Unanswered Prayers & The Loss Of Our Baby Boy December 21 2013, 3 Comments

I lost my mom when I was 20, she was 47.

We lost Bryer, our youngest son, 3 months ago. He was 10 months 26 days.

I am 31 years old.

The two mainstays of my prayers over my life were crushed within 11 years of each other. Ever since I can remember, I prayed for nothing to happen to my parents: death, sickness, divorce, etc.  Once Carey and I had children, my prayers always asked for protection over my kids...

Growing up, my family and I were your typical "casual Christians", attending church on the major holidays, yet I still prayed to God, not fully understanding who He was. My mom would eventually start going to church regularly once she was diagnosed and I would attend occasionally with her. But during my mom's battle with breast cancer, I lashed out at God, turned my back on Him. I became one of those 18-34 year olds who have vanished from churches. I questioned His existence, the story of Jesus...it just didn't seem at all possible. My heart was closed from anything spiritual. I'll stop with my back story but for those of you who feel that way now, I want you to know that I totally get it, I understand your repulsion from believing in God and The Bible, I was there...

My wife brought me back to my faith. The birth of Remy, our first child, added another level to it as well as the birth of our first son, Sander. Bryer solidified it. I can't begin to describe the impact of his short time here on Earth had on our family and those that were able to care for him. I'll leave those stories to Carey as she is much better with words than I. 

My experiences through some monumental times have shown that God is ever present in this life and it's just a matter of choice to see it. There's much to life that isn't how we would have planned it: bad relationships, losing those we love the most, unanswered prayers...

My prayers were not answered and I'm sure a lot of yours aren't either. God most likely has a far greater purpose for you and I and it can take a lifetime to understand that. Sometimes though, you are able to see the fruition of prayer come to light. The following is a journal entry Carey penned on May 11, 2013:

"Bryer is in the PICU. He has bi-papp on and is sedated. J and I were in the ER all night last night, 9 hours.  Didn't sleep a wink.  So we got home this morning at 8:30 and slept most of the day.  Last night was grueling.  It's gut wrenching.  It's trauma to the eyes to watch your baby struggling to breathe and so very sick and in pain.  Writhing.  IV's and breathing machines descend upon his body.  I long for him to be healthy and whole.  Safe and sound at home in my arms away from all the trauma that comes his way during an admission.  Bright blazing lights, bustles of nurses, many hands on him, holding him down, sticking his skin, poking for IV's and blood, more holding down for X-rays and scans... bright blazing lights. Cold rooms. Oh Bryer, how I wish you were in my arms freshly bathed and in your jammies. I would be rubbing that curly head of hair and singing you a song.  I'd lay you in your bed with cow and turn on your soothing lullabies with aromatherapy.  HOME.  Safely and healthfully is where I want you to be.  I want to see a smile on your face and a look of familiarity and pleasure….joy and happiness.  Lord, will you bring him back to us?  Can you take from him this grip of sickness and ailment, suffering and struggling.  Lord, please have mercy on my sweet boy.  Restore him.  Restore his mind and body.  May it work in harmony. I need you, Lord. I am weak and worn. I am feeling defeated and saddened. I pray I could feel your presence and strength.  

More importantly Lord…Holy Spirit go to him tonight.  Blanket him with your love and comfort.  Surround him with your peace.  Give him rest and healing.  I pray your will would be mine. That they would be one. May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give me this day, my daily bread. Oh how I need it!"

We shared this entry at Bryer's memorial service because her/our prayer was answered. This part, specifically:

"Oh Bryer, how I wish you were in my arms freshly bathed and in your jammies. I would be rubbing that curly head of hair and singing you a song.  I'd lay you in your bed with cow and turn on your soothing lullabies with aromatherapy.  HOME.  Safely and healthfully is where I want you to be." 

God brought him home to us after that stay in the hospital for 13 weeks, the best of his life. God also answered that prayer again on September 12, 2013. After Bryer took his last breath in Carey's arms, she and her mom were able to bathe him and dress him in his blue footed jammies. Carey then held him, rubbed his thick curly hair and sang him songs. He was HOME.