January 15, 2014 marked the 5th anniversary of my son Ryan's step into heaven. To this day I am not comfortable saying Ryan's "death," because Jesus promises that "to be absent from the body is to be present with The Lord". (2 Cor. 5:8) The very moment that we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, Eternity with Him begins. A good friend gave us a beautiful picture of a dark haired young man falling into the embrace of Jesus as he enters Heaven...this is how I see Ryan.
Anyone who has experienced such an unexpected loss knows that the lives of those around us resume their normalcy and "we" feel as though time...if it is moving at all...is in slow motion. The Lord has shown me that even this is His sovereign intention. It is His way of insulating us as well as allowing so many of His gifts to permeate our being...yes our being, because we are still here on this side of Heaven until we too are called home.
When my husband Jeff and I received the phone call that would forever change our lives we were in an airport in Miami. The first gift He gave us were lifelong friends that we were traveling with to hold us up as we absorbed the news in disbelief and despair. He then provided gracious people we'd never met to arrange and escort us back home. When we arrived at the airport He provided a Greeley police officer who "happened to be in Denver" to meet us at our gate and not only see us to our waiting family but get our luggage and take it to our home so that we wouldn't have to wait for it. His love for us and His gifts have not ceased.
Five years later I don't miss Ryan less, but I long for Heaven more. I am more thankful for the "gift" of life because I know it can change in the blink of an eye. I am bolder in sharing my faith because I know that in the depth of my sorrow I wanted to know "where is Ryan now?" and I knew. I'm thankful for God's word and that I was familiar with His promises because I cling to them like never before as I too "press on toward the goal..." (Phil. 3:14)
Hope because of Him,
Christy "a mom like you"