Sometimes I hear a voice saying give up, you can’t continue your walk because your testimony died with Sydney. People will never see the goodness of God through your story because your ending wasn’t happy. It makes me furious somedays because I still catch myself believing this even though I know it’s not true. I’m tired, the spiritual battles in my life never ends. I still worry so deeply about the salvation of others that I love who are lost and making so many mistakes. The weight of burden I feel for them is as heavy as the burden of grief I carry from loosing Sydney. He is right about one thing, I can not continue my walk the way it was, but my testimony didn’t die that night..It shattered..and with every piece of brokenness there is testimony, a story to be told that may encourage or help give wisdom and discernment to others so they may avoid the mistakes I made. I have a testimony that can be told to Mothers of daughter’s, I have a testimony for teenagers, for youth leaders who have chosen to mentor teens, I have a testimony for parents who feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to turn, I have a testimony for those who walk beside a grieving parent, and I have a testimony for the grieving community, and most of all I have a testimony of my own and how God has transformed me and the way I think. In my weakness I found his strength. In my brokenness I found his faithfulness. In my darkness I found his light. In my inability he breathes into me. No matter what I’ve been through God continues to be everything I need. I have learned that he is enough but not enough meaning that because I know him I will never need him but enough because in every moment he provides what I need to survive. I’ve learned that while my cup runneth over in so many ways, there is a forever emptiness I am unable to carry on my own so he steps in and takes just enough of the burden to allow me to continue but not enough for me to take my eyes off of him and walk with ease. My need for him has allowed my relationship with him to grow deeper than it could have without it. I’m thankful that the lies Satan whispers about having plenty of time fall deaf on my ears..I live every single moment with the thought that I could in a matter of a second be standing before Jesus. I live every single moment trying to help others understand you may never get that last opportunity to confess your sin and repent. I don’t passively watch people turn away from or deny God..I speak up because it may be my last opportunity. I still believe with all that I am if Sydney could tell her friends and family anything it would be to stop living for the world, stop making excuses to live in sin, and choose now to live for Jesus because Heaven is worth it. Jesus doesn’t care where you’ve been as long as you are willing to leave there and obediently follow him. My testimony is continually growing and moving as long as he continues to breathe life into me, and I’m forever grateful to serve a God who loves me more than I can even imagine.
As the 5 yr mark slowly creeps up on me..my heart starts to beat faster and the anxiety begins to flare. How in the world is this possible. It still seems so unreal. There have even been days I’ve had to stop and voice to myself She was real, she was here, and this did really happen. How have I lived this long without her? How do I keep going? How does my heart continue to beat? I’m exhausted from missing her. In the first couple of years, I dealt with the trauma of loosing her, then slowly moved into a deep depression as I struggled with the loss of joy and happiness she infused into my life. Not many changes happened in the first two years, but as year 3 approached the “she would have’s” started as the kids her age began the next steps of life like graduating and going off to college. I tried as hard as I could to focus on the blessing it was to have her instead of the pain of not having her but as hard as I try the pain is simply impossible to diminish. I slowly learned how to manage and balance the weight I constantly carry around. I can promise you TIME DOES NOT HEAL but you do learn with time what makes it better and what makes it worse. Time teaches you that you survive despite the fact that you aren’t strong enough. Time teaches you that the pain doesn’t ease but you get use to carrying the weight. Time is our biggest enemy yet is also our best friend. Each day is another day we must live missing them but each day is also a day closer to seeing them again. It is time that helps you to process the trauma of what happened, and time that forces you to face the reality that they aren’t coming back. I remember in the beginning I thought I would never see the day when I thought about her without thinking about the accident but it was time that got me to the place where I remember her and all the things she’s did without thinking of the accident. The thing that makes time unable to heal is the fact that time can not take away the missing her part. It is the one thing that over the last 5 years hasn’t changed or even slightly eased. I miss not only everything about who she was but I miss all that she would have been and all she would have done. I’m 100 percent positive I will never conquer the missing her part so I am more than thankful for the people in our lives who continue to help us remember her and keep her memory alive. The memories of our last 3 months together are filled with some of the hardest moments I ever had with her but also some of the best. I’m blessed to know that by the time..”Time” takes me to the 5 years mark, my memories and Sydney’s post and writings will continue to remind me of her heart, where she put her trust, and the faithfulness of God. It was May 10th I made a call to a friend seeking some godly wisdom..May 12th (Mother’s Day that year) that we followed the push of the Holy Spirit and walked into a church Sydney said she felt God called her to attend. Confession-Sydney had told me she felt called to go there about 6 months prior and I said NO and left absolutely no room for discussion because selfishly I didn’t want to go to a new church or a small church. I think back now and wonder what blessings my stubbornness and control stole from me in those 6 months because what followed in the next 2 months couldn’t have happened without us surrendering and trusting God to work and BELIEVING that living obediently to the scriptures was our missing piece. What a blessing to have witnessed something I can find no other words for then Agape. The ultimate, incomparable and unconditionally love God has for humankind. The next couple of months will be as impossible as they’ve always been but I know the cure to my impossibility and I will do in the next couple of months exactly what I did 5 years ago just two short months before she died..I will surrender and trust God to work but this time when I fall backwards I’m not hesitant, I’m not making sure he’s behind me, I don’t have to ask him “are you sure you going to catch me” I know without a shadow of a doubt he will be there because he hasn’t left my side. I hope you see me Sydney! I hope you see me living out the truth we were studying. You don’t need it now, but so many others still do. I love you and promise to continue using “time” to work for God, hoping to see him do for others what he did for you and for me.
This day 5 yrs ago is a perfect example of mine and Sydney’s relationship. It was filled from sun up to sun down and I was with her the entire time. I helped her with her make up and had previously convinced her that I could do her hair better than a salon😳 Even though I was stressed it wouldn’t look good enough, we still laughed and smiled the entire time. Most 16 year olds would make sure they shook their mom at some point before the dance or at least after. Not my girl😊She… had me chaperone and when they weren’t dancing she would skip over to me to stand next to me until the next song, and I sat with them at IHOP after. She never made me feel like she didn’t want me there in fact it was just the opposite. I’m thankful God allowed me to have these memories and this very special day with this amazing girl. Thank you Sydney Lisa Jeter for loving your momma so well. It was a gift to be included, a gift to be able to smile and laugh with you and a gift to do your hair and makeup. You looked beautiful as always!! My #missablekindofgirl