First of all, I want to thank each one of you for your prayers and support. We are so thankful for friends and family who have stood by and supported us through this scary time. I am overwhelmed with gratefulness that Drew is ok. (For those of you who don’t know – Drew was horse collared at a scrimmage on Saturday. He got hit a bunch of times and pulled himself out of the game. He lost feeling in the right side and blacked out a few times. He was taken to the hospital) I can’t tell you how scared I was. The MRI and the CT scan is all clear. It looks like he walked away with a concussion and no lasting damage to ligaments. The doctor explained it to me like this: think how you feel when you hit your funny bone and the sensation that it gives you. It is a bit like that around your spine and so when it gets hit, it renders that sensation on the spine and him numb on the right side of his body. He needs to take it easy for awhile and is it out of any sports for three months, much to his dismay and my relief! Most of you know that this is not that first time I have looked over my son and watched his eyes roll back and wonder if this was it for him. It is that feeling we all dread, when your heart goes into your stomach. You are praying and telling God “NO” at the same time. On the ambulance ride, they were pricking Drew with a needle and he was not responding at all. I just kept telling the Lord, I can’t do this again. I can’t Lord. Please don’t make me.
For those of you who don’t know about the death of our younger son, I will attach story to the bottom of this e-mail or you can go to http://www.theewingfam.com. But walking through this the last couple of days, I have learned a few things! First being that God gives us the grace we need, when we need it. He doesn’t supply the grace we need for what we fear might happen – He gives it to us when it does happen. I have been able to experience the greatest fear come true and get the grace I needed for that day and I can now say I have watched my fears not come true and I am very thankful. This has taught me to be careful in my fears, (while valid) and not let them take over me. Why? God’s grace comes in when we need it.
I have learned that He can be trusted. His ways are not our ways but His ways are the RIGHT ways. Even in the midst of death and just plain scary situations. I was scared but I was also calm knowing that in all things His plan would not be changed. God’s will would be done. There is a great comfort in that.
Also, I am learning what God walks us through will always be used for His glory. I just got an e-mail from Drew’s coach and how he read and learned about Jake and share His story. God is always using everything to reveal Himself to His people. One scripture I am memorizing right now comes from Job 42:5-6 “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.” I have to tell you before Jake died, I had heard lots of things about Jesus. LOTS. I knew Him and loved Him. But walking through the death of Jake let me SEE Jesus for who He really is. I learned to really love him and to trust him each step of the way. Sometimes, that was a minute by minute thing. The pain was so bad you have to trust Him, there is no other way (for me, there are other ways but that wasn’t an option for me and would only bring more hurt on myself instead of letting Him heal the hurt). However, the more we begin to see Jesus the more we see ourselves and see that there is none not righteous, not one. The closer we see Jesus the more I see how I need to repent of my ways. There are many days I take my family and my kids for granted, many days I don’t love them with the love Jesus gives to me to love others. Many days I think of my needs before theirs. The list goes on . . . those are just the public sins!
Most importantly, as the old quote goes “God cares more about our character than our comfort.” His goal is to make us more Christ-like and often that takes suffering. Suffering is what puts us at the end of ourselves and makes us willing to trust and lean on Him. Eternity is at stake for most of the world and often our lives is the one thing they get to see that demonstrates Him to them. What is your life looking like? I am taking a long hard look at myself and what I need to change. Those scary times let us see what is important, really important. Beth Moore in her Esther study says this, “the world doesn’t care about our relationship with Christ . . . it cares about our resemblance to Christ.”
Knowing Jesus is the most important decision you will ever make, if you don’t know Him. Please talk to someone who does. Let them share with you who HE is! He is worth knowing!
OUR LOSS. HEAVEN’S GAIN.
As I look back on my life, God has been so faithful and good to me. I had never really experienced any deep loss or anything up until we lost our son. I had lost grandparents, but that’s really part of growing up so it felt somewhat like a natural progression of life.
