Today we have officially reached the two year milestone since our Jack went to meet Jesus face to face. We are also just 5 days short of the 8 month anniversary of Hayes going to meet Jesus and his big brother Jack face to face as well. I have had some things on my heart that I have been wanting to share and thought that today was the appropriate time to do that.
As many of you know this blog came to be as a result of the loss of two of our boys, Jack and Hayes. I have been praying and thinking about what the purpose of this blog is supposed to be as it has evolved. There are a couple of things I have come to realize. The first is to hopefully help those that have experienced the loss of a child and to show that there is hope and joy even in the midst of the grief. My heart is not only for those who have lost a child, but also for anyone who has experienced loss or may be experiencing a valley in their life where there seems to be no way out. My heart is to bring hope to those who are hurting.
My biggest hope though is that in the midst of all this, is that my boy's lives and their stories ultimately draw others to Christ. That is the only place that true hope, peace that passes all understanding, and joy can be found. I remember like it was yesterday when Jess and I were sitting in the hospital on Aug 21st, 2012 the day Hayes died, coming to grips with and in total shock over the fact that we had just lost our second child in less than a year and a half. I remember sitting there and the only thing that I could think to ask God for was please don't let this be in vain. I need to see others come to and receive Christ through our losses. If God would do that I knew that our family was going to be okay.
On that beautiful Palm Sunday morning when Jack died it was nothing short of our world being completely turned upside down. I remember every detail of that day down to the beautiful cherry blossoms on the trees in the parking lot of the hospital. I remember thinking how incredibly beautiful it was outside that day as I was sitting out there trying to come to grips with the fact Jack wasn't coming home. It will forever be burned in my memory the contrast between the beauty of that day and the absolute grief I was experiencing.
There was a fog that I entered for several months after Jack died where the weight of it was huge. Fortunately we had Noah and Drew to think about, and Jess was pregnant with Hayes at the time. The adjustments that our family went through were massive in so many ways. Trying to help Drew come to grips with why his twin brother who had always been there with him was gone and beyond heart wrenching to deal with. The adjustments that happen in any family that loses a child is massive to say the least, and we were experiencing them all.
It was during those ensuing months after Jack passed away that we started moving within the new normal that was our family. Jack had left behind a huge hole that would never be filled. Even when Hayes was born 7 months later that hole was not filled. Hayes was a huge bright spot in the midst of the grief! Hayes never ever replaced Jack in our family, but he was a huge blessing. Hayes burned white hot in our family for a total of 9 months and 2 days before he too went on to meet Jesus.
You might be wondering why I am bringing all this up again. I bring it up for those of you who might read this and are dealing with some huge mountain in your life such as a loss of a child or other family member, a cancer diagnosis, a divorce, loss of a job, and the list could go on...... I want you to know that I know what it is like to face what seems like an insurmountable obstacle or to be in the deepest and darkest of valleys. I want you to know that there is nothing within me that could overcome the loss of Jack and Hayes. There is nothing that someone else could say or do for me that would bring me peace, joy, and hope after the loss of my boys. There is nothing that this world could offer me that would make any sense of the unbelievable tragedy of losing two perfectly healthy children within 16 months of each other.
I know that there are some of you that may read this that I have met, and there are those that I haven't, and you are facing your own mountain or deep dark valley. I want you to know that it is possible to have peace that passes all understanding, real joy where there doesn't seem to be any, and most of all hope because there is One who has overcome it all for you. I have experienced each and every one of those in my life in the last two years.
I can honestly say that I have more peace, joy, and hope now than I have ever had at any one point in my life. I don't say this because I am deluding myself into coping with these losses or because I am using religion as a crutch. It took the loss of my boys to realize how little control I have over this life, but in the midst of it I discovered that it is only God who controls it all. I have mentioned this before, but I feel impressed to mention it again for some of you who may read this. The one emotion that I have not experienced is anger. I'm not saying that those of you who have are wrong to feel it, but for me its not there. This is because I know where my boys are beyond a shadow of a doubt! I know that I am going to see Jack and Hayes again. This life is nothing more than a vapor in time, and before I know it I will be spending eternity with my boys.
I know this may seem like a sermon, but my heart is for each and every person that I come in contact with in my life either in person or through this blog, will find where my peace, joy, and hope come from. That is through Jesus Christ who died that I might live and see my boys again. My heart is overwhelmed at the gift I was given in that I get to see my boys again!! My heart is overwhelmed for you that you might also receive that gift. There are many that may read this who I am actually praying for to find that same hope, and I am praying for anyone who read this that you will find that hope. It is a free gift available to all for the asking.
I will end with this. Would I rather have my boys and not have to deal with the two gaping holes in our family and all the grief and pain that goes with it? The answer is a resounding yes! I never expected to be walking this road and dealing with this kind of loss, but I can honestly say I have grown more and learned more than I ever would have had I not had to walk this road. If my boys lives can help bring hope to someone else out there through a right relationship with the Creator of the universe, then I wouldn't trade this road for another.
I am beyond thankful to all of you who have supported us over the last two years!! Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is ever any questions I can answer or things I can pray for.
Until we meet again boys....... I love you Jack and Hayes!
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.