It seems as though death keeps creeping back up in my mind. I can handle it when an 85 year old person goes on to meet their maker. Both of my grandpa's died in 2003 and they both lived long lives and it was okay for them to move on. In my mind it is not okay when kids go home to be with Jesus while their parents, siblings, grandparents and friends are left here to feel the loss. I can not seem to comprehend this in my small, human mind.
As many of you I was moved to tears many times this year while following Angie's blog over at BRING THE RAIN. She documented her journey through a pregnancy that she knew would end in the death of her baby. She told us about her baby girl, her love for her, and the pains and joys of carrying her for 9 months only to prepare to tell her goodbye after her birth. I shed many tears over the past few months while reading about her journey. I found myself wondering why God had let her go through the pregnancy when he knew it would end this way. Not fair in my little mind.
Recently my friends Matt & Rachel informed us of a tragic death in their home church. Their pastor and his 13 year old son died in a plane crash in NC. They went on to meet Jesus while his wife and other children are left here to move on and grief two lives that they loved dearly. I have thought about them lots over the past week or two and can not even begin to imagine the pain his wife is facing during this time. Not only did she loose a child, but she doesn't have her husband to grieve with and hold her and comfort her because he is gone too. She has lost her support system, her partner, her lover, and one of her children. Again in my mind, not fair at all.
Recently my friend Alison reminded us of her friends that I prayed for last year while they went through the unthinkable and lost their baby boy in a car accident while on vacation. The car crashed, they all went to the hospital and they didn't bring their son home. They got better and released and had to bury their baby boy. Once again, in my mind, just not fair.
Then this week the unthinkable happens again and the Chapman family looses their youngest daughter in a tragic accident in their own driveway. They now only have five children at home when 3 days ago they had 6. Their dinner table is missing one person. Their car is missing one car seat. The sisters with matching dresses are missing one sister. Today as I type this and go on with life and take my boys to a birthday party they are burying their daughter. As I said above, NOT fair.
It never seems fair to me when parents bury children. It is not how it is supposed to go. I believe that we serve a good God and a God that knows what he is doing, but in times like this I question everything. Thank goodness I always fall back on the faithfulness of God, the love of God, the hope of God and the peace of God. Each of these families listed above have a deep faith rooted in Jesus Christ and I know that this is the ONLY way they will get on with their lives and continue in this crazy world without their loved ones.
As I was thinking about these people all week that lost children I found myself asking myself this question. If I knew that one of my children would die as a child, would I rather not have them? Would I want to spare myself the pain and discomfort and sorrow of loosing them?
I can honestly say that I would cherish each and every day of my children's lives for no matter how long they were with us. Thank goodness we don't know the number of our days or our kids days, but we know that God does. I am trying to give my kids over to him. It is hard and there are big parts of me that don't want to trust him with them. As stupid as that sounds, I'd rather be in charge. I'm learning and I believe this will be a continual journey of learning, trusting and handing over.
I haven’t been able to get the Chapman family off my mind & heart this week either! In a way it seems that they had a charmed life and that it could never happen to them. Which then brings us back to realizing it can happen to anyone! My boys went to their grandma’s this morning for the rest of the weekend. I was being growly with 7 year old last night and then had the thought – what if something happened to them while they were away – I would hate that that was the way I was with him. I had some special hugs and snuggles with each of them this morning! It does change your perspective on things. I have always struggled with fear and thankfully have grown in that department. The thought of losing a child is obviously my biggest fear, but I have to keep going back to God’s faithfulness and knowing that He is bigger than ANYTHING and with Him I could go on. This may sound selfish, but I also fear my children losing me. If something happened to me, how that would rock their world, and how could anyone else “mother” them the way I would. I can’t imagine being a parent with faith in Christ, because those worries and fears would overwhelm me!
Thanks for being so real! I found you and your DH’s blogs through the Livesay’s while you were in Haiti!
