The following was written by my daughter Heidi Tripp after the passing of her 11 year old son Ben on March 2, 2014:
Momma’s Turn to be a Soldier-
Looking back over the past few weeks & months we can see how The Lord was preparing us for this journey. For Ben it would be a new beginning of freedom, joy and everlasting life; for me, Tim and the children it would be a pain, heaviness and grief we had never experienced before.
One thing Ben always enjoyed doing was dressing in his camo and pretending to be a soldier. He and his brothers would build forts and fight battles in the woods for endless hours. Two days before his home-going, Ben called me into his room. He said, “Look mom, I’m already to be a soldier.” He had cleaned his room and had his camo shirt, pants, hat and boots all hung and laid neatly at the corner of his bed. I was so impressed and praised him. I had no idea what message he would be leaving behind for me.
Two weeks prior to The Lord taking Ben home, we were coming home from church and listening to the song “Glory” by Selah. We talked about what a day it would be when we would see the glory of God and worship Him. Ben came home that afternoon, plugged in the iPod and sang that song over and over and over again. It was so unusual for him to sing like that on his own, and although it was getting a little annoying for all of us, we just let him keep singing. We knew he was truly worshipping God from his heart.
On that dreadful Sunday morning when our world stopped – The Lord reminded us that Ben was experiencing the Glory of God. Oh what comfort this has brought to our hearts! As we experience this journey of grief, we miss Ben terribly but we pray that God would reveal His glory in and through us.
As I look at the folded camo pants, shirt, boots and hat he left on his bed, I am reminded that Ben was ready – and now it is momma’s turn to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ (2 Tim 2:3). I want every moment of my life on this earth to count for the glory of God. Oh, the pain goes so deep and the tears at times seem to never stop, but this life is temporary. We have been placed on this earth for a purpose. We have taught our children that the chief end of man is “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever” (Westminster Catechism).
When I was pregnant with each of our children I began a prayer journal in which I wrote specific needs and desires for each child. I prayed Scripture over each one. On the Monday evening after The Lord took our Ben, I opened up the journal to read the scripture that was on Ben’s page -Deuteronomy 33:12 and Joshua 22:5. I had no idea the meaning of Deuteronomy 33:12 until that moment.
“And of Benjamin he said, the Beloved of The Lord shall DWELL in SAFETY by HIM, and The Lord shall COVER him all the day long, and he shall DWELL BETWEEN HIS SHOULDERS.”
This was God’s plan before Ben was even born. Until we are reunited we are reminded in Joshua 22:5 to love The Lord our God, to walk in all his ways, to keep his commandments, to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all our heart and with all our soul.
Thank you Lord for your promises, thank you for the time and memories we have of our Joshua Benjamin. Thank you that he is very much alive in Your presence. Thank you for the promise that we will all be together again. Until that day, we will endure the hardness as good soldiers.
– Heidi Tripp (Check out her Facebook)