I have been wanting to write for awhile, and just say how God can open doors in the mist of fear. It was probably about Thanksgiving time when we got the tragic news that a 24 year old kid was killed out in Illinois from the Forrest congregation. Just the news of a child being killed always sends chills up my spine. It instantly puts me back to that hot summer night when I got that phone call. It touches every emotion in my body. As more news came in about this accident, it was so very similar to Taylor's. It was late on a Saturday night, a bunch of kids out having a good time. He was driving an ATV with other kids on it. He went off the road and hit a culvert, all soooo very much like Taylor's accident. My heart started to be gripped by fear when I heard that this was their second son that was killed in a freak accident. Six years ago, their 21 year old son was killed in a auto accident. I always thought God never gives anyone more than they can bare, but two kids being killed seems like more than anyone can bare. I wanted to think we paid our dues with losing one son, surely, God would not take another one, but as I looked on in this case, that was exactly what He did. I could feel myself losing the battle with fear, thinking, I would never make it through it again, Please God don't let that happen. I forced myself back to where I had spent so much of my time after Tay's accident...God makes no mistakes, and He knows the number of our days before we are even born. Did it help, some, but I will probably always battle with this fear to some degree.
Diane, Mom and I went back out to Forrest to check on mom's house the first part of December. The first time I went back to Forrest church after Taylor's death was extremely hard and this boy's mom had come up to me and gave me a big hug. Her first son had gotten killed just three years earlier, so she could relate to the pain of grieving I was in at that time. God was starting to plant in my heart that maybe I should try to get to her on the Sunday. I really did not want to do this because it was so recent that it happened, and just what was I going to say to comfort her, and on the selfish side, just talking to her, and seeing her pain, would bring all those feelings back like it was yesterday...and lets be honest who likes having their heart ripped out again. So, when I heard our plans had changed and we were not going to be in Forrest over a Sunday, I was secretly sorta happy, now I could just send a card, instead of seeing his mom face to face. We get to Forrest on a Thursday and after mom talks to some of her friends, she thought maybe we could go to church on Friday night because they were having a Christmas song singing, but then as Friday night came, my brother came back to Forrest too, so we all sorta decided to probably not go....again, i was sorta glad....I was thinking God must be Ok with me just sending a card. Friday night comes and we all go out to pizza, enjoying seeing Warren and Sherry again, but pretty soon mom says out of the blue well we better hurry up and get going so we can get to church for the singing. I am thinking where did that come from, I thought we weren't going. Off we go to church, but I was thinking they probably will not be there, since it barely was three weeks since the accident and just who would feel like singing Christmas carols. But we barely get inside the door and there is his dad. I really didn't know his dad, but Diane did so she tried talking to him, but he had walls up so high you could not begin to touch his heart. I looked around but did not see his mom and so in my heart, I was really thinking OK God i don't need to talk with her, You knew I couldn't comfort her anyway, what could I possibly say to comfort a mother's heart that just lost her second son...and truly there was something inside of me that kept saying, if this happened to her what makes you think it won't happen to you too, so i felt like I would be no comfort, probably more of hindrance. When the singing was over, several people came up to us and we of course talked about how tragic it all was. I asked how his mom was doing and they said, terrible, she barely comes to church, never answers her phone, she really does not want to see anyone. I thought it was then safe to ask, do you think I should go see her, and I got the answer I was hoping for, well she won't answer her phone and if you just decide to go, if she is home..her van will be in the drive. At that very moment, God whispers in my ear, you will be going to see her tomorrow. I thought, Oh God do you really think I am going to be a comfort to this extremely grieving mother, I feel like I have nothing to say, and I myself am filled with fear. I talked to several other people that night and most said, no this is probably not the time to go see her, she needs some time to grieve, go maybe another time. But as I went to the car that evening I knew I was going to see this mother and God was going to open every door. I told Diane, she better go with me. We didn't have a clue where they lived, somebody at church tried to tell me, and first I hardly listened, but after God whispered in my ear that I was going, I listened up...sure didn't need to spend a half a day lost in the country somewhere. The next morning we got up and spent time with God, pleading He would go ahead of us and open every door. Diane and I get in the car and head out. We had no trouble finding the place. We pull into the yard and my heart gave a little jump because the van was gone. We thought we would still go up to the door and knock, but really not expecting an answer. As we knock and wait, just like we thought, no movement inside so we turn to leave. As we are walking off the porch and I look up and here comes his dad to talk with us. At first Diane and I both say how very sorry we are for his loss, but again his walls are so high he barely heard us, but then I said something about how similar Taylor's accident was to Lucas's accident, and at that moment one wall started to crumble. It was like God had me say just the right things because before long, all this walls were completely down and we could talk very openly. After awhile, we said well we are sorry we missed your wife and he says, oh no, she would really like to see you, she is right up the road cleaning out Lucas's house. So, Diane and I walk slowly back to the car to now go up to where she is. I could only imagine what she was feeling, she was already cleaning out Lucas's house, it barely was three weeks. I was thinking, it has been three years for Taylor and it is still too hard for me to clean out some of his stuff, it is right where he left it. Oh, what are we going to say. We drive slowly up the road and pull in. She does not know my car, well in fact, she really doesn't know me. I only got to her that one time in church, and I was so much in the grieving process at that time, I probably would not even have recognized her on the street, and now I have to say some comforting words...God help me here. As we drive in, she is out in the garage cleaning out his truck and as I look at Lucas's truck he had a loving memory sticker on the window for his brother that was killed six years before. That hit a place in my heart, because I also have one of those stickers on my window in memory of Taylor. She looks up from cleaning out his truck and has that familiar look on her face that I had so many times. I knew she was most likely thinking just who are you, and I really don't feel like making conversation right now, you have no idea what I am going through, in fact I am not even sure I am going to make it through the next ten minutes. I slowly get out of the car, and the first words that come tumbling out of my mouth is...do you remember who I am....why I said that is any one's guess, but God must have known those were the right words. She dropped what she was doing and yes I do and came right over and gave me a long hug. We just held each other for a long time, and I can't even begin to remember what I was saying in her ear at that moment. What ever it was, she started to open up and share her heart. We stood in the freezing cold for a long time just sharing our hearts. God had one more surprise for us that day. As we were standing there talking with her, Lucas's dad came over to this place and brought his brother along. His brother was a very good friend of Diane's when they were young and running around. When Diane repented all those years ago, this guy said he really wanted to repent too, but he put it off and life took him in a different direction...one away from God, but now he stood there in front of Diane and she seen a soft spot in his eyes and decided to ask him if he knew Jesus. He said no he doesn't, but he would like to one day soon. Yes we all know that is one of satan's favorite tools, procrastination, but Steve had a very soft heart. Diane got to spend some time with him talking about God. When Diane and I got back into the car, we just looked at each other and said, God opened every door, we were so glad we listened, when He told us to go. It turned into a real blessing for us too. No, it is never easy to find words to comfort a person's grieving heart, but it is not us giving the comfort anyway, it is God just using us. We are planning on going back to Forrest very soon, I will try to make contact with Lucas's parents again. Satan likes to use fear to stop us from doing what God is whispering in our ears He wants us to do for Him. Or satan like to use fear to draw us away from God...wants us to start to doubt the promises God has given us, and if I am not careful satan can do this without me hardly noticing until I can find myself in the field of fear.