On Thursday my friend Debbie Holloway texted me to say her daughter Tatum had just been killed by a hit and run driver in Miami.
I could hardly breathe.
There’s no place in my brain to begin to understand how the death of a child sends your soul into Code Black.
I can’t imagine how long it takes before you can laugh again. Can you ever laugh again?
I wouldn’t dare fling cheesy Christianeezy clichés about God causing all things to work together for –
Not now. Not yet. Maybe not ever.
So I’m not writing this to jump on the grief bandwagon or to make it about me or to filter this family’s tragedy through the grid of my experiences.
But on Friday morning I woke up to a text from another friend, Kirsten. She said she’d been up half the night staring at the wall of pain looming before the Holloways and wondering if they’d find a way round it.
Then she read the devotion I wrote in Walking in Grace for December 8. Yesterday. The day after Tatum’s death. It’s the re-telling of a story Debbie told me years ago, to encourage me in our journey with Cameron, and remind me that to parent is to sow tears and reap joy. It was one mom of a differently-abled child blowing wind in the sails of another mom of a differently-abled child.
I first wrote it down in 2014 – not knowing it would hit the shelves again in 2017 – and not knowing the reality it would land in, this week:
When Job lost everything, his friends just let his unspoken agony lie between them on the ground. Because, no words.
Incredibly, when Job lost everything, he didn’t lose hope. Because, God.
So today, I don’t feel like believing. But I’m compelled to believe in the God who answers before we even call to Him. I’m holding onto Immanuel – God with us – as we sit silent with our friends in the dust.
. . .