Thankfully, Bob and I know that if there is any courage or strength in us, it is all because of Jesus. We have experienced deep sorrow, heartache and moments of despair, as we have lived with the loss of our son, but we have both been intentional about holding on to Jesus and His promises every step of the way.
What a difference the journey of grief has been for me in response to Kevin's death, then the journey I made following the death of my Dad, when I was 12 years old.
My Dad was here one minute and gone the next, taken by a massive coronary at 34 years of age. My mom had to rush him to ER in the middle of the night, as my brother and I slept under the careful watch of a close family friend, Esther, who is like my second mother now. When Esther woke me up to tell me that "your Daddy is gone," I absolutely disapproved of God taking him, and I said out loud through my sobbings,"What are you doing? Why have You taken my Dad? I don't understand and I'm really mad at you and I am not going to talk to you for awhile!" Fortunately, for my sake, that reaction and attitude only lasted a few weeks, but nevertheless, I was very angry and disapproving, and I did not believe that God's plan was for good.
Though my 12-year old response to the loss of my Dad was probably normal, I also realize that my faith in God was in tact, because I knew that it is God who was the author and finisher of my Dad's life, and eventually I made peace with God even though I still do not understand His intent or His timing, but I do know that it was my Dad's time to go, but at the time of his sudden death, I certainly did not agree with God's plan that left a 32 year old widow and my 8 year old brother and myself fatherless. This kind of tension between the reality of our situation and my hope in Christ for good set me on a path of learning to trust God, putting my "hope in the Lord," no matter my circumstances and life-situations.
Remembering how I turned away from God, carried away by my grief and anger as a 12 year old child, when our son, Kevin, died, I was determined that I was not going respond in the same way. I had matured in Christ, knew more about the nature and attributes of God, and I had personally experienced how God's plans are always for our "good . . . to give us a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 My increased knowledge, trust and personal experiences with the Lord, as my Lord and Savior and constant companion and guide, prepared and equipped me in the shadow of death, though nothing could have fully prepared or prevented me from experiencing the sorrow and pain that has been connected to the loss of our youngest son. However, this time, though I'm not happy about God's plans that include Kevin's sudden death at 28 years of age, I now trust Him completely and I did not get angry or move away from Him this time.
Are you disapproving of God's plan(s) that has included the loss of your son or daughter? Have you been carried away from God because of your grief?
Thinking of all my "sisters of the heart" today and praying that we will continue to "draw close to the Lord" - "holding onto Jesus" - experiencing the truth of His promises now and evermore.
With Much Love, Blessings and Hugs,
Angie "a mom like you"