The day I dreaded for so long is almost here---April 1st, Taylor's 21st birthday. As I sit here writing this, i wonder just how will i get through that day---then God brings to my mind, He will give Grace just for that day not days in advance, and that day is not yet here---so yes, God will give me the Grace to get through that day---will it be sad---yes, probably a day where a lot of tears will be flowing, but I will never be a lone, not even for a second---Jesus will be right beside me. I have said this verse often and I am sure on his birthday I will repeat it many times Deut. 31:8 "The Lord Himself goes before me and will be with me; He will never leave me nor forsake me. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged." Jesus knows how hard this day is going to be for all of us----Taylor could not wait to turn 21---he loved his birthdays. I just have to keep thinking, Jesus has gone before me and already knows exactly what I am going to need for that day. Actually, Jesus doesn't just go before me, He will stay with me, He will be standing right beside me as I light those two candles and let the balloons off---yes, i am sure my heart will be breaking, but I am also assured I am not alone---He will be carrying me. We have invited his friends to come and be with us as we all let off the balloons. I can see some of his friends are missing and grieving his loss almost as deeply as we are. Some of his friends send him texts---it just makes Tay feel close to them---they say how much they miss him and would love to talk with him again, if only for five minutes---sometimes they even call and leave messages---those tear at my heart, because usually they all end up crying. I have often wondered how Taylor's good friend and roommate in college--actually he was the one on the 4-wheeler with Tay the night it happened--how he was doing. God is answering that prayer for me---God had this boy call me the other night and say he would like to come see me-----so he is planning on coming tomorrow. I know it will be as hard for him as it will be for me---but I am really glad he is coming.
Several weeks ago, a teacher ask Brooke if she would come to his school in the morning before school even started and talk to some of the kids about "Where is God when bad things happen" Today was the day for her to go. She told her story from the start of that fateful day until the funeral. She told the horrible detail, but most importantly she told how God carried us all through it and answered our prayers. I had to think how many kids went away thinking--boy, I am glad Jesus is my Savior, or maybe I have drifted away from Jesus, I need to get closer to Him again, or maybe some thought, who is this Jesus, I would sure like to know more about Him. I am praying to God at this very minute that He is stirring and moving their young hearts to want to have a relationship with Him. Brooke took at least 50 of those fliers we handed out at the viewing telling of Tay's salvation and how God revealed it to us--how amazingly God answered our prayers. Every one of the fliers were gone and she said she should have taken more. God is working to reach the young kids---I also thought last night when it was snowing, would satan win and there would be a snow day, and Brooke would not have the chance to get to speak to those kids. I prayed that would not happen, but again God's ways are so much bigger and higher than ours, I didn't know, I could only pray that Brooke could go and tell her story. Another college student said she needed to do an interview with someone that has lost a close family member. She asked me if I would be interested in doing it, or would it be just too painful. I thought, yes, it is always painful going through the detail and all the feelings that comes with that---but my very next thought was---Is God wanting to use this terrible tragedy again to Glorify His Name. With that thought, I knew without a shallow of a doubt---I would do it and give God all the Glory for getting us this far.
We all know that there is great power in prayer, even though that thought sometimes is not the first thing that comes to mind in times of decisions, but it most likely is the first thing that comes to mind when trials or tragedies strike. Interesting, as I was doing my Beth Moore study on Daniel, read Daniel 9:20-23. What really caught my eye was verse 23 which says "As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed." Amazing, God answers prayers even before we pray them---now that is an Amazing God. Beth also said something I loved---"God hears every prayer---keep asking for understanding---keep seeking supernatural insight! Stay in his word so you can recognize His voice, then listen closely to what he is saying deep in your heart. you have the Spirit-empowered ability to hear God" --that is what is called a deep intimate relationship with our God. Not that I kept asking God "Why Taylor--help me to understand why him"---but I think God is showing me little clips at a time how He is using Tay's death to touch other kids' lives. Some have even claimed that Taylor's sudden death showed them how uncertain life is and how quickly you can be into eternity---and have given their hearts to Jesus and now are witnessing to other kids when ever possible. No, it does not make the pain hurt any less, and I miss him terribly, but i am trusting God, He knew what was best for Tay, and He has promise to go ahead of me, beside me and even behind me every day---so I am in the hands of the One that knows what is best for me too. i know and have felt the power of pray, so i am asking please pray for us this next week extra hard for his birthday---thanks.