I have loved Jesus for as long as I can remember. As a little girl and into my pre-teen years, I knew and loved Him as my best friend. I had a running dialogue with Him throughout the days in those years. I knew He loved me and wanted the best for me. When I was 12 years old I made a decision, one of the most foolish decisions of my young life. I decided that I didn’t want to follow Jesus anymore. I remember lying in bed one night, sensing His presence beckoning me to say my bedtime prayers. I remember turning my back to Him, so to speak. I said to Him, “I want to do this on my own. I don’t want Your help anymore.” That began the most foolish period of my life, lasting until the summer I turned 17. After several years of defiance, rebellion, depression and tons of trouble, I met a boy. I met a boy who reminded me of Jesus. And, thus began my journey of knowing Jesus as my Savior. As I grew in my knowledge and love of Him I realized that everything is, was and is going to be about Him. In fact, we measure time according to His coming to the earth and dying. We declare everything that occurred before He came to be B.C. – Before Christ. And, everything that occurred after His death to be A.D. – Anno Domini, meaning The Year of Our Lord.
A short time after our son’s death I had a “vision” of my tiny little blip of a timeline. I saw the beginning of my life here on earth, the end of my life somewhere “out there”, a few significant events toward the beginning point, and a huge vertical red line going through the middle of my timeline. I knew, as soon as I saw it, what it was. I have been marked – my timeline has been marked by this event in my life and the life of our family. Everything in our lives has been marked by “before Israel died” and “after Israel died”. It is as significant in my life and the lives of my family as the birth and death of Christ is to the world.
We didn’t go anywhere but the funeral home the first week after Israel’s death. And, when we went to the funeral home, our 20 year old who was still living at home, rode with us in our car. As a result, she hadn’t driven her car the entire week between Izzy’s death and funeral. Sometime in the days after the funeral, the 3 of us decided to go somewhere in her car. I will never forget hearing her let out a little choked sob from the back seat. I turned to look at her, to comfort her, and she was holding an empty box from Kentucky Fried Chicken. She said, “This is from before…..” My husband, who was not quite as “in tune” to these things as I was at the time, kind of chuckled a little “what?” But, I knew what she was thinking. What she was feeling. I knew how her life had become defined by the event we all wished had never occurred.
Her timeline has been permanently marked by the death of her brother.
My timeline has been permanently marked by the death of my son.
“My times are in Your hand….” Ps. 31:15