I am loved by an amazing God.
I am wondrously showered with redeeming grace.
I am healing from the deep wounds of your death.
I am confident that God is writing my story . . . and it’s a beautiful one.
Today marks your 4th birthday spent with Jesus. Still seems impossible this could be true . . . but it is. I can’t even begin to imagine how awesome your days must be-no pain, no anxiety, no fear, no heartbreaks. Just sheer joy in the presence of your Savior.
If I could talk with you today, I would confidently tell you the above four statements. God continues to teach me deep truths about Himself. As I am emptied of myself, He is filling me with His fullness.
Every day He reassures me that I am loved deeply and intimately. All that has happened in my life, the good and the bad, is with purpose and for His glory. He is a good, good Father!
I couldn’t even begin to share with you the many whispers of grace that He has showered into my life through the past 3 1/2 years. His grace always finds me in the most remarkable ways. My understanding of God’s grace continues to grow and flourish. And I have such a deep gratefulness for His constant work in my life. Dad always described grace as “God at work.” It truly is grace that God would choose to do His work in me, with me, for me, and through me.
After your death, I often wondered if I would ever be “ok” again. It hasn’t been an easy journey. Quite the opposite is true. It’s a road I have found to be lonely, difficult, scary, and ongoing. Yet, as I travel the grief journey slowly and steadily, I find healing in ways only God could receive credit for.
Just last week, the older three kids started a new school year. The first few days they were gone all day, I was seriously struggling with tears and loneliness. I reflected on all the summer fun we had shared together. The special memories. The late family nights. The laughter.
One night as I tucked the oldest into bed and was hugging him goodnight, I erupted into big tears. . .just sobbing. He gently rubbed my back and asked, “What’s wrong, Mama? Are you missing us that much?”
And in that tender place, I realized how much healing has come into my life. Because the answer was, “Yes. I miss ya’ll like crazy. I enjoyed being with you so much this summer. It’s hard to let you go back to school.”
You see, grief sucks the life and energy right out of you. It’s draining and wearisome. In all honesty, sending the kids back to school in the past few years has always brought a welcome relief in many ways. Don’t get me wrong. I deeply love my kids. But it’s been super hard being a parent to five children while grieving the loss of Mama. I’ve found myself exhausted in numerous ways.
This summer was different though! My strength has returned! The grief has lifted and joy is filling the sadness!
And in that emotional moment with Evan, my heart rejoiced in a million ways. Because I know that God continues to heal and restore the broken pieces. He is a redeeming Healer! The clouds in my soul have lifted more than ever. The Son is shining brightly once again!
And so, Mama. . . I am finding Jesus to be the sweetest treasure and friend to me in this messy story of my life. Every day He slowly strips away the “ugly” and paints a little more “beautiful” in my life. His Word continues to guide me with Truth. His body of believers encourages me to press on and serve Him. His love anchors me when the storms rage. His faithfulness holds me steady and sure. His sovereignty assures me I can trust His good heart.
I miss you, Mama. Lots and Lots! Not a day goes by that you don’t pop into my thoughts. And I’m grateful for You. No longer angry at you. No longer bitter. No longer resentful. No longer questioning.
Just extremely grateful! It was you who always pointed me to Jesus. You led me to believe in Him. You lived for Him. You loved Him with all your heart. You trusted Him even when you couldn’t understand it all.
So thanks, Mama.
So we each took a balloon and wrote a few special words to you. Words of remembrance for your special ways. Words that reflect our love for you. Words that describe your influence in our lives. Words of love that we will forever carry in our hearts for the wonderful mom, mom-in-law, and Meme you were to us.
As we gathered in a nearby field to release our balloons, we bowed our heads and gave thanks to our Father for your life. We asked Him to continue to heal our hearts. We spoke words of thanks for the time we had with you.
I will never forget tonight. I will always treasure the sweet words written on those colored balloons. I will forever hold in my heart the words spoken by Elliot. . .”The balloons are flying up to Jesus where Meme lives.”
We will all meet you soon, Mama. In the blink of an eye, we will all share an eternity with Jesus. And what a glorious day that will be!
Please give Jesus a big hug for me today. Tell Him how grateful I am to be His. Ask Him to keep writing my story and giving me faith to trust Him along the way.
And know that I will always treasure you, Mama. I am so blessed.
All my love,