With permission, I share this from my mama, her reflections on healing after seeing her brother, Craig, die from an accident when they were both very young.
My pastor asked me to speak in church Sunday about “waiting” (Advent).
Two people told personal stories about “waiting.” I told the story of waiting 50 years for emotional healing of Craig’s death. Everyone was silent and riveted. I had prayed over the talk for days. Didn’t want to cry. Went up with no notes. This story is etched in my mind, I didn’t need any notes. I had a huge lump in my throat but kept control. I was full of clarity for a change. Wayne said it was very moving and direct. My bottom line was “we don’t know – can’t know – why God does what He does in His time. We won’t know until glory. We can’t pray for healing or restoration or anything without completely trusting Him that He knows best and be willing to take the big “no” or “wait” – even for 50 years.
At the 49 year mark (2002) I knew I wanted healing of the chronic fall anxiety and depression, and the guilt that maybe my brother died because He knew that after the accident, I would eat powdered donuts and read comic books instead of praying for Craig, as my mother emphatically told me to do right after she arrived at the accident scene. I had been standing over Craig’s body for minutes, watching him bleed profusely all over the logs. I was traumatized but felt absolutely nothing.
After all these years, I was ready to let Craig go even though I was afraid that I would “lose” him. He was my loving little “teddy bear” for 6 years. I still remember how sweet he was and how much fun to play with. When that was ripped away I lost my sense of safety and comfort. (I was always nervous around Dad, and couldn’t get as close to Mom as I needed to , because she was always preoccupied with pleasing Dad.) 10 months later they had another baby boy, and seemed so happy – did they forget Craig? If they could forget him, could they forget me, too? At age 7, I felt alone in the world. I leaned on my brother Bill, which was probably a burden to him. I kept the pain because it was better than having nothing. couldn’t imagine life without it, but decided to try. Never figured this out until I was in my 50’s.
So I told God in 2002 that on Sept. 6, 2003, 50 years, I wanted to partner with Him in my healing. I was ready to do my part, and I trusted God to do His. That day is another story. It happened. On Aunt Allie and Uncle Jim’s stone wall by their back door. No lightning bolts, just peace. It was very intentional on my part. It was hard work, and still is, like writing this.
I told this story and there was no easy “end” to it. Just my story of waiting. And not understanding. And accepting the life that God gave me, even with the depression and anxiety that has prevented me from accomplishing things I wanted to do. Instead He had other things He wanted me to do, littler things. But there are no “little things” in the Kingdom of God. It’s all big. That’s where I am today.