But then you wake up.
And reality sucks because the ache that you had finally managed to control comes roaring painfully alive when you wake from the dream. And you’re left afresh with the pain of your child’s absence once again.
This is what Sunday morning for me ended up like. In a deep sleep, I was ecstatic, taking Matt around to friends and family, showing him off, telling them, “Look! He’s back! Matt’s alive!” But in the space of a few seconds, from sleep to awake, he was gone. And the reality that my son died hit my waking consciousness like a bucket of ice water.
I rose with a heavy heart and knew it was going to be one of “those” days, those days where I had to fight harder to find joy, to give thanks, and to dig deeper to grab hold of God’s truth. It was one of the “those” days where looking at pictures doesn’t bring comfort, but instead, a disbelief that he is gone. You’d think after almost five years, there would no longer be any disbelief.
But there is. Still.
We got ready and drove to our “home away from home” church, one we visit a few times a year when we’re away. It’s a beautiful community of believers, and I was looking forward to worshiping with them. We arrived and were informed that the schedule of service was a bit different due to the holiday weekend. The message would be condensed as they had a special guest. Their guest was a gentleman by the name of T.K. Hilton who has been an opening musician for Loretta Lynn.
Music has been instrumental in this grief journey for me, providing much comfort and resonating with truth. Sunday morning was no different. What a treat it was to listen to T.K. Though I’m not a country music fan, I am a fan of hymns. Hymns are saturated with the truth of God’s word. It was exactly what I needed to hear. I smiled as T.K. began to play the first few notes of the familiar hymn “I’ll Fly Away.”
This song, for whatever reason, gives me joy and hope. I had woken with the harsh reminder that my son had died, but the lyrics to “I’ll Fly Away” reminded me of the truth, the truth that Matt is alive and all is good where he is at. I don’t ever have to worry about his safety or fear for his future. He is home.
T.K. also sang and played “God on the Mountain,” another favorite of mine. Again, a perfect reminder of God’s promises, that “when things go wrong, He’ll make them right” and “the God of the day is still God in the night.” Such comfort for my heart, these words.
What a blessing it was to worship on Sunday, for it also reminded me that God is in control. He is in the details. I don’t have to worry about “those” days. I don’t have to fret about the outcome of the GoFundMe campaign or fear the 29th. I can sleep without anxiety because I know that someday, I will wake with eternal joy. God is bigger than our dreams and more fulfilling than anything we can imagine. I am thankful that though my Sunday began as one of “those” days, God is one of “those” Gods: Able, Only, and Always.
**A tremendous THANK YOU to all who have donated toward Matt's five year remembrance GoFundMe campaign. There are just over three weeks left to reach our goal, and you have already hit the halfway mark! Thanks to you, hundreds of campers will hear the good news of Jesus Christ and experience some awesome Knockerball fun while at Trout Lake Camps. Please consider giving in memory of Matt if you haven't already. **