Love Her Like Jesus

How do deal with a tragedy?  How do you look into the face of someone who has just lost the love of her life and say anything that will help?  I honestly do not know how to answer that question.  I don't. 

I am a social worker.  I went to school for six LONG years to learn how to speak to people in their time of grief.  It is what I do every single day of my life and when it hits those you love personally it is different.  There are no words.  There are many things that I do know but what is so hard is how to wrap my mind and heart around something so devastating.

I have posted before about death and tragedy and my thoughts and feelings about that.  This has not changed and will not change, even when, just yesterday I learned of a young man losing his life way too soon....even though a beautifully sweet young woman will have to try to explain to her precious 10 month old baby girl how very much her daddy adored her.  How do you do that?!  I cannot imagine! I just can't and my heart aches trying to think about it.  I can't think about it. 

I have read Julee's blog for years and have talked with her on Twitter for awhile now.  Most recently we have kind of shared the joys and struggles of parenting an infant.  Preslee is a month younger than Hannah.  We have talked about sleepless nights and colicky babies together and the pure joy of being mommies.  I have even had the privilege of passing down Hannah's sleepers to Preslee has Hannah has outgrown them! :)  There is such a strong connection and I will forever be grateful for those friendships that I have made in that way. 

Saturday evening, Julee's husband and Preslee's Daddy, Matt, who was a newsman for KTHV in Little Rock was in a tragic car accident and went to be with Jesus.  When I found out, my heart was instantly hurt.  I am still just so sad for that family.  I have tried to figure out within myself, in conversations with my husband, and with another friend of mine why this has hit me so hard.  I just am having such a hard time shaking the feelings of overwhelming sadness I have for this family.  Is it because of Preslee?  Is it because he was born the same year I was?  It is because it was so tragic?  I can't put my finger on it?  Maybe it was because the Turner Family is a beautiful family portrait and it is such an example that tragedy can strike anywhere, anyone at any moment and it shook me to the core.  All I do know is that I want to jump in my car and drive to Little Rock, wrap my arms around Julee and hold her and cry with her.  I want to love on her and her family and closest friends.  I want to love on and play with Preslee until my heart physically bleeds. 

This morning the song that kept coming to my mind was Casting Crowns "Love Them Like Jesus."  I couldn't even really recall the exact words until I listened to it and the first verse was just perfect.  I listened and, of course, bawled like a BABY!  If you do not know the song, you should look it up on YouTube but here is the first verse and the chorus: 

The love of her life is drifting away
They're losing the fight for another day
The life that she's known is falling apart
A fatherless home, a child's broken heart

You're holding her hand, you're straining for words
You trying to make - sense of it all
She's desperate for hope, darkness clouding her view
She's looking to you

Just love her like Jesus, carry her to Him
His yoke is easy, His burden is light
You don't need the answers to all of life's questions
Just know that He loves her and stay by her side
Love her like Jesus
Love her like Jesus

In our Bible study this past week, Beth Moore spoke a great deal about anguish and grief and joy and how they can co-exist and then spoke about anguish being replaced with joy.  That is my prayer.  I know that right now that seems so far out of reach for this precious family but my prayer is that Jesus be near and that eventually they feel joy that only God can provide.  God be near.  Be near. 

"The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me, because the Lord has anointed provide for those who mourn in Zion; to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes"
~ Isaiah 61: 1-3


Beth said…
I understand wanting to just go and be with her. That's what Job's friends did. They just went and sat with him. There are no words of magic comfort. There is simply constant prayer that God will provide them with the peace that passes all understanding, and you letting them know that you'll be there in whatever way they need you to be.
I didn't know this family personally but it turns out several people I know did. I think it hurts because we are moms imagining our children without their Daddies, and our lives without our husbands. Imagining that sort of takes on the pain of it in sharp little increments.

I will continue to pray for your friend and her family.
JJC said…
Hi rikki,
I found your blog through the silent auction. I only know julee through the blog world and have been reading her blog for 2-3 years. Though she has no idea I even exist, I'm absolutely heartbroken for her. I, too, find myself in the same stage of life as julee. My husband and I are just a bit older than Matt. We have a 4.5yo little girl and a 9mo little boy. He's almost exactly a month younger than Preslee. I look at our little guy and just can't imagine losing a daddy at that age.

Through reading this post I'm commenting on, I think you must be doing the "James" study, too! I was struck by how appropriately timed Beth's lesson was with the circumstances. I may be mixing up lesson weeks, but I was also struck by the discussion on page 84 about loving the orphans and widows. I just cried and cried for Julee when I read through that portion of the lesson. My heart just hurts for her. I know it will get better for her, but it is hard to see a sister hurt.

And, I'm kind of your "neighbor"! I live north of Fort Worth in a city that starts with k. ;). I also used to work in a NICU as a speech therapist, but that was in TN.

Your girls are beautiful! :)

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