Emily writes on. Her experience and journey after the tragic loss of one her students having drowned while on vacation.
As well-equipped as our mission is, there is no amount of training that could ever prepare you for the loss of one of your students. I'll never forget that exact moment when I heard my student had drowned.
The days and the months that followed were a blur of emotion and activity and some of the hardest moments of my life, like holding weeping students and meeting a tearful mother and father. But somehow, thanks to the YWAM Trauma Response Team, we got through and life carried on.
Like most people after a tragedy, I spent hours replaying every scenario in my mind to figure out what I could have done differently to prevent it, desperate to know what I must have done wrong. The feelings of responsibility and guilt were sometimes overwhelming. And most days the only thing that kept me going was the simple knowledge that there were 43 other students waiting for me.
When you are bearing such heavy feelings of grief and guilt and fighting that voice inside your head that tells you to despair and give up, you cannot imagine that things will get easier, that the heaviness will ever lift, that normalcy will ever return. And in many ways it won’t. You will always have some scars, some wounds from the painful road you've walked with the Father. But I can honestly say that one day after the storm has passed and all the many emotions have slowly faded to the background you'll find that a deep sweetness with God remains. And while it may never make the loss more understandable, somehow it will make the going-on-living just a little more bearable.
God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them.