I sit here 10 weeks after my son died and my heart is light and filled with joy. How can I say that? Dare I say that? I dare and I will. This can only be because of one thing; God is around the corner.
Tonight as I sat amongst 24 people in my living room hearing their voices raised in loud songs of praise and hearing their stories of how God is moving in their lives....I wept with tears of joy, not sadness. Some of Ryan's friends started a "Closer" group and we have been meeting in our home for 3 weeks. Every Thursday my living room is filled with his friends, some new friends and some of Tom and my friends. We are drawn together by two common denominators; Ryan's death and God's love. What God is doing is nothing other than miraculous.
Tonight we had a time of sharing stories of times when we felt God's touch. The stories were amazing. I was reminded of the time when I think God first breathed into me, "I am here for you. I will always be here for you." When I was 21 I was headed to Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Two weeks before school started I got a call from a singing group I had auditioned for 6 months earlier. I thought they had forgotten about me. They had lost my contact info. Despite my college plans I decided to abandon school and tour with this traveling singing group, New Dawn Singers, for a year. I had to fly into Atlantic City and meet these people I only met once. When I walked into the small terminal, there was no one there to meet me. I was alone, in a strange city and had no clue what to do. I had been sitting there for about half an hour and I decided to remain calm and write in my journal. As I was journaling my fears I had this sudden wash of peace come over me and I heard the Lord say, "But I am here with you daughter, I'll always be with you." Peace set in. At that very moment a guy rushed into the airport and yelled, "Is there a Gail Maher here?" I waved my hand and took off with this band of strangers in a green carpeted van. But the Lord was with me and has been ever since.
Tonight as we were sitting in the living room I felt that gentle voice again say, "I'm still with you. Situations change, people change in your life......but I will provide new people and new circumstances and I will be in those people and circumstances...look for me. Even in the pain, I am there." I have been seeing Him through this entire journey of grief. He is in my friends who have been by my side as needed. He is in my new friends that have come into my life and brought a new sense of joy and friendship. He is in my workmates who are patient with me as I get my focus back and who love me and make me laugh. He is in my husband who gently loves and supports me on the good and bad days. He is in my children who. He is in Ryan's friends and other young people who give me hugs, make me smile and share their lives with us. He is in my parents and siblings and other family members who love so deeply. I could go on and on.....He is everywhere. Because God is always around the corner, I can sit here 10 weeks after Ryan's death and have a light heart and joy in my spirit.
I can have a light heart and joyful spirit and still miss my son and weep at missing him. I am realizing that these things that seem to contradict each other, can co-exist. They can co-exist because God is always around the corner. He meets me every time.