My greatest fear has always been losing a child, and anybody that I am close to knows this. I spoke about it often, and the fear was so nagging that it ate away at my soul and wouldn’t let my mind rest. In fact, when my children were infants, I frequently had to talk myself out of guarding my heart, because my fear was SO great.

It took a sort of power over my life that, at times, made it so I did not want to get too emotionally attached to my children for fear that if something happened to one of them, that I would not be able to go on. I was constantly telling people, “If something happens and I should lose one of my children, God had better take me too,” and in a sense, He did.

He took away the biggest part of me, the one thing that I had let consume my life, my actions, and my heart. He took away my fear. What do you have to fear when your biggest fear has come to pass?

I had been so consumed with fear that I had lost sight of God’s promises. Somewhere along that road, I had obviously stopped trusting in God, his plan, His purpose, His promises. I did this unconsciously, of course, as I had been working hard on trusting God in all other aspects of my life.

Looking back on it now, my children are among the greatest things in my life. I know that andyet,  if I wasn’t trusting Him with my children, was I really fully trusting Him? The answer is no.

The Bible tells us over and over again, “Do not worry,” “Do not fear.” I was not listening, I was not trusting, and I spent my life worrying about my kids, my finances, and my career. Because I was worrying, I was not putting my trust in God. How freeing it is, to me, to realize this.

I now live my life without worry. I am God’s child. He loves me even more than I love my own children. He is not going to do anything to harm me. He is my protector, my Savior, my Jesus, my Father. My children are His children. He did not take Justin away from me to hurt me, even though, yes, it hurt. He received him into Heaven with a bigger plan for him, for me, and for my other children.

Mary Swick 2011

Mary Swick

Mary Swick

My name is Mary Swick. I live in a sleepy little town in North Central Iowa. I received my elementary education degree from Wayne State College, in Wayne, Nebraska, but I am now a stay at home mom, and love more than anything spending time with my family. I am assistant photo editor for Stolzman Photography out of Conrad, IA, and recently have taken on a few part time daycare kids. I feel so blessed to be able to contribute to the family income while still being able to stay at home with my children. I would not trade the time I have to spend with them for the world. My oldest son, Riley, is a very energetic four-year-old who just started preschool this past year. He loves school, playing outside, and watching football with his daddy. Jacob is two and a half years old and he cannot wait to go to school like Riley. He loves playing catch, tractors, playing with other kids, and snuggling with his mommy and daddy. My husband and I have another child who lives in Heaven. Our son, Justin Ryker Swick, was born May 14, 2011 and became and angel on August 11, 2011. Through Justin's passing we have learned so much about life and the importance of our faith in God, family, and community. My family and I have become stronger through this tragedy, and while I miss Justin every day; and long for the day I am able to hold him again; I am so thankful for the days I was able to have him with us. I am so proud of him, his life, and his legacy. I am thankful that Jesus sings him lullabies, and that he will never feel the pain of this world.

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