I have so many specific memories during the time of his short life on earth. Conversations with your mom; play dates with Joshua; the Christmas pageant at school; Breakfast with Santa at the club; and the day I stood up from my desk, walked across my office, closed my office door, and sobbed all alone when I learned that he had been called Home. I remember so many things, but most especially, I remember watching you and knowing that the only way you were putting one foot in front of the other was by the strength of a God who you unwaveringly have followed and depended upon.
I don't know if you know that my father died very suddenly and unexpectedly when I was pregnant with Jackson. To be clear, when I think about losing a father in my adulthood versus losing a child, so young and tragically...there is no comparison, and I say that truly from a mother's heart. I cannot fathom the depth of that loss, other than to simply know the depth of love that went alongside it. I mention my father here only because I remember very intensely feeling a nearness to God in those days, and seeing a real opportunity to recommit and reawaken a connection to faith. People talk about losing their faith in experiences like that, and mine was very much the opposite. I am not a highly devout person, and I tend to be pretty private about my faith, but for whatever reason, there was a presence for me in those days. There was not a questioning or a pushing away from God, but really the opposite. It was a reminder that God would be with me through what I knew I couldn't handle on my own.
If I had to distill it down, to really say how Will has impacted me, it reminds me of those days when God is simply present and deeply felt. I am incredibly blessed to live a very comfortable and generally fairly easy life. All of my material needs and virtually all of my wants are provided for easily, as are the needs of many of my family and friends. And I think it could be easy for me to live in a space of complacency because of that. It is easy to walk through life thinking that I've got things under control all on my own, because the path is smooth and straight. Having obstacles that can only be described as insurmountable, has shone a real light for me on faith and the power of conviction. Your faithfulness has been such a source of inspiration to me. And to see your faith, through these experiences, has reignited that desire to draw closer to God in my own daily walk. So for me, that is my answer: Will has brought me nearer to God.