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November 04, 2008
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
One of the most difficult things a family has to face is the loss of a child. It just doesn't seem right or fair. In Sumter, South Carolina a 12 year old boy was shot and killed. Was he doing something he shouldn't have? He simply knocked on a door to a stranger's house and his knock was answered with a spray of bullets. He was just trick or treating and the shooter thought someone was trying to break into his house.
An evening of fun that turned into a tragic loss. The family's world has been turned upside down and the question is always asked, "Why would God let this happen?"
Mary (not her real name) lost her 5 year old son Joseph (not his real name) on a day of celebration. Mary's faith was shaken to the core. Mary was angry with the world and angry with God. How could a loving God allow this to happen? All Mary wanted was some kind of assurance she would see her son again. Her heart had been ripped out.
Here is Mary's account of what happened to her 5 year old son whom I call Joseph to protect them against solicitors. The story is edited for brevity. "Its been the worst days of my life. I have three children...two girls 13 and 11 and then my baby boy. It was our wedding anniversary and also the time of year when my side of the family came from all over to our grandmother's house for a summer get together...that Sat., we had a blast at grans house...huge blow up slides, four-wheelers, bbq....horse-shoes and when it got dark, We hunted lightening bugs. Beautiful day.
On Sunday, our 15th wedding anniversary, we left to head home with just our own kids. Halfway there, My husbands cell phone rang and his dad asked us to come over to swim. Mr. Goodworth, I honestly got sick at my stomach...I did NOT want to go. Joseph, my son, said "take me and mommy home so we can play video games"....he hated to swim. The girls started to whine, my husband jumped in...."come on don't be a prude, we wont stay long"...."please mommy, you never want to go swimming over there"....and i didn't, I just hated that pool.
We went. Joseph and I were not happy about it, but he enjoyed himself once we got there. We put on his floaties and everyone got in but me. I read a book. About 2 hours pass and everyone is tired. We get them all out, Joseph had to go to the bathroom so I went in to help him......after that, everything is a blur. I remember Joseph asking if he could spin the night with paw....I said yes and went out to the truck to get his extra set of clothes....when I came back inside, Only paw was in the living room and my husband in the kitchen. I put the clothes on the couch and went out front. My girls were on the porch....(it still didn't click that I didn't see my son) I spent a few minutes asking if they enjoyed their weekend....and I looked at the new plants my mother in law put in. I went inside and asked "where's Joseph?".
My father in law said a bad word and ran out to the pool....I was hot on his heels. My baby was face down....his little lips were so blue. My father in law kept saying "I saw him go out, but I got distracted and didn't go check"....I went to beating on him while my husband tried to start CPR...i was out of my mind. I ran inside to call 911 and then went back outside. Nothing we did seemed to work. When the ambulance got there, he had a heartbeat....the grabbed him and ran...I think the medic even jumped the fence with him in his arms while everyone else went through the house.
He had a cardiac arrest right as they wheeled him through the doors of the hospital....I heard them say "he's crashing". they let us see him before we left....and all I kept thinking was "I have to leave him here"?...."who's going to give him a bath, he's been playing all day"...."hes so cold, he hates to be cold".
i keep playing it over and over in my mind.....I just wish i had stood my ground and told my hubby to take us home. My gut tried to tell me and I ignored it for the sake of my other two kids. As he was in the water that day....(did I add that he has had an unholy fear of water since birth?...he didn't even like to get his hair washed....he had only been in that pool that killed him 4 times in his five years)
We got him to let go of the sides and of people to realize he would actually float with his floats on and not sink. He laughed and said "look at me mommy, I'm a big boy". When he got back to the side, he kiss faced at me so I got up to go kiss him and he said "I'm still afraid, but I was brave today"....i said "yes baby, mommy would never ask you to do something that would hurt you, and I would NEVER let anything happen to you"... I said this and then 15 minutes later hes gone."
Mary, stricken with grief turned to the world of the occult for some kind of assurance that she would see her son again. She began looking up websites on mediums and communicating with the dead. Mary is a Christian and this loss was causing her to disobey God, God says, "Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits; do not seek after them, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God." Lev. 19:31
God was/is aware of Mary's grief. He led to her my webpage http://www.anunseenworld.com/whatisdeath.html. Mary said as she read that page a great weight was lifted her. Mary's comfort and assurance was coming from God Himself. When God gives assurance, it is a blessed assurance. Mary got rid of all the bookmarks to the pages on mediums, psychics, and such. The question still remained, would Mary ever see her son again?
