Our community has been shaken, and a family has been forever altered.
Sunday afternoon, at around 4:30, a 3-year-old little boy named Carter went missing. He was at the river with his family.
Last night, his body was found. He is in the arms of Jesus now. And my heart breaks for this family. I spent those two days crying off and on and praying for a miracle.
Our community banded together in amazing ways. There were hundreds of people volunteering their time searching and doing other things, and thousands of people in surrounding communities and across the web who were lifting up this family and praying for a miracle for them.
But it wasn’t to be.
And even in the midst of the awesome support, there were voices of judgment. Even in the midst of the unthinkable, the horrific grief and agony this family was feeling as they searched desperately for their little boy, there was judgment.
What kind of parents are they?
How could anyone let this happen?
They should have been watching him better.
And I know that more than likely many of those same thoughts are taunting this family right now. They are questioning every decision they made that day, and blaming themselves. My view may not be very popular, but I’m just going to say it:
It could happen to any of us.
I don’t care how good of a parent you are, how protective, how cautious. We have ALL had moments of turning around for a second. And kids are fast.
I see photos and hear funny stories all the time of toddlers who put things in the toilet, unroll a whole roll of toilet paper, cover their little brother/sister in lipstick, peanut butter, etc.
If your child has ever had the time and opportunity to get into something that they shouldn’t have, then you’ve turned your back long enough for tragedy to strike as well. Because it only takes a second.
I’m not trying to scare anyone. I just want us to look at things with honest eyes and not judgment. Because I know you’ve had it happen as well. Every parent has. Period.
Now, I’m going to put myself out there with a little story (one of many). No one would call me careless. I’m known as being the cautious one. In some cases, the overprotective one. But, once, I was going to the grocery store. My boys, who at the time were 4 and 2, were playing outside with daddy, so I looked around for a visual before getting in the vehicle. Both were safely at the garden area with hubby, nowhere near where I was going to be driving. I knew they were safe with him, so I got in my vehicle. Buckled my seat belt. Took my foot off the brake and put it on the gas ready to back out. I felt a tug in my spirit to check again. I put my foot back on the brake, still turned around backwards looking out the back window. The moment my foot was back on the brake, I saw my 2 year old through the side window, coming around from the back of my van. He had been right there. This story could easily have had a different ending and I would be that “bad mother.”
I don’t know why some people are spared, and others aren’t. I don’t know why some teens drive too fast and laugh about it the next day, while others are buried. I don’t know why some people get a story and some people get a tragedy.
I don’t know exactly what happened in this case. And I don’t want to speculate about how it did happen, but I know there are many things that could have happened.
The point I want to make is that just because it hasn’t happened to you, doesn’t mean it couldn’t. It doesn’t mean you’re a better mom. It just means that you got another chance, when sometimes people don’t get a second chance.
Please, please pray for them instead of judging them.
Lord, God, I cry out to you on behalf of the Nall family. I pray that you will be their strength when they have none. I pray that you will comfort them, and give them the peace that passes all understanding, somehow in the midst of this awful tragedy. Your word says that you are near to the broken hearted and I pray that they will feel your presence surrounding them in the coming days. I pray that you will lift them up and give them your strength to get through this time.
Note: I’m usually lenient when it comes to comments, but if there are any attacking this family, they will be promptly deleted.