This morning, I sat in church and listened to a woman share a spoken word where she touched on what it’s like to be in the waiting of a potentially life-altering time. My heart broke and tears began to stream down my face. I was reminded of how painful the reality of waiting for answers about my sweet Kayla was. All I could do was cry out to Jesus.
I remember getting the text that our beautiful girl Kayla was in a hiking accident in April of 2016. I remember the vividly heart-wrenching, terrifying emotions that raced through each of us as we drove blindly, unclear of what to expect to the emergency room. I remember sitting outside as we sat and prayed and waited for her parents to drive the long way from our home in San Diego to the hospital in Phoenix.
Every day after that, we spent most waking moments sitting outside the hospital praying with everything we possibly had inside of us, scared and waiting. We prayed for comfort, we prayed for answers, we prayed for God’s kingdom to come and heal our beautiful girl.
We spent the last week of our freshman year of college crying out to God, holding each other up because we couldn’t stand on our own, and hoping that our reality was only just a dream. Driving home from Phoenix I was feeling weaker than ever, only to come home to more broken hearts who were also in the same boat. The boat of waiting on the rocky seas, praying for a wave stronger than the rest. Praying for some sort of answer that you can’t even pinpoint.
Once I was home, I found myself going straight into a new job while trying to keep myself from breaking down at the mention of most anything. Trying to keep myself busy and distracted while still in the waiting. The waiting. The stillness of waiting. Anything as small as a pin dropping in an empty room could’ve rocked my world. The feeling of not knowing if your best friend would be okay. Praying for God’s will to be done, but hoping that God’s will aligned with my own wishes. We prayed for indescribable healing because after all, our beautiful girl was resilient. She was a fighter and we would say “if anyone could get through this, it’s her”. We prayed day and night for miracles and blessings to fall upon her beautiful life.
It was the night, 10 days after the initial accident, that we went to pick up our friend. As we pulled up to the front of his home and he walked out to our car with a face I’ve never seen, we knew. The waiting was over. The answer was nothing we ever prayed for. I remember feeling like God didn’t answer our prayers, instead He did the opposite. That morning, He took away this beautiful girl from an earth that so desperately needed her zeal. My joy felt robbed, my heart was torn. The waiting was over. We heard the small pin drop in the empty room. Our world was rocked.
Moment after moment, as more people heard the news, my heart felt like is was breaking off piece after piece. At the same time, I felt a temporary peace from the Lord that made me able to walk without falling and speak without trembling. He allowed me to be a comfort to those who were hurting. He sewed up my heart with dissolving stitches that helped me to live; maybe I wasn’t living fully, but I was able to exist wherever I was placed.
Week after week, my heart went through the wringer. I knew what peace and acceptance felt like. I knew what pain and anger felt like. I knew what it was like to stand upon the feet of my Father while He walked and danced me through life. I knew what it felt like to be paralyzed with sadness and grief, to not be able to pick yourself up from the crumbled heap you became on the floor.
Month after month, I felt the Lord planting seeds back inside of me in hopes that one day I would begin to bloom and grow again. I realized that God fulfilled His promise. He brought her healing and full restoration with Him in Heaven. I knew that had she survived on this earth, she wouldn’t have been the same beautiful girl we knew. She would’ve lived in pain, unable to run and dance and live fully in the way her zest for life would’ve wanted her to.
Eventually, I learned to find peace and accept the reality even though it wasn’t what I would’ve ever wished for. Some days are still so hard without her, but I know she holds the highest amount of joy up there with our Abba. We serve a good and faithful God who doesn’t put these accidents into motion, yet He promises that He is with us in it and His will shall be done in the process. We aren’t guaranteed much in this world, but we can rest assured that we are given the promises of God as He is our holy, everlasting Father for all of eternity.