Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Challenge

The past few days I have been living through the worst hurt I've ever felt. I can't describe what it is like to lose a child that you have hoped and prayed for. I can't describe what it's like to let go of those dreams you have for that child and the dreams you had of holding him and seeing him grow. The biggest question I have asked myself the last 5 days is "Why?". I have begged God to help me understand why He allowed my son to be taken so unexpectedly when everything had seemed to be going so well. The one thing people have continued to tell me is "I don't know why and we will probably never understand it". Until today, I agreed. I had begun to come to terms with the fact that I would never understand why I wasn't allow to hold my son like so many others do. I have cried more the past few days than I have ever cried and I am crying now as I write this. I cry because though I am beginning to understand, the hurt is still there and I will continue to grieve for him for as long as God allows me to walk this earth.

Last night I dreamed about Barrett and my day just started off all wrong. I didn't want to do anything but curl up in a ball and hide from the world while I cried and grieved for him. This morning I had begun to let myself retreat to that dark place I've tried to avoid. When I realized what I was doing, I grabbed my Bible and I started to read. These verses hit me big time today:

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw Him they worshiped Him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Matthew 28:16-20

We have had so many people praying for us the past few days and we have felt it and we are so thankful for such an amazing family in Christ. As many of you have said and know, there is nothing anyone can say or do that will take our pain away. I have had countless people tell me that if there is anything you can do to let you know. Well, I have thought of something, and if you keep reading, you will find out what it is.

The greatest comfort and peace I have been able to find the last few days has been the confidence I have in where my son is right now. If I can't take care of Barrett, there is no one I would rather take care of him than my Lord and Savior. I know he is in the best hands. There is no doubt in my mind where my son is right now and that I will see him again when the Lord sees fit to call me home.

I posted the other day about all of the messages I have received since I originally posted Barrett's story. I have wept as people have told me how God had touched their hearts through his story. I wept as people told me of turning back to God and how they felt led to share God's love with others after reading his story. I wept as people told me that Barrett's story caused them to pick up their Bibles or hit their knees in prayer and how that led them to God for the first time.

When I was reading my Bible today, something hit me like a ton of bricks. I have been trying so hard to understand this, and God has been putting it in my face for days now. I thought to myself, I know exactly where my son is right now, but do I know where these people would be going had God not touched them through Barrett's story. If they had not been moved through Barrett's story, would they ever have picked up their Bible or fallen on their knees in prayer before God? I believe with everything in me, that God allowed my son to leave this earth in order to bring glory to Him and that has been my prayer from the beginning--that somehow God would get the glory in all of this.

I have heard so many times that God will never give you more than you can handle. As I lay on that table when they told me my son was gone, I questioned that. I asked God why He thought I could handle this, because I couldn't. But today I thought back to even just a year ago and I know that had this happened then, I would have gone in the opposite direction. A year ago, I was not where I needed to be in my walk with Christ. Last fall though, God helped me to realize that through a very good friend. I realized that I had been angry with God and that I had been running from Him instead of running to Him. Had this happened to me before then, I can't say exactly where I would be right now, but I know without a doubt that I would be in a very different place. Though I questioned God, He knew I could get through this with His help.

With all of that being said, you are probably wondering what it is I am asking you to do. When I read the Great Commission today, I realized an area of my walk with God that has been lacking. I thought to myself, before Barrett, when was the last time you told someone about God? When was the last time you witnessed to someone? I am incredibly ashamed to say that I couldn't remember.

Most of you know I have been crocheting away making blankets to donate in memory of my son. But there is something else that I know he would want me to do and my request is for you to join me in this challenge. While I know where my son is, we are surrounded everyday by people, even people who claim to be believers, who have never accepted Jesus as their Savior. While there are no words to take away my family's pain right now, there are words that you can say that will bring glory to God and honor the memory of my son. You can share the Gospel. That is my challenge for you today and my challenge for myself. If you want to honor my son's memory, use his passing to bring even more glory to God.

I am asking you, to step out in faith and share the Gospel with someone. Tell them how good our God is and how much our God loves them. Tell them about the sacrifice He made for us on the cross that He didn't have to do, but He did because He loves THAT much. There have been so many people tell me I don't know why this happens. I don't know why God lets this happen to His people. I didn't either until today. God has not given us anything we can't handle, because though we are struggling and grieving, God is carrying us through it. He has NEVER left our side through any of this.

God did not take my son, but He did allow him to leave us and it has brought glory to God. My prayer is that it will continue to do so.

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."

Isaiah 6:8

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