Well I made it 15 days without shedding a tear… not trying to not cry, just didn’t cry. Then today came. November 1st. The day that 8 years ago Wills Bowie went home.
Generally speaking, as I sit at my desk daily, I am pretty caught up in the world. Work grind. Kids needing to be picked up, dropped off, practices we can’t miss, dinners I forgot to put in the crockpot! Navigating friendships for ourselves and the girls. Paying bills, watching politics unfold – what a joke!! The seeming lack of justice in the world. The right being called wrong. The wrong being called right. The toxic culture of feelings on the throne of our hearts and redefining of words. So many distractions, so many opinions, so many short sighted and short tempered decisions being made on every side. So much disrespect for human life and God’s orderly design. So many shouting for justice, yet so few seem willing to turn the other cheek, to give your coat to your enemy, to walk that extra mile. It’s easy to stay caught up in the drama and the desire for God to DO SOMETHING ALREADY!!!!!
Yet today, as I sit at my desk, reminiscing Wills’ short sweet life I am again finding myself at the same conclusion God, in His perfect sovereign wisdom, brought me to 8 years ago today. The conclusion that involves more humility than humanly possible, a humility that has to be a gift from God on His throne… before Wills breathed his last breath, the most humble prayer came over my heart and gently spoken out of my mouth. A prayer I never would have come up with on my own: “I know we don’t deserve it Lord, but please receive our son.” Within seconds, his spirit left our arms and departed this exuberant earth. To be honest at the time, I disagreed with the prayer that came out of my mouth. I felt we DID in fact deserve it. Every prayer until that point had been: Take our son, Lord, don’t let him suffer!!! We knew how this needed to go down, God needed to not let us or him suffer, God owed us!!! He’s the one that sent him here. He’s the one that allowed Trisomy 18. He’s the one that gives and takes away. There should be justice in this. Right??????? A young family has a sick baby, come on God, you can’t leave us hanging here. You’ve got to make this manageable for us! We’re your children after all, and all good parents just need to dote on and encourage their kids. No discipline or trusting or thoughts being higher than our thoughts. We know what a good God does, we are smart, so be sure to follow our plan and everything will be just fine:)
8 years later and I am confident the most valuable lesson I learned through Wills was that humble prayer. We REALLY DON’T deserve it. I find that I am at my very best when I am not worried about what God should or shouldn’t do, what God does or doesn’t owe me or someone else. I don’t define God… He defines me. And while I often get this wrong and depart from that prayer and mindset, He has the sweetest most tender way of bringing me back to that humility and it has become my overarching theme of prayer: Lord, I know we don’t deserve it but (fill in the blank) and your will be done!!!
He’s promised His presence. He’s promised His love. He’s promised to be a Good Shepherd. I find myself in the most trouble as I, a sheep, try to tell the Shepherd how to tend to myself and what He should be doing with the other sheep. I find myself most content as I lift my eyes to Him, the author and perfecter of my faith and in awe, understand that His ways are higher and my call is: to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with Him (*that also includes not worrying about if other sheep are abiding by this!).
It has been a tough pill to swallow, one that goes against my very human nature and even as a Christian. But as I read my bible, I find it over and over again. Humility mixed with faith is a beautiful thing. I am grateful to continue on this journey… a journey I do not deserve but am so lucky to get to live it with Him, who is trustworthy and wise beyond comprehension. I don’t deserve His love and affection and attention, but here I sit knowing to my core I am deeply loved and cared for.
Wanted to share to honor Wills, to encourage anyone I can, and to basically just praise Him for being a God that gives us prayers that are beyond our comprehension when our hearts are aching – and just so happens to marvelously light the path for future intimacy with Him.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9