Are you there, Lord? It’s me, Tricia.
You remember me, right?
I have been following You since I was 5 years old.
I know that doesn’t make me special. After all, You are God. You have every right to my adoration, every right to my worship.
But here’s the thing, Lord. I’m still struggling. I’m still struggling with my son’s death.
For example, today, I was reminded of a scripture passage where you spoke to the prophet Ezekiel. In the vision, You raised an army of dry bones, bringing them back to life. I know it was a vision, Lord. I know that You had a specific message for Ezekiel, that You were trying to give Him a visual picture of what You wanted Him to tell the Israelites. But, I also know that You can do that. You can bring the dead back to life. Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead. You brought Jesus back from the dead. You CAN do it, Lord. You CAN.
So, thinking about that story, it made me mad.
Because You said no to me.
Why, God? Why did You say no?
I prayed that You would heal Brandon of his depression and anxiety or whatever mental illness was robbing him of joy. But You didn’t.
I prayed that You would soften His heart and bring him back to a place where he felt comfortable in church? But you didn’t.
I prayed that You would send a helpmate, a Godly wife to love and support him. But You didn’t.
I prayed that You would help him graduate college and find a good job where he could grow and learn and make new friends. But You didn’t.
Instead, he died.
And, God, I still believed. I believed that You, the Great Physician, could bring him back to life, that You could make it all a bad dream, that You could still answer all of those prayers.
But, You didn’t.
Are You there, God? Do You hear me?
For more than twenty years, I prayed for my son. This morning, as I was praying, I accidentally included his name. It’s a hard habit to forget.
But it’s almost been a year now. I was never away from him for more than a week in his lifetime, and now months have gone by since I have seen his face, heard his voice, felt his large arm slung heavily across my shoulder. And the days seem to be ticking down to that fateful date.
Are You there, God? Do You see me?
Do You know how much I miss my son? Do you know how my heart aches for him, how I see him sometimes stretched out on the couch asleep, or standing at the fridge door, or playing games at camp, or sitting on the bench at Beech Bend, in all the places he was this time last year?
Are You there, God? Do you even care?
I went to the funeral home last night. A relative of a friend had passed away. The longer I stood there, Lord, the more visible Brandon became to me, as if he were the one stretched out in that wooden casket. And, in my head, I relived those moments after I got the call, those terrible moments that stretched into eternity, telling my sons that their brother wasn’t coming home, running outside and finding there was no where to go, crying face down on the deck…
Are You there, God?
Are You there, God?
It’s me, Tricia.
I know You love me, Lord. Please help me to trust You,
even when I don’t understand,
even when it doesn’t make sense,
even when it’s not how I feel.