During this third Christmas Season without Ryan it continues to baffle me that he is gone. It still seems so surreal. How can it be? I miss his live it large presence, his big hugs, his annoying yet amusing antics and his contagious smile. I miss him just as much today as I did three years ago. But that missing has a level of peace I could never have imagined.
My grieving moments, those moments that catch me by surprise, generally come full circle. I start out with that gotcha to the gut moment and end with the truth of my reality that brings me peace, and yes, JOY.
The reality is that my heart has always been for my children to have God’s best, experience deep joy and laughter, and of course, live without pain. Because Ryan chose Jesus, this is the life my son is now living.
“…everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” John 3:15
Do you get what I’m saying?
Ryan is living my dream for him.
It is my own understandable selfishness that would want him back here where the permanence of my dream for him is impossible while living on this earth. We are a fallen world where sin exists and prevents perfection.
Ryan is living in Paradise with Jesus; a place of perfect peace, of sinlessness, of rest, of enjoyment and freedom from evil; a parent’s dream for their child.
One day, if I’m still here when God returns, Paradise (where those who chose Jesus as their Savior have gone ahead of us reside – Luke 23:43) and the New Earth, (the final Heaven – Rev. 21:3) will join together and I will meet up with my son again and we will live together in that perfect peace.
His absence from my life is not forever. His short 20 years is but a blip compared to eternity. These three years are a nano second compared to eternity. I can wait. I can live in peace until that time we are joined together again. I can smile for him when I look at his picture and not be consumed in sadness because he is living out my dream for him. Amazing.
Only a life in Christ would create this outcome from tragedy.
I have a vision of Ryan standing at Jesus’ side with his climbing rope wrapped around his shoulder standing ready and continually whispering to Jesus, “Is it time, is it time to bring the Heavens together?”
Not yet son, not yet…..but soon!
Today I went to the funeral of another young man who is living out the dream his parents had for him. They too shared their dream of perfect peace, sinlessness, rest, enjoyment and freedom from evil with their son; Heaven. Their son chose Jesus as his Savior and is living out that dream. From what I learned of this boy today I have no doubt he and Ryan are quite a handful in Heaven. But a handful without sin. That just makes me smile big.
Today the parents of this boy are not feeling the joy of their dream. They are simply feeling the deep loss. But my experience tells me that joy will come one day as the pain lessens and a realization takes place that their dream
was fulfilled; their son is living in Paradise and they will truly see him once again.
When I look at Ryan’s picture it is a reminder of these things to come. Painful, sometimes. Precious, always.