”How do you pray for Wade after losing Taylor?”
“Mammawitch, how do you trust God with Wade now?”
“How are you ever at peace when your son leaves?”
I have to check my gut each time before I respond. A deep primal fear threatens me; I would have driven the man-child everywhere and gotten good at punching danger in the throat if I could, but these children God gave Big Joe and I have lights and spirits that cannot be hidden, cannot be reined, should not be thwarted. I know that as deeply as I know I would have stood in front of the on-coming car that killed my sweet girl. There are forces within each of us that are god-given.
Still, the answer is like driving through your hometown after being gone for twenty-five years, somewhat foreign, but still so confidently familiar –
I do still trust God, in the dark of night, through the noise and banter of societal upheaval, in moments of needling angst, even in fear’s fist, but my prayers have changed.
I fell in love with the phrases, “traveling mercies” and “hedge of protection” for both the lyrical word play and the images of a powerful force protecting my sweet babies; I can’t pray those words anymore. *My* definition of ‘safe’ and ‘protected’ isn’t how God answered me. It takes several cycles of grief to settle/learn/rest in this conclusion. Our favorite red-head could not be safer than she is right now; she dances and sings throughout the concert venues of heaven – but she isn’t safe with her daddy and I; so, we often wander lost-like in a familiar place.
Some prayers begin and end meekly with “God….” as sometimes words just fail to capture my plea; all I have is the faith that he is there, with me, Immanuel.
The question “why” may haunt or accompany me for my remaining days. My earthly shell thinks it will be the first question I ask sweet Jesus. My soul gently offers that heaven might ease that empty ache.
Instead, I whisper a simpler phrase. “Be with him, Father. Be with my baby boy.”
It rests as both a plea and a comforting promise.
“For lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20
One afternoon just days after Taylor Renee’s funeral, Wade and I left the house at the same time. We zigged and zagged through our neighborhood until we reached the busy four-lane thoroughfare north of our house. He turned right, and I turned left. As I waited for the traffic to clear, I watched the distance between the back of his car and me; I felt the fear and uncertainty creep into my throat and I whispered, “Be with him.”
My heart heard a solemn holy whisper, “I am.”
There are just some forces within us that are god-given.