People praying for us at Joey's Maui memorial service in June 2008
I just found this picture. I forgot I had it. It touched me so much to see all these people surrounding us in prayer. I can't make out all the faces in the crowd, but I recognize some of them very well. My mother and I are near the center of the picture with leis on our necks. Joe is out of the picture, on stage, and to the left of me are my daughter and her husband. Rachel and her family are next to the stage on the right. It is mostly a sea of unidentified loved ones gathering on our behalf, supporting and loving us, and holding us up to God.
The first thought I had is that two of the precious people in the picture have gone to Heaven themselves since this was taken. I also see one of Joey's closest friends with his head bowed for us, and next to him another "brother from another mother" . I see my daughter's best friend near us with her beautiful blonde hair. And though I am not certain who the boy is whose head is bowed on the stage, I am so moved by his obvious concern for us.
These prayers were needed. I was broken, and for the first two years, I seemed to get more and more broken with each new day. As my new reality sunk in, I sunk down. It seemed the pit of grief had no bottom. I had no strength. My skin hurt, my chest ached, my brain was high-jacked by anguish and sorrow. I cried every day and at every mention of Joey's name. The prayers were needed.
It takes faith to live through the loss of a child. I didn't have enough of it when I started this journey, but I have grown into it. My peace has grown as God has comforted me a hundred different ways. I know God better now than when I started down this road, and I also know I only touch the surface of who He is. I am glad there is One bigger than me who can hold me, help me, and heal me. I am in His hands.
These are some of the people who put me there.
Overflowing thanks to all who have prayed for us.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.