Trust Without Borders


I was recently invited by a teacher friend of mine to share Caleb’s story with his students for their Wellness Unit on depression and suicide.  I was invited last year as well, but gracefully declined because I wasn’t ready.  This year I said yes and on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, I walked into a local Christian school to share Caleb’s story with a small group of high schoolers.  Walking down the hall towards the classroom, I was overcome with a mixture of peace and sadness.  I knew I had made the right decision to come and share Caleb and my journey with them, but on the inside I was screaming, “Why me?! This isn’t fair! Why does it have to be me?!”

The discussion went well and as I walked down the same hallway to leave, I was stopped by another teacher friend of mine who works at the same school.  She met me in the hallway with a hug and said she had been praying for me the last hour.  I told her thank you and that I had felt the prayers.  I had an overwhelming calm and peace about me as I walked out the front door into the sunshine.  Caleb’s story was shared authentically, my grief was spoken honestly and God’s presence was felt dramatically.  The cemetery where Caleb is buried is only a few minutes from this school, so that’s where I felt I needed to be.  When I walked up to his graveside I felt the need to lay down and just be, so that’s what I did for the next 30 minutes.  I rested in the grass on top of my son’s earthly resting place and processed what I had just done.  I felt peace from God and gladness for the opportunity to share a story with the hope and trust that it will save a young life, and I felt Caleb with me.  I felt him in the light breeze, the warm sun shining on my face and I knew he’d tell me thank you for sharing his story to help others.  As I lay there focusing on my breath and processing the experience, the song “Oceans” by Hillsong United came to mind.

I have sang that song for years in church and in my car but when I heard it for the first time after Caleb died, the words were like a punch in the gut.  The innocence I had was gone.  My trust in the world was gone.  I was angry at God for not protecting Caleb MY way!  The lyrics couldn’t roll off my tongue as easily as they used to.  This chorus is literally a prayer.  Did you know that when you sing it, you’re praying…

“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Saviour.”

In the length of the original song, you will sing this stanza 6 times! I admit that when I sang it, I didn’t mean it.  I didn’t “really” mean that I wanted the Spirit to lead me where my trust is without borders.  I didn’t want to go deeper than my feet could ever wander.  I did, however, mean that I wanted to walk upon the waters wherever He would call me.  I did mean it when I sang that I wanted my faith to be made stronger in the presence of my Saviour.  What became painstakingly real was that we can’t pick-and-choose.  We can’t mean the latter without the former.  When I sang it, did I think I’d ever have wade the waters of child loss? Suicide? Loss of my ideal future and the dreams I had of a lifetime with Caleb? My family of five? Of course not! When tragedy struck and life as I knew it was over, these are the lyrics and the truth I found rest in.

“You call me out upon the waters

The great unknown where feet may fail

And there I find you in the mystery

In oceans deep my faith will stand

I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above waves

When oceans rise

My soul will rest in Your embrace

I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters

Your sovereign hand will be my guide

Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me

You’ve never failed and You won’t start now.”

In my life these lyrics are not just lyrics in a song anymore, they are my every inhale and exhale.  In my brokenness I called upon His name.  His grace has abounded in my deepest waters and his Sovereign hand has been my guide.  I am weary in grief and fear surrounds me, but He has not failed me.