Have you ever procrastinated on something important?
That’s typically not me, but it was last week. My topic for this post hit close to home, and I had trouble with the “going there”.
I remember the first time I left Abby for an entire weekend. After all of the years with children in-and-out of the hospital, I’d been yearning to finally get away with “girl-friends” now that my family appeared medically stable.
As the date of the 2015 Living Word Community Church Women’s Retreat drew near, I hesitated, knowing that I would be leaving my toddler behind, one with half of a functioning heart. One from whom I’d rarely parted.
One who’d nearly died many times.
I admit to being nervous. Christian and I had spent countless hours over the course of several years fighting to keep our children alive. Their birth defects and challenging diagnoses had transfixed us into this perpetual state of crisis, torturing us to no end with the pain of possible outcomes . . . the not-knowing how things would turn out . . . and worse yet, the dark moments when we thought today was likely the last . . . nearly drove us mad.
Thankfully, it all drove me deeper into the arms of God and made me trust Him more.
I decided to go.
I’m glad I went. I met Joanna Beck on the very first night. Pretty and quiet with her hands tucked into the pockets of her sweatshirt, she’d offered a “hi” and a simple smile when a mutual friend introduced us.
While I discerned Joanna’s greeting to be sincere, I noticed that her countenance saddened immediately after our introduction. My instincts screamed that something unrelated to me was amiss, but I didn’t know until later that night the reason why.
Her little boy had drowned less than two months prior.
Beacon of joy and player of drums, Joanna’s precious Aiden had lost his life due to a negligent caregiver. With one horrible phone call, Joanna and her husband, Chris, found themselves thrust into the midst of a heart-wrenching tragedy, immersed in the darkest moments of their lives.
My worst nightmare of eight years had become their reality.
How moving the moment when I next gazed into the eyes of this mother, this beautiful woman who’d loved and lost, this wife who’d survived utter anguish of soul!
The results of such loss can be devastating. Shock melts into anger and despair. Depression soars. Addictions increase. Bitterness breeds. Marriages fail.
But not the Becks.
While they have endured an intense grieving process, and, truth be told, some days still prove difficult, this amazing couple has founded a non-profit organization, Aiden’s Light, Inc., with a mission to counter the negative effects of poverty on children.
Swimming lessons. Piano lessons. Scholarships for education majors. Mentoring and goal-setting, psychological counseling and emotional support, academic tutoring and additional programming.
That’s not all. Their long-term goal is to build community centers in underserved areas in order to provide further support and opportunities that empower local youth.
Living Word Community Church will sponsor the first fundraiser for Aiden’s Light, Inc. on June 2, 1018. Please visit Aiden’s Light, Inc. for more information regarding their 501(c)3, upcoming events, and ways you can support this incredible ministry.
O Lord, I pray you would richly bless the efforts of this inspiring couple! Swing wide the door for them to help children find light in the darkness, to know that they belong and and that they matter in this world.
May Aiden’s Light shine brightly upon many children, that they may dance into their future, brimming with confidence and full of hope, living testaments to how You give beauty for ashes and trade joy for mourning (Isaiah 61:1-3).