In the days leading up to our trip to Canyon, I became more and more anxious and upset. I was afraid that seeing the show without Andrew would be too hard and that I would forget what he looked like on that same stage. I was anxious and afraid and sad and angry. That morning, I was in my chair in the corner of my room sobbing to point of vomiting.
I posted on FB that I needed prayer. I shared with the group While We’re Waiting how upset I was about going to see the show my son had loved being a part of the past two summers. It was not going to be easy watching the show with out Andrew on stage. The folks in While We’re Waiting have all lost children and they understood my thoughts and feelings. They lifted me up in prayer. They wrote encouraging comments on my post.
I shared some of what was going on in my Facebook page as well. Friends showed me love and compassion.They, too, lifted me up in prayer.
I made it through the day and actually enjoyed the evening. Yes, there were tears. But there was joy as well. I learned new stories about my son and saw that his friends were healing and living with joy! We laughed with guys and gals who knew Andrew well and got to see old friends. The evening was healing for me! Praise God!
The day after the show, I spent time reflecting on the previous week. What had I done right? What had I done wrong? What would I hope to do differently in the future?
I spent some time this afternoon thinking about the past few days. No condemnation. I know I did the best I could. Just hope to do better next time.
Here are some of my reflections:
1) I got upset and anxious about the trip to Canyon because I EXPECTED it be hard. I was worried about things that might happen, but had not yet happened.
2) I did not pray or practice Philippians 4. I was anxious. I did not go to God. I did not think about things that are true and right and noble and lovely and admirable, etc. I was not choosing to be content in my circumstances. I let my mind go to ugly places.
3) I did ask others to pray, especially once I was in an emotional state were I was not able to help myself. I was transparent and honest about my feelings and fears.
4) I did the hard thing anyway. After my friends had lifted me up and loved me well, I was able to go forth with joy.
5) I would have missed a wonderful tribute to our son and his friends had I not gone. Plus I got to hear wonderful new stories about Andrew and and his goofy kindness. And I got to meet more of his friends.
6) Rather than forget the image of his huge smile the last time I saw him dancing, I was reminded of dozens more memories!
7) I have wonderful friends, and I have an amazing husband who loves me well, even in my insecurities and craziness.
Be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only.
Ask for prayer before I am sobbing and vomiting.
God often has good things for us on the other side of hard stuff.
I know I will have hard times again. Grief sometimes hits me in the gut when I am not expecting it. I will have times when Andrew’s absence will clearly be evident – weddings, holidays, graduations and other family events.
I know, also, that Andrew is in the Presence of Christ. I will see him again. He had a great life and brought joy to many. I know that we will continue to heal while cherishing our memories and fun stories of Andrew.
In the future, I hope I do not allow myself to get so upset about upcoming events. I have recently spent time thinking about how to handle the anniversary date. I know there will be tears and sorrow. We have the headstone to finalize and seeing it in place will be both good and hard. I have chosen not to attend some events and to participate in others. I need to learn what I can handle and what I should avoid. I want God’s help and direction in making those decisions.
To the 12 Second Warriors:
As the Anniversary of the accident approaches, we may begin to experience anxiety and fear. As we remember our last moments with those we lost, we may feel the intensity of grief all over again. I pray for you all, that you will find comfort in the arms of Jesus. He loves you. And I pray that some of my blog posts will be a blessing to you. Know that I care about each of you.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard you hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — thing about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.