Monday, May 19, 2014

A Hard Week

The past week has been a really difficult one for our community and church.  Last Monday afternoon there was a horrible accident right outside of Ben's school.  I came up on the wreck not long after it happened and it was just awful.  Even then I had a sinking feeling in my stomach because I knew it was bad.  I started praying that it was no one that we knew.  Our community is fairly small so I was afraid it was might be.  We quickly learned that it was a precious family from our church.  I am not personal friends with the Browns but I have met them several times over the past year.  We have numerous mutual friends.  I have followed their story of adopting 2 special needs children from the Dominican Republic.  I guess you could say I admired them from afar.  They had such a story of faith and trust.  They were such an encouragement to our family right after my dad was diagnosed with cancer.  This picture of them with their Team Gary signs has always been one of my favorites.  
Their precious little 5 year old Micah died in the wreck.  Their 2 oldest daughters were injured very badly and are still in critical condition (one in Birmingham and one in Huntsville).  This family was living every parent's worst nightmare.  If you were to ask me what my biggest fear was as a mom I think this would be the scenario that I would say.  I could not even begin to imagine.  I think this is the reason their story has captivated so many including myself.  We are all putting ourselves in their place.  What if it was us?  It has been a very hard week.  Trying to process and deal with all of this has been harder than I thought it would.  I have struggled at times with the "whys" and the "what ifs."  I have tried to turn all of these questions and fears over to God and allow Him to teach me through this experience.  There are some lessons I want to make sure I remember...

God is still good.  In times like this it is easy to question the goodness of God.  I mean why would God (who is supposed to be good) allow something like this to happen to such a good family.  I mean they adopted 2 special needs children.  This happening does not change anything about God.  He is the same.  This happened because we live in a fallen world.  Death and pain were not part of God's plan.  This happens because of fallen man. He is still still God and He is still good!

God is in total control.  This did not take him by surprise.  He has got this and He will get the glory.  I have seen over and over how He is getting the glory.  It has been amazing how many news stories and articles have been written about this family over the past week.  Each one mentions their faith in God.  He is getting glory even in the pain.

We live in an awesome community!!  In a week almost $100,000 has been raised for this family.  There has been an outpouring of love and support from our church and community at large.  It has been amazing to see.  I am so thankful for the body of Christ!

We have to live in the moment.  I never want to take for granted the loved ones around me.  We have been given precious gifts in our children.  I want to make sure that I live every moment treasuring the gifts that they are.  We never know what might happen so I want to make sure to live with no regrets where it comes to loving others!

I must be intentional with teaching my children about the love of Jesus.  At little Micah's funeral, I was struck with how intentional the Brown family was in teaching their children about how big God is and how He is the one they should turn to in times of trouble.  I desire this for my children as well so I am going to work to be more intentional.

I pray these lessons continue to sink in over the next few weeks as our community begins to heal.  Saturday I attended the funeral for Micah.  It was tough but also so beautiful.  I saw a mother full of God's hope share her story.  Something I am not sure I could do.  Micah loved rain boots and wore his all the time.  They asked everyone to wear rain boots Saturday to honor Micah.  We loved wearing them all day.
 One of the hardest things about the whole situation was having Ben come face to face with death at such a young age.  We were talking about it on Saturday night and he just broke into tears crying over the death of a boy.  He kept saying "but he was only 5."  We spent a long time talking about how death is defeated through Jesus and although it is sad we do have hope.  It was so sad to see him going to bed crying.  Sunday was such a day of healing for us all.  At church, the children't workers spent a long time talking about how God turns our sadness into joy.  They had a balloon release where prayers and promises were written on the balloons.  Ben's balloon said "Thank you God that Micah is walking on gold right now."  How beautiful.  Ben was so full of joy after church.  So thankful for these amazing children's workers and how they helped healing happen.  I hate that Ben had to learn about death but I also know that he understands how God is in control!