Feeling destroyed but hopeful, I prayed for God to give me a sign that he sees me, that he can hear me, that he knows I’m suffering and that he is with me. It was October 21, 2019, the 70th day since Caleb had died and I prayed specifically for him to send me signs that remind me of Caleb. In my desperation and brokenness, I stood at Caleb’s graveside with tears running down my face and asked to see his jersey number somewhere, to hear his favorite artist or a favorite song playing somewhere, to see something that said “Lifeguard,” and to see the color orange in an unique way. I also told God many times that I missed hearing Caleb say, “I love you.”
When I got back in the car I started to drive out of the cemetery and took the radio off mute. The song playing on the radio was “Better Now” by Post Malone. One of his favorite artists singing one of his favorite songs. Not only that, the song was titled “Better Now.” Caleb loved that song and listened to it all the time! Normally I would have turned it off because it makes me too sad to hear it, but knowing what I had just prayed, I turned it up, held my daughter’s hand and smiled through my tears as I thought of Caleb.
The next morning was Tuesday and I was running a little late for work. Driving through the neighborhood I see the elementary school kids waiting at the bus stops. As I approached a stop sign, I saw TWO boys wearing red Lifeguard hoodies. I smiled and said, “I see you God.” I then stopped at the ATM for some cash and got $40 out and when I grabbed the money, it took my breath away. One of the $20 bills had an orange sticker on it! I could not believe it…God was showing me the color orange in an unexpected way!
Later that same week, I was able to reset his Apple ID password. Through iCloud, I now had access to his pictures and videos. As I sat at his graveside a few days later scrolling through for the first time looking at his pictures and videos, I wasn’t sure what this was when I clicked play. I honestly held my breath and cried as I could see him typing, “I love you too.” My heart melted and I felt so close to him in that moment. I’m so thankful to have this video!! This was on June 21st, the day after he left for Paraguay…I don’t know why he screen recorded this, but I’m so grateful he did.
When I stood there completely shattered and asked God specifically for these things, I believed that he would open my eyes to see what was already there. These were the moments I knew God was near. I knew he could see me, hear me and I knew that this was how he was comforting me. These were the moments the verse, “God is close to the broken hearted and heals those crushed in spirit” felt true. These are the moments when I understood what he meant when he said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” These are the moments when I knew he heard me, ”…you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.” These are the moments when I felt peace as I remembered that my faith is a response to the faithfulness of God. Had He been faithful to me before 8/12/19? Yes! Had God proved himself trustworthy to me many times before my son died? Yes! Choosing to walk by faith and not by sight is when I choose to see God just as He is, and not how I perceive him to be because of my circumstances. Here are a few more pictures of times I know God heard my cry and comforted me:
It will never be a good time for a tragedy but when it happens, keep your faith, look for the light and fight to feel it again.