Right now I'm feeling brokenhearted. I'm struggling to understand why yet another one of the kids I watched grow up has died.
I remember Michael in youth group. I remember he drove me crazy, but I knew he had a good heart. He just wanted to be loved. We all want that. I remember hoping that he'd get along with the other kids because I knew that if he could make friends with the kids in the youth group that he would be set for life. Sure, we're all messy and screwed up, but the kids from the youth group tend to hold together and build each other up for all of their lives.
Lord, did He remember You? Did we fail him?
Right now all I can think is how young he was. He was only 19, and this happens two weeks before Christmas. Why?
Why did this happen? I don't believe You caused this to happen or that this was some sort of punishment. I think bad things happen because we live in a world that is fallen and messed up. I don't think Michael Ebens should have died. He was just a kid. Just a year older than Forrest. That scares me. All these kids I love, Lord...why do so many people have to die?
I hate crying, You know this. I hate that this has happened, and I don't know who to call? I hate that I can't be home for the funeral or the visitation because of finals and all of this. I hate that I'm already feeling guilty because of this.
And what I hate most is that I feel like I should have been spending time with this kid. I hadn't seen him in ages, and now I will never see him again. Should I have said something more the last time I saw him? Was there something else to be said? Did he know that even when he drove me crazy, I still saw him as a good kid and a kid to be loved? He was one of Your children too, and I loved him for that. I loved that Michael always got excited about things and tried so hard to always have the answer. He was a smart kid, Lord.
This just breaks my heart today.
Lord, please take care of Michael's family and his friends. The kids he went to school with, the kids in our youth group, all of us who helped teach...we're in shock. We don't understand, and I know we might not ever get an explanation, but please, God...help us. We are hurting and breaking because someone else has been taken from us. Heal our shattered hearts. Make us whole again, Lord so that we can help heal others.
And Lord, please help us to find good, even in the sadness. Help us to hold tight to You, and please, please, please, use even this darkness to create new light.
Thanks for listening, Lord.