I have two friends in my life that help to keep my motives in check. I don’t see either of them on a regular basis but they both came to mind today. They are genuine and enduring. They ask me deep questions and are totally invested in every word of my answer. When they ask, “How are you doing?”, they mean it. Never do they come across as our time together being about themselves. Sure, we talk about ourselves and our lives but they are both the type of people that honestly love and care about their friends [me]. What’s neat is that they both know each other (anyone know who I’m talkin’ about? I’ll let you keep guessing. Hint: They both live in St. Clair Co., Alabama).
So, if I were to sit down with them today, they would probably ask me the same “how are you doing” question followed with the “What are you struggling/wrestling with?” question. I would have to tell them that, today, I am struggling with grief, anger, unbelief, and joy. One of my husband’s best friends from college lost his four year old daughter yesterday. Apparently, his wife went into their daughter’s bedroom and found that she had died in her sleep. I think that, after hearing this, I am just overwhelmed with the thought of death – especially among children and especially as a mother to little ones. Hearing this story brought back the grief from the drowning of two year old Brody Burgess this past January as well as the driveway accident that killed five year old Maria Chapman just five weeks ago. A friend in church just shared with me that her friend lost her two year old son when she found him dead in his crib last week.
Not to make this post “all about me” but this is what’s on my heart –
I’m grieving for Sherri, for Mary Beth, and for Hope. As a mother, my heart breaks for them. In cliche’ form, I can’t imagine the horrible pain they are going through. I try not to think about what these women will carry in their memory as all three of them were present at the time of their child’s death (in some way or another). I grieve because I see pictures and watch videos of these children and can’t believe that they were just “here” a few months/weeks/days ago. I grieve because they are gone.
I am angry. I am angry that these mothers and fathers won’t get to hold their child anymore. I am angry because there are siblings that are confused and left without their best friend. I am angry because there are sometimes no explanations. I am angry because I want all the answers yet know I never will. Why does God have to get all the glory?
I sit in a pool of unbelief because I know we don’t know the number of our days and I selfishly ask the Lord to take me before he takes my children. I don’t want to be sharpened….I don’t want to be broken….I don’t want to be totally dependent upon Him. I don’t want to experience His grace….I don’t want to be held by Him. I just want these mothers to have their child back (the very same child that God gave them in the first place). I want assurance that I’ll never have to go through such horror. Sometimes I feel that my own tragedy is just around the corner. The Lord could take me, my husband, or any of my children at any time…and that scares me. Lord, help my unbelief.
I am struggling with being joyful right now. I know these mothers will see their babies again but I want them to have them NOW. Knowing that they’ll see them again isn’t enough. I want more. I want them to touch, smell, hear, and see their child. I’ll never forget the way that Maja greeted me at her door on the day her teenage daughter died in the car she (Maja) was driving. With a cast on her arm and stitches all over her upper body, she raised her hands in the air and cried, “Glory to God!”. God uses all things for His good but I don’t know if I can respond to the death of my child the way that Maja did. I don’t know if I even want to.
As I type all of this, I am crying…hard. I don’t care if you’ve misread me. Well, I do care….because I want you to know that I love my Savior. I love Jesus with all my heart. I really don’t understand His ways and I don’t always like His ways. I get mad at him and I tell him so. He always gently answers that He loves me. He always gently reminds me that His grace is sufficient. He is always faithful to me. He promises me good and perfect gifts. God is good. Please help to remind me.
How do non-Christians go through such horror?