But when we lost our son in a car accident, it was a real blow to our faith.
It happened on Sunday, August 26, 2001. Kasey and I had two boys at the time (Drew who was five years old and Jake who was 23 months old). We had gone to eat after church with some friends and had just pulled up in the driveway. I had to run back up to work to get something so I told Kasey to leave the car running. She and the boys were out of the car and walking to the front door, so I walked around the car to get to the driver’s side to go to work really quick. Well, as I backed out of the driveway, I felt the
car run over something…or someone. It was Jake.
I was so shocked because I thought Kasey and the boys were inside the house already. I guess he had ran behind me when he saw me turn around to get back in the car. It happened so fast and is still a hard thing to think about. Our neighbors came out and helped us call 911 and all that but it was too late. After a while at the emergency room, the doctors came out with the news that Jake had not made it.
When the reality of Jake’s death sunk in over the next few months, our faith was tested like never before. That was, by far, the worst day of our lives. This was the kind of stuff that happened to other people, right? Our world was rocked! Once the shock began to fade away, the reality that Jake would not be around anymore came upon us like a flash flood.
BUT GOD… Those two words are so simple, yet profound.
God came through. He gave us comfort from His Word like we’d never experienced before. God’s promises seem to hold more weight when we are hurting. Grief is a bittersweet time. It’s so painful and tiring, BUT GOD shows up in those moments of hurt like a perfect father does. There are too many stories to share of how He healed us (and still is) but I will simply share just a few.
God story # 1 – When Kasey had given birth to Jake she went ahead and had her tubes tied. Two boys seemed just right for us. Oops! Well, about a year after Jake had died, Kasey’s parents said that they had felt led to help us do the tubal reversal surgery. This had been on our hearts for a while but we just didn’t have the means to make it happen so we were excited. We had no idea what to expect, BUT GOD blew us away. The surgery had taken place in mid-November and by January Kasey was pregnant with our third little boy, Jackson. This was after a 6 week recovery time, too, so the Lord worked quick on that one.
God story # 2 – My dad and a few others had accepted the Lord for the first time at Jake’s funeral service. Kasey’s Uncle Fred shared the gospel and they responded by giving their lives to Christ.
God story # 3 – The same day of the accident, the Lord gave me a song called “But Until Then.” You may say big deal, but if you knew what condition my heart and mind were in that day, you would realize what a gift from God that song was. It’s like God just said, “grab a pen and write this down.” We were able to record the song and played it during Jake’s service.
There are so many things that God did, but I’ll leave you with this thought. Growing up, one of my favorite verses was Romans 8:18 that says, “For I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed in us.” That verse means more to me now than ever before. The trials in life last for a little while, but this verse reminds me to hold on to the hope of eternity. That promise alone, got me through some tough nights. There were times of depression and stress during the grieving process, but this verse came many times as a reminder that it will be worth it all. I could just imagine the Apostle Paul saying, “Don’t quit! The hard times are worth the wait. This life is not then end and death for Jake is the beginning of a life in paradise.” That thought alone gave me comfort then and still does today.
The grieving process was very painful, but the sweetness of the Lord’s presence during this time has not been matched in our lives before or since. HE IS the God of all comfort and He is the healer of my soul. I can’t imagine not having the Lord in my life or having a living hope to trust in when the waves come. I can rest in faith that I will see my son again and he will be able show me around heaven one day with my grandparents and loved ones that beat me there. O happy day!
As you have been reading this, our prayer is that God would use our lives as a bulletin board for His faithfulness. Even in our darkest storm, we saw the hand of God moving and felt the nearness of God in a way like never before. If you are hurting today, I pray that our story will encourage you to keep holding on to Jesus. He knows your pain and wants to heal you and put a joy deeper than any circumstance in your heart. God bless you and thank for visiting the site. It’s an honor you would come.
Love – Brad, Kasey, and the boys