Yesterday, in a heated, but heartfelt discussion with our son, I learned something that I hadn’t known. I knew there was something going on with Christian, because the past few days have been rough. His attitude has been off and his heart not in the right place. In trying to get him to figure out what the issue was, I asked him if there was anything that was bothering him. At first he didn’t answer, but then I used my Mom persuasion to get it out of him (I’m not saying I’m proud of this, but when my child is struggling, as a mom there’s this crazy urge to just make him say it out loud so I can help him).
“I guess I’m just a little angry at God,” he finally told me. He continued with, “You know… because of what happened to Michael.”
My heart dropped. Because while Christian has walked by us throughout this seven and a half month journey with Michael, I hadn’t stopped to think of how it actually affected him.
A little background. We knew Michael’s sister Katelyn before we knew Michael. One of the first times we met Michael was at his house for a party. He told us later that his first impression of us was that he thought it was kind of weird that his sister had friends that had kids. Thankfully, he didn’t think we were too weird, and as the story goes, Michael very much became a part of our family, kids and all.
That being said, both Christian and Ellee got to spend a lot of time with Michael as he spent a lot of time with us and our Youth Ministry.
Christian and Michael had many opportunities where they served together.
They also had lots of opportunities of just having fun playing games together as well.
A few winters ago, Michael gave Christian a pair of his old ice skates to use. He had a blast with them and was very thankful for such a fun gift.
Michael spent lots of times with us in our home
As well as overseas. And in all of these interactions, Christian got to know Michael very well and see the great example that he set by the amazing way that he chose to live his life.
When Christian heard about Michael’s accident, he was devastated. Those first few weeks after the accident were so hard for him.
Eventually our kids would settle in to our new schedule of hospital visits. During those first three months, they would join us most weekends for hospital visits up to see Michael and his family. I was always proud of their attitudes and in how they handled this time.
Christian would always ask about Michael and how he was doing (because he was in the ICU, they weren’t allowed to go and see him). He always remembered to pray for Michael and his compassion was something that we were so thankful to see throughout this terrible tragedy.
When Michael moved to Rehab, the kids were able to get to spend a little more time with him. Ellee’s had a hard time with it, I think because she is younger and doesn’t really understand as much. And that’s fine. But Christian has been able to connect more and is always willing to come and see Michael and talk with him for a little while when we visit.
But of course, all of this has been hard on him. So I’m not sure why I was so surprised when he finally told me that he was feeling angry at God about what had happened. As we talked, I was able to share that I understood how he was feeling and that it was totally normal to feel that way. To be honest, I think many of us could relate with feeling angry about seeing something so terrible happen to such an incredible friend.
It is so hard to process the pain that we will experience in life. It’s hard to understand that age old question of why bad things happen to good people. It’s at times just gut wrenching to see people you love going through such a difficult time.
But no matter what we go through, there are always truths to hold on to. There is always a positive light to see our troubles through. And while it’s not always easy, finding these truths and perspectives is best.
Awhile ago, I came across an online sermon through North Point Community Church called See The World: Through the Eyes of a Lion. I wanted to share it here because it was something that really helped me to process Michael’s accident and how to work through the pain of a tragedy. Levi Lusko experienced his own personal tragedy and shares so beautifully a few things that helped him and his family work through the hardships that they faced.
Most times, I chose to focus and see the positives around Michael’s accident and journey. I do this partly because it’s the way I process things and partly because it’s the best way for me to keep on the upswing of things. But there are definitely times that I’m sad or angry or just plain heartbroken. Again, I think many of us that love Michael and have followed his story can relate. But in these times, we all can take great comfort in knowing that God is close to use when we are heartbroken and He is the one that saves us when we are crushed.
Just a few thoughts from tonight. If you get the chance and need to be encouraged and hear something good, I’d strongly encourage you to check out Levi’s message here. Please keep praying for Michael and his family. He is thankfully back at Rehab after being in the hospital last week and we are looking forward to seeing him tomorrow.