1..2..3..4..and now we have arrived at the 5th year. It’s seems unreal I don’t know where the last 5 yrs went. That of course doesn’t mean that I didn’t feel the emptiness and heartache every single day of those 5 yrs. it just means my mind and heart haven’t, can’t, won’t allow me to grasp the reality of 5 yrs because I know it’s impossible for me to have survived it. I wish I could share what I’ve learned the last 5 years but it is impossible to know without going through it and one of the many things that hasn’t changed since that day is that I still wouldn’t wish this suffering on anyone..literally no one. The sad part is that I’m positive without knowing this kind of pain and suffering I would not know God’s grace, and mercy the way that I do. I would not appreciate the sacrifice of Jesus and the gift of life after death without it being my only hope to see her again and the one thing I could not do for my child. It can only come through him. It’s easy to read the scriptures and say you believe it but when it’s your life and you face everyday with your child not here, no longer breathing, smiling, or laughing it is no longer something you read and say yes I believe it, instead it becomes a part of your heart beat and a part of your breathing. It’s the only hope of righting the wrong you feel. A gift of mercy and grace we don’t deserve and couldn’t earn. Even though it’s not really that we have been wronged because we are entitled to and deserve nothing more than death and permanent separation but we were made in the image of God and so we will never be okay being separated from those we love just as God was not okay being separated from us. Without facing the weakness I’ve experienced through loosing Sydney I would never have experienced the strength and power of the Holy Spirit carrying me through what I was incapable of surviving. When Sydney was here and I told her I wouldn’t make it if anything ever happened to her. I meant it, Just like those who haven’t lost a child look at me and say I couldn’t do that..they mean it but I’m not stronger than you or who I was when I said I couldn’t make it, but my God is. Being weak and broken allowed me to not only see that God could use me regardless but that he desired and continues to invited me to join him. The love I feel knowing God still choose me and wanted me in the shape I am in..again something I would have never experienced without being on this journey. I have heard many say that they would not take their child out of heaven or they wouldn’t want to have to give up the relationship they have with God now. Here is the moment many who think my walk is so strong will no doubt see my flesh because I’m one selfish person..I would without hesitation snatch Sydney back from heaven without even thinking and if she complained I would probably get my feelings hurt that she would rather be there then with me and I’m positive I would tell her she needed to quit complaining. I would be completely okay with going back to just knowing God through reading the Bible. I would NOT choose to endure this suffering to know God the way I do..but I am in awe and thankful that God’s mercy covers me and every bit of my flesh and despite me wanting him to have allowed something different or me not wanting to learn all this the hard way..He still allowed me to experience him in ways I never could have, regardless of my flesh. He didn’t hold back blessings or my experiences because of my unwillingness to agree with him because even though my heart wouldn’t choose ANY of this I still trust him and believe in his Sovereignty and have surrendered to and follow him and his word. I am the child to an amazing father whose love is beyond this world’s comprehension16 yrs 9 months and 24 days was not near enough but I’ll cherish the memories while I’m waiting for the day I’m reunited!
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.
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.
God tells us to trust him. It is easy to trust him when we have everything and we are being blessed but the true test of trust is when you trust him even when you aren’t getting what you want. When you know what you want from him…you can’t have but you still trust that he holds the only answers..even though they aren’t the ones you want. My pain will never go away I suffer each and everyday wanting to hear her, hold her, and see her. I don’t know how I make it through each day. The pain is literally exhausting. I’m tired and I want to quit hurting to just give up but each day continues to come and I have no choice but to continue. I’m pulled between loving Cameron and wanting the best for him but missing and longing to see my baby girl. As bad as I hurt I still trust that she is in the hands of The Lord waiting for the day her family joins her next to Jesus!