Faith,  Grief

A 360 Story: Finding Hope on the other side of Grief

At that stop sign is where it all started…the place where life hit and hit hard. As I pulled into our neighborhood after work on December 18th of 2012; seeing Amyia outside with her friends was cool. Usually, I would ask her if her homework was completed before she decided to go outside with her friends. But, this was different. It was the week before Christmas break and I was going to encourage her to stay outside; have fun and be social but when I stopped the car I never knew that the unimaginable would occur.

We lost Amyia only a couple of hours after I stopped at that stop sign. The chaos that occurred for only a few hours was immeasurable. After calling the EMT’s, they rushed her to the hospital after a severe asthma attack turned fatal. I rode in the ambulance with her, praying for a miracle and still holding on to hope.

Even though I prayed and had prayed hard, my miracle didn’t come on this side of eternity and for me all hope was lost. Later that evening just before midnight my husband, brother and I arrived back home having to stop at the exact same stop sign but this time without Amyia.

From that point on I did not I believe I would survive this lost; my worst nightmare had just became a reality and the gift that I believed God had sent as Amyia was now gone.

I was lost, confused and frankly very pissed off. The night turned into the next day. Although, I wanted every thing and every one to stop so I could have my time to grieve; it wouldn’t. Family and friends began to arrive and now we had to plan for our child’s funeral. After the funeral I was expected to just go with my life. I still needed to work, bills still needed to be paid and our son, Christian, needed a mother. But day after day I felt less and less like myself. I didn’t know who I was anymore. The tears flowed down my face by the minute and every song on the radio reminded me of her.

I was drowning in my grief and there was no life preserver and the enemy was beginning to speak. Day after day, the “never ever” lies would begin. “Its never going to get better”. “You will always feel this way” and the worse one “if God really loved you….why would he take your child”.

I was crushed! Broken and ready to take myself out and yes I mean I was ready to die. The pain had become so severe that I didn’t want live anymore. But here is what happened, alone and by myself I thought of the plan to take my life but I paused…I remembered my foundation which was God. And, although I felt like He had left me I called on the Son’s name “Jesus!!…if you are here…help me”.

In that moment I thought of my son, Christian was only a little over a year old and he still needed his mother, I thought about my husband, my mother, my step dad and everyone that I loved began to pour into my mind, I then realized that this was bigger than me. So, I took the focus off of myself and aborted the plan to end my life.

Seven years later, I was asked to share my story and Amyia’s legacy with an educational organization. It was in that moment where I looked back over my life (as I break out into song) and said, “I survived”, “I made it” and “God, you did this”. If I would’ve believed the never ever lies the story would not be told and the encouragement through our own journey would not be given.

As I sit here and write this I reflect on the story in the bible of the woman at the well. The story can be dissected in so many different ways but here is what I received from it, Jesus meeting her where she was…mess and all. And, that is exactly what He did with me; my life was messy, dark and lonely and He met me in that place. I didn’t have to clean up before He arrived, He was right there in it with me.

Amyia’s Legacy continues lives on…these are the photos from the tree planted in Amyia’s name as well as the garden dedicated to her at her middle school. What’s so beautiful about this, is this vision was pulled together by a student who did not know Amyia personally but he was inspired by her and what she meant to people and for generations to come there will be students who will find rest and shade From Amyia.