I seem to go through ups and downs as the weeks and months go by since both Jack and Hayes' deaths. I know that is obvious and is to be expected, but what is amazing is how much the emotion and pain can come flooding in with no notice. There is really no description for the empty space that is left behind when a child dies. It is a hole like no other. The two empty spaces in our family are profound and ever present. It makes me appreciate all the more that we have Noah and Drew who bring so much joy into our lives.
I have been much more reflective and thinking about both Jack and Hayes over the last several weeks and month, due to some other families that have recently suffered the loss of a child. My heart grieves for those families that have gone through tragedy of losing a child. Some of the recent stories that I have heard have made step back and thank God for how He was there for us even in the midst of losing our boys.
I don't want to rehash some of my other post, but I feel the need to get some thoughts out there again. Not only for those of you may read this that have lost a child, but also for those of you who are facing hardships of any kind. The reason I write this blog is because I want to share the faithfulness of God that is found in Jesus Christ. My prayer always is that God will minister to others through the story of our two little boys lives. That is what truly matters through all that we have gone through, that God uses it for His glory.
The big idea of this post is that God is faithful even when we do not see it, or feel it for that matter. Often times when the trials and hardships of this life hit it is easy to ask God, "where were you", and blame Him for not being with us. I'm not saying that all do this, but it is easy to do this when we see the death of children, other tragedies and trials we all face, or things like the shooting in Newtown, CT. It is not wrong to ask God "why", or to question why there is such evil and heartache. What I would encourage all to do though, is not blame God during these times.
It is in the midst of the heartache and darkness where I can honestly say that God is closest to us, beckoning us to Himself. I can speak to our experience of losing our two boys unexpectedly over a year and a half period of time that God was the most faithful. I have never experienced a peace in my life like I have during the two times immediately after our boys death. Does that mean the heartbreak and pain weren't there? Of course not, but it means that I could see hand of God moving in my family's life in the midst of it all.
I still can't say that I understand why we lost Jack and then lost Hayes less than a year and a half later. I don't know that I ever will, but I know that Jesus has changed lives as a result of those two little boys. There is absolutely nothing special about my wife or I beyond the work Jesus Christ has done in our lives. Christ has been so faithful to my family that I thank him everyday for what He has done for us. What I know is that even in the circumstances surrounding our boys deaths there are so many ways that it could have been worse. We are not having to deal with the added dimensions of what the Newtown school shooting families are going through, or what one of the local families in our community are going through in the loss of their son.
Even in regards to what all of those families are going through I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is working in those circumstances as well. While God did not cause the sin, tragedy, or death in those situations, He can and is working through them. He is bringing comfort and changing lives through all of it. He is always beckoning and calling out to those who are hurting because that is where true peace and comfort is found.
I know with everything in me that my boys, and all the other children who have recently lost their lives are with Jesus right now in Heaven. The question is for all of us is will we be there as well when it is our time? I will close this by saying there is true peace and comfort to be found for anyone who is experiencing tragedy, trials, and tribulations right now in Jesus Christ. I have a peace that passes all understanding because of the work that God has done in my life. My prayer and the purpose of this blog is that others will find that comfort as well. It is there for those who desire it and all you need to do is ask.
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[h] for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be[i] against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.[j] 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.