I want share a little bit about something I was struggling with this week. On Monday, I had received a mass email to pray for a boy named, Victor, who was only 13 months old. He was in the hospital with a serious heart condition. I realized that I actually knew his parents! I used to work as Stephen's Admin Assistant while he pastored a college group called, Shelter. We worked in the same building with the Brazilian Church Pastor, Pierre. It was Pierre's son who was in the hospital! Pierre and Denise are such a beautiful and kind-hearted couple and my heart broke for them. I know how much Stephen and I were devastated over our miscarriage in December and we couldn't imagine being able to cuddle, love, and enjoy a child for 13 months...only to have to let him go. It didn't seem "fair" to me! "Couldn't you have thought of a better plan, God?" Anger was filling my heart, and it finally exploded the day that we received the last email that Victor had gone home to be with Jesus. "Are you kidding me? If anyone deserved to have a beautiful boy to love and cherish...it was Denise and Pierre." I was not satisfied with that decision. Not at all!
That same day, I read the newspaper after I got home from work and noticed an article about a "Slaying in Riverside County" which is about an hour north of where we live. There was a Marine named Jan, who was from Brooklyn, NY, and was stationed in Camp Pendleton, CA. He was only 24 years old and his beautiful wife was only 26. There were four men (only 18-22 years old) who worked under Jan's command. They didn't like Jan so one night they decided to stop by his house, torture Jan, rape his wife, destroy their home, and then shoot them each three times in the head! What sick, evil, maddness! My stomach churned and I felt so heavy as I read this. Jan's mother said, "I was prepared to hear news that my son had died at war serving his country, but nothing could prepare me to hear that he was killed in the privacy of his own home." How sad! "Oh God! Why?" My heart was again stirred with anger. I told this story to my husband and he too was burdened for them. He reminded me that God is always the first one we choose to blame. He was right...even so, I went to sleep wrestling in my mind.
The next day, Friday, was the day of Victor's Memorial service. I knew that I needed to talk to God, so on my break at work I began to journal. I thought that I would put some excerpts of my thoughts from my journal into this post. Please know this was just my conversation with God and I wrote as the thoughts were coming (very "unedited" and through many tears):
"God I'm so angry at You and have been too prideful to admit it. I know that I need to write this down because I keep trying to justify my thoughts. I know that You are a sovereign God and could change any heart...You could have protected that innocent military man and his wife...You could have changed the hearts of those military guys (boys!) from committing that awful crime and ruining their lives at such a young age. Oh God! How come You weren't there for them? Why did you have to take Victor Rose early? Why did you have to let him die and break Denise and Pierre's heart? I am so so angry, confused, frustrated, and hurt...and my thoughts are violently arrogant! On one hand, I know "You are God in Heaven and I am here on earth" so I should "let my words be few" as the song says. But Oh God! This is bursts from soul and I am in agony for them. I wish there wasn't ever any evil or sorrow in the world. .....Father, I am so sorry for getting angry at You...You ARE always the first Person we blame when bad things happen. I think of Mary and Martha when they were in tears over their brother Lazarus when he died. They too, were angry that you didn't come to get there in time to save him. However, that was also the time, Jesus, that You wept. I need to stop and read John 11 right now. Wow! This is so comforting! Your Word says, "When Jesus heard that, He said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it. Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus...so....he stayed." This death was going to bring You glory and THAT is our whole purpose for being on earth...THAT is what we're created for. Whether our finest hour of bringing you glory is completed after 13 months of life or 99 years, when we have fulfilled our mission on this temporal earth...Father, You call us to our eternal home! What a fabulous thought! I also noticed that you said that "You loved them...so...you stayed." You didn't rush to their side right away to heal Lazarus and comfort Mary and Martha...You waited until he had been dead for 4 days and then did what was best for them even though they were angry and couldn't understand. Help me to trust and learn to depend on You and Your plan...to know and remember that You have a purpose for the things that I can not understand. I love you."
God, totally took my heart full circle and brought me back to his Word to find truth. A few hours after I journaled this, I left work early to attend the Memorial Service for Victor. It was a beautiful time of mourning and watching the brothers and sisters in Christ come together to encourage this family. May God continue to comfort the Rosa family and bless their work in taking care of their 13 month "loan" as they called him.