two forward, one back

He stood there looking at me with shock and bewilderment.  The blood had drained from his face and I could see the wheels of his mind churning as he was trying to decide how to tell me.  Colton, had just discovered that he had several messages in his Facebook account, that had been sent to him by the UCLA Medical Center the night Grant was fighting for his life.  In fact, we would discover later, that they had sent messages to me, and Grant’s sisters as well.  They had been desperately trying to get ahold of us so we could be by Grant’s side…and we could have been there, had we gotten the messages.

Apparently, Facebook has a spam folder in the message section of all Facebook accounts.  And for whatever reason, Facebook deemed all of these messages from the UCLA Medical Center, as spam.  So none of us were ever notified that we had received any of these messages.  They were still just sitting there waiting to be read.

Two steps forward, one step back. This journey of grieving with hope, fighting for joy, trusting God’s goodness. I get to a place where I feel like I am doing better, my faith is strong, I can see peace and joy in the distance, and then something happens and I take a step backwards. It was hard enough finding out that Grant’s phone was still working after his accident, and the police never called to tell us what had happened.  But now this! The hospital, desperately trying to make contact, only to have all of us completely unaware that Grant was fighting for his life, dying all alone, while the rest of us went about our normal lives.

Why, Lord, why?  Why did Grant have to die alone? We could have been there. We could have held him, prayed with him, lay with him.  We could have kissed him and said good bye.  Why? The relentless why, why, why’s bubbling back to the surface! They persist and try to dominate my days, my mind. Why did it have to be this way?

I know that there are countless things I will never know this side of eternity. And for most of my life I have been comfortable with the mysteries of God.  But this present pain lures me to look for explanations. Sorrow is desperate and seeks to convince that answers will bring comfort and peace. But I know in my heart and soul explanation won’t remove any pain.  And even if God were to answer all of my questions, those answers would only lead to more questions.  No, sorrow is not relieved by answers. It is relieved by the presence and nearness of God.

God’s nearness and presence in my life will give me rest, it is for my good, it is a refuge, and it will prevent me from being permanently shaken, brokenhearted, and crushed in spirit.

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Psalm 73:28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;I have made the Lord God my refuge

Psalm 16:8 I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Two steps forward, one step back…this grief walk with God.  But given the choice, I would rather walk in God’s presence with Him near, with unanswered questions, than walk without Him, with all of the answers.

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4 Responses to two forward, one back

  1. Kim McInturff says:

    Oh Alisa. That just brings me to tears once again, just to imagine what that pain must feel like for you as a mom. I felt a knot in my stomach as I read it and still feel it just thinking about how that must have hit you. I’m so sorry and sad. Your thoughts, though, that sorrow is not relieved by answers, but by the nearness and presence of God are so profound! It is truly remarkable to watch the unfolding revelation that God is showing you every day as you journal. Thank you for inviting us into your journey. As painful as it is, the richness of your words are so illuminating. I have a feeling that Grant was praying for all of you as Jesus was right there with and in him comforting and supplying him with grace and peace. I have no doubt that he knew that every one of you would be there in a second, if you could, to love on him. None of us can be there for our loved ones 24/7, but Jesus is always there filling in the gaps and loving on our kids better that we ever can. May His mercy and grace cover you and your family as you trust Him with this disappointment. I know He understands because He is the only one who walks in your shoes every day and is grieving along with you. xoxoxo

  2. Jona says:

    Alisa, I too am crying again as I read this. I tried putting myself in Grant’s shoes, laying there in that frantic time at the hospital. As much as I would have desperately wanted my family there I know I would not be all alone. Our God, who is so near to you, was with Grant that night. Our God was holding him, speaking to him, comforting him, reassuring him and carrying him. I KNOW that Grant felt the mighty strength and comfort of his Creator right there with him and he wasn’t alone, not for one breath.

    I wish you could have been there with him. You were there pushing him out into this world, marveling and rejoicing as he took his first breath, and I know you would have wanted to hold him and kiss him as he left you for his eternal home.
    Grant’s death has left me, and many of us I’m sure, with so many questions and emotions and I want to thank you for showing us how you are walking through this dark bumpy valley because you are helping me find peace and comfort in our Savior even in the midst of all my own unanswered questions. Still praying for you all my friend.

    • Alisa says:

      Awww, Jona, this made me cry. But in good way…a comforting way. Thank you for taking the time to write me. But even more, thank you for walking this road with us. There really are no words to express our gratefulness. Hugs ❤

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