Well it's been way too long since I've posted anything. My last post dealt with the loss of a friend and my wife's grandfather. Since that time we've unfortunately had to deal with more loss. The first few months of this year were maybe the worst we've ever endured as a family. Shortly after I posted my last blog a friend of my 16 year old son took his own life. Needless to say, this was not something I was prepared to deal with as a parent. There were no chapters in "What to Expect When Your Expecting" that dealt with helping your child deal with the suicide of a friend. This was a particularly difficult situation to understand as there were no signs that this was coming, leaving his family and friends to wonder what was going on in his life that would drive him to this extreme. Unfortunately, they will never have the answers.
It's difficult to watch your child's innocence ripped from them at such an early age and know there's not really anything you can do. We're walking through the healing process with him and pray for him everyday, but there just aren't the right words to say most of the time. I have been very proud of him in the way he has supported the family and his friends and the way he has turned to God for strength. I know at times some of that turning to God has been expressing anger at why this happened. As I've told him on several occasions, God is big enough to take our anger at Him. It's always been my opinion that He would prefer we be honest in our feelings with Him because that is when He can work with us. If we are just trying to put on a mask that everything is OK, we can't really progress through the healing process and never really grow in our relationship with God. Besides, He sees through the mask anyway so we may just as well be honest with ourselves.
Needless to say, this situation has really made me take a long deep look at what's really important in life and take a deeper look at what it means to be a Christian in such a screwed up world. A world where a teenager, who was a follower of Christ, was involved in the church, was a good student, an athlete, and had a lot of friends felt that he had no hope and the best option was to take his own life. I plan to get back into blogging on a more regular basis now that I've had some time to process all this and at this point some of what I have to say may offend some of you. It may be a little more personal, a little more critical of the church and American culture in general. I feel we've lost our way and taken our focus off of what it means to be a follower of Christ. We've become more worried about our political agenda and have failed to love people for who they are, image bearers of God.
Not that I'm exempt from my own criticism. In fact I'm as guilty as anyone, but I have some things that have been rolling around in my brain for some time that I'm starting to put some structure to. So we'll see where this goes in the next few months. I hope you come along for the ride.