What happened next is extraordinary. Mary writes: "Last Friday, at about 3:15, right after school let out, my nephew (16 years old) was picking up his little sister from elementary school (she's seven). They were in the line of traffic and moving at a fair pace for the crowd....and it was raining so they were not going very fast. As they came upon a left curve in the road, it's a pretty sharp curve, my nephew said "the car wouldn't turn"....we assume he hydro-planed, hes a new driver and would not have known what it felt like. His car ended up in a copse of trees about 20 feet from the road, the passenger side literally smashed into a tree and stuck. The vehicle behind him was a school bus and as it went to take the turn, it too started to slide but remained in control. The bus and many cars finally stopped and kept the cars on the opposite side of the road because that curve had suddenly become very dangerous and a line of buses was to be coming up on it soon.
They called the medics for the wreck.....my nephew got out with just a few air bag burns on his arms, the baby was covered in blood from the waist down and everyone couldn't really get a good idea of the damage, but it looked as if her leg, from the shin down, was hanging by a thread according to witnesses..
I just recently lost my son to a tragic drowning accident this past June and the family didn't call me until around 7pm that night.....they were afraid I would panic and something happen while I drove, or I would lose the baby (I'm pregnant)....I was pretty upset with everyone alright....for NOT telling me!
When I got to the hospital, I saw that everyone was okay, the baby had been through surgery to get all the 'mess' out of her foot and to clean it out. The muscles, tendons and bone were mangled....they needed the swelling to go down a bit so they could see what they had to work with, so she would remain in a makeshift 'cast' until the following Monday for a second surgery. They didn't think she would even walk again.
What I'm about to tell you is something I heard second hand....but Ive heard the baby talk about it since it happened, she's very proud of her story. When they wheeled her out of surgery and as she woke up from the medication, she asked her grandmother and her mom/dad if she had died. Everyone got very emotional and said "of course not". She looked puzzled and sat up the best she could, looked around....then said "are you sure?".....again, everyone reassured her that she was indeed very much alive.
Then she asked, "well, if I'm not dead then how did I see Joseph"? Everyone's mouth just about hit the floor!
She went on to say that "he was with her the entire time, and that he told her everything would be okay and to not be afraid." (That's pretty much just how she says it.) When we asked her what happened to him when she woke up....she said "Oh, he didn't go anywhere, I did, he stayed with the bright people."
Tell me that you can find fault in that? This is a little girl whose parents are not religious, they do not go to church.....the last time she had seen my son before he died was in February. They didn't spend tons of time together because we live a little distance apart.....She is still in the stage where death is not a 'reality' to them.....yet she knows EXACTLY where my baby is.
Ive been in turmoil since his death. Ive begged for peace and courage to hold the faith that everything "is as I was taught" in church.....but you have that voice in the back of your head that keeps saying "it sure would be nice to KNOW for sure".....yet you continue to believe and hope......
After this night, Ive had an eerie calm....I almost feel guilty about the peace Ive felt. I keep waking up, waiting on the tears to come and the anxiety to begin.....nothing. I'm at peace. God has worked through me and through my neice. He sent my son to be with her and act as guardian angel, and let her remember it so that she could tell us and give us the much needed peace Ive been praying and praying for.
Ive been on my knees for months begging God to "give him back, he was only five".......
He may not have given him back in the flesh, but he gave him back in a way that gives us comfort. We know that our souls go to heaven.....we know that he's waiting and that we will see him again. I feel terrible that I had even doubted a tiny bit, but God understands, and God made it known that he is with my family....even when times are at their worst. The baby had her second surgery, and the foot is completely repaired. The worry the doctors had......skin grafts, not enough muscle to use to fix it, the tendons are too damaged to make the foot work properly........all washed away. They only had to use a few pins and closed the wound beautifully. We were told that she would have to have therapy to even walk if the surgery was a success, that she would be in a boot for nearly a year. She left that hospital....and she will only wear that boot for 4 months. The doctors were amazed at how much "better" the foot looked after the swelling went down.
I think a bit of healing went on from a very special Man and a very small visitor."
God comforted Mary by allowing Joseph to comfort a little girl in distress. Mary (again not her real name) gave her the assurance she was looking for. A very blessed assurance. Mary will not see her son again until she goes home to be with the Lord herself. God has also given her the gift of another child in the making.
We may not understand why God allows children to die but we do know that all children who die go to be with Him. Mary knows that now. Thank God for his Blessed Assurance.
Copyright 2008 by Gary Goodworth
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