Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I am no longer searching, but watching.......

First off, THANK YOU for your continued covering of prayer.  I am feeling it so strongly this morning and had a much better night's sleep.  I will need it as many family members will be arriving today.  Family is so hard, as they have a lifetime of memories with our Ryan and their pain will be great.  Please continue to pray.

I have skimmed through numerous FB posts saying that I am searching for meaning to my son's death.

I am no longer searching or begging God for answers, but rather watching the answers fall at my feet. 

John 14:13-14 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.  

This grieving mother has asked to see the purpose of her son's death, and God is granting her desire.  Not because I deserve it...but because I am wanting Ryan's death to glorify God's name.  Because if it didn't glorify His name, what an utter waste.

I have not by any means read all the FB posts but I try to skim through most throughout the day.  It is like my lifeline to the hope that lies within me.  If I see God moving and I see lives changed, I can deal with the pain.  This picture above is Ryan sharing at a youth retreat.  I've posted a lot of crazy pictures of Ryan (there is not a shortage), but I also want you to know and remember this serious side of him where he desired to help others grow. So many FB posts and conversations have begun with, "Ryan really encouraged me....."  Ah, what a blessing for a mom to hear. 

I imagine him standing there preaching from Matthew 6 27-33 27-29"Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
30-33"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

His life reflected this message.  We MUST now ask ourselves, "What message does my life reflect?"  Please make this question personal.

For those that want to do something in lieu of flowers we have created a memorial site through HopeChest.  The emancipation home is a huge passion of mine as I desire for all young men and women to have the ability to make their way in the world with the support needed.  Ryan had tons of support and love and did all he could do during his time on this earth.  What better way to remember him than to support a program that does this for those coming out of the foster system or walk their road all alone.


  1. My Dearest Friend Gail,
    From the time we heard about the accident my prayer has been "Lord somehow please use this for good 'cause I know the
    Wahls LOVE you and are called according to your purposes." Your process and blogg have been such an inspiration to those who love Ryan as well as to those who did'nt get to know him. To read of how the Lord is answering you and holding your family through this really makes me love Christ more! Thank you for opening this up and for your desire to see God glorified in this painful situation. I know there are some who are being drawn to Him through this situation by seing His love and Ryan's life as you have described him.
    I'm thankful for your friendship!

  2. Dear Gail, I continue to pray for you and your family. We cannot fully fathom all you have been going through but we did face something very similar with Mark's parents. Continue to take each moment as it comes and trust that our dear Lord will give you what you need when you need it. That is the prayer so many are saying on your behalf. Emotions will be all over the board but let them take their ride. God gave us these emotions to help in the healing process. I am so blessed by your heart to serve God even through this immense pain. Not only Ryan's life, but yours and your family's will continue to bring glory to the God of all creation - our Savior Jesus because of your faithfulness to continue to trust Him. Thank you for allowing us to share in your burden by continuing to open your heart here on this blog. May God's strength and grace be yours each and every moment. With our love and prayers, Dorothy Steel and family

  3. Gail and Family,
    Since Pastor Dave announced from the pulpit on Easter morning the devastating news of Ryan,my heart has been heavy for you and your family. I find that as I go through the normalcy of my every day, all of you in Colorado are focusing on what Really is important...relationships, God's truths, and eternity. None of us is immune from difficulties in this world, and yet we tend to think that a blessed life is one without major trials. Jesus said the contrary in Mathew 5 when he taught the beatitudes. Blessed are...the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers. Laura Story's song, "Blessings," reminds us that God's blessings oftentimes come when he draws us close to Him to comfort us and bring us peace and an eternal perspective during those hard times. Thank you for sharing, for reminding me about where my daily focus needs to be.
    Tricia V...berg, Wisc. Dells

  4. Gail and Tom,

    I was reminded of Gen 12:1-3 that speaks of Abraham's blessing from God; the covenant of blessing bestowed upon all of God's people, we are blessed in order to bless others. We watched Ryan wrestle through this identity as a teen and then, as you observed as well, something special happened in his life through his DTS. We believe that this blessing was "caught" by Ryan, not just to be blessed by God for all the goodies, but to also begin seeing his own life as a way of pouring out blessing to others around him. So many were blessed through his life and testimony, including our family. We will cherish this! Thank you for sharing Ryan with the world.
    Von and Isabel

  5. I will continue to pray for you.Clearly God has been working through you.Glory to God.Praise Him for your strength,focus,healing and desire to direct others to Him.

  6. I am so encouraged to see how God is working through you in the midst of your pain. I continue to keep you and your family in my prayers...I pray that He will continue to give you strength and peace and that He will continue to use Ryan's death to bring others into a relationship with Him.

