Sydney and I got to sit and really study many scriptures in the last couple of months of her life. Seeing the word of God come to life in her was the gift I cherish most, and digging deep into the meaning is one of the things I so desperately miss doing with her. I still dig deep and study and God never fails to provide me with something new and today, as I sit searching for peace and encouragement God provided exactly what I needed. I know Sydney’s mission statement was to h…elp others who felt unworthy believe that they were loved. So this is definitely a scripture I would have loved to watch come to life in her and see how she would have shared it with the world. It’s something I truly needed to see. I not only needed to see the example set before me, but the love Jesus had for his followers. As a follower of Jesus (a disciple) he is my example, In John 13:15 Jesus says that he is our example and we should do for others as he has done for us. In John 17 when Jesus prays to his father, he asks to protect his disciples from the evil one🙏🏻He chose to pray this knowing in just a few hours he is going to be betrayed, arrested, beaten and ultimately crucified. He is not sending selfish prayers but instead concerned with their protection knowing what he is about to endure, but in these verses he not only prays for them but he prays for ALL who will believe in him through their message. Wow!! Jesus himself prayed for ME! As he was about to face the hardest moments of his life he is asking God to protect his disciples and all, present and future, believers from evil and to unify us in his absence. He knew how hard it was going to be in this world with out him. I can’t help but think about how serious Jesus felt about prayer and what it meant to him and then to think I was someone he prayed for. The son of God himself prayed for me. It gives me the push I need to keep going, the reminder of his unfailing love, and the example I’m suppose to strive to be. So for all those following Jesus who may be struggling, and need prayer. I hope you find strength, peace and encouragement knowing Jesus himself covered you in prayer and I hope it makes you feel as loved as it made me feel!!
I’m not sure if anyone else has done this but I think a lot about the moment Sydney met Jesus which in a few short hours will be exactly 5 yrs ago. I can only imagine the peace he brought to her after being thrashed around. It’s a blessing for me to know that she didn’t have long before the accident began and she was standing present before The Lord perfectly new with not one single injury. Healed in a way we think and try to understand but can not. Her life upon earth may have ended at that moment but her real life was just beginning. As much as I’d like to think she stayed around the accident watching us, worried about us and how we would make it, like the movies would show..I know she didn’t. Instead she was standing with The Prince of Peace, she was not holding on to Bible versus..she was experiencing him personally. Can you imagine the amount of love she felt at that moment. Anyone who knew Sydney knew all she ever wanted in this life was to be loved. She loved others so deeply because that’s how she wanted to be loved and at this moment she would no longer have to try and get that from broken people who were incapable of providing it. No more heartbreak or heartache because God’s love is perfect. Her hearts desire truly standing right before her offering his hand however I’m sure she probably talked him into giving her a piggyback ride💞I find peace in knowing she is free from the pain and heartache of this world and at the same time ache to the depths of my soul because I want so badly to share in these moments as I know her smile and laughter would be far greater than what she experienced here. So thankful for God’s promises and the sacrifice of Jesus. I can’t wait to join her and sit as she tells me the real story of when she met Jesus because I’m positive my imagination and thoughts can not come close to the truth of her actual experience but I find peace knowing it wouldn’t be less than my imagination but instead abundantly more!
A little bit of our story and the things I’ve learned from my journey
Last week I had to drive pass Sydney’s first accident site a few times. I don’t do it often but every time I do the memories flood my mind. Looking back obviously gives such a different perspective. I remember feeling so very thankful and blessed but it was impossible for me to understand what I was really spared. I remember that day and how I professed God’s faithfulness for watching over my daughter. I shouted out to the world how blessed we were that after a horrible car accident Sydney walked away without a scratch. My exact comment “I’m so blessed she is ok! Thank you God” The pictures still sit on my Facebook and Instagram and even on Sydney’s Instagram where she posted and said God was watching over her. To this day every time someone I know has an accident I see them thank God for protecting them or they will say they had a guardian angel protecting them. I’m not saying that those things aren’t blessings from God because they definitely are but unfortunately I learned from experience, how confusing it is to attach God’s faithfulness to circumstances in our lives. You see just 48 hours after I posted a picture of my daughter’s totaled car with my comment. She was in another accident (a passenger this time) and instead of shouting how blessed I was..I was sitting on the side of the road in complete shock and incapable of believing what the detective was saying to me. The next day I was faced with writing an obituary for my beautiful 16 year old daughter. I can’t explain how polar opposite those two moments felt but I can say that God truly open my eyes to the confusion our witness gives to others. We live in a broken world. A world set apart from the garden of eden where God’s protection surrounded us at all times. For those who only know of The Lord and haven’t studied his word. When they are faced with tragedy or suffering it is so easy to become confused and believe somehow God caused their tragedy or they tend to question their faith or possibly his faithfulness. I can completely understand now why this happens. I listen to Christian radio and hear over and over again how someone was in a trying time in their life and when they requested prayer God provided their needs and “faithfully” answered their prayers. I’m happy their circumstances changed but I can’t help but think of those who also prayed and did not receive the outcome they needed or desired. It breaks my heart that the message those people hear is that God wasn’t faithful to them. That is NOT who God is. You see even Jesus prayed to his father and cried out asking for the cup to pass but we have victory and a savior because God was FAITHFUL and Jesus was obedient to follow his father’s will even when it wasn’t the answer he desired. Jesus set the perfect example of prayer when he said not my will but yours be done. If we put that one sentence on every prayer we prayed we would see that God’s faithfulness isn’t about answering prayers to make our lives upon earth easier or better and that prayer should be about voicing our hearts to God but should also be a willingness to accept his will over our desires and trusting that he will then carry us through. His faithfulness is about giving us mercy for disobeying his commands and sending his son to provide a sacrifice of grace and if we accept his gift he has promised and eternity of peace alongside him and all the other believers in heaven. Do not judge God’s faithfulness on circumstances in this life, his faithfulness reaches far beyond this world and into the lives of every believer regardless of how our prayers are answered here on earth. His faithfulness isn’t judged by whether Sydney survived that 2nd accident his faithfulness made it possible for her to live beyond this life. His faithfulness provides the only hope a grieving parent has..that this world is not the end, but rather the journey to it. His faithfulness provides the path back to the garden where we may rest for eternity in perfect peace and love. As I wake to face each day living a life I am not strong enough to live. I survive it because I know this is temporary and when I’ve made it to the end of my journey I will not only see my sweet girl again but he has promised that we will never be separated again. Now that should be what we think of when we think about, ponder, or desire answers to explain God’s faithfulness just as with every prayer we should end it with not my will but yours be done!
