It had been a hard two weeks, and I was going backwards — fast.

It was month 16 and I was mad. What started my descent into anger was, of all things, a lack of storage space for my emails. My email provider warned that if I didn’t clean up my emails my account would be locked when the space filled up. How could I delete ANY emails unless I checked for Tristan’s?

Going Backwards

It was like going back in time as I scrolled through the surprise party planning emails. The surprise party he never got to see because he killed himself 2 days before it could happen.

The Mother’s Day emails he sent beaming with sunshine at age 9 before depression turned him into an angry robot for years 12-18.

The sudden gush of condolence emails on February 8th, 2020 when nobody could believe he was dead.

Sixteen months earlier I had shock and trauma to buffer the pain. This time around it was bumper cars with no bumper. Metal tearing against metal, jarring and raw.

Something bitter raised itself in my heart and I got angry at God. I didn’t want to pray, I sure wasn’t going to read my bible and I defiantly dared Him, “work with that!”

My anger culminated with this prayer…

Dear God, well it happened. I am mad at You. I am the pot telling the Potter I don’t like what you made me for. I don’t want to live 40 more years as a suicide loss mom. And time is NOT a healing agent. Time only brings new things that are Tristan-less and magnifies the loss. Satan wins. My boy is dead and I don’t want You. I’m not going to pray, and I’m not going to read my bible. I’m done. Try to do something with that. I can’t even say Amen.

The days when I was desperate for God were gone. No more would I wake up and devour scripture just to keep alive after Tristan’s death. No more would I feverishly journal my grief in notebook after notebook just so I could process the pain.

God used a window to reach me.

It didn’t make sense, but there I was, sitting at a women’s social I didn’t want to be at and running a group I didn’t want to run.  I was shutting out the two things that could help me, God’s word and prayer, and I had defied God to work without those two lifelines.

Our ladies had to divide into smaller groups and rotate through four stations that morning. My station was in the church foyer, bathed in the glow of the foyer windows. I had selected a 15 min. teaching video because I didn’t want to teach. Each time I pushed play, I mindlessly gazed up at the stained glass I’d walked past for 6 years and never even noticed.

Then God’s providence showed up, through that window. He reached me when I didn’t want to be reached.

This window was dedicated to Etta Drouhart Half by her parents in 1933. And what God pressed upon my heart was this: Two people lost their girl, honored her with this beautiful window, and you’ve never even looked at it. Nobody ever pointed it out. It meant everything at the time and everyone stood in awe of this memorial on the day it was installed. But 88 years have passed and those parents are now reunited with their daughter.  Life has gone on in this church since then– people saved, people buried, women sharpening women this very morning. Your pain feels all-encompassing but you really can believe it will be a momentary light affliction compared with what Etta and her parents are enjoying right now

The great “I AM” filtered through that stained glass and penetrated my heart. He showed me that I had a preconceived idea of the parameters by which He works. “I AM” is more powerful than my Quiet Times. “I AM” is more powerful than my prayer list. “I AM” is more powerful than my acceptance or rejection of His authority to move in my life. He can make me be still in the very act of my disobedience. He can shine into the recesses of my heart in the very act of my rejection of Him.                                  (Exodus 3:14)

Aren’t you glad God knows we are but dust? Aren’t you glad we have a record of one of Jesus’s closest friends scorning Him? I am going back to scripture tomorrow. God is faithful. Even when you run from Him. He finds you.

Dear God, I was Jonah, wasn’t I? Hiding within the walls of anger and rejection that I’d erected to keep You out. You found me. You always find me. You found Tristan that night and met him exactly where he was and took him home to be with You. You loved him that much. Can you thank Etta’s parents for the window? Tell them how Your Providence planned even that for Your glory and for the rescue of Your sheep. Maybe Etta’s family can be part of the greeting party when I finally come home. Maybe they can tell Tristy this story. Hug my boy for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.