I have been struggling with all of these things so much lately…to the point that I feel like it’s consuming me. And not in a good way. Today I took Matt to the airport and I’ll only see him for a few days all summer. It was very emotional and all of those thoughts and fears came back over me. But then on the way home God swept in and became my Peace. I’m learning that this is going to be a DAILY struggle for me–laying all these fears at God’s feet and not trying to carry them on my own. I think if I dwelled on my fears it would paralyze me forever & I would never do anything. I think that God must be trying to get the attention of all of us–to remind us not to hold too tightly to the things of this world (even our beautiful, precious families). His kingdom is bigger and it is THE most important thing that we are living for. That is so hard for me to wrap my mind around sometimes. It’s certainly much easier to hold tightly to our families than a God that we cannot see and that we may even be doubting/questioning. But as you stated above–it all comes back to knowing, believing and calling back to mind His character! Love you friend–thanks for sharing. It’s good for me to dialogue about these things lately!! Miss you 🙂
It has amazed me how this past year as formed some thinking in my mind. I am much quicker to recover from anger or frustration than I was last year at this time. I could chalk some of this up to the ages of my children but I choose to believe this is God working through people on this Earth. I want to be the best parent I can be and that means I have to give them and myself over to God and not expect to know what the future holds…I cannot imagine knowing…even though I sometimes go crazy with the NOT knowing.
I commented on Aaron’s post along these same lines … I SO get you and understand exactly what you’re feeling.
For me the temptation is also to give into fear and dark thinking and worry about the possible loss of my kids, maybe it is magnified living here with the extra little things this place brings in the way of danger. I cannot understand why some kids live and some die … and often both were covered in prayer and had God-fearing parents that lived their lives and raised their children for Him.
I stood in the hallway in January – outside of a hospital room where Lydia’s life was in danger – I had no idea if she would live or die – things were very grim. I was crying out loud to God – begging Him to spare her – pleading for her life.
It has been four months since that night and I still cannot figure out what that would have done to my faith — would I have trusted God if He had taken her that night? Why did she get to live when other really amazing believers who prayed those same prayers had to bury their child. I will never get it Jamie.
I am with you – I am attempting to resist the temptation to dive into that black hole of fearful thinking — I am attempting to see my children as HIS children. It is a full time job. 🙂
thank you for sharing this… thank you for sharing “Bring the Rain” with us. That blog is changing the way I view things/loved ones. I have passed her link on to many others as well. I agree with you whole heartedly about cherishing every moment and that I’d rather God have all of that in His hands than mine.
Jamie-I think of two things when it comes to this kind of fear. My mom lost her son, my brother, almost 7 years ago. When people asked her how she manages to get through the day, she replied, “I always knew my kids were a gift from God. I am so glad I got to have that gift for 37 years.” Talk about grace.
Then I think of God, who knows what sacrifice it is to watch His son suffer and die…and I think of us who are blessed and forgiven because of that death. It doesn’t make much sense, but I am comforted a great deal because I know what lies on the other side.
I called to tell my mom about the Chapmans’ tragic loss, and her response was so simply but true – she just said, “Oh, my God! This is not heaven.” As she said it my eyes just filled with tears. It is so true. I don’t understand and my insides literally ache for them and so many others around me that have suffered such loss. I also can’t help but be thankful – for my family and our health and life, but also a little guilty – like, “why not me?” and then I start having awful thoughts about how it is probably only a matter of time….surely, some heart breaking tragedy will sooner than later shake my personal, little world – right? I don’t know. it all just makes my stomach hurt. But I do trust God and I know I can only pray that the Chapman family experience a very super natural peace during this time.
Like Tara said I will never get it…..with the Chapman story I thought about the angels that had to stand by and do nothing…what were their thoughts?……God could have stopped the car but He didn’t…why?……and though I may never get it someday I think the Chapman family will….they might not know the entirety of the why but somehow in someway the battle they fought through their suffering is a victory for heaven………when Gabe was born my mom thoughts were he is not mine but God’s…in the Bible the first born was always consecrated to God…..for whatever reason I have been able to separate what control I think I have and allow my children to grow up in the freedom of jesus…i still make them eat their veggies though!!! it is very hard at times but jamie just realizing you want to share the mommy role with God is HUGE!!!!
I recently lost my mother. This past week I too have been sideswiped with the sting of death all around me: the chapmans, a close friend whose mother just passed away…it reminds me that our live is just a mere vapor, here one day and gone the next. I actually wrote about my ‘first’ experience with loss at my blog, teachablelittlemoments.blogspot.com . Now, I probably only have about ten readers (five of those from my own family!), but oh well. If it helps even just one person than its worth it. But if you have time sometime, check it out.