It’s been 17 months since my son went to Heaven.
A piece of my heart left my body and went to Heaven with him. I’ve learned so much these last months. I’ve learned the goodness of our great God. I’ve learned to be still and listen and more importantly hear. When Brian first died I was angry, no angry doesn’t cover it. I was livid. I could not understand how God would let this happen. That 1st Sunday back at church we sat in the over flow room and I cried the entire time. In my head I was screaming at God. At one point I stopped crying. I clearly heard God say my Son hung from a tree too. Brian is with my Son. You will always know where he is now. (There were many months I did not know if Brian were alive or not.)
I started hearing God’s voice saying small sweet loving things to me. Friends telling me how Loved I am. Telling me that our God is not a God of confusion, He is a God of Love. I hadn’t opened my Bible in a very long time. I opened my Bible 2 weeks ago, I read the book of John. I see things differently now. My faith is much stronger and I confidently know where my son is. Brian and I had a conversation 8 weeks before he died. I hadn’t talked to him in almost 2 years. (Drugs, alcohol, bad life choices, his choice to not have me in his life) He called me. He was at rock bottom and wanted a new start. He was willing to get himself here and go to a Christian mission to recover. We had a conversation about God. I said to him I know you say that you don’t believe in God, but I really think you are just angry with Him. My boy broke down and said he was so angry at God that this isn’t how his life was supposed to be. We talked everyday, several times a day before he died. My son knew God & knew how loved he is. In his death he has accomplished what he wanted to in life. Brian would give anyone anything they needed, whether he could afford it or not.
My family has some things in Brian’s memory. Our church has been going to the public servants of our town to thank them for all that they do. I was asked if I could help with the police officer luncheon. I have been wanting to find a away to thank them for their kindness on that night they had to come tell us. It blessed me so much to bless them. My youngest daughter walked the suicide awareness walk.
I can listen & hear people. I can listen & hear God. Now don’t get me wrong, God still has to show me things several times before I get it. I get it much sooner nowadays. Now don’t get me wrong, I wish my son was here with me. I don’t want any family to feel this grief, to feel this loss. It is horrific! Mental illness is a taboo subject that no one wants to talk about, that no one wants to ask for help.
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For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
It has been said by many that Jesus was likely 33 years of age when He died, rose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven.
I do not consider myself anywhere near the prestige of our Lord. Not by any means. But this has challenged me, and is causing me to do a lot of praying and thinking.
You see, today is my birthday. As you may have guessed, this afternoon I will turn 33. I don’t know how this is possible, because I am almost certain that I just celebrated 23, but apparently I’m “wrong” and in “denial”. Well, according to my husband, anyway.
100 years ago, I would have probably not sat and pondered every year after turning 29 about what I have done with my life up until now, and what I have to show for it. I have a very loving, faithful, caring husband. I have 5 amazing kids that constantly have me thanking God for the privilege to be their mother. Right there are 6 accomplishments, and by far the most treasured. However, in our present time, without a degree or business accomplishment I am supposed to feel like a failure. A failure for my focus being on bringing my children up to know God and loving my husband with all of my heart.
I just can’t buy into that.
I will tell you where I do feel guilt though… I have not come anywhere close to what I could have and should have done for the Kingdom. Stubborn, introverted, procrastinating me has made excuse after excuse for what should have never been given a second thought. Jesus saved the world in 33 years. Me? I can’t even remember to save leftovers some days.
Yet… He loves me. He loves me so much and I can’t even fathom why. Psalms 139:17-18 says “How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;” To think of someone that much. How much He loves us. The understanding is not even in my grasp. After my years of running, denial of His existence, self-destruction, and multitudes of other sins, He still wanted me. He called for me. When I turned to run back to Him, His arms were open wide and I could hear Him holler to me, “Run faster, Angie! Run! Don’t stop! Keep going! Run!”
My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.
So today, I’m putting the guilt away. God did not give my mother, who was never supposed to have children, a daughter so that she could grow up and mope. God did not cause my heart to start beating both times that it stopped while my mom labored with me with the intention of me giving up years later. He has not saved my life from many illnesses, accidents, and near misses so that I could say, “Whoops, too late. I’ll just sit here and regret every dumb decision until it’s all said and done.” Nope. He sure didn’t.
Instead I’m going to start doing those things that God has told me to do. I’m going to turn my back to fear and my face to Jesus. All of those horrible things that happened before today, they are no longer excuses, regrets, or things I am ashamed of because they are testimonies to the work that the Lord has done. They are small chapters in a very long story. My senses are going to be more alert to the Spirit so that I will be aware of just what exactly it is He wants to convey to me, because otherwise it is all pointless. It is ALL for Him. My life, my family, everything.
Next year, when it’s time for 34, this shame will not overcome me again. Thank you, God, for the grace you so freely offer through your only Son. You are the God of second, and 842, chances. So get ready, Lord, because I’m still running… and it’s a lot faster than before. I will not be stopping, looking to the side, or slowing down. Show me the way. It’s time to put this free will to good use.
P.s. Thanks for having me, Mom! Oh, and putting up with me. Love you!