On the Way Home

I saw a post today from one of Trey’s friends to his mother that said “On the way home.” I know how excited she is to have her son home for the Thanksgiving holidays.  I just had lunch with three college kids that are glad to be home for Thanksgiving.  Family time is important.

This year will be the first to have Thanksgiving at the Erwin home.  I’m not sure how it came about because we always celebrate the holidays at my sister’s house.  Last weekend, I was actually in a panic because of the thought that the Martha Stewart was not going to show up at my door, cook a turkey, and arrange beautiful decorations on each table.  This thought literally put me in bed and made my head hurt.  Seriously.

As I sat at lunch today with Trey’s friends, it was good to laugh, say his name, and dream of their futures with them.  Yes Madison, he is laughing at you for getting Bieber tickets.  I continued to think of how they would be sitting around each of their respective tables, but their friend, my Trey, would not be at my Thanksgiving table.  There are MANY children that will not be at the Thanksgiving table this year.  For some, it’s their first year, but I can tell you that it can be the first or fourth, the feelings are the same.


I asked special friends to begin pray for me because I know it will be an emotional time.  A friend had an idea that maybe I could put a place setting for Trey at the Thanksgiving table just as a reminder that he is and will always be with us.  But the phrase “On the way home” has been stuck in my head.  As we feast on turkey, ham, etc., my Trey will be feasting with angels, Jesus, Noah, Moses, Adam, Paul, Job, both this grandfathers, his Uncle Barry, and so many more.  I think I’m the one at the wrong table.  What a feast he experiences EACH DAY!

I remember the last thing I said to him as I laid next to him in his St. Jude bed.  “Run to Jesus buddy, run to Jesus.” I heard Trey today. That is rare. He hasn’t traveled far from me and he said, “Mom, I AM home.”

I don’t think I’ll need that place setting at the table.  He made it home.

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Trey Will be done



You Can’t See Through Mud

“I can’t see through mud.” That is a phrase I have used and it has definitely been used on me. It can be irritating when someone is standing in front of you and you’re trying your best to see around them. There are times that nothing can be said except, “Excuse me.” Hopefully the hint is well taken.

For the last couple of weeks I have felt down and disappointed. God actually told me NO! Can you believe that? I think I’ve been in shock and I know, very hurt. When God closes a door on plans you’ve made that you think were also His plans, it can affect you in many ways. For me, it was unexpected. I have wallowed in this disappointment even though I know God always has better plans.

How often do we choose to wallow in our disappointment, sadness, and yes, even our grief. We want to own it like it belongs to us.

I realized on the way home from church tonight that I was muddy. I actually felt muddy. You know, that good ole’ dried, caked on mud. There have been so many questions I have been asking God over the last several weeks, not finding answers, and I remembered His words.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

How can I live for Christ and expect others to see Him in me if I am muddy? Accepting God’s will for our lives is hard and I have to remember that I can’t wallow in the disappointments life will bring.

Life brings change. Change takes time. Acceptance takes time. With time springs hope.  Christ is our hope.

Yes, I will still wallow. I held back tears all day today. Tears can cause migraines! But those tears are ones that Jesus catches. I will choose to live another day clean by the blood of my Savior. Do you realize His tears on the cross is what makes us clean and we muddy ourselves on our own?

Tonight, I am thankful I can come to my Savior, give him my disappointment, wash off this mud, and pray that tomorrow someone will see Jesus in me.

Jesus, see through me. Wash me clean, even when I grieve.

When Tragedy and Grief Meet (Prayer Blog)

Lord, I never want to take for granted coming before your presence or especially the platform you have given me to share Jesus.  My heart desires to write and I can’t put words on paper.  Everything that comes to mind brings me back around to prayer before you.  Please honor my words as a sweet sacrifice.

God, I was honest when I asked Shawn why would you lead me to Central only to put me in the middle of another tragedy with a student that has had such a huge impact on a youth group, a school, and a community.  My hurt is still so raw and it hurts when people say, “Haven’t you gotten over that yet?” The only soothing balm for my heart is knowing that Grant and Trey are at your feet.

OH GOD! You know there are days that I just sit and stare into space thinking of my boy and remember all the events surrounding his short four months of pancreatic cancer and still so many questions come to my mind.  So many questions that I know will never be answered this side of heaven.  Why Trey Erwin at age 15? Why Grant by a car accident at age 17? But how do we help children understand a grieving process for their friend when I cannot grasp it sometimes for my own son.

My head and my heart knows Romans 8:28 like the back of my hand and I repeat it like I’m convincing myself of your mighty power. “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  I am begging you to help the youth find your purpose in the midst of tragedy.

The question on their minds is why not healing? Oh how I begged and prayed to you for Trey’s healing.  Trey understood better than his mama because he knew he was gaining eternal life and I was losing his on earth.  If only we could be so wise.  Gaining Grant so instantly doesn’t give us answers, only confusion. Lord, the kids are drowning in grief for their buddy and classmate.  Only you can orchestrate to put someone in their path that will comfort when they need to know that Grant’s precious life served your purpose.  It’s just something we have a hard time accepting because you made us human.

I cannot fathom how you created every living creature on the earth and made each one of them different in some way.  It reminds me of how each of us are different and we will grieve differently.  Lord, so many of Grant’s friends cannot concentrate for school, they cannot do their homework, parents do not understand their children as they grieve, and they themselves do not understand their own grieving.  How can I help, Lord?  You have put me here for a reason.  Help their anger, frustration, hurt, confusion, and dry their tears knowing you catch EVERY tear.

Our Almighty Jehovah-Rapha, our Lord who heals our hurts, our bodies, our souls; come into the midst of your people and heal these children.  I can only kneel before you in truth knowing their hurt is so real.  So many may not believe that you are the Healer.  “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chron. 16:9  Strengthen us and bind us together.  Guide us to know how to comfort our children.  Speak to parents so they may bridge the gap and comfort their children.  God, I’ll confess, and I ask forgiveness.  I really want to pop some insensitive people.  Just because our children or friends are in heaven doesn’t make it easier for us on earth.  Help us to drop our boundaries and rely on each other through your guidance.

I miss my boy, Lord.  This time of year is the worst.  I can only beg you again to put a hedge of protection around my family and those families that have lost people they love.  I think of Ron and Susan who will be facing their first Christmas without Austin.  Grant’s family without him will be so quiet.  The only consolation this time of year brings me is that if your son, sweet baby Jesus, had not been born, he would not have been able to die for our sins to bring us eternal life.  Help us to remember your gift to us this season, your son.  And when the kids are sad, remind them during this time of year of the fun times they had with Trey, Grant, Austin, and many other loved ones.

God, I come back around to understanding grief.  I’ll never understand it and I’ll never stop crying out for Trey who took such a large part of me when he left this earth.  There is so much tragedy in this world and my heart aches to be with you so there will be no more pain and suffering.  And I’m selfish, I’ll be with my boy.  In the meantime, I claim your word, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.” Prov. 18:10

Lord, I especially thank you for what you have brought me lately and how you have blessed me.  Thank you for the rich, new friendship I have (she knows).  Bless us that we might be mighty warriors for your kingdom and your glory.

If it be your will, I ask that you cause a sweet revival of precious souls for Christ in light of the fact that Grant knew you as his Savior.  As for an answer to our grief, that should be enough.

Yes, Lord, oh that it should be enough.  You are our Savior and I thank you for saving a wretch like me.  I got out of bed again today precious Jesus.  And I praise you, today, headache-free.

Hear the cry of my heart, Amen.