It was an early Sunday morning when we were awakened by the doorbell ringing. Tim went down and answered the door, both of us were thinking that Justin must have locked himself out of the house. I stood at the top of the stairs waiting to hear his voice; instead, what I heard was Tim inviting the Sherriff’s deputies inside our home.
As the unthinkable news of Justin’s death reached our ears, our three little boys made their way down the stairs, still in their cozy jammies with sleep in their eyes. While the deputies were talking to us, I kept trying to smile through the tears and reassure our boys that everything was somehow going to be okay.
Justin left behind four siblings; Sarah, Sammy, Luke, and Joshua. As my mind was trying to come to terms with our new reality, my heart broke all over again as I thought of my children. I ached for their loss and the pain that they would experience. Suddenly my world came crashing down as I realized that for 20+ years, I had done everything in my power to provide them with an emotionally safe, trauma-free, stable environment. In the blink of an eye, the “trauma-free” environment I worked so hard to protect was gone.
There was no “fix” for the pain that they would endure; this would be something that they would have to walk through and learn to trust in the goodness of the Lord minute by minute, day by day. My heart hurt for the loss of my son, for the loss of their big brother, for the loss of their carefree-spirit, and for the pain in their hearts that I could not take away.
Sometimes as Mamas, we unknowingly set up little kingdoms here on earth. At the time it didn’t seem like a kingdom; safety, stability, etc are all good things. In my understanding, I wanted these things for my children for their good. And while these things are “good”, they can also become an idol, an idol of control. Because when my little kingdom of trauma-free, stability, and safety was torn away, I was devastated. Cognitively, I understood that God was ultimately in control of all things, but somewhere along the way, there was a disconnect. The Lord gently uncovered the deepest recesses of my heart revealing a posture that said all of my children’s well-being depended on me. I was wrong, no one has that kind of power but God. He sovereignly reigns supreme and He has the final say what will be the best for the children that he blessed me with.
To my limited understanding, it’s so upside that the exact opposite of my worst fear is happening. What I thought would destroy our children is actually cultivating a depth, an empathy, and a compassion for others that ease does not produce. In no way do I diminish their suffering and grief, it is real and we face it together every day. But God, in his kindness and goodness truly works everything together for good to those who love him. To him be all the glory and praise.
Forever being kept in His grace,
9 thoughts on “Upside-down Goodness”
I am in constant awe of you. I love you and your family and I pray for you often. Sharing your story through this blog is like a precious gem. I find myself hanging on every word you write. It’s such a real and raw perspective from a momma’s broken heart, a promise she’s keeping to her son, and the trust she has that God is with her every step of the way. You are an incredible woman! Thank you Missy for sharing.
April, thank you so much for your love and encouragement. You are dear to my heart, friend! ❤
I’ve learned through a Bible Study in Romans recently that God’s idea of our “good” is anything that makes us more like Christ–his purpose for his people while we’re on this Earth. This is what you’ve said is happening for your family in this blog–thank you for sharing your deepest pain.
Beautifully said, as that is exactly what the Lord is doing! Thanks so much for sharing, Carolyn.
Missy, thank you for being so honest through the pain and grief you are experiencing. I am so encouraged by the way you have drawn near to God, and continue to point your children to His love when they are hurting. I think of you often and pray for God’s strength to fill you.
Melissa! It is so good to hear from you. Thank you so much for praying for us, I know the Lord hears. ❤
Emily Saxe | To Unearth
What a beautiful way to accept God’s control over your life! I can’t imagine the tragedy of losing a child, but your testimony gives me hope that no matter what I walk through in this life, God is close to the broken-hearted and uses ALL things for His glory. Thanks so much for sharing this with me. 🙂
Emily, it was my pleasure! Thanks so much for “stopping by”. 🙂
Emily, thank you for your words of encouragement. May He be glorified through every single word! ❤