Amber Smith, the wife of country music singer Granger Smith, kicked off the new year by reflecting on her faith and sharing how it has helped her family get through each day following the tragic death of the couple's 3-year-old son, River.
She wrote a lengthy Instagram post reflecting on the emotional toll of the last year.
"2019 — The year that brought me to my knees. The year our beautiful red-headed boy turned 3 and went Home. The year that same sweet boy saved two other lives. The year that broke my heart into pieces but also tempered my spirit," the grieving mother captioned a slideshow of photos of her family on Instagram.
The first image in the photo gallery is an illustration of the Smith family holding hands. Amber and Granger are holding two of their children, London, 8, and Lincoln, 5, and standing next to her is an image of Jesus holding the hand of their late son, River.
Amber's post went on to highlight some of the family's milestones in the midst of tragedy last year, including Lincoln starting kindergarten and her daughter losing three teeth.
She also talked about how she and her country star husband, who's also known by his alter ego Earl Dibbles Jr., “vowed to not let anything tear our family apart."
Amber maintained that 2019 was the year she became closer to God than “I’ve ever been."
"The year I cried every day for six months straight. The year London lost three teeth and turned 8. The year we ministered to hundreds about grief and hope.
“The year my eyes were truly opened to what is important. The year we’ve never felt more love from our community. The year I found out that joy and grief can coexist. The year we dove back into the fire to help other grieving parents. The year that changed me. The year of the blue butterfly. The year I learned that I am not in control. The year that solidified that I can’t live this life without God,” she said.
While she acknowledged the difficulty of starting a new year without their youngest child, she also stressed that she's filled with hope for 2020.
"Through this sadness, I'm hopeful for all that is to come. My goals for the coming year are to grow the @theriverkellyfund and help as many people as we can, keep London and Lincoln thriving despite the heartache of the past year, grow in grace and faith with my Maker, share our story in the hopes of helping others, and be in the present moment because as much as we want to plan and dream, today is all we have," Amber stressed.
The singer's wife concluded her message with appreciation for God.
“This moment. Each day, whether good or bad, is another gift from God. I hope to live it with gratitude and compassion for others. I hope to continue to surrender my battles because in my weakness He is my strength. I hope to forgive myself little by little. I hope to keep bringing people to the Kingdom and sharing the love of God that I have felt so strongly."