Some of the best things in life, the biggest blessings do not come easy. Sometimes you have to walk through the muck and mire to get over to the other side to experience a beauty that otherwise you would never experience. I'm reminded of the scripture Isaiah 43:2. . ."When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze."
When we walked through this journey, God was with us. Keith and I knew how to hold on to God and not let go. Greg was brand new at this faith thing and had so much to learn. He had not experienced this kind of love and grace and mercy in his life until this past year. He stepped out in faith to ask Jesus into his heart and he knew where he would spend eternity. But he struggled to hold onto faith in this world full of sin, addictions, and wordly things slamming into his life. Keith and I tried to teach him and love him through it all. Greg thought he was not worthy. We told him he was. He was a child of God and so very worthy. The devil kept screaming into Greg's head and he was trying to hear from God and we could literally see the battle. Greg succumbed to his old ways of finding comfort in a bottle, but the thing is, it didn't comfort, it just dragged him down deeper and deeper into despair. In that despair, he broke more and more over his daughter being gone. Keith and I believe that not only did his body give out, but his heart could not take the agony of despair anymore.
I use to tell Greg the verse that helped me when I was in despair over my son leaving was Isaiah 41:10. . ."do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." I used to visualize me holding up my hand to take HIS right hand. I told Greg one time to do that when he felt bad. I don't know if he ever did or not. But I know on August 20, 2012, his last night on earth, Greg did take the hand and was led into the kingdom of God.
Greg didn't have time to learn to walk through the fire and waters with God. How long does it take us to learn that? I can tell you, it took me awhile. But through all of this, Keith and I feel blessed to have walked this last year with Greg. And Greg told us many times how blessed he felt to have real friends who loved him uncondionally and accepted him, warts and all. And Greg is fully blessed now, that he is in the presence of the Lord.
Keith and I will learn from this experience and we will hold dear the memories of Greg. He will always be in our heart and as Greg strolls through heaven with God, we will remain here in our faith and move on, whether that be through the water, rivers, or fire.
We sure wouldn't mind though, if just once in awhile, to have a field of daisies instead ;)