Eternity swept into that hospital hallway, in the midst of my anguish and sorrow. Could this be real? Is this a bad dream? There is no way the love of my life and the father of my babies heart could just stop. God, how is this even possible? Why Patrick? He was making such a difference. He was a godly leader and hero in every realm he entered. Death? No, can’t be. There is so much life, love, hope, dreams and family ahead. This cannot be the story of our lives.
A silent but unmistakable peace surrounded my heart as it was beating so fast. I could feel God’s hand lifting me up out of the deep waters of pain that I felt like I was drowning in. I could feel His presence even more in the greatest absence of a person in my life. Words were coming out of my mouth but I felt as if I wasn’t speaking them. A strength much greater than me, Jesus. He was taking over. I could feel the comforter, I could feel hope in trouble. How could this be?
Patrick was the man I had waited for what felt like my whole life. The one I dreamed of growing old with, the one I chose for life, to bear his children and to be his helper, was now gone. This was not what our story was suppose to look like. He would never get to see our little newborn grow up, watch him smile or get to play with the child he had prayed over and anxiously awaited his arrival. Will these three babies really be fatherless? This is the greatest pain, the worst reality of them all. Oh, how they had the best Dad. I woke up one restless night and remembered all over again that this truly was my life and through sobs, I yelled out into the dark night, “I will never have a little girl with Patrick’s blue eyes”. The sobs ran deep but God’s voice spoke hope, “keep holding on, I am here”. I knew He was by my side.
Funeral. Really God? Why did you pick this day of all days to take him home? Yesterday, our world was turned upside down and today, we have to sing to my firstborn on his third birthday, moments after planning his daddy’s funeral in the other room. My baby has no idea just how much his life just changed. God, fill in the gaps, be enough, this feels like too much.
Words played in my head, life giving and truth filled words about God’s heart for me. His faithfulness and goodness to walk every heavy moment with me. He was there. Sitting in the back of a car, riding towards Patrick’s funeral as a 25 year old. I felt like I aged 50 years over those few days. I remember holding my little baby’s chunky fingers as I looked out the window thinking everyone else’s world is still going and mine has stopped. My emotions were all over the place but even then, I felt an excitement for the supernatural. It was as if God whispered in my spirit, “watch what I will do today, you will see how not only Patrick’s life made a difference but his death. This is not wasted, I am answering your prayer. I am not done”. I looked over to the empty seat as if Patrick would be sitting next to me and remember thinking “babe, this is going to be a life-changing day, God is going to work, I can feel Him moving now”. I felt as if God was pulling up my exhausted body from the seat and lifting me and my hands up telling me to worship through the pain. He was there, He was good even when life wasn’t and that was reason enough to praise Him.
Many words were spoken of the man I loved more than anyone else, but none could possible describe him fully. The hope of glory was shared. Jesus, the reason that Patrick was living his best days now. He would have loved those moments of truth being spoken. Spirit of God invaded the room, felt as if I could just touch it, holy ground, only Jesus. He drew, He worked, this death brought many to eternal life. Picked up my baby in my arms, with two littles near me and we walked that long center aisle behind a black box, this is surreal. We didn’t know what lay ahead of us but we knew we wouldn’t walk alone.
It was over, the plans, the service, and I found myself in a room with my babies holding them closely as I sang “Doesn’t matter what I feel, doesn’t matter what I see, my hope will always be, Your promises for me….” this would be our anthem, this is how we would survive. So much absent from us from that week forward, yet Jesus was near. He would be faithful and the goodness of God would be tasted in our brokenness. In our greatest absence God is present. He was more than we could ask for.
Three Years ago today, Patrick Price, always loved and remembered.