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I like to think of myself as the 'crazy mom of four'. I'm 31 years old and I love my life, my kids, my husband and my God. "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Eliot

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Things I Just Don't Understand


A 9 year old boy was killed after being hit by a car. The boy had gotten out of the car, apparently crossed the road to save a duck, and was then struck and killed by an 18 year old girl. I heard about this story about 15 minutes ago and I can't get it off my mind.

Let me go back and say that when my cousin's wife was shot, people were commenting left and right on the articles that were written. In a senseless tragedy like she was involved in, people were saying negative things, placing blame on God and any other shred of anything they could. There were people expressing their sympathies, promising prayer, and many other positive things. But there will still those handful of people who somehow felt like THEIR opinion needed to be heard. To those people, I say "WRITE A BLOG!" No one cares, especially people you don't know, people that are grieving over one loss or another. So if you really want to 'share' you opinion, create a blog, like I did. Then, if people WANT to read it, they can CHOOSE to and not be exposed to such negativity. I don't really care if people read this or not (unless it's Kris-I expect him to read it!). I write for me. And today I can't focus until I get this off my chest. And if someone doesn't like what I have to say, well that's not my problem. I'm not posting horrible comments in some public forum blaming God and blaming other people for something that could or could not have been avoided. I'm writing MY opinion, on MY blog, that you are reading of your own accord (again unless you're Kris-he has to read this whether he wants to or not!).

So, back to the story about this little boy. I read the article and immediately began to imagine what the mother of the boy must be going through; how she must be blaming herself for choosing to let her son try to help the duck. And it saddens me. Did she make a poor decision? Who are any of us to lay blame on her? We don't know the exact scenario-only what the media puts out. There could have been so many factors involved in this situation that no one but God and the mother and boy knew. For someone to say she was an irresponsbile parent (and plenty of idiots have been saying this) is just stupid. Raise your hand if you have never, EVER made a stupid decision as a parent. I don't see any hands. THANK GOD that we have yet to be faced with having made a decision that may have cost our child their life. And ultimately, in this particular situation, we don't know what thoughts went through this mother's head. We don't know what went on in the moments that led up to this awful tragedy. So there is NO ONE out there who has any right to point fingers and blame this mother. Whether she made a poor decision or not (which again we can't know!), her 9 year old son is dead! She can never, ever take that back. She can't go back back and change it. She can't set the clock back and make a different choice. She has to now live the rest of her life wrestling with what I can only guess is an exceedingly great amount of blame and guilt. Because the truth is, even if there was NOTHING she could do to prevent it, she will blame herself. She will think there had to be something she could have done different-so if you feel the need to stand up and condemn here-I can guarantee you she is condemning herself already with much more intensity than you ever will. She will carry guilt with her that only God can take away. She will never be the same. I've never lost a young child but even I can see that the mother's life is forever changed by this.

Additionally, there are people throwing blame around on the 18 year old girl that was driving. The accident has been ruled just that-an accident. Her view, it seems, was blocked. Before she could see the boy and react, it was too late. How many of you have EVER been driving and almost caused an accident for one reason or another? I have a hard time believing that there is anyone out there who has never acted foolishly while driving. People sit around and judge these drivers who are involved in accidents that cause death everyday. Who are any of us to look at someone else's awful situation and think "Well, I would never do anything so stupid!"? The truth is, yes you would. You probably already have. Unlike this situation, though, we have been 'lucky' (though I prefer the word blessed). We haven't had to face this type of horror. And until you have been in that situation, you are an idiot if you think you can sit back and say "Well it was the mom's fault" or "The girl should have paid more attention" or (and this is my favorite) "There MUST not be a God because if there were, He would NEVER let something like this happen."

I went through this same emotional uproar when I learned about the accident Mercy Me was involved in where a young woman was driving and turned into their tour bus, killing two passengers in her car, as well as her unborn baby. You would not believe the horrible things people were saying about this young girl that was driving. How can people have so little compassion that they find more comfort in criticizing others for something that very well could have happened to them instead of grieving that these types of things happen? I won't even go into the details about what this teenage driver had to wake up to - two friends killed and her baby (who was due to be born in 5 weeks) delivered stillborn at the hospital. Can people not take a minute and step down from the high pedastal they put themselves on and imagine if this were them? Or if this were their daughter? Or their best friend? Or their sister?

People can be so callous and so mean. In times of tragedy, how is it that there are people out there who behave this way? Are they not human? Have they never done anything wrong? Have they never been 'this close' to being in an accident, to rear-ending someone? No one is perfect. There is not a single person who can claim that this type of thing would never happen to them. Because the truth is, that's impossible to know. Contrary to popular belief, we are not in control of our lives. Yes, to some extent we are. But you can't prevent your own death. You can't ensure that tragedy will never strike you.

