wish my family could have gotten to know her. she seemed to be just an amazing girl.

  4. sending love & prayers...I know you'll take good care of her family. the hardest time can be months after the flurry of activity dies down.

  5. I am so, so sorry to hear this. We lost one of my cousins at age 23 back in April, and we still haven't come close to recovering from the senseless act that took his life. I will keep you and your church family in my prayers.


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