Joan's Reflection

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This is a beautiful follow-up to Joan's story (see previous post).

God's Grace

The silence was deafening. I lay in my bed, consumed with so many questions. "God, have I not been faithful, have I not loved you with all my heart? Why would you take my son, my golden child, Manny? His hair would shine gold when the sun kissed him. Lord, I never saw his first steps, heard his first words, saw his first day of school. I will never see him as a teenager, his prom, or his wedding day..."

Praying, I began to drift off, questioning if God really existed. Did Jesus and the Day of Calvary really occur? My heart then skipped a beat. Was Manny really okay and at peace? I continued to pour my heart out to the Lord as I fell asleep.

I found myself wandering some unknown streets. As I tried to understand what was happening, I saw a teenager walking toward me. I did not know him. He was wearing a white tee covered by a flannel jacket and loose-fit jeans. His brown hair was cut short on the sides with the top strip long and pulled back in a ponytail. And then I noticed his eyes. My breath stopped. They were the deepest blue, that sparkled and pierced into your spirit. Manny's eyes!

"What are you doing here?! Are you okay?"

Although his lips did not speak, Manny answered me with a chip on his shoulder. "Mom, you know better." He looked up to the sky and saw something that I could not. Then he looked at me and smiled with so much love and awe. "Heaven is beautiful, Mom. Don't worry about me. I love you. Heaven is beautiful."

He looked up as if he had to go. As he left he kept reassuring me over and over that heaven is beautiful... heaven is so beautiful...

I woke up trying to wrap my mind around what had just really happened. Some may say it was just a wishful dream of a grieving mom, but it was more than that. The detail. My senses were filled. It was as if you were standing in front of me sharing a normal conversation!

I put my hands together in prayer and wept. This precious moment was bittersweet. The grief from this tragedy was overwhelming. Yet God was willing to move Heaven and Earth to give me this very amazing gift. I saw Manny as a teen. I was given the undeniable peace that he was more than fine, and one day we will be reunited in the presence of our Almighty Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in a Heaven that is "so beautiful!"

It has not been an easy road, not one I would have chosen. I have been condemned and mocked. My body has been devastated by this mysterious biotoxin illness. But God has graciously spared me and my surviving children. We all have struggles, but there is no denying the love and mercy of Jesus Christ. I thank Him for my husband, Bobby; all my children, Jordan, Angel, Manny, Nevaeh, and Ixchell; and the living angels He has sent to comfort me. One day I will kneel before Him and thank Him for carrying me when I could go no further, lifting me when I had no more fight, wrapping His arms around me in reassurance, and continuing to bless me on my journey with comfort, peace, and favor that only His children can understand.

So today, this New Year's Day, this fifth anniversary of Manny's passing, even as my heart aches from missing him, I will rejoice that eternity with God is everlasting! Psalm 118:24: "This is the day which the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it." I look to the future, to greater days and hold fast to God's promises. Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

In loving memory of Robert Manuel James Frederick
"Shining for I am with God"
11/17/06 - 01/01/07

May this also encourage those who have walked this path. We are not alone in our journeys! Praise Jesus!

Many blessings~
Joan Frederick