Friday, May 25, 2012

Faithful Friday: Transforming Trials

We shared our testimony Wednesday night. Verbally.

For someone who has shared both the trials and joys of her life, pretty much as an open book, you wouldn't think this difficult. The difference this time though is that it was aloud.  And being recorded.

It's so much easier for me to communicate in written form, especially if it's personal. Emotions don't get in the way when you're writing. Tears can fall across my keyboard without interrupting the story.
Now, I can certainly talk about many aspects of our life, and how God has worked through us, with ease. Our story is easy to share...up until 2008.

For the longest time I believed our testimony was the motorcycle wreck Tim and I survived in 2005. It was clear to see how God used that time to show us many things. That virtual stop sign was our wake up call for how short life is, how it changes in an instant. The wreck made us appreciate every moment. It strengthened our marriage and unified our family.

And I was content sharing the gratitude. I was grateful to God for the second chance. I was thankful for every moment - big or small. I treasured my family and every memory made with them. I took nothing for granted.  In fact, the time after the wreck was probably our most blessed years. Some of our favorite and beautiful family memories are from this period.  We watched more sunrises and sunsets in that time than our whole lives before. My prayer life forever changed. No longer did I only pray in need but also in thanksgiving. And I was in constant conversation with God. Life was good.

Looking back now I can see His hand in that wreck in so many more ways than I'd first realized. Though the wreck made me physically weaker it made me stronger on so many other levels. My relationships with God and my family were improved and solidified.

Little did I know this strength would be needed just three years later.

Sharing the story of losing Austin is still so very emotional for me. It's a struggle between wanting so very much to tell the world about how wonderful he was to the painful awareness of saying the nightmare of November 29, 2008, out loud. Speaking it is real. It's raw. And it's impossible to share without crying.

But I know that sharing it can be a help to others.  I just struggled in the days leading up to this with how best to get my words out without crying.  In the end, I just gave it God.  Tears did fall but he put a peace upon me, as he has done so many, many times through this journey, which enabled me to continue. 

I was also hesitant in how I could share the grace and the good that has come since losing Austin.  While I see it, some parts of me still hold on to the concept that we lost him for this to happen.  It's selfish, I know.  And in complete honesty, while I miss him with every fiber of my being, I know he is in the best place he can be.  He's where we all want to be someday.  He didn't stay here as long as this momma would've liked, but I'm grateful for the 14 years we had. 

Yet from the first few days of Austin leaving to now, I can pinpoint "God moments" of positive change.  Lives saved.  I can remember some of his lost friends and family at the funeral home and seeing the impact his death made on their life.  A few of them, while hugging me, shared new relationships with God.  One very dear boy said, "I want to make Austin proud."  And I've since seen the significant change in their lives.  Even in our own family, I see members who have a closeness with God that wasn't there before.  What better legacy could Austin have left behind? 

If this tragedy in some way brings even one person closer to God, what a joyous thing!  As I've shared before, Austin loved nothing more than a party.  Whenever we had friends and family over, he was our door greeter, with that giant smile that warmed you instantly, followed by an enormous "Blair Bear" hug.  I know.....I can imagine it in my how my boy is going to be standing at Heaven's gate, so very excited and joy-filled, ready to welcome us in.  And that knowledge is what brings me joy, even through the pain of missing him.

 "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"  - John 11:25-26


Anna See said...

This is hard and beautiuful Thank you for sharing Austin with me today.

Heather said...

Thank you for reading. Your story has touched me as well. Like Austin, Jack was a beautiful soul.

Jenn said...

Thank you for sharing this!

Heather said...

Thank you for reading!

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

I know what you mean about it being easier to hide behind the keyboard. I am much better allowing the words to flow from my fingers than speaking them aloud in the moment. I often joke that I hope people aren't disappointed when they meet me in person and find that I'm a total dork.

I'm so sorry for the loss of your son, Austin. Prayers for you...and your family as you walk this path.

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