The last couple weeks have brought new lessons to learn through tragedy in our life. It has been a hard emotional journey that I am sure is not over. It will resurface.
The news came to us only hours after the tragic event. An eight year old boy who had attended our church several times with his family and was in our son’s Master Club’s class was killed while he and his little brother were riding their bikes.
The family have only recently moved into our area. The boy and his family live in the same cul-de-sac as our Pastor’s family and the children have become great neighborhood pals. My Pastor is the Lt. of our local fire department and was off duty, but the first on scene to give CPR, as the accident was just around the corner from their home.
Lesson #1- Life changes so quickly…
This is a lesson that we all need to learn. We quickly get back into the routines of life and the day to day living and we forget this important fact. Life is a vapor (James 4:14). Our children have no concept of the brevity of life and it is only in moments like these that they get glimpses of this hard reality.
But how shall we live with this reality?
We do not wake up in the morning and equip ourselves to face tragedy that day.
Just four days prior to this tragedy my family was facing the facts of this vapor.
My aunt did not wake up that morning and expect to be diagnosed with lymphoma. I did not plan that the next several days I would spend my days by her side with her daughter in the hospital.
Everything changes at the speed of life.
Lesson #2- Tragedy brings grieving even for kids.
Sadly, this was a lesson I needed to learn. This was the most difficult thing for me to get a handle on as a mom.
I did not know this family. I had met them and spoke with them on occasion during our greeting time at church. When the news of the accident hit me, I was in shock. My emotions were charged from the perspective of a fellow mom. My emotion was centered on me and my feelings. The “I can’t imagine” empathy that runs through every mother’s brain.
I did have hurt on behalf of those that we are close with and that was my Pastor and his family. They were being shaken to the very core and my heart was aching for their experience in this tragedy.
But being in the midst of our own life happenings with my aunt, I was able to process and grieve rather quickly. I was not, however, prepared for my son’s response.
My 9 year old was shaken to the core. And as every mom can attest, I was now shaken.
My children have never experienced tragedy and thus never had to grieve. I was not prepared for that moment. We cried together and talked it through, but the funeral was hard to watch him work through the grieving process on his own with no words of comfort from me. My heart was breaking.
Lesson # 3- God is sovereign.
Nothing takes Him by surprise, even accidents. Circumstance sometimes do not seem fair, but He has an eternal perspective that we do not. We do not understand everything that happens and life brings heartache and pain, but we can trust that He has this under control.
Sometimes, I think we throw this around without truly understanding the magnitude of this statement.
Lesson #4- God pours out His grace.
I have a friend who has lived through every mother’s nightmare. Her 4 year old child was diagnosed with cancer. They walked through almost a year of chemo plus radiation. Only to be told 3 weeks ago, the cancer is back. This were her words to me, “God gives me just the right amount of grace. I can’t explain it.” I believe she is absolutely right and I have seen it lived out through this amazing family. Despite all the obstacles thrown at this family, they continue to stand in His grace and give God all the glory.
It has been clearly evident, as well, in the family of the 8 year old boy. They have been given grace to get through such a horrible accident. They have gone above and beyond by meeting with the family of the driver. It has been truly amazing to watch this family stand strong in God’s grace.
God’s grace does not make it easy, or without pain, and I am sure they have extremely difficult days, but it gives purpose in our lives.
Lesson #5 – Love has a price.
We experience pain because we love. The greater the love, the greater the pain. That is why my son was hurting much more than me. He knew his little friend. He laughed and played with him. I was merely an acquaintance. Someone that shook their hand and said hi.
Tragedy can also prompt us to love even greater. Through this tragic even, my oldest son and daughter have become closer to the older brother of the victim. It has been encouraging to see them love and encourage their friend and grow closer instead of withdrawing from him.
As you can see life has thrown several curve balls our way the last couple weeks, but the Ultimate lesson is this…
God is still on the throne and oh how He loves each one of us!
Hug on your kids today.
And know, God wants to teach us lessons through tragedy.
Blessings to all of you!