Because God is good, I don’t believe God causes tragedies. And because God is good, God is with us and is always working to bring good out of tragic circumstances. Since the loss of our son, I see three ways the Lord has been with us and has brought good from our loss.
First, I was devastated when our son was killed. Initially I found it difficult to talk about his death. So I began to write my thoughts and feelings. By the end of each writing session, tears were streaming down my face. After I shared my writing with my family and friends, they encouraged me to publish what I had written because it was helpful to them. So I published Heartbreak to Hope: Overcoming the Anguish of Grief. Nearly every week I hear from someone who tells me how meaningful the book has been to them as they struggle with grief.
Second, our family has grown closer together as a result of our loss. When you go through something so devastating, the loss either drives you apart or binds you together. The divorce rate is extremely high for couples who have lost children. I am grateful to God that my wife, my daughter, and I survived by holding on to each other.
Third, as a pastor I have always had the gift of empathy for others’ heartaches. However, enduring such a loss has deepened my empathy far more than I could have imagined. Because of the depth of my pain, I am able immediately to go to the dark place others are living and walk with them. I can assure them that God will bring light to them and comfort them. Things will get better.
Every day I wish our son was still with us. But in spite of his death, God continues to bring good out of our loss. I am grateful that God is good and is always working to bring healing, comfort and purpose into our lives especially in the midst of tragedy.
Emmaus helped me laugh again, and it brought joy back to my life after the loss of my child. I am now stronger than ever in my walk with the Lord. And to this day, I continue to sponsor pilgrims to The Walk to Emmaus. In my local church, I have led our discipleship team and have had the opportunity to start new Sunday school classes and various women’s ministries. ¡De Colores!”