Memorial Day is quite a different holiday when you have a son who is a fallen soldier. It is wonderful to have so many people take time to remember my son and all the other military fallen. The heartfelt messages are a salve onto the open wound that seems to be taking forever to heal. They are greatly appreciated as they seem to be the perfect encouragement needed to keep me successfully walking this road laid out for me.
So, today, I thought I’d share what I consider the most amazing revelation God has revealed to me through Garrett’s death. He has shown me a much clearer understanding of what it means to be a child of God. May it be just the right encouragement needed in your life.
In the first days after the news of Garrett’s death, friends and family reminded us of Scriptures that pertained to God’s will and His promise to somehow work it for good in Romans 8:28. I know this Scripture, I’ve quoted it, written it, called on it many times, but this occasion, Garrett’s death, I was fairly certain there was no “working it for good” in my lifetime. There were also many references to God’s will being perfect and that He only does what is best for His children. Well, I am a child of God and allowing my son to die couldn’t possibly be what was best for me. I was heart-broken, down to the core, broken.
When the soldiers came to my door that morning to tell me that my son, my first-born, was dead, I thought my life was over as well. So much of who I was, was tied to him, after all, I became a mother because of him. My dreams of his marriage, his children – my grandchildren, his future, it was my future, too. It was over. No hope. No joy. And this was what was best for me? How could this possibly be what was best for this child of God?
Six years passed, yes, it was six years before I was able to comprehend God’s love for me in this tragedy. While visiting with a group of dear friends, one of them said, “God only does what’s best for His children”. Yes, the same truth I’d known all along but that day they were new words. This time the focus was on Garrett being the child of God, not me. My whole perspective changed. Garrett was His child and had been since he made his decision to accept Jesus as his Savior when he was only seven years old. With new eyes, I could finally see that God indeed did what was best for his child, Garrett.
Taking Garrett home was the kindest, sweetest thing God could have done for him. Garrett loved being in the army, he loved his ‘brothers’ and he loved his job but we could tell it was taking a toll on him. He was a sweet sentimental young man and he was also fun-loving daredevil. His dad and I wondered if Garrett would have been able to come to grips with and overcome the memories of his duties as a soldier at war. We believe God showed his beloved child mercy and brought him home to live forever in peace.
I hate that Garrett is not here with us, laughing and living out a great life, but we can rest knowing that he is in heaven and we’ll see him again someday. Now that I can see God’s love and mercy for him, I can see in my own life how God fulfills His other promises. He is ‘working it for good’ (Romans 8:28), he has ‘never left me’ (Matthew 28:20b) and as He comforts me, He leads me beside others that I may comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:4-7)
Being a child of God can be quite an adventure. And remember, that those precious children you are raising and are leading to the Lord, they are His and He does what is best for His children.