I lost a nephew 5 years ago.
I have been to my three of four of my Grandparent's funerals and all four of Brendan's.
I have been to a funeral where a young desperate man -- took his life.
I have walked into a room where a child's casket was there and unfortunately that has happened a few times.
I have witnessed several friends say good bye to her dads -- and watching an even closer pal say good bye to her Grandmother was hard.
I have see a mother grieve her son.
I have watched several mom's grieve and long to hold their child.
I have seen some 'senseless' deaths and I have seen older ones finally be set free of their pain.
Anyway you frame it -- it means a loss.
How could you cope?
How would you be able to move forward?
IN my mind, the only way to be able to move forward is because I believe in heaven.
I don't think it gets 'easier'....it just gets 'different'.
And I would never say I can 'understand' another's pain. There is no level on pain....one does not hurt more than another because in that moment ...THEIR PAIN is GREAT and THEIR pain can only be comforted by HIM.
But our human flesh wants to plead and ask ...WHY....
And our human flesh wants answers...
And our human flesh hurts and wants to lash out..
But, as we stop and SEEK our Father, our spirit knows -- she is in a better place. But actually stating that to her husband right now ...I am sure he would say, "hell, no.....a better place for her would be here with us and her children".
He is hurting.
God loves him right where he is at.
It is hard.
Trace went to heaven on Monday.
I was home in my bed when our mutual pal called me.
God knew I needed to get the call and have the chance to mourn and cry by myself. I was at home. I awoke not feeling right and then I tweeked my back and knew that a day of rest on my back is what was needed. Little did I know. God knew. HE is so sweet.
I fell apart. I had been WANTING a different outcome on this. I had been begging God.
I last spoke to Trace a week prior. I usually text her, but only get a response every few days and the responses are random. For some reason...cause God knew my silly heart would be blessed, I called her and she answered the phone. I talked to her and at the end of 30 seconds of me speaking to her.... I heard "ya" and "Ok" and "love you too".
I am unsure if she really knew it was me.
It did not matter - I got to hear her.
You see, on that day I was still believing and HOPING for a DIRECT miracle from God. I knew it would be a tall order...
Now knowing how fast her frail body was shutting down - those may of been the only words she said that day.
I saw her in September. I flew home to see her and I got to spend a good portion of a day with her.
I found out her cancer had returned early in March. Our emailing and texting started up back again this past Spring.
For several months now ....prayers for her have been daily, hourly..... When the problems with her lungs began in August, you could tell that her body seemed to be shutting down. She rallied and took chemo and then radiation to stop the growth in the brain. But after some grueling treatments, the cancer had continued to spread. Two weeks ago, they decided to stop all treatment and call in Hospice. Within almost 12 days...she was gone.
For the past 3 months, I have vacillated back and forth - 'will you heal her Lord, will you? '...Shall I proclaim healing, will people think I am crazy?
I have debated with God. Asked God. Pleaded with God. Cried with God. Searched God. ....
But mostly, I have trusted God. I don't have to understand it - just believe HIM. I do.
I know she is in heaven.
I am standing on the prophetic vision that was given to me about her kids and her husband.....that they will be OK. That Trace's life is like a beautiful tree , and it is deeply rooted and it will cause many to know about God through her children and her husband.
Right now her husband seems pretty angry -- but I really don't know HOW he feels - I am not him. But God knows.
Her children are precious. I have asked God, "what can I do?". Pray. Remember them and I am asking God to show me some special gifts that I can send them in time. I promised myself and God that I would not forget about them. They are only 14, 12, and 7 years of age.
I found something this eve as I reread Trace's blog post on her Care Bridge site....it said:
It seems like one thing keeps happening after another, but I keep telling myself that we serve a big God, that He's still in control, and He's on my side and solving my problems. (These definitely fall into the category of Problems That Are Out Of My Control!) I know that He can heal one tumor or 10, small ones or large, one ailment or many. In every situation, my part is to trust, so that's what I'm doing. I'm in good spirits, I have decent energy and good pain management, and I'm looking into a good Mime program...there's several in the area! ; )
So have a good day, and thank you for adding your prayer and thoughts and positive energy to mine!
In His Care,
Trace is in HIS care this eve.
Life is VERY short and precious. And as my pal, Jeaunetta reminded me, her ETERNAL home has been accomplished. I am so happy for her, as these last weeks took their toll.
Trace's words spoke volumes to me....When she and I rekindled our friendship again this past summer, we talked back and forth and emailed about wanting enough time ...enough time to be ready to head home to heaven. I believe HE gave her what she asked for.
But then again - I have NO idea -- but God does.
I have often wondered ...would I want to know when my time was up? Would I live differently? I pray that I live EACH day as it was my last, I know that I know - I will live differently tomorrow and appreciate what HE has for me. And I know, that I will see her again in heaven. And I know she is finally in NO pain and whole.
We are in HIS care. It is not easy. Her family is suffering and I find that God still gives me comfort. So therefore, I KNOW HE gives them even MORe comfort.
This isn't about me....and yet, God is so sweet and several of HIS servants have texted or send me condolence messages.....and I was just a high school chum.
God is so SWEET. I always say "God wins" ...but here is a new catch phrase--"God is so sweet"!!
I am a witness to the glories HE just wants to pour out or bestow on us. It is truly amazing.
I will end with this....
Trace, hey...I so loved our 'last' day together in Watertown. I loved the funny faces and I loved hearing your heart. You were indeed a special pal at WHS and I love how you even noted it in our yearbook ....that we were not 'needy' friends nor were we like the others -- we could be friends no matter what. That was you - you made friends with EVERYONE. Your smile was contagious and you were a very loyal pal.
I am so sorry you won't be here to watch these precious kids grow, but a part of you is in each one of them. And I do believe that when those kids finally get to see you -- you will all sit around God's 'jumbotron TV monitor and you will watch the years you missed". As I believe you have NO concept of time and are just sitting at HIS feet right now. I won't say RIP....as you are not resting - you are with GOD and I believe we have NO clue as to HOW happy you really are. Until the dust settles...I will pray that Ethan survives this trauma and I will hold your kids up in prayer. I believe each one of them are going to do mighty and wonderful tasks for you Lord and that vision of the Tree - will come into fruition!
God I pray I will see that. Trace, you are missed and I am still sad -- I cried again today when I read you obituary. I did not realize we were only a month apart - I am Feb. 23 and you are the 24th of January -- that was my ORIGINAL due date with my first kid - now she is 23~ Trace, I love how you wrote on the back of my 10th grade class photo - it is posted above. You noted that you hoped BP and I work out -- we did ...we are still working at it though...You noted that you hoped we would stay friends until we were old and grey. Guess what - we are 'old' in some people's eyes but I don't think we had enough time with you!! So, as I get a little older -- you will always be YOUNG at heart!! And the gray..... I do have a lot of gray, and I bet all of yours has been replaced with a glorified head of beautiful hair ! Still seems UNREAL and it seems a little unfair -- but I am trusting God. HE sees the entire picture, I can only see a piece.
In HIS time, hearts will change and hearts will mend.....and Trace will be in heaven when I get there. Amen.