Today I celebrate the resurrection of Jesus with a humbled thankful heart. I understand the victory like never before because I am already reaping the benefits of his sacrifice and victorious win over death. Because he LIVES my baby is not only alive but she is with The Prince of Peace, her redeemer, her bridegroom, The Son of God and she has received her crown. She is in a perfect place where time doesn’t exist, for her..the blink of her eye will be a lifetime for me. This is the reason I continue each day..this gift this promise this victory will also be mine one day and I will be reunited with my girl and will live eternity with her and God. I may not have the a window into heaven like I asked for but God blessed me with the gift to create pictures that seem as if I do❤️
I used to think that bad things didn’t happen to good people..when I look back now I can see I felt that way because I was only processing the part of the bible I wanted to..When I thought about Daniel and the lions den I thought about his victory and survival. I paid attention to the beginning and the end but not the middle. I see now that God unveiled his faithfulness to others at the end but in the middle is where God is personally at work and proves his faithfulness to you. The middle is where we experience God in ways that allow us to see things differently and grow closer to him. The middle is where without God you can’t survive..The middle doesn’t feel good and it isn’t comfortable..the middle is where the potter’s pottery is spinning and the shape is changing and if you continue to stay in the potters hands the middle is where that crazy piece of clay that looks messy and disfigured is spun into something beautiful. Without the middle you’re just a piece of clay but after going through the middle you look different to the world. That’s when they can see God’s work within you. If your in the middle trust and know that the middle is where you get to meet God personally🙏🏻
This week last year was one of my hardest weeks, and this year seems to be no different. I am not a person who enjoys watching torture movies or likes to hear of anyone suffering from someone else inflicting pain on them even if it is only for a moment. So when I think of this week and all that Jesus would have to endure it overwhelms me. I don’t know if it’s because honestly I’m 100 percent positive I would not have been capable of doing the same for him or because I have stood face to face with the reality that his suffering and death, saved not only me but my daughter. He did for her something that no matter how much I loved her I couldn’t do for her. I relate to some of his last moments but will never truly be able to comprehend his agony and anguish. He prayed to his father asking if there is any way for this hour to pass from him to please let it pass, but for God’s will to be done. The answer to his prayer was obviously no. I’m not sure many know the night of the accident as I drove off to look for her. Stacy fell to his knees on our front lawn and Prayed to God begging him to please let her be okay..basically we were saying if there is anyway this hour could pass for us please let it..Our answer was also no..from that moment on our life would never be the same because I KNEW every single day no matter how much I prayed, or how much I glorified God my answer was still going to be no and I would have to continue to live everyday broken fighting hard for those pieces to be enough for Cameron. The only hope we have being the promises God gave us..a promise that even though it won’t be easy it would be worth it. I have days I can’t breath, I can’t think about anything else, and I beg God to do something to ease this burden..It is such a devastating loss that at times I find myself listening to Satan’s lies that God has left us and that if he loved us he wouldn’t have taken her but the other day I was blessed to see things a different way. I said God I know you are probably the only one who truly knows the pain inside of me, you know my heart, and you know how special she was..as I’m holding my small pebble believing he has left me alone to carry this burden..He is actually holding up the mountain that is about to crush me..saying I need you to move it is not safe for you here..They key to living without Sydney is to continue to focus on living for God believing in not just John 3:16 but in every single word written in the bible. It is my protection against my flesh my mind my suffering and Satan’s lies. God needs me to keep moving, to keep walking towards him in order to survive my life without my baby girl. Please continue to pray for me and my family as we enter another Holiday without her filling our house with laughter, and craziness. Missing her is so exhausting.