Matthew 22:37-39

Matthew 22:37-39

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Consider Him

I am learning a lot from my daughter Lyndlee. She brings us so much joy. She teaches me to keep moving forward. She reminds me constantly that Gavin is in heaven and that he is with Jesus.
And while she struggles with wanting to know where exactly heaven is and wanting Gavin back just like our hearts do, she always concludes that he is with Jesus, and that he is happy and safe.
Somedays she has the most profound statements and I know God is whispering to her sweet heart and meeting her in her grief. She thanks God out loud that we can still laugh as a family. She asks Jesus to come soon and she prays her heart out to Him.
She proclaims He is the King and she is the princess. She sings songs to Him and talks about telling others about Him.

While we were on our way to Taiwan to bury our Gavin; friends from our church and family painted and decorated her room into this beautiful special place for her. It has been such a blessing and healing place for all of us and I can't begin to thank those special people enough. She still remembers the day we got home, and where we made her close her eyes as she walked into her room. And when she opened her eyes, she saw horses everywhere; horses in stables, horses by her bed, and even balloons for her Gavin.

The other night was the first night she slept in her new room. She decided she was ready, although we weren't quite ready for this transition. This room was where she and her brother would sleep. It was full of silly times, memories, laughs; but now pain and fear. This room was where we laid our son to sleep and found him not breathing just a few hours later.
But she was ready to tackle the fear. So all through the night I kept checking her; checking her breathing, and giving her kisses.
And then at one point I just stared at her in awe. She had won and had no fear! I could sense Isaiah 41:10 in her room, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

My heart was sad because she was sleeping in her room and Gavin wasn't there with her. I am missing those memories. He would have been jumping on her bed, poking her eyes and pulling her curtain down on her head.
But she was so very brave and was teaching me in that moment.
I could do this. She was defeating the fear and was giving me courage to do the same, to keep walking back to my own bed to sleep. And then she too, just like my Gavin, was pointing me to Jesus.
Somedays I get angry. Somedays I get sad. Somedays the fear engulfs me and satan attacks me in everything. Somedays I am overflowing with God's peace and comfort, and then somedays I feel like I can't go on.
But I can and will walk this journey.

I can run with perseverance this race He has marked out for us. I will fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame and sat down at the right hand of God. When I am angry, sad, fearful, overwhelmed and missing Gavin; I will think of Jesus, I will consider Him.

Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3

Monday, February 20, 2012

Anger & Blessings

These past few weeks I have entered an anger stage. In my human mind, I am angry that God chose not to heal Gavin and breath life back into his lungs. I am angry that we are hurting and on this walk of grief. I am angry that God won't show me just a glimpse of His purpose. I am angry I can't be with my sweet son. But God doesn't leave me alone in my anger. He sits with me, whispers to me, encourages me through songs, through Scriptures, through gentle words from loving friends and family, through the love from my sweet daughter and husband.

I won't stay in this anger, I know He will bring me through it and open my eyes a little wider to His mercy, grace and love.

So today I am choosing to not focus on this anger, but instead look at the blessings. I want to look at what Gavin taught me and is still teaching me today.

Gavin taught me how to fall in love with a picture all over again. Lyndlee taught me first and then Gavin. And while I didn't know either of them at first; I loved them, I wanted them and I became their mommy starting with a picture through email and a simple international phone call. Blessings indeed.

Gavin taught me patience and complete trust in the Lord. I wanted to be with him during his heart surgery, but I couldn't. Through Gavin, God worked in my heart and taught me the peace of God, which gave us understanding, and guarded our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Gavin taught me what the words "strong and brave" really mean and he pointed me to Jesus. He was so weak in Taiwan and so tiny prior to his heart surgery. And yet he was still described as strong, brave, a complete joy to be around. The first time I saw his scar on his chest, I cried out asking God why would He have his child go through such a thing like this? And then I heard God saying, My Own Son went through even more on the cross; for you, for Gavin, for Lyndlee, for Brennan and for so many many others.

Gavin taught me to smile more. I remember getting to Taiwan the wee hours of the night and waiting till his 3am feeding so I could hold him for the first time. He smiled and smiled at me and I watched him being silly with his daddy for the first time. You could never be in a bad mood around Gavin, it was his goal in life to make everyone smile around him.

Gavin taught me to RUN. He was always on the go, I was always chasing him.

Gavin taught me how to love with all my heart. He loved everyone and made sure they knew it. Everywhere we went, he made it his goal to make others happy and feel loved.

Gavin taught me I needed "new time out methods" for him. He was very naughty at times.

Gavin taught me to pray in a deeper desire. At age 2, Gavin was praying a simple prayer, "Thank you hahahaha, thank you, Amen. We aren't for sure what hahahaha meant but it was the perfect prayer. To this day Lyndlee recalls this sweet prayer her brother would always say.
But soon I could see in his eyes and hear that he was wanting to pray and say more to the Lord. It was an amazing thing to see unfold.

Gavin taught me that he too could help me finish my plate at dinner just like his daddy would.

Gavin taught me to belly laugh. I loved watching him tackle his sister or wrestle his daddy.

Gavin taught me to sing more. I love singing with my kids.

Gavin taught me to live life to the fullest.

Gavin taught me reliance on the One True God.

Gavin taught me to desire more of God.

Gavin taught me this is not the end.

Gavin taught me this is not our home.

Gavin keeps pointing me to Jesus.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Manna Every Day

Some days I don't know what to pray for.
Some days I don't understand this journey the Lord has us on.
Some days I don't understand all the changes that keep happening.

Today we made some changes in our house. Our house is such a blessing from the Lord and we are so thankful for a roof over our heads. It is a house full of love and wonderful memories; but also a house of pain, fear and tears.

When the fear and pain appear, we cling to God.
For He alone is our hope, an anchor for our souls, firm and secure.
Hebrews 6:19

Absolutely there are days when I feel like I am drowning in the pain and fear.
Today has been one of those days. I question and ask, why Lord, why my son?
I am thankful for God loving me through my whys and meeting me in my grief.
I am thankful He doesn't let me dwell long on them and encourages me with His everlasting love and His truths.
I am thankful for the Holy Spirit helping me in my weakness and keeping me keep afloat.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.
Romans 8:26-27

I am reading the One Year Book of Hope. I wish I could have a day to talk with the author Nancy Guthrie. She is so real and gifted in her writings. She has watched two of her children die from Zellweger Syndrome. Her purpose in writing this and sharing her story is to give others a daily dose of truth and comfort. She describes in her losses that she needs "manna from heaven". Just like the Israelites were dependent on God to provide manna for them every day in the wilderness, she will depend on God to give her the manna she needs every day to sustain.
And I so completely agree.
I need Jesus everyday.
Only He gives me strength to keep me moving.
His truths provide the manna I need everyday to sustain me.

So some days I don't understand, some days I don't know how to move on, and I lack the words for what to pray for.
This I know is that He alone will sustain me. And He alone will satisfy me. And He alone will heal my emptiness and broken heart. He alone will be my manna every day.