“The God who gives and takes away…” He is so young to know that already.
I was a different mother on July 27th and 28th. I knew what was best for her and it wasn’t those tubes and that machine breathing for her. I remember circling her six friends in the waiting room, holding their hands and telling each of them that “Taylor has always belonged to Jesus” that “I have known that since the day she was born.” In my mind’s eye, I can see myself saying those words and feeling great peace as invited them to begin their goodbyes. Today, I do not know that mother, but I wish I did. I wish thoughts of heaven brought me the peace it did that day.
The book of Job tells us our days are numbered. When I am not angry with God for not saving my baby, I remember that if we could explain God and all of his glory, we would not need God. I remember Wade’s words, “the God who gives and takes away….”
The God who gives…. How empty this world would have been without my girl – no Sun-Drop girl, no red boots, no fiercely loyal friendships, no Sooner football, no Theta sisters, no family card games, no fun with cousins, no pedicures, no days at the pool, no shopping marathons, no determined competitor, no flashing green eyes, no beautiful red hair. Aren’t we so grateful to have had this star, this wild and loving heart, this girl we miss with every breath?
When I remember the perfect pink package that arrived on November 20th in 1993 right before the Bombers defeated Lawton Ike and advanced to the semi-finals for the 5A State Championship, I cannot be angry with my God. I have a picture of Joey holding her in the recliner I gave him for Father’s day the previous June. Joy flashes across his face as he holds his girl. How can I be angry with a God that made that happen? How can I be angry when I have always known that she belonged to God? Did he plant that thought twenty years ago to prepare me?
Our days are numbered….
My human heart cannot stay in this place of peace without feeling the scars of its cost. The tissue will tear and the pain will shoot back in like the shards of glass that cut her friends’ faces that night. Then fear enters. I have another child whose compass points due north. He is far more centered on Christ than I was at sixteen. And he belongs to our creator, too. How can I pray for his safety and believe?
“I am with you.” A sixteen year old boy wrote that the day he lost his best friend, his partner in crime, his hero in many ways. Faith like a child.
My faith has not been childlike.
Psalm 23 says so much more now. “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for thou art with me…” I am not walking toward my death; my valley is walking through this hell on earth without Taylor. My son knows we are not alone; I can see God’s hand everywhere, and yet, so often I feel very alone. Words and thoughts of heaven I know to be true are not comforting.
Wade’s words, “as your glory comes, I raise my hands and praise…” are something I can work towards. I love God, that hasn’t changed. He continues to reach down into this deep valley to find my buried heart, to offer his rod and staff as comfort. Yesterday, His comforting hand came to my house with my neighbor, Lori. She brought me a necklace, a heart stamped in silver with a dangling topaz, Taylor’s birthstone. Inscribed around the heart are the words, “Go Light the World.”
Oh that I could be worthy of both my children, gifts from God.