But then what do you do with God? How do you handle that aspect of tragedy? What I find most interesting is that people who claim that they do not believe in God use tragedy as an excuse to 'prove' that there is no God, or that there is a God and he just doesn't care. How this makes sense in people's mind I just cannot fathom. Anyone who believes in God and knows Jesus as a close, personal friend knows that it is not that God causes tragedy (unless you hold to a certain religious view that I do not hold to that is along the lines of predestination). There are of course people who do believe that everything we do God planned. And that He chooses for things to be a certain way. I do not believe this. I don't believe that if your child dies in the womb or after birth, God somehow ordained that. Did he prevent it from happening? No. But I don't think that he causes these things. I believe that God loves me. I believe that Jesus died to save me from a life of sin and death. I believe that bad things happen to good and bad people alike. I believe that man (people/the world) is fallen and sinful, and has been from the start. Of course it wasn't what God wanted. It wasn't what he envisioned. Think about it as a parent, if you have children. Even when they are young, we have plans and dreams for our children. On a day to day basis we have certain expectations that we want to see met. Do our children get it right all of the time? NO. They barely get it right 75% of the time! Do we love them any less? Of course not! Can we 'control' ultimately their behavior and choices? No. The same is true with God. It really IS that simple. He is our Father and he may want us to do something a certain way, but he leaves the choice in our hands. He LETS us, as we are learning to walk, to stumble and fall. He doesn't yell at us and say "Get up off the floor you idiot-that's not what I told you to do." No, he picks us up, dusts us off and then encourages us try again. And we fail. Over and over again. And each time, he picks us up and let's us give it another go.

So when tragedy strikes, there is this great need to 'blame' someone. I have never understood this, but neither had I been able to really make sense of it or explain it either. Do you know why there is really no answer as to why bad things happen? Why there are senseless deaths everyday? Why there are natural disasters that kills thousands of people? Because bad stuff just happens. We don't live in a perfect world, some sort of reality where we can expect to never have anything bad happen to us. Who ever gave anyone that idea?? Who are we to think we deserve that? Why would we presume that we will never have to face hard times? Christian or not, bad things are going to happen in your life. They will show themselves in many different forms. No, you may not ever have to bury one of your children. You may not lose a parent. You may not lose an arm or a leg in some freak accident. Your home may not ever be demolished by a tornado. But bad things will happen. I never had an answer to how God could 'let' such awful things happen, if he is such a great and loving God. And then, a few years ago, my friend Mary told me something I will never forget. I think about it everytime something tragic happens. You know what she told me? She told me that yes, God allows some things to happen. We will never know if what happens is something God chose to allow or if it was just life. Simply put, she said "Sometimes LIFE happens." Think about it. You can't go through your life thinking that you are immune to the sufferings that surround us. Consider yourself BLESSED and be thankful if you don't ever have to endure some of the horrible things that happen around us every day. Don't sit around and judge others and presume that you are better than the 18 year old driver who unfortunately was responsible for the death of two friends and her unborn child.

Closer to home for me, don't sit around and think for a second that YOU would never be that driver not paying close enough attention who plows into the back of a van, killing a young mother on her way to Six Flags with her two youngest sons and her brother and sister, all who were killed in one horrible moment. Trust me. You don't EVER want to bear that kind of weight for the rest of your life, whether you are a family member, friend, OR yes I am going to say it, the driver of the dump truck that caused the accident. You are not immune to it. I know the family who lost their 5 loved ones on July 29, 2005. I knew Angi and Josh and Jacob. I went to the funeral and I watched those 5 caskets be carried out of the church. I listened to Shawn say through tears about each one of them that they "gave the best hugs". It is not a moment I ever wish to relive, let alone one that I want to experience as the wife, or sister, or mother. And I just think that people shouldn't be so quick to say careless things and act as if things like this will never happen to them. Furthermore, I don't think anyone has any right to believe that they will never cause something like this. We are all human. We mess up. And when tragedy happens, some people only see and think "How could a loving God let this happen?"

What they don't see is what happens after this kind of tragedy, time and time again. How God surrounds those grieving with love and comfort that no human being can give. If you ever wonder how a man can go on after losing his wife and two of his sons, or a brother can cope with the loss of his mother and two younger brothers, the answer is God. That 'person' people are so quick to blame. It is in relying on God and the strength and peace that only HE can give that people are able to heal and move on with their lives. Shawn and Alex will never, ever forget what happened. They will always miss Angi and Josh and Jacob-nothing will take that away! But it is by God's grace and God's strength that they are able to wake up each day and get out of bed. Is it fair that tragedy happens? No. But when were we ever promised that life would be fair? When has life been perfect? Never! It is only in turning to God and allowing him to wrap his arms around you and hold you that you can ever endure such pain.

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