So here’s the thing.
My fourteen-year-old friend, Josh, is gone. And sometimes it feels like nothing else really matters except that there’s a giant hole in the world where he just isn’t anymore.
For a while, I didn’t feel like I could post anything about me or anybody else living life, because I felt like Josh had been robbed of sixty or so more years that you and I get to have, but that he doesn’t.
It feels as though with each social media post we publish, we flaunt the breaths we are taking for granted, the beats of our hearts that we don’t even stop to think about, the countless miracles occurring in our bodies that we don’t deserve, that are happening anyway.
I felt, and sometimes still feel numb.
Because I spent three days at the Children’s Hospital on Sunset with a family going through a senseless tragedy and I was surrounded by other families going through immeasurable pain as well and what do you do, but sit? What do you do, but push your tears away, because there are enough crying people in that hospital with broken babies and wounded children? What do you do, but find your inner autopilot? Try to remember to eat, try to remember to breathe, try to anticipate needs, knowing there’s nothing you can do to fix this kind of broken.
I felt like a zombie.
Because I didn’t know what to tell Josh’s older sister as she hugged crying person after crying person and smiled at baby cousins and her brother’s little fourteen-year-old friends. Because my brother is alive and if he wasn’t, I’d fall to pieces, and even the thought of losing him is too painful to bear.
So, numb it is.
I’ve been wrestling with my own grief because Josh’s family has this incredible faith in our Lord. And they want to celebrate his life, rather than mourn. They want to rejoice, rather than weep. And I’ve just been angry. And afraid.
Angry at the robbery of life. Angry at the injustice of it all. Angry that so many people throw their lives away and still physically live, while Josh had all of this potential, but no choice in the matter. Afraid of the God that created Josh’s life and took it away. Knowing I should trust, knowing I should be like Job and I should hang on to Jesus and praise the Lord. But I am weak. And I asked the question no person should ask in times like this–
And I started to question whether Josh’s God would let me down when it comes to my future too. I’m over here worrying about my life’s calling and being passionate about my career path and making enough money to support myself when there’s a kid lying in a hospital bed who will never have to think about any of that now. So if in a day, Josh can just not have a future, does God really care about mine? Can I even trust God with my dreams or am I expendable?
You’re probably thinking, “You faithless, heathen!”
You’re sort of right–sometimes it feels like my faith is all out and I’m running on empty.
But I’m taking it one day at a time–one moment at a time.
It helps that I’ve realized that Josh didn’t get gypped out of life–we got gypped out of his life, but he gets to hang out with God in heaven–which is infinitely better than dealing with a heart condition in a sinful world. So, I’m happy for you, bro. But devastated for us. All I can say right now is that I hope you read my balloon, man–I chose blue just for you.
It helps that I went to Teen Camp this week and was forced to sing, “Good Good Father” even when the words didn’t make any sense to me and I cried–not because I felt them to be true, but because it hurt so badly that for once they didn’t seem true at all. It helps to say the words when you mean them least. It helps that God blesses our mustard seeds of faith.
It helps that I was reminded that four years ago, I made a decision to follow Jesus in sickness and in health, through trials and tribulations, through greatest pain and loss, and through deepest joy and gladness. So here I am. I am living. I am breathing with lungs undeserved and heart undeserved and brain undeserved, typing with fingers undeserved.
And I know this is pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but I’ve decided to write everyday.
Because God created me to write. And until he calls me home and I get to hang with Josh again, I will write. It’s taking the mustard seed of faith I have to share this with you, and I apologize if you needed more encouragement than this post brought you today. I’ll probably share something more faithful tomorrow so check back, but that’s all for now, folks.
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
Shout out to Olivia Gaines for inspiring me to just write. You can check out her stuff at https://medium.com/@livitupproject 🙂