Wednesday, November 12, 2008

He was there all along

Ok ~ I'm new at this "blogging" stuff so you'll have to bear with me. Anyway, here's what's happening in my life right now:

I attend "Celebrate Recovery" every Tuesday night at my church (Crossgates Baptist Church in Brandon). For those of you who don't know what CR is, let me explain. CR is a Christ-centered Recovery group. There are several "groups" a person can attend each week, but I go to the "Hurts, Hang-ups and Habits" group.

Let me back up just a bit. Most of my life I was in church. I was saved (the DO YOU KNOW, THAT YOU KNOW, THAT YOU KNOW kinda saved ~ thanks Bro. Clark, I still remember some things you spoke about) on March 5, 1993 after a revival at the church I was going to at that time ~ Harmony Baptist Church in Crystal Springs.

Well on August 13, 2005 my youngest son, Brian, was murdered. After Brian's death my life took a major U-Turn. I became an angry, bitter, cold person. Oh, don't get me wrong, I still played the part of "Rita" ~ the "Rita" folks knew before his death, but I wasn't really the same. I became so angry ~ mostly angry at God for letting Brian be murdered. He could have stopped it ~ that was my thinking. If He "really" was there then why didn't he let Brian live. I had so many questions...mostly WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY.

Well, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008 I found out the "WHY". At my Celebrate Recovery meeting we had a guest speaker. Duke, the speaker, gave his testimony. Surprising, it was similar to mine in a lot of areas. Well after he spoke he said he wanted to pray for and with those that wanted prayer. So I get in the long line of those wanting prayer. While in line, my sister asks me "What are you going to tell him you need prayer for?" I told her that I didn't know but I'm sure by the time I got to him, I'd know. Well, when I finally got to him, I knew alright. I started crying and between the sobs told him about Brian and how angry I was, mostly at God for allowing it to happen. So, Duke started praying and praying and praying. While praying he said that it wasn't God's will that Brian be killed but he allowed it to happen so I, and Brian's brothers and sisters, would come closer to God and know that he loved us. He said that God told him to tell me that Brian's death wasn't my fault. That there was nothing I could have done to stop it or to save him. That even if Brian had been with me, he still would have died in some way. When Duke said all of that I really started crying. Because for so long I also blamed myself. I had said that if Brian had been with me, he'd still be here because I wouldn't have had him at that party. I had said that if I had fought harder for Brian to come live with me, he wouldn't have died. But none of that is true. I realize now that it was Brian's time. That God had greater plans for Brian, his life and yes, even his death. Once that revelation it seemed as if my anger toward God seemed to disappear. I realized that God truly is a loving God and the only reason I couldn't see Him while I was going through Brian's death was because I was consumed in grief and because of that, I couldn't see that God was right there with me the entire time. When I thought that I couldn't go on any longer, when I left like giving up and giving in, He was there. When I felt like I had literally ran my last race and was too tired to press on ~ I now know that God picked me up and carried me to where I am at this moment in my life.

I have to just praise Him for all of the loving and wonderful people in my life today. My children ~ they are the best of the best. We all have been through so much and instead of us growing apart, we have become a closer family. My grandson ~ I praise God every day that I am here on this earth to enjoy him. He is truly a gift from God. All of my family and my friends ~ thank you all for praying for me and my children. It has been a long and rough road but we are coming through the fire better people ~ we might smell a bit charred, but we've made it nonetheless.

Well, thanks again for reading my "lil note". Take care and God bless each of you.

Rita (aka Christopher's Granny)