Friday, October 23, 2020

The Eighth Year

Eight years ago I paced alone throughout a house wondering where my daughters were. An inquisitive 3-year old boy as my shadow. I remember feeling so utterly alone. 

I called their phones.

I sent texts.

I posted on Facebook.

I called my sister.

I called the police.

I called my mom.

I drove to the church.

I called the police again.

I walked in circles.

I panicked.

I prayed.

I answered the door.

And my world went dark.

I broke down.

I broke apart.

I broke empty.

I broke completely.

I broke alone.

Then I lifted my head and let God in.

There has been countess blessings and so much incredible joy from sweet friends and absolute strangers! So much goodness! My heart swells just thinking of it all! The Avery House in Haiti. The 19 Days. The Avery Step You Take 5K. To this day I still meet people who say, "wait - are you Avery's mom?" Her story and her love for Christ has reached the hearts of people from all over. How could this be possible except for such a good, good God? 

And I have experienced the deepest cuts of betrayal. Endured active deceit, the abuse of alcohol, adultery's humiliating sting. I live now with my parents, struggle financially after achieving debt-free status, and go to sleep wondering why grieving a child wasn't enough for me.

Yet every morning, through the grace of God, I rise to a world filled with beauty beyond words. Avery's memory and God's Word tells me to love. Love deep. And I will continue to do just that. To the stranger, to the neighbor, to the friend, to the lonely, to the unknown. I will continue to do my part to throw good into the world, to make others laugh, to feel included, to feel heard, to come to recognize they are not alone but that God is with them if you just let Him in - because I do not know what pit they're clawing their way out of. This world is filled with far too many hard things. 

If I have learned anything from Avery's death it's this:

(1) God is good. Always.

(2) You have a finite amount of time on this earth. Find out who you are supposed to be - and be brave enough to own it.

(3) Kindness matters and has its place in all things. Especially the ugly and difficult.

These past eight years have produced the greatest growth and the most amount of fruit in me. There have been times when I wanted to tap out, call uncle, roll over and go to sleep and never wake up. I look back and realize I am so far from where I was the day before Avery died and that movement in me was absolutely needed. Every second of my suffering God has taken and produced something wonderful for His Kingdom. I will praise Him even when I can barely catch my breath. I will praise Him even when I feel shattered and destroyed. Satan will not have me because I belong to God and God alone.

Eight years without. Yet every single day God is showing me how good He is to me. Sending me support, encouragement, friendship through the incredible people he placed in my life and brought just when I needed it most. Eight years and I have never been alone.

The One in which I take my Father for his Covid Vaccine

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