Friday, May 18, 2012

Permanent, or temporary....................


On April 7, 2012 the world was altered for many.   For many this alteration was permanent....for some it was just temporary. 

I cannot tell you how many FB messages, emails, texts and conversations I have had with people who have said that Ryan's death and/or my blogging have altered their lives.   Most days these stories are what help Tom and I move forward and keep the perspective that if Ryan's death has brought hearts closer to the Lord, then we get it.  I say most because some days when the pain is so great, we sure wish there had been another option.  But overall, we feel honored to have had a child that made such a positive impact on other's lives through his relationship with his Lord.  Could a parent want anything more? 

 After nearly six weeks we recognize that for many the emotional experience might be fading.   It is at this point people are faced with the reality of how Ryan's death REALLY DID impact their lives; was it temporary, or was it permanent?  Was it a rush of emotion, or a rush of reality?

As I drive home from work I usually find myself thinking of Ryan.  The other day I was looking up into the blue sky as I was driving and found myself asking Ryan, "How was your day?  What did you do today?" I was amazed I didn't get that vice grip on my heart.  And then something strange happened, I felt as if Ryan was whispering to me, "Mom, it's time.  It is time to stop being so sad and move on and use the momentum of my death to help bring others to a deeper knowledge of Jesus and help make the alteration they felt, permanent.  You can do it mom."   At that moment I felt this surge of renewal.   I thought this renewal was here to stay........ but this week has actually been kind of hard.  It appears on this sixth week others have begun to feel the reality of their loss of Ryan and a surge of new pictures have cropped up on FB.  As much as I LOVE to see the reflection of his life, it has been hard to see so much of him again.  But, I will never run away from his memory. 

I still look at his pictures and can't really fathom that he is gone from this earth forever. I still tear up.   But, at the same time, I find myself walking with this sense of urgency that time is running out; none of us knows when it will be our last day.  None of us dreamed Ryan's life on earth would be over at the young age of 20.  So what makes any of us think that we have time to do our own thing a little while longer, resist a little longer, and THEN allow change to take place in our lives?  I can't imagine if Ryan had died living with that perspective.  It would have been so much harder to see him go.  I know he wasn't perfect.  None of us will be until we are living with our Savior....but Ryan lived with the purpose of making Christ first!   Ryan didn't have the corner on the market for living boldly for Christ.  We all have that ability. It's a choice. The time is now.  Each of us knows those areas in our lives that we are reluctant to give up control. I pray no other "tragedy" has to happen to get our attention.

So, the question we have to ask ourselves is if we are going to allow our lives to be impacted by Ryan's death temporarily or permanently?  I choose permanently.  I am ruined for Christ forever and the constant reminder of Ryan's life on earth will help me keep that perspective, not in a morbid sense, but in a life giving way.  I pray Ryan's home going will have been worth the pain as others allow God to PERMANENTLY change the areas that He has been beckoning.

Ryan will always be my son that is living in heaven, but his memory will be carried on earth as we allow his home going to impact our lives permanently.  How awesome will it be to say, "When Ryan, my son, brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, friend, acquaintance, stranger really impacted my life and that is when I started truly living for Jesus!"

Rev 3:2-3 
"Up on your feet! Take a deep breath! Maybe there's life in you yet. But I wouldn't know it by looking at your busywork; nothing of God's work has been completed. Your condition is desperate. Think of the gift you once had in your hands, the Message you heard with your ears—grasp it again and turn back to God.
"If you pull the covers back over your head and sleep on, oblivious to God, I'll return when you least expect it, break into your life like a thief in the night.


  1. Mrs. Wahl, it may seem so crazy sometimes that your blog, a way you might use to deal with such incredible loss (something I can't begin to comprehend since I am not a mother), can speak such hope and grace to many. Your words bring tears often as I read them. They bring life and honesty to a world afraid of much.
    Gosh, I hope people are affected permanently. To have known such a lovely brother and to be shaken on how short life really is and the impact of him on so many is a permanent marker in my life for several reasons. Anyway, here is a fun story...

    I remember leading his Bible Study at YWAM and He just got so tired of talking about it; He wanted to get out and tell the whole town of Oxford, and got everyone in the group excited. So, we got in the vans and headed to the supermarket to pray and find ANY Kiwi that would listen. He was quite passionate!

    Thank you for putting your heart and thoughts on the internet. My prayers and love from Oklahoma continue to go to you all and those very close to him.

  2. We just had a one day women's conference where we spoke of Ryan and your blog, we also had a young girl share her testimony (Taylor Fiddyment) she broke her back this year and is now in a wheel chair permanently unless God chooses to change that...she is sharing the goodness of God in spite of her injury. God is using these things powerfully in these last days to get people's attention! We can't forget that He IS coming back soon!!! Mathew 25;5 - Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep." Ryan's early departure was a huge wake-up call, I pray all that knew him "WAKE UP" "But at midnight there was a shout, behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!"

      Thanks for the continuous wake up call Gail!
      Still praying.....