As we approach February 8th, the 4th anniversary of Warren’s death and also his new life in heaven, we reflect on the blessing of children. We reflect on pain and loss. And we reflect on healing… the Lord making all things new in His time, in His way.
Last Thursday through Monday were not typical for our family. I made two last minute trips to Virginia and attended my church’s women’s retreat in between.
Our retreat speaker shared the following quote by Philip Yancey:
“Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.”
This quote came to life as Meade and I helped dear friends in Virginia plan a funeral and bury their 3.5 year old son. Reid was a precious boy who touched everyone who knew him. Just like our son Warren, Reid’s life made a huge impact (more than most adults) in a very short period of time. Also similar to our twins, Reid suffered from a genetic abnormality, seizures, and other ailments. He was a true fighter and finished his race well.
We are heartbroken for our dear friends. Simultaneously, we are humbled to have the honor to grieve and also celebrate Reid’s life with them. Two intimate things we can share with other humans in this broken life.
It is not my intention to make this sweet family’s pain about me. However it felt God-ordained that, in our 19 day period when we had both of our twins here with us in 2009, God was able to use us in 2013 while others were suffering. While others were left to pick up the pieces and start the long road of making sense of a life without their beloved child. God allowed us to be strong when they could not and certainly should not be expected to. You are never prepared to bury your own child as it goes against the natural order even in a fallen world.
The quote above is starting to make sense, beginning to infiltrate my heart. Certainly, four years ago I was told that God would somehow use our tragedy, but I wasn’t ready then to hear it. And I couldn’t imagine how any good could come from our son being killed due to a medical error. Of course, the hole remains in our heart. Additionally, we still refuse to make peace with the brokenness in this world... the same brokenness that reveals our need for a Savior.
But here we are four years later, and through the blessing of our dear friends in Virginia, I am starting to see more pieces. Not broken pieces, but pieces of healing, pieces of redemption, pieces of God using our son and our story to walk in the grief and walk in the healing with another family. And with these pieces comes some peace.
|Reid with his Daddy and big brother|
Reid is a blessing. Warren is a blessing. Our hearts are heavy, yet these children are eternal gifts that spur us to fulfill God’s purposes on earth during the days we are ordained here and also to live with hope and conviction, knowing our true home is not here. Our true home is where Warren and Reid are healed and whole… in heaven with our Savior.
I pray we can all have the kind of faith (even for brief moments here and there) that believes in advance what may only make sense when time has passed and we can look back.
"I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."