This is my prayer page from over 10 years ago, when I had all the time in the world and evidently a lot of color print cartridges.
This was my best time of being a faithful prayer warrior for my children. When they were little and I was a SAHM, I ate them up and prayed so faithfully over them everyday.
As I was praying for my kids one cold January day, I felt the sincere peace that my kids would be spared the heart disease that Erik and a lot of his family had.
Most of you know Erik had a heart transplant in 2003, and we did not want that for our kids. So this was our biggest prayer.
I was a praying mother. I did my very best.
But alas, Bryce was diagnosed with hereditary heart disease when he was 9. And by the end of middle school it had progressed enough that the doctor wouldn’t let him play football.
We were devastated about football, but the diagnosis with heart disease – well, that crushed my spirit like nothing ever had or ever will.
This news went against EVERYTHING I had been believing for awhile.
I had prayed so hard – and believed – for healing for my kids and that this disease would not affect them.
But then it happened.
They added 3 pills to Bryce’s daily routine and we were told he would need a transplant in his late teens or early twenties.
Can I be honest? I lost my shit for several years. YEARS
I have never questioned God like I did during that season. I was angry. I felt tricked. I felt totally misled by my concept of who God was.
Look at this multi-colored prayer page of all my prayers! I was so sincere, but evidently God wasn’t listening or just didn’t care.
I felt so silly for all those times, on my face, praising and believing God that my children would not have heart disease.
Time wasted I thought. The angels must have roared with laughter.
But then….I can’t say when exactly. Sometime during Bryce’s high school years and the multiple visits to his cardiologists, there came a gradual realization – in my snail speed growth – that God is GOOD even when we don’t feel it OR SEE IT.
My thoughts started to morph into God’s truth – that even if He doesn’t heal Bryce’s heart disease, I know God is still good.
We had some pretty scary hospital visits, contemplating life-altering meds and hard discussions about how we might possibly keep Bryce from skateboarding and snowboarding, risking his life as he was just doing BRYCE from day to day.
IT. WAS. HARD.
The hours I had spent in scripture – God blessed.
The moments I prayed over my kids – God blessed.
The times I’d spent under the instruction of great Bible teachers and learning who God truly was – He blessed.
So years later when that moment came….when the prayers for my child fell at His feet in ashes –
(other than some ashes in our Tahoka tree, the New Braunfels skate park and the San Marcos River – it’s all in a box in my closet.)
All I have left is ashes…literally.
(one, two, three…)
I am so grateful for that dark valley I walked during Bryce’s middle and high school years.
I learned that beyond a shadow of a doubt God is good regardless of the circumstances in this life.
And I’ve actually become thankful for those terrible years that I spent doubting, raving and screaming at God.
Because He grew me into the person I needed to be when Bryce died.
Bryce’s death was sudden and shocking. But it wasn’t heart disease. It wasn’t even what I had been the most scared of.
It was a sudden, tragic accident.
I’m so thankful that I already believed, and I KNEW that God had been listening to this mother’s prayers over all those years.
Nothing is wasted. Not a tear. Not a prayer.
He holds our prayers in his hand and our tears in a jar, waiting to pour them back into us as His living water.
This is how I know where Bryce is and into whose hands he fell.
No, I was not prepared when Bryce died. But looking back I can see how God was teaching me something and fixing my heart so that I wouldn’t walk away from Him when the worst happened.
He showed me His faithfulness amidst heart disease and yes, even my unanswered prayers.
He was always faithful.
God became to me YEARS ago what I would need Him to be on that summer day in 2016 when my kiddo died. The day that just goes on and on and on for me.
On and on and on until I can’t cry anymore…
That, my friends, is prevenient Grace.
God is truly good. Don’t ever let life’s circumstances convince you otherwise.