God is Our Refuge & Strength

If you’re used to reading my blog daily, you’ve probably noticed that I haven’t posted these past few days.  I apologize for that.  My heart and time just haven’t been in it.  My cousin, 37, was killed in a horrible car wreck here earlier this week.  The other driver was coming around a curve at full speed and didn’t turn, just kept driving straight and hit my cousin directly on his driver’s side.  The rest of his car was completely fine.  Even his guitars in the back seat were completely untouched.  The other driver’s car caught fire and she had to be rescued by officers that arrived at the scene.
A little bit about my cousin.  He had just moved back to Sullivan’s after living the last ten years in the Bronx.  Everything seemed to be going right for him when this happened.  Those who knew him said he was such a great friend with a passion for music.  He made you feel comfortable right away and had this vivaciousness, yet coolness about him.  In my eyes, he’ll always be remembered as one of the most positive people, and a very talented musician.  When we were little, he taught me a piano piece he’d made up, and I can still play it to this day.  We just got a piano yesterday, and naturally it was the first song I played on it.
In his last year in this world, he was closer to Christ than he’d ever been.  After the wreck, his father was able to take his bible from the car.  Just a constant reminder that we all need the Word.  His Word.  Even now, when it just doesn’t make sense.  But for as much as we can’t understand, we know he’s in heaven now.  At peace.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Psalm 46:1
Please pray for our family.  There are 24 of us cousins on one side, and he was the oldest.  Pray for strength that my sisters and I can hold it together when we sing at the service today.  Pray for his father who will speak at the service.  And ultimately, pray for peace for our entire family.  It’s hard to think about it now, but the Lord has a plan for each of us, and He needed him now.  We just didn’t want him to leave us so soon.
Life is short and so very fragile.  It sucks that incidents like this have to happen for us to be reminded of that.  Squeeze those that you love.  Tell them you love them.  Often.  You can never say it too much.  So many questions run through your head when tragedies like this happen.  But in the end, you can’t bring them back.  And you have to learn to accept it.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”
Proverbs 3:5
To be extremely honest, today’s going to suck.  Like I mentioned, there are a lot of us…cousins, uncles and aunts, sisters, parents, friends.  We all live primarily in South Carolina, but still don’t get to see each other altogether that often anymore.  It’s just sad that when we finally get to all be together, it’s for something like this.  There will be tears.  I’ve tried to stay pretty upbeat with the kids this week, not trying to think about it.  It comes and goes for me.  It’s hard to not think about it all the time.  Like how easily that kind of accident could happen to any of us, and why it happened to him.  
Wake up each morning with a grateful heart, for you never know when it may be your last.
After I told the girls, Effie asked if the mailman goes to heaven.  When I asked her why?  “Because I want to write a letter to him and tell him we’ll miss him.”  And Wheeler wondered why we’re so sad because he’s going to be in heaven now, and don’t we all want to go there one day?  Yes, one day…but not today…and not too soon…and not unexpectedly.  But like I said, it’s not our timing, our path was paved well before we were brought into this world.  It’s just our purpose to follow Him and the path He created for each one of us.  I pray that I will always be able to instill that in my children.  My cousin loved many, but one in particular was my grandmother.  We’ve always credited her with giving all of us (her grandchildren) our musical talents and abilities.  One thing that does make me happy is picturing them in heaven together, smiling and singing.
Thank you for your prayers!
**All photos from today’s post were taken by my cousin.**

32 thoughts on “God is Our Refuge & Strength

  1. I'm so sorry Ashley. So very very sorry. I am asking Jesus for comfort for all of you. What a precious tribute to him for you and your sisters to sing at his funeral. You will live in his neighborhood in heaven one day. Until then, I am praying for the strength only God can give. Angela

  2. I'm so sorry Ashley. So very very sorry. I am asking Jesus for comfort for all of you. What a precious tribute to him for you and your sisters to sing at his funeral. You will live in his neighborhood in heaven one day. Until then, I am praying for the strength only God can give. Angela

  3. You've been in my prayers since I didn't see your usual posts. I'm so sorry for your loss, Ashley. You and your family will continue to be in my prayers. Take care.

  4. So sad for your loss. My prayers and thoughts will be with you in the following days. Thank you for this post, you have helped me so much in losses I am experiencing.

  5. Sorry to hear about this young life taken too soon. This is very tragic and my thoughts are with you. Although no one can change the sadness we feel from events like this, we can always hold onto the great memories. Life is the greatest gift but also the greatest sadness when it's gone. Enjoy everyday.

    B

  6. I am so sorry for your loss and will be praying for you and the rest of the family. I, too, had a cousin die in a car accident when I was a freshman in high school. Sudden things like that truly make your heart hurt and make you think deeply about life. God will take care of y'all. Lean on Him and keep your cousin's memory alive by sharing the good memories with others. ((HUGS))

    Cynthia in IN

  7. Ashley, I am so so sorry for the loss you and your family are going through. You are all in my prayers. Much love and peace to get through this. Xoxo

  8. Very beautifully written! Seeing it from a child's view is very humbling. Lilly had the same response as Effie. She thought it was so amazing that he gets to see Jesus.

  9. I am so sorry to learn about your cousin. I pray that the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will surround you and all your loved ones.

  10. As I am just now seeing this post, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Earlier this week something was weighing down on my heart, and I constantly prayed over it, but was unsure of what exactly I was feeling. You may not know me, but I have come to know and absolutely love your sweet family through this blog, so know that I will keep you in my prayers and always be here for y'all. God will reveal His plan to you, even if you may not see it then and there. Many prayers and love from Florida, to your strong family. XO Caroline

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