This post originally appeared on Carrie’s Thoughts on 9/24/14.

Monday, September 8, 2014

This was the day that Christopher died. He was my one and only brother. He was 20 years old. He died from complications of a lifetime of Sickle Cell Disease. 

That day was chaotic. That day seemed surreal. 

That night I wanted to feel grounded in some way. I reached for my Bible. I was reading about King David ‘s life in Second Samuel. I did not think that there would be comforting words in these passages. Not words that would bring me peace and healing about Christopher’s death. I knew that David had pain, struggles, and betrayal. I had read the Psalms of praise and worship, but I was only studying his life. I was just reading, expecting to go through the motions. I was shocked. I was hurt and just wanted to do something “normal”. Going into reading that night I wanted to be comforted, but I didn’t expect to gain it from Second Samuel. I expected to begin reading and then move to the Psalms or Ecclesiastes, for the comforting words I sought. 

A wonderful thing that I have noticed about God, is that he does not let me “go through the motions.” When I least expect it, He speaks. He tells me what I need to hear, even when I don’t want to hear it.

I began to read and the story of David and Bathsheba. In II Samuel 12: 15-23, it tells of David’s sorrow and struggles in prayer with the Lord to lift the affliction that was placed upon his child. This passage was exactly what I needed to read. David was at peace once the child had died. He says in verses 22 and 23, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’  But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” 

I immediately thought of all the times my family had prayed for Christopher’s health and recovery. How much had we prayed for his health and healing? How much had Christopher grieved over being chronically ill? How many pints of blood had he been given? How many hospital stays had Christopher endured? How many pills had he taken? How many sighs of relief had been breathed when Christopher was released from the hospital, just for him to return shortly? How many times had Christopher said, “I just want the pain to stop”? 

Our family prayed. We asked for healing. We asked God to make the pain stop. Well, God answered. He answered our prayers with a finality that was not expected. Christopher’s life had a profound purpose. He lived in pain while serving joyfully for Christ. He was here and his life brought joy and happiness to so many lives. There was a struggle for his life every single day. I thought that God would be gracious to our family and let Chris live. Now that he is gone from his body, Christopher is present with the Lord. He cannot return to my family, but we can go and join him in victory one day. God has granted Christopher peace. He has given Christopher rest. 

Although the death of the child in Second Samuel was intended to show David the severity of his sin, David had peace in knowing that the child would no longer suffer once dead. He knew that his child rested away from the consequences of sin. I can have peace, knowing that Christopher rests from the struggles of everyday pain with Sickle Cell. I can be comforted that his life served as a purpose to draw me and my family closer to God and that Christopher’s death was not a rebuke upon our hearts. 

“I will go to him, but he will not return to me”

God brought me comfort in this passage of scripture. He gave me a peace, that seemed just as surreal as Christoper’s death. It was exactly what I was seeking (like Christopher’s healing), but not how I expected to receive it. God began to heal my heart there. Please don’t consider me strong. I miss my brother. The pain is one that I have not experienced before and cuts me deeply. My healing is not complete, but it has begun. 

Please share your thoughts with me. Has God spoken to you in a way that you did not expect? Are you healing from a loss as well? I would love to hear what your thoughts are. 

Thanks for reading, 

Carrie G