For many, the holidays can be a difficult time of year. Perhaps you are grieving someone you lost, or are disappointed by a holiday that has never met the perfect ideal promoted by others. Or maybe there are other painful memories associated with this time of year.
The holiday season itself is not a trigger for me, but I do understand triggers. Boy, do I ever. Just this past week, I had two really rotten days because of triggers that sparked a fresh wave of grief. Something as simple as driving down the road or backing out of my parking spot can spark a memory of the trauma of my son dying in my arms on the way to the hospital.
But that doesn’t mean PTSD is a perpetual state, or that I am in constant turmoil about the way the world works or the lot that I have in it. I’ve done my wrestling, and I’ve found peace.
A couple of weeks ago, a pastor friend of ours asked Jason and I to put together a testimony video about how we have found peace after losing our son the way we did. (If you’re new here, our three-year-old son, Levi, thought it would be clever to run behind Daddy’s truck just as he was pulling out to take the other three boys to school one morning.)
It occurred to me that many others might benefit from hearing this one-minute video that sums up how I found peace after this tragedy.
Growing up in the church, I often heard “everything happens for a reason,” as though that was what it meant for God to be in control. But that’s not true. And it’s not even biblical. Yes, God is in control of everything, but that doesn’t mean he is to blame for everything. We live in a sinful, fallen world, and that’s why there is pain and suffering. Christians don’t get a free pass on that. No one does.
Losing my son helped me understand how much God truly loves us, how everything he does is to have a relationship with us. He will use absolutely anything to do that, even things we don’t think he should or could. God doesn’t plan for us to be hurt. But when it does, he is the Master Healer, and he can take our brokenness and make us even more beautiful than before, if we let him. It all comes down to our choice. Will we choose him, even in the pain?
God doesn’t plan for our hardship. But he doesn’t waste it. I have peace because I know that the God never walked away from me for a single moment of my pain. And he never will.
I pray that the peace of Christ will be with you during this holiday season. Much love, and God bless. I’ll see you in the new year.