I spent this last weekend with wonderful friends in Chattanooga. Sonya Luna called me two weeks ago and invited me to visit UT Chatt, her daughter, Madison, and so many of the class of 2014 from Collierville High School that were Trey’s friends. My first reaction was ABSOLUTELY! The more I thought about it as the time came, the more excited I got about getting away than actually spending time with others.
Sometimes, you never realize how much you need the time away from your loved ones until you leave, especially during the grieving process. Thank you for that tidbit of advice Andy and Rachel Schelb! If you are tired of reading about our grieving process, you can stop reading now. God does not say, “Thou shalt grieve for a two year period and thou shalt be healed”. No, He says, “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation.” Ps. 91:14-16 So, (1) because I have loved Him, He will deliver me; (2) when I call on Him, He will answer; (3) He will be with me when I am troubled, He will rescue me; and most importantly, (4) He will give me a long life ending with His salvation in glory. That, my friend, is an awesome promise whether or not you are grieving.
We talked this weekend about some of our fears. One of mine is driving across high bridges. The two mothers I was with talked about their children being hundreds of miles away and the decisions their children are making. As we discussed many things, they talked of their children in the present and all I could do was bring up Trey in the past. The one thing we talked about was perception and our kids. The perception of Trey is that he was this wonderful, Christian young man that had it all together and floated up to Jesus with wings while the Hallelujah Chorus was being played. That is entirely not true. I tried to remind Collin recently that while he was at school, Trey sat at home and cried because he just wanted to be normal. There was nothing normal about what he was experiencing and sometimes, he just did not like it. The same goes with the kids in college. Things go wrong and they are texting their parents for advice.
I think we spend most of our days as Christians weighing our decisions and after the fall out, we look back and will either have learned a hard lesson, not moved forward from the decision, or be joyful for the direction God led us. How many sermons have you heard about not living your life looking back? How many quotes have you seen about moving on? What about scripture? “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead…” Phil. 3:13 The terrible thing about society is that everyone is in such a hurry. Decisions are meant to be prayed over and considered very cautiously. What might be important to you, might not be important to someone else. That is a hard pill to swallow and I have learned that in the grieving process as friends have moved on and Trey is not on their priority list to talk about. It was such a blessing to spend time with friends this weekend and have the freedom to talk about Trey whenever I wanted and know I was loved.
What do our decisions have to do with looking at God through the rearview mirror? When I initially took this picture, my thought was – You’re there, following me. Every decision we make God is going to be there to guide us and after that decision has been made, He’s still going to be there in the rearview mirror to guide you to make sure you follow the correct path. For those under conviction, the Holy Spirit will be a hard thing to shake.
As a part of our weekend, we sat on Sunset Rock on Lookout Mountain to watch this large, orange ball sink behind the mountains. As I was sitting with Madison Luna and some of the other girls, the Holy Spirit pricked me to get my phone out and play 10,000 Reasons. As the song played, the sun slowly began to set. As Madison held onto me while many tears flowed, the line in the song came “…the end draws near and my time has come. Still my soul will sing your praise unending, 10,000 years and then forevermore.” FLASHBACK Trey’s hospital room, his last breath, my tears, my kisses, walking out of that room only to turn and look at him for the last time in that bed. Sometimes, that’s God in my rearview mirror and that’s okay because that is reality for me because God was certainly there…in that room…with my baby. Just as He was on Saturday as the sun slowly disappeared behind the mountains. I have proof on video that it perfectly set to the song Oceans by Hillsong “I will call upon Your name, Keep my eyes above the waves, My soul will rest in Your embrace, I am Yours and You are mine.” It was such a confirmation in my heart that I am right where I need to be in the process of life.
It’s okay to have God in your rearview mirror. If not, then who holds you up? God is in every sunrise and every sunset whether you see it facing forward or in your rearview mirror.