TONIGHT I CHOOSE JOY

Not a moment goes by when I don’t think of that cute and smiley Bennett. Oh, he blessed our lives. And it was such a joy to celebrate him last week.

Our first celebration was on Wednesday night on the banks of the Mississippi River in Memphis. We asked those friends that had loved and supported us there to join us as we spread Bennett’s ashes into the river. It’s the place Bennett and the kids enjoyed to play. It’s the place where you could just feel the beauty of God as you watched the sun set. It’s the place that connects Memphis and Louisiana. So 50 of us honored Bennett that evening and it was something I will never forget. Just perfect!

Then on Thursday, we loaded up the cars with way too much stuff, hopped on a plane and headed home. A home we have greatly missed. Of course, we would’ve rather been coming back with all five of us, but God provided the exact love that we needed. When we landed at the airport, there were probably 30 friends there with welcome home signs and blue balloons…and great hugs! And my home was beautiful with fresh flowers planted in all my pots outside and a spotless house inside. We were served!

What a great welcoming committee!

What a great welcoming committee!

For Saturday, I couldn’t have asked for a better day. Not only was it simply beautiful outside with clear blue skies for Bennett, but we got to see and hug so many friends and family. And my facebook page was filled with other families wearing their blue (thousands of people!). My baby was truly honored and celebrated that day. And I was filled with joy…the kind that is miraculous. Never would I have imagined I could go to my own child’s funeral and find overwhelming peace and joy. We recorded the service, so you can watch it if you missed it on Saturday.

So you may be wondering how we are doing now. The family and out of town friends have gone home. The celebration services are over. And the four of us remain.

Well, we sure are learning that the grieving comes in waves. There are moments in the day where I am doing great and then something triggers a memory of Bennett and the next thing I know, the tears are falling.

Yes, we miss him. I long to hold him one more time and hear his sweet voice say mama. I long for the five of us to hold each other and have one more family hug. But honestly, I’m learning to long for God even more. I don’t want Bennett to be back here with us. I want us to be there with him! But until then, God is teaching Ben and I what it looks like to have an eternal perspective as we live here and as we grieve the loss of Bennett.

And one of the biggest lessons so far is that being joyful is a choice. It’s an overflow of trusting God’s plan and our role in His greater story. And it’s hard. Really hard. But it doesn’t mean walking around with a smile on your face pretending to be ok. It means fighting back the lies and bitterness and choosing to only focus on the things that reinforce God’s truth.

So tonight I go to bed rejoicing where God has me because I know it’s right where He wants me…trusting Him more! Whatever storm you find yourself in or disappointment that overwhelms you, if you are where God wants you, then it’s worth being joyful about too!

27 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing the whole time and Bennett with us. And thank you for sharing with us how you all are now. We are sad for you and at the same time we praise God that Bennett is completely healed and with Jesus. Hopefully one day we’ll get to meet you if not here then with Bennett. Praying for you as you continue to grow in Christ’s love.
    God Bless
    Connie L. Parmenter

  2. I think of you all so very often. Lifting y’all up…always. God’s perfect grace, I am in awe of His power!!

  3. Oh Megan, I love you so much. You and your family have touched me so much. I had tears if joy reading this. You are one brave, strong and courageous woman of God. I see him pouring out of you filling so many buckets. I am blessed to know you and Ben. Love you always
    Danielle

  4. Megan, you truly inspire me. In the wake of the the worst thing that can happen to a parent, you remain positive, joyful and hopeful. As you adjust to your new reality, please know that you still have an army of supporters here with you. I think of your family often and always smile when I see someone wearing blue. I’ll never again see blue without thinking of Bennett!

  5. I am thankful that my sweet grand daughter has a sweet boy to play at Jesus’ feet with.
    You all will continue to be in my prayers.

  6. Our family prayed for your sweet Bennett every night with our two girls (3 years & 15 months). Since his passing we talk about how Bennett is now laughing and playing with Jesus and his body is healed. So simple, but yet we all need to be reminded of that everyday. This is not where we belong. Bennett has just beat us all there. It will be such a glorious day when you reunite with him in heaven. Thank you for your openness during this difficult journey. Your family has been such a blessing to us. Continued prayers as you long for heaven…
    Melissa Franklin (We are from George & Martha’s church in Texas).

