Yesterday marked four months since my brother died. I went to his grave in search of something that I still have not fully found. I’m not sure I will ever truly find it in this life. However, with that being said, something did happen that gave me renewed hope…
It rained alot yesterday…sometimes just a drizzle, sometimes much harder. It wasn’t raining when I first reached the cemetery, though. As happens sometimes when I go there, I became overwhelmed with a torrent of questions that I may never get answered. Some of the more predominant ones are “Why? Will I ever see him again? Will I ever see my nephews again? Is there anything I could have done to prevent this?”
My emotions are unpredictable when I visit the graveside. Sometimes I’m calm, even a bit joyful remembering fond memories of Matt. This was not one of those days. Yesterday I was mostly angry and overcome with grief. I was angry at Matt. I was angry at myself. I was angry that I didn’t have the power to turn back time. And if I may be so bold and honest, angry at God. He has his reasons for not intervening on my brother’s behalf. He is Sovereign and Almighty and I am nothing without Him. I realize too that I have life far better than so many others in this world but in that moment I wanted to be selfish. I told God how I felt. It was pure raw emotion and I completely fell to pieces. My sadness set in again and was more than I could bear.
Then it started raining again, harder than before. I didn’t care. “Let it pour for all I care. I’m staying right here.” Then I had a thought that I believe was the Spirit sent to comfort me saying, “God is crying now too. He sees your hurt, pain, and anger and He cries with you…right now.”
“But, God why didn’t you save him?! I know You could have. Why not?”
And with more clarity than I’ve ever experienced, a Voice inside my head whispered, “I did.” Immediately the rain stopped and the sun shone for a moment before the next rain cloud gathered. That probably sounds hokey to some people…like it’s just coincidence or wishful thinking. But I believe it. It was real. It was much more than that. I believe God was right there with me in that moment giving me desperately needed peace and hope. I needed to know He heard me…that He cared and He did not disappoint.
Later that night, my mourning truly turned to dancing when I saw my three precious children on stage singing and living it up during their Christmas program. My boys, ages 4 and 3, each grabbed a microphone and (my oldest in particular) belted out the songs drowning out every other sweet voice. It filled me with laughter and pride to see them so happy and enjoying themselves without a care in the world. My “baby girl” didn’t do much singing but had a good time dancing a jig a time or two. Those three little ones are one of the greatest sources of joy in my life. That’s been true since conception but is especially true now. Yes, I still lose my temper sometimes. Yes, they drive me crazy at times and can seem to be the most bull-headed children on the planet (remind you of anyone? ;-)). But there would be an enormous hole in my heart without every single one of them.
Life without Matt hurts. Life with Jackson, Josiah, and Sadie helps. And God reminds me just when I’m on the verge of forgetting that life with Him heals. I do not walk alone. I walk with Him.