    Cindy Peete

  7. Thank you Gail for blessing us again with your sharing, challenging us, bolstering our faith, comforting us - all while you are in so much pain. You are an amazing woman of God. The Lord will never let go of you ... He's holding you in the palm of His nail-pierced hand.

    Praying for you...

  8. Dearest Gail, I have no more words to say as many have been said very wisely. I just want to give you a heartfelt hug tonight and grief with, for, and through you and Tom and family. I am shedding painful tears for you as a fellow mother. Love, Ivy

  9. I am touched by the love you have for your Savior and the Love that He is showing your family in this midst of your lives right now. He is surely good. I also wanted to send you a link to a website that was birthed by our pastor and his wife, Steve and Sarah Berger, of Grace Chapel, in Leiper's Fork, Tn. The website is "". A few years ago they, like you, embarked on a journey with their son Josiah, age 19, going to heaven. Our Pastor is always open to sharing the hope and healing with others, and thought in the days, weeks, or months to come you might check out the site for continued encouragement. Much love to you and your family, and prayers will continue for strength, rest, healing and above all blessings!

  10. I could never pretend to be able to give you words of comfort that might help what you are walking through, Gail.

    Your words touch my heart. I'm continuing my prayers of strength, comfort, and love to you and the family.

  11. I'am blessed by Ryan's lifestory an can't wait to see what GOD has for you next.. You are in my prayers " NOW WATCH AN SEE "

  12. Praise God for His graciousness to you in the answers you are receiving! I loved the picture you posted today, just a look at what Ryan had grown up to be, a young man of God!!

  13. Dearest Gail. Reading through your blogs is simply amazing. God will work good through all of this. I remember all the times our boys spent together at Millikin, at soccer games and practices and the times they shared snow skiing/boarding. I prayed for you as you go through this journey and journal in this blog. I will follow and pray for you. Even though I can not be there in person, I am there in thoughts and prayers.

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  15. Gail,
    I just found out about you from Becky Dirksen's facebook page. She shared your blog there, so I have been readying your latest posts this morning. My hear is so heavy for you and your family. I just wanted to write to let you know that I will be lifting your family up in my prayers and asking for the Lord carry your hearts in his tender healing hands. I have never lost a child, but I did lose the man I loved while he was deployed in Afghanistan in 2009. I know how one's heart aches for answers and to see the Lord working through a loved one's life and death. I saw the Lord use Tyler's death in amazing ways to bring glory to his name; and I will be praying with you that He will do the same with your son. We will never have the answers, here on earth, that our hearts desperately desire while grieving; but we do have the promise that we will be reunited with our loved one some day...and that will be a glorious day indeed. I believe that your son and the Lord are so proud of your strength and courage right now. I believe that God is already weaving your strong faith and your son's life together to become a tapestry of colors for other to see and be drawn to our Savior. I walk this path with you, in prayer, as a sister in Christ who has suffered loss as well. All my love, Meg

  16. Gail I love you and I continue to pray for you and your family. Your words are such a testimony for your love of Christ (and your son!) May God give you peace in the days to come. -- Kelly Meronk

  17. Gail -
    Got this sad news from Facebook. We are so, so sorry to hear of Ryan's death. I cannot even imagine what the loss of a child feels like. I see the pain and your hope through your words on this blog. Your family will be in our prayers - for strength, for comfort... just for Jesus to pour His love over you and give you peace.
    Our hearts go out to you,
    Myron & Janne Cooper

  18. Gail,

    I am so sorry for the tremendous loss your and your family are suffering. I am the Uncle of Evan Hirt. We lost of 20 year old son on March 12th. He was 16 days shy of his 21st birthday. I can tell you , as you probably already know, that our Lord's grace is sufficient for each day, sometimes just moment by moment. We are finding that we cannot think of future dates without our Samuel being with us, but trust God for today. I know the Lord has and is going to be glorified by Sam's death, and will be in Ryan's death. Our plans for our sons were not our Lord's, but they are both with Jesus and He is faithful and true and loves our sons more than we do. I feel now that I have nothing to fear, the worst thing I could imagine has happened, but this does not change who God is, and how He will build His Kingdom in the hearts of people and that Ryan's life will be used to advance His kingdom. Grace & Peace to you, Todd McWilliams

    1. Gail and Todd,
      I know neither of you but will keep both of your families in my prayers during this time of losses. I thank Him for your attitude and willingness to trust the Lord even when we don't understand all the reasons for what has happened. I celebrate that while we may mourn, we need not "grieve as do the rest who have no hope." (1 Thess. 4:13) Gail, I suspect this blog will touch many hundreds of lives that will see God being glorified through your handling of this loss. May God bless you both, as well as your families. --Kyle Moritz