Today is William’s birthday. Today he would have been 18 years old. 18 years! A milestone.
The would, should and could have’s are great this year.
It has been a particularly difficult year for us dealing with the ups and downs of adoption, the heart ache of family illness and tragedy of much loss. This year, I have struggled in the waves the Lord has set me upon as He refines me, loves me and rescues me over and over and over again.
I have my Peter moments when I am all faith and float to a leisurely walk brimming the water as I shuffle my feet in the tides. And then I am human. . .I am frail; and when the connection to my saviors eyes is broken. . .I not only sink. . .I nearly drown.
Tomorrow we celebrate William’s graduation from this life into the next.
We will grieve the loss of our precious son. And we will start our day begging the Lord Jesus to keep us above the tidal wave. Eighteen years is but a second for a bereaved parent. He is thought of daily. He is missed. Our oldest son misses his little brother. The constant void he faces throughout life is not unnoticed by us. William’s siblings younger than him that never met him talk as though they know him. “Let’s make a birthday cake, mom!” They can’t wait to meet him in Heaven.
HEAVEN. . .is a very real place for our children. We talk a lot about what it will be like, what the Bible tells us about it. . .we talk about the people we will see again or meet for the very first time. Our children talk about Heaven as though it is their Home, their birthplace they once knew. They are not scared to go there. They long to see Jesus. And I am jealous at times of their strong faith and love for Christ.
It is by the great grace of God that my children love their savior and long to serve him. In my many years of parenting and failings. . .God has held them tight. We pray nightly that the Lord will hold their hearts and keep them close. And He answers.
Was it really well with my soul when I sat grave side and sang the words through tears?
The big question this year. . .just where is my “It is Well with my soul.” We sang this at William’s funeral. Was it really well with my soul that I watched my little boy suffocate and fall limp in my arms? Was it really well with my soul that we had to remove him from life support? Was it really well with my soul that we had to choose a casket instead of a crib? Was it really well with my soul when I sat grave side and sang the words through tears?
I came across “It is Well” by Bethel music this week. And it became very clear that the little meaningless speed bumps I was enduring throughout the day were NOT well with my soul. And I had to examine why losing my son seemed well with my soul, but my daily tragedies were not. What was the difference?
The difference is that I sang “It is Well” at the funeral. I sang it in the shower. I sang it in the car. I hummed it at night as I cried to sleep. I sang it as a prayer to God to help me believe it. Our tragedies become God’s triumph when we hand it to Him and beg for trust, faith in our unbelief, and the peace that passes ALL understanding that leads us to actually ride the waves to our “it is Well” and mean it.
To sing those words and actually thank the Lord for a life given and taken is only of God. I am not a strong woman. I am not a supernatural human being. I am a broken sinner that was saved and rescued by Jesus’ blood; and when I am drowning in the waves. . .He reaches down and pulls me to safety. He looks me in the eyes and says. . .It IS well. . .It IS good. . .It IS my will and it is my perfect plan for you.
Then and ONLY then can I say, “It is Well” for me.
Take a moment and listen to this. . .it is repetitive. . .pray to God to make your tragedies well with your soul so that God receives every bit of Glory he deserves. Fall at the feet of Jesus and sing this out loud, in your head. . .hum the tune.
“Through it all, through it all. . .my eyes are on you. . .and it is well. . .with me. . .”
Happy Birthday sweet William. . .I see your eyes. . .I smell your curly red hair. . .I hear your sweet soft voice. . .