I am completely in awe of how over the past year our Heavenly Father has brought so much good out of something so ugly. What follows is from a Facebook post my 19 year old son Peter wrote on August 12, 2014. He was looking back on the year since his big brother’s death. He has gained a new perspective on life and tragedy over these twelve months.
Peter’s is only one of many such stories – God has used The Accident to change lives, bring home many who were lost, and cause addicts to realize they could break free from their addiction. Families have been reunited. Parents say, “I love you” to their kids more. Young and old who thought they could never handle such a thing have become stronger through their pain at losing their friends. I praise Him for the changes I see in my son and in others.
On this, the anniversary of my brother’s death in the Texas tragedy, I share how his death brought me renewed life.
In the months leading up to his death, I was battling severe depression and anxiety among other things. I was, to be a frank, in a very bad, scary place. His death was like a shock jolting me awake from a horrible nightmare. Waking up to my mother’s cries gave a sudden realization of the frailty of life. In the week that followed, my self-image went from worthless, broken, and annoying to loved, appreciated, and strong under the overflowing love from family and friends.
A few weeks later I was invited to join to MSU cheer squad. With the frailty and uncertainty of life fresh on my mind I decided to follow my dreams like my brother Andrew had. Cheer has instilled a confidence and diligence I had lacked for years.
Despite the great sorrow of his death, through it I gained the courage, the love, and the peace that enabled me to be who I am and where I am today. I would give the world to have my brother back, but the life and love beautifully displayed through his death have created for me a good world from a horrible one.
I love you Andrew. Thanks for everything. I’ll see you soon.
This is scripture being lived out before my eyes!
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Praise be the God and Father who is over all, and in all, and through all. Amen.