Monday, November 18, 2013

Tragedy and Relief

“God’s way is perfect.”  Psalm 18:30a  NLT

This is by far my favorite verse in the Bible.  I go to it in my mind often as a reminder of God’s perfect plan for my life even when it doesn’t look that way.

I got the call around 11 a.m. on a Thursday morning from our son’s roommate, Nate.  I’ll never forget it.  I immediately told the kids I had to go see David.  They thought he was at the hospital again.  Once I got in the car, I called Nate back to see if David was alive or not.  He wasn’t clear on that and I needed to know before I got there.  It was with difficulty that Nate confirmed our son’s passing.  I thought this day would come sooner rather than later, but the timing was still a surprise. David had just graduated from a 100 day treatment program and moved into his apartment two days earlier.  I tried calling my husband and he was unavailable and I left him a quick message to call me back. 

Once I got to the apartment, I was met by a couple of David’s friends, a few police officers, and the medical examiner.  I was praying all the way there for me to be Jesus to everyone and for God to sustain me through this day and the many more to come.  The medical examiner thought I was in shock, which I’m sure I was a little, because I was so calm.  I knew better though.  Only God could have kept me that calm.

In the days following this tragedy, there was overwhelming relief that came flooding in.  I no longer was concerned about whether David would accidently hurt or even kill someone by getting behind the wheel while under the influence of some drug.  I no longer was concerned about whether he was going to find himself homeless again.   I no longer was hoping that the judge would give him prison time because that is where I believed he was the safest.   I no longer got those constant calls of crisis.

This tragedy did something else too.  Through David’s death, others were and are learning about the Lord and coming to a personal faith relationship with Jesus.  Those are stories for another day though.

Finally, in God’s so gracious way, my husband and I got many confirmations of how even though David’s mental illness was rearing its ugly head in some pretty ungodly ways, he never stopped seeking God in His life and tried being Jesus to the world. Those were comforting words when your child passes away as a result of an illness that sometimes displays some pretty bad stuff.  This was true more so with David because he was so ill that he often lacked insight to even know and believe that he needed help.  I will never know exactly why David was taken at the age of 28, but I don’t really need to know.  I just need to trust in God’s perfect plan.

Prayer:  Lord, Bring to mind your words whenever I’m not trusting in you.  Help me to see the bigger picture and give you the glory.


  1. What an amazing post. You have come face to face with the fear of many special needs parents: death itself. And yet, there is a theme of victory through all the grief and tragedy. What power Christ's death and resurrection have for the Christian, for you, for your son! Thank you for sharing this very powerful testimony, and may God continue to give you all the wisdom and strength needed in the days ahead.

    "For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ". (I Cor 15: 56, 57)

    1. Thank you so much Bonnie, especially for the scripture reference you put at the bottom.
      For His Glory,

  2. The fact that you were calm as you walked into David's apartment is definitely God at work. I have a son the same age of David, and I can't imagine losing him. David was here for a reason, in his short life, and sounds like you are on the right track to carry forward, as God intended. Blessings.

  3. Thank you Jill for your encouraging words.