It's That Time of Year Again
(written by Lexi Kinsey)
It's that time of year again.... but then again, isn’t it always that time… with every change of season, with every holiday, milestone, occasion, celebration there are new trials that a bereaved parent must walk through. These occasions glorify happy, whole families and can magnify what is missing in yours. As we approach August and the start of school, I prepare my heart for a slew of “first day of school” photos. Grayson would be nearing age four at this point, so the start of the school year is having more sting than it used to. The first two years, I don’t think I even noticed it. But last year, as I saw my friends’ children the same age having their “first day of preschool” photos my heart shook. It was a new wave of things I was missing. Picking out a backpack and thermos, talking through how to make new friends and be kind to everyone, these teaching moments and conversations all passed me by as I saw others carry them out with joy and love. My heart ached to hold Grayson.
I knew last year, as I do this year, that I have two beautiful daughters that I do get to hold and look forward to doing those things. Last year I scooped up Aurelia and just cherished her. But I knew she couldn’t fulfill the ache in my heart. I know this year as I scroll the photos that no matter how full my arms are with my living children, the ache of losing Grayson can be comforted by God alone.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
Run to God when you scroll through the photos, do not let your heart be hardened with anger and envy. This is easy to do; you and I have lost something great and special. We can mourn, we can miss, but we cannot sin. I cannot excuse my jealousy because of my trials… trials are not to bring about sin, but to bring out blessing.
James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Allow God to work in and through you, with each hard season comes new opportunities for growth… remember that. God has brought you to this moment for purpose, for His glory and your good… Here are a few things that I will be keeping at the forefront of my mind as I approach this coming school year.
You can still rejoice! I can mourn everything that I am missing with Grayson and still be truly glad that I get to buy Aurelia a backpack and thermos for preschool this year. I can be glad that my friends have healthy living children who get to go to school. It is not just a putting off envy but a putting on of joy! True joy! We are called to rejoice with others, do this well, it does not negate the ache inside.
Prayer is key, for your own heart, for the heart of your spouse, the hearts of your living children, for grandparents, for anyone who may also carry an envy or anger in their heart at this time. Pray also for the children in the photos you see. They are not saved to heaven yet! Their parents do not have what we do, a child SAFE in the arms of God. There is nothing more precious to a Christian parent than what we have. Pray that each child would grow to know Christ, pray for the parents as they send their children out of their homes into the world. Pray that the parents would be steadfast in speaking the gospel to their children and be prepared to combat what their children learn in the world.
Finally, I encourage you to dwell. Grayson would be continuing preschool this year if he was alive. We have a preschool program at our church, and I would have been so proud to start him in that. I imagine the crafts he would do, the words he would learn... As I see where the other children his age are and what they are doing, I also can dwell on where he is and what he is doing. With that I encourage you to find unsurpassable joy that your child is in heaven, praising God, and to be eager to meet God yourself.
Lexi is wife to Cameron and mom to three babies: Grayson in heaven and daughters Aurelia and Aurora in her arms. She is a stay at home mom who enjoys serving at church, reading, writing, indoor plants, and chasing after her littles. She has lived in Southern California her whole life. She and her husband love taking the girls on adventures camping, to Disneyland, and back home to Cameron's families in Texas and Kentucky. Lexi also has a ministry called Grayce and Kindness, you can see more on her website (http://grayceandkindness.com/)