Kasey's aunt, Kit, found this blog and shared it with Kasey's mom back in March. Both women eventually connected with me. I just thought the journey of one mom's grief brought them comfort. I had no idea their journey would lead the way for our next chapter here in Tulsa.
The details of the trial in Mobile give me great reason to pause and intentionally steel my heart, to decide who I want to be when Joey and I sit in a courtroom downtown and listen to the court proceedings about the end of our daughter's life. I have a good amount of prayer to do because there are days when I am not a gracious soul thankful for the wonderful 2o years I spent with my amazing and incredibly independent red-head. There are moments when I am a mad mama; as I have written, most of that anger gets directed at a God who loves me enough to continue to let goodness and mercy follow me. It is ironic that the anger is seldom directed at the person whose actions hurt my little girl and her friends and changed our lives forever.
However, neither chance nor irony has a role in the connection created between Kit and Tracy and I. As we share in this suffering, these trials, we produce perseverance. Then our perseverance influences our character and our character leads us to hope. "And hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured out to us..." Romans 5:3-5 This has never been more true to me.
I changed the word "glory" to share because I cannot glory in the loss of two beautiful girls. I cannot make sense of it; most days, I cannot accept it. If I could all by myself, I wouldn't need a heavenly father.
I told my friend this weekend, I believe we are to know God, but we can't know God's ways - that omniscience evades us.
"But his grace is made sufficient even in our weakness"... I wish I didn't know this. I wish this was still a verse about someone else's suffering instead of ours, instead of Tracy's. It isn't, and both verses have taken root in my soul.
I am watching the Waychoffs persevere and realizing God's grace has found me again as their struggle and strength through their trial prepares me. I heard my heart days ago tell me to lay down the outcome of the upcoming trial surrounding Taylor's death. I just didn't see how God was connecting all of this to prepare me to do so.
During the interim between meetings and buildings today, that empty space that follows me daily and hangs on the edges of my heart began to envelope me. I heard myself say, "I am not strong enough to do this." In fact, I texted that very message to my mom. This isn't me - I never say "I can't". It isn't a part of who I am - And then, I remembered to pray for Kasey's family.
Please know that both conclusions I have relayed are real. I am surrounded by grace and a structured, intentional plan to lead me through these shadows; I am also taunted by a hopeless voice that tells me I won't survive.
When I sit down to name these things the song on Pandora sings this verse...
Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be;
Let that grace now like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it;
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above....
...and it becomes a prayer.
If this were a novel, we would call the Waychoff's story foreshadowing. It isn't. Instead, it's tragic and senseless, but their story provides a single ray of light for my family. Their light points to the same verse we read at sister's funeral and the same verse I cited last night: "We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him..." I believe he worked for our good when he gave us these beautiful girls. Despite the evil that stole them from us, He will keep working - shining the light from their lives into ours...
As fiercely as we love and miss you baby girl, we have to keep fiercely chasing the light...