When Tragedy Strikes

by | July 2016 | Guest Writers

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When Tragedy Strikes

By Vicky O.

It is 1:00 a.m. on July 20, 2000, and I am alternating between sitting and laying on my bathroom floor crying out to the Lord, “Why?”

I am so weak that I cannot get up; I can only cry and pray. But “Why?” and “Why us?” seems to be all I can say in between the reminders to God of all the things I have done on His behalf. I list off all the mission trips, the ministry work, and so on and so forth. As the tears keep falling, He gently impresses me that it was to prepare me for what I face now.

My panicked questions continue. “How am I going to do this? What will become of our family? How can we cope with this, how can I live?”

As I sit, inconsolable, a verse comes to me. ”My grace is sufficient for you,” 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Exhausted, I tell God, “Okay.” I thank Him for the thirteen years He gave us, get up off the floor and get into bed.

July is here again. How I used to love this month! It is the middle of summer and my birthday month too. But it has become the month I dread. Sixteen years ago, July 19th, God called my 13- year old son, Thomas Evan, to be with Him. It was the result of a car and bike accident. With the Lord’s help, we have come a long way, but there are still memories that remain and are more pronounced at this time.


It has not been an easy sixteen years, but the Lord has been good to my family and me. It was awful in beginning, as though the whole family had fallen apart. I really just wanted to roll over and die myself, but I still had my husband and two other children, and none of them was doing well. Each had their own issues, and I felt I was running around trying to fix everyone’s problems, getting nowhere. I grieved mostly by myself because I didn’t want other to see me that way. I wanted to “walk the walk,” showing that I believed God had not made a mistake and that His will was perfect, even if I didn’t like it. I trusted that God had a reason for taking Tom and I wanted others to know that I did. I wanted God to get the most glory from our situation as possible.

Sometimes, when I was alone, I would just sit down and sob. The Lord would let me do this for a while and then He would intervene. Something around me would happen. The dog would start barking and it would be like God patting my shoulder, saying, “That’s enough for now, get up and go see why the dog is barking.” Or the phone would ring and it would be the same thing, “You don’t have to answer it, but get up and go see what the caller ID says”

Although I experienced despair, I could feel the Lord’s presence. I had this image of a hurt, angry child with their arms wrapped around their dad beating on him. He just put his arms around me and kept telling me it would be okay. I may have been angry at times, but I still realized that God alone could help our family get through the hard times.

God used others to help me as well. I was blessed with wonderful friends who came alongside me. I was also blessed by getting to know women who had gone thru the same tragedy a few years before. I had never known them before Tom died. It was truly God thing who worked out those relationships.

The Lord also used His Word to help me. Not surprisingly, I had a hard time sleeping. I would lay on the couch and read my Bible on those sleepless nights. I desperately wanted to know more about the Lord now that Tom was actually with Him. One of my favorite verses is a fairly familiar one.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,

for His compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22-23

It took a while, but we slowly began to heal. I am forever grateful that the Lord helped me. Now I also want to help others in similar situations as well.

About Vicky:


Vicky with her daughter, Melissa

Vicky is a wife to her husband Ken (they’ve been married for 35 years), a mom to Tim and his wife, Miken, to Melissa and her fiancé, Travis, and to Thomas Evan, who lives in Heaven. She is also a grandma to Harrison Evan. Most importantly, she is a daughter of the King.