A Year of “Firsts”

Our year of “firsts” have begun.  DNOW (Disciple Now) was something that I was looking forward to but I knew it would be bittersweet.  I remember receiving a text from Trey on Saturday last year that said, “You know you are a UT fan when you pee orange!”  Of course he sent a picture of his pee in the toilet.  We kind of laughed, but he did respond that he didn’t feel good. We asked the normal questions if he had been drinking enough water, etc.  Of course, we all know that was the ER day.

Our theme for DNOW this year was Embrace.  Hummm…. I like that.  Embrace.  That is exactly what we have felt for a year now; embraced by our community, our church, and our even bigger God.  Our kids learned about that this weekend also.

I had many people ask me what I was going to do during DNOW.  Were Jay and I going to have kids at our house, was I just going to hang out, or was I going to be a leader?  I currently serve on the Student Ministry Committee for the church and my role for DNOW through the committee, I think by default, was DNOW Administrator.  That was perfect.  I could be seen as much as I wanted to be seen.  Most of the work was done before DNOW even cranked up!  That was good for me.  I can do paperwork!

It did allow me to do what I love and that is worship.  I’ve heard it said that one of the times you will feel closest to God is when you are worshipping through music and bringing Him glory.  Trey loved praising God and I loved watching him.  All weekend consisted of praise music that allowed all of our students to worship with abandonment.  But then it comes to some certain songs.  Songs I know were Trey’s favorites.  Even his friends knew they were his favorites.  Not only did we sing it during the weekend, but one of Trey’s best friends, Cody Jordan, sang it Sunday morning in church.  During the part of the song that we sing – this is my favorite:

Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…

Oh, how He loves us oh,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all
How He loves

During that verse and chorus, my heart does sink into my chest because I am heaving in tears as I WAIL to God – OH HOW HE LOVES US! Because Trey got it.  And at that moment, through God, I’m with my son again.  He knew that he didn’t have time for regrets, only time to make sure that his life glorified God.  I told a friend last night that I so want to be at the feet of Jesus!  Just to tell Him how much I love him.  But he told me in scripture today – literally showed me in scripture – 2 Cor. 4:16-18

16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

As much as I am ready to go to Jesus, we ALL are in the process of dying, from the moment of birth.  But through God’s grace He renews our spirit daily and we cannot give up on our purpose here on earth until he calls us home.  And that is spreading the good news of Jesus Christ.  I got a little sentimental today and googled Trey’s name.  I do that occasionally.  I clicked on the this NFL link talking about Tim Tebow and Trey – http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82a5c927/article/tim-tebow-remembers-trey-erwins-battle-vs-cancer  There were SO many comments on this very small article about Tim calling Trey so I just HAD to post and this is what I said.  I tried to be nice!

James 1:2-3 “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.”  This was Trey Erwin’s scripture that he claimed during his illness.  Wish you could have known my son.  He was a MAN of courage, wisdom, bravery, and humor.  I miss him more each day, but he was chosen for a purpose and that was to spread God’s word.  God knows the weak cannot do the work of a laborer, but the strong can.  Trey was strong.  A football player.  With no fear.  And no fear to share his faith.  He was 1 in 5 million as a 15 year old with stage 4 ADULT pancreatic cancer.  Yes, he is now healthy in heaven and we are beginning to walk a year of “firsts”.  I’m proud of you buddy and I will forever proclaim your story of bravery and Glory for God.  Could you have walked in his steps?  I couldn’t, and I raised him.  Yet you talk as if you know him.  I pray you one day know our Lord – Jesus Christ.
That post went from NFL.com to Facebook.  But the moral is, we don’t know the day or the time, yet we talk as if we can plan our lives away.  You know what they say, go ahead and make plans, and make God laugh.  The same friend I talked to last night confessed to me that she has not been able to talk to me because she had felt guilt because her son had been healed of a heart condition years ago, yet we lost Trey.  I giggled at her and I told her that many had said that to us but that was the one emotion we do not and have not been angry.  When you know God is in control of your life to begin with, things happen, and you still have to have faith that God is in control.
As I grieve, God is in control
As we work, God is in control
As we walk by his in tact room, God is in control
As we suffer physically with headaches and no sleep, God is in control
As I wait for him to walk in the door at 10:30, God is in control
As I see someone who looks like him and my heart leaps, God is in control
As I see his friends continue with their school life and plans of college, God is in control
As I comfort his brother who is lonely, God is in control
As I look at each picture in the house and wait for them to talk, God is in control
As I watch videos and hear his voice and feel a cool chill, God is in control
As I look at the brick from Family of Families where he wrote Eph. 6:1 to work on (Children obey your parents), God WAS in control
As I wrap up in my Collierville blanket and think of his frail body, God is in control
As I hear Collin say – I want to move, God is in control
As I look into my husband’s eyes who carries a burden of guilt, God is in control
As I told someone last night, when he took his last breath, that was acceptance that I would never have him back again.  And I still know, God is in control.
As we face the next four months of reliving pure hell without a son that was a precious gift from God and my baby boy, God will be the only one in control.

7 thoughts on “A Year of “Firsts”

  1. I think of you and your family often and how proud you must be to be Trey’s mom, what an example he was for so many. When I check to see if you have posted anything and there is nothing….I pray for you and when you do post something, I pray for you as well. Please know that I cannot imagine how you feel or how difficult life must be for you and your family. I know you only get up everyday because you know Jesus….and that you know you will see Trey again one day. How do people survive that go through loss and don’t know Him? I just wanted you to know I pray for you….every time you come to mind. Sending hugs your way!!

  2. Thinking of you today! Thanks for retweets for Trey, the first one caught my breath even though we have never met. Many prayers and a hug or two.

  3. I think of you and your family often and am praying for all of you. I cry as I read your posts, I can’t even imagine what you are going thru. But we do know that Christ is in Control.

  4. My mom was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer on February 14th. She went in for what she thought was gallbladder problems only to find out this news. I couldn’t help but to think of your family, especially this past Tuesday when my mom endured the 7 hour Whipple surgery to help her fight this ugly disease. I pray that I can be the strength for my mom as you and your family were for Trey! Your faith is inspiring and have touched so many! God Bless your family; always in my prayers!

    • Lela,
      I am truly sorry about your mother. The BEST thing is that she had the Whipple procedure and survived the surgery. That is such a difficult procedure and a long recovery. May God bless your family. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12

  5. Hi Lisa. I have followed your son’s story and am so sorry for your loss. Your strong faith has inspired many people. Our Sunday school class at FBC, Olive Branch, prayed for Trey during his illness. I can sympathize with you because our 5 year old son, Connor Caldwell, passed away in January after a 2 year battle with an avm in his brain. I would love to email with you. My email address is caldwellkimmy1@aol.com.

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