  7. Megan,
    I admire your way with words, your strength, your honesty. It’s amazing how you can make me cry and smile at the same time. You have a heart of gold and the light of Jesus shines brightly through you. I believe that God never wastes a painful experience, and I know he will continue to do His work through you and Ben. I too have moments that remind me of Bennett and I cry for him, for you, Ben, and the kids. There are many people grieving with you and praying for you.

  8. We have prayed for you all so much that He would work in your situation and heal the pain of losing sweet little Bennett. Obviously, you are choosing joy in the midst of sadness and you both are truly incredible lights of Jesus! We will continue to pray as you journey through this grieving process…thank you for sharing it all with us. We are challenged to choose joy as well.

  9. From Kathy and me, tbe word is YES. You are chosing the road that honors God’s plan, that honors Bennett and will bring healing to you, Ben and the kids. Love you guys, and may God continue to heal and love on you.

  10. Megan, You and Ben are the REAL DEAL. When most people would be throwing their fists in the air asking why, you throw your hands up in praise, giving Him all the glory and clinging to the Lord with all your might. What a witness. Because of your choice to be joyful, you are leading many many people to the Lord. Thank you for comforting US!! I’m honored to know you.

  11. I just wanted to Thank You for letting me be a part of your journey. What a Blessing you have been showing such strength and joy through out.Will continue to Pray for you and your family.

  12. Dearest Megan, I was so glad to hear from you this morning. I have prayed so for you and yours. I was so sure that Bennett was going to be healed and stay with yall. Well, that baby is healed an in his Father’s loving arms. Thank you for sharing Bennett with me and the rest of your family. All my love, Carolyn Kell.

  13. Praise His Holy Name, that you and Ben are choosing JOY. We think of you, talk of you, and pray for you often. I’m so glad McCall and Brian got to spend some time with you. They came home blessed. Hugs!

  14. I woke up thinking about your family this morning 🙂 I so loved seeing the sea of blue at Bennett’s service and then overflowing on Facebook! So beautiful! Love you, friend.

  15. I love your honesty and being “real”. It is so true that being joyful is a choice. Know that we are lifting you up in prayer each day.Let God carry you and your emotions. We love you!

  16. As I read your blog tears are flowing for you. I remember exactly the days that you are encountering. Everyone’s lives have gone back to normal & you have to learn to cope with the new normal. From one that has experienced the death of a child, the path is painful but joyful at the same time. But God is so loving & good! He will be with you all the way. Prayers continue daily for your precious & dear family.

  17. This….. “It means fighting back the lies and bitterness and choosing to only focus on the things that reinforce God’s truth.”
    Thank you for this.

  18. Thank you so much for sharing this celebration of Bennett’s life. Thank you so much for sharing your little Bennett and your journey on his way to heaven. I am honored that I could be a part of that with you. My heart still breaks for you and rejoices because Bennett is in Heaven and feeling no more pain. My family and I continue to pray for your family daily. Peace!

  19. My prayers will remain with you as you heal and continue on this earthly journey. As we’ve witnessed His light shining through you in this difficulty, I only imagine you faithfully proclaiming the good news of Christ with your remaining breath. May you feel encouraged and uplifted knowing you have been such a blessing to a multitude of brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as to many who’ve not yet surrendered their lives to Him. Each time I hear the song “I Am”, which you shared in an earlier post, I will think of your precious family and lift you up to the a Father.

  20. I am reminded that every day is a choice. Some choices are just harder than others. God is preparing you for His plan…you’re in my prayers. Keep choosing JOY.

  21. Baby Bennett is resting in peace along with my daughter, Aminah. It will take a while to mend a heart when you’ll loose a child. But with you knowing where your Help come from gives you comfort each day your live and always lean on God he is there for you and your family. I know because I have had to walk In your shoes and is still walking, for there is no day that goes by and I don’t think about my daughter . Aminah would have been 15 years old, June 25 makes 4 years, hugs and kisses and lots of Love to your family.

  22. You will probably never know the number of lives you have touched as you have walked through this part of your journey. I know that is no consolation for the loss of your precious child but know that ministry has taken place and Life has gone forth because of your willingness to share your lives and your hearts in this time.

  23. Dear Loved ones, I started praying two months ago that God would clothe you in His full armor, put His hedge of protection around you and to keep all bitterness & anger from your thoughts & speech. Joy is a choice; like Rick Warren says “when life gets hard we have a choice to be bitter or better.” We choose better in the the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. Love you

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