I receive encouraging feedback from readers like you telling me you find our honesty and vulnerability refreshing. That somehow, even by being honest with the pain and the muck, you come away with hope. And we cannot tell you how much this blesses us… to have this confirmation that God IS making all things new, not despite, but in the very midst of the pain. Thank you for being a safe place.
So here is today’s honest truth. It is still hard. I haven’t posted in awhile, because I was waiting to have a "happy" post in which I planned to share the joy of this new season we are in with John and Daniel both in school part time. And that post may come, because this new routine certainly carries beauty... but that just isn’t what has been on my heart since school started last Tuesday. Yes there is beauty, but I also continue to feel the weight of the ashes.
It is still hard… having a son in heaven and grappling with his time cut short on earth… Or was that his ordained number of days? How does God’s sovereignty and goodness work in all of this? Was He somehow protecting Warren when he was killed due to a medical error? How do I pray for protection for my living children with my innocence stripped? Additionally, it is still hard having a child with special needs, all of us working so hard for what still falls very short of what most deem a “normal, fulfilling, self-actualizing life.” How do we trust for John’s earthly healing, believing we are told, commanded even, in the Bible to ask for this, while witnessing those around us who have yet to receive their healing? These questions and struggles can swirl.
Sunday morning, we missed church since we have all been fighting a cold. Meade led us in a discussion about prayer and reviewed the simple acronym “ACTS,” telling our boys about this helpful guide to use in our prayer time. You may have utilized it yourself:
A = adoration of the Lord
C = confession of sins and shortcomings
T = thanksgiving
S = supplication (our needs and prayer requests)
Naturally, we started with “A” and Meade quickly stated his specific adoration: “God is mighty.” Now it was Mommy’s turn. The “Sunday School” answers popped into my head: God’s trustworthiness, sovereignty, protection, etc. Yet in that moment, I simply couldn’t state those things with a pure heart. despite knowing deep down they are accurate. I wanted to be honest with where I was in that moment, so I examined my heart to find something I could confidently share. I couldn’t let my family down. And God didn’t let me down.
God is eternal.
That is the adoration I shared, the adoration He pronounced deep in my soul. I adore God because He is eternal. And on Sunday, that truth was enough.
Because He is eternal, my life is eternal as well. I will be reunited with my son, Warren. John’s body will be healed and whole. Wrongs will be righted. What is lost will be restored. Pain will be no more. And in all this, I will see Jesus face to face, and I will be made like Him.
It can still be hard. But the greater reality, the litmus test, is that I still yearn for my children to grow up knowing and believing in God. I desire to teach them these things. And I want them to know what I have found to be true in the midst of the pain. That when it comes to prayer— to communing with our Heavenly Father— I’m grateful that something is better than nothing. It is about the relationship… relating with our Creator in the realities we face, in the honest condition of our hearts. Because God understands the intimacies and intricacies of our pain, and He promises we will “see His very goodness in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13).
“…how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
…And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
-2 Corinthians 3:11, 18