A couple of weeks ago, one of my (blood) sisters were visiting our home in Brooklyn, NY to celebrate her birthday when she called me with the most horrific news that instaneously turned her trip from being a joyous occasion to a saddened one: A friend of mine had lost his 25-year-old son to gun violence leaving a 2-year-old daughter behind and one on the way in a few months. I was absolutely devasted!
I felt the pain of not only my friend (that I haven’t seen since moving away from home after college), but as a parent with two children of my own. How was my friend getting through this devastating loss of a child? At that moment, I just simply could not imagine. It made me love and appreciate all over again the two children that God has temporarily loaned to me. On the contrary, it also made me hate and abhor the gun violence our world is experiencing especially amongst the (my) African-American community’s males. As I spoke to my sister over the telephone, I was thinking, yet another family and community grieving the loss of a son gone too soon; yet another mother’s, father’s, sister’s, brother’s heart broken into pieces. My question still lingers… Why? Will somebody please tell me why?
My family and I have personally endured the grief of loosing young loved ones to gun violence. Sadly, there are few African-American families whom have not been touched (or at least know someone in their midst who have been touched) by this cruel social ill. I’ll never forget viewing my young cousins’ lifeless bodies (three to be exact–two of which were brothers killed a few years apart) in a still casket and thinking, “we were supposed to grow old together.” Anytime I hear of death by gun violence, it resurfaces my own personal painful experience all over again causing me to do what I did back then: Run into the arms of my Jesus and lay my grieving weights completely on Him!
Thank God for His Word that I read and embraced as if my life depended upon it during every grieving season: Weeping may endure for a night, BUT JOY cometh in the morning! Jeremiah 31:13 provides a promise from our heavenly Father, I will turn their mourning into joy. I thanked God for all of my friends who surrounded themselves around my family and I during our experiences of grief from death which provided us much strength. But nobody’s words (as nice as they were) could provide me the healing comfort and strength that God’s Word was able to. Through grief, I’ve learned to trust in Jesus and depend on Him more than I had before.
My thoughts are now particularly towards the mother who is now faced to raise children as single-mother without their dad. As a single mother myself, I understand clearly the challenging road that lies ahead for her. But praise God that as a Daughter of the ultimate Father, I also know without a shadow of a doubt, that by allowing her God to carry, lead and guide her, she will mother victoriously and her daughters will rise up through life successfully.
This incident has emblazened my heartfelt passion for the community service initiative that I’ve envisioned to launch, my Father Lift Her program through The Daughters of Christ, Inc., that will serve and support single mothers and her children. It also brought back to my remembrance the police officer who was killed in a car accident in Montgomery County MD this year leaving a widow, a child and expectant triplets on the way. When I read this story, my heart broke, but I allowed it to move me into action to help this new single mom once my program is up and running as well. There are so many single mothers who need the love of a judgeless community and the compassion of a service-oriented one as well. I personally am moved into action to serve, to heal, and to love. Will you join me?
If you have recently suffered a loss and/or are experiencing grief at this time, look up, see God and allow Him to reach for you to carry and comfort you in His loving arms. Psalm 31 is my favorite to read at a time like this. I pray that you’ll find it comforting as well. You will continue to have your moments of crying or shouts of anger–that is human and a normal reaction to loss. But I also know from personal experience, that although you will never forget your loved one, you will rise to live, to love, and to leap again towards your unique purpose in life that brings you joy.
The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. The Lord gives his people strength. He is a safe fortress for this anointed king. Save your people! Bless Israel, your special possession. Lead them like a shepherd, and carry them in your arms forever. (Psalm 28:7-9)
I dedicate this blog posting to the entire Maxey family–stand strong and see the salvation of our Lord!
I Love you my Royal Family and am praying diligently for you and your’s.
Always, Your Sister Darnella
The Daughter of Christ