Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Missing joy...

Like a silent ache, joy has been missing in my life. It’s been absent for a long while now. Don’t get me wrong. I feel happiness. I can be seen smiling and even laughing, but it’s the joy I lack. It’s the joy that is lost. Joy is a deep down in the gut feeling. It’s an assuredness…a soundness. You either have it or you don’t…and I’ve been missing it. It grabs the soul. It’s solid and real. Joy is different than happiness and laughter, being their foundation. It’s the core for the wellspring of life. It is a necessity to the spirit like water to the physical body. For a time grief, sorrow, heartache and pain have crowded it out. I’ve longed for it, searched for it, knowing it was missing, because I’ve had joy before. I know of its depth and solidness…its truthfulness. There is nothing like joy.

“Will I ever feel joy again?” I croaked in a quivering voice to my councilor. He was silent.

I’ve been missing joy, but recently I felt the stirrings of its return. A tiny speck of joy. It started every so slowly with a smile, a lightness of heart. I wasn’t surprised by it. I welcomed it. I was thankful for it, but I mustn’t get greedy and demands its fullness. Like a tiny mustard seed buried in a garden, it is there, unseen, known only to the earth. I know the potential of its growth. I must be patient for its completeness. I must not stifle it. I must nurture it, allowing it to grow. So I will wait with an open soul.

Hoping to be consumed by joy…

Thursday, November 15, 2007


How can I even begin to express the gratefulness of my heart?

As I reflect on these past three years and remember the suffering, trauma and tears, I can’t help but see the flip side: peace, hope and love.

I’ve known Jesus Christ and tried to walk with Him since I was 5 years old. Sometimes I walked very close by His side. Sometimes I walked ahead or behind Him. One time I even ran away from Him for a couple of years, but always He was there pursuing me, as the gentleman, never forcing Himself, yet allowing my soul to sense His presence.

But never have I realized how much Christ loved me and my precious son and husband and daughters as I do now. Do you know how much Jesus loves me and my family?

Ephesians 3:17b-18 says, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the LOVE of Christ…”

And I KNOW this LOVE, because of YOU!

You have:
· cried with us
· carried us
· served us
· waited on us
· given to us
· sacrificed for us
· prayed for us
· blessed us
· loved us
· mourned with us
· sat with us
· laughed with us

YOU have demonstrated Christ’s LOVE beyond anything I could have ever imagined or believed would be or could be possible. YOU have been Jesus’ hands and feet expressing His LOVE. And you continue LOVING us, even today.

The verse goes on to say “…and to know this LOVE that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:19

I am FILLED with the fullness of God, my heart full of gratitude and LOVE, because of YOU.

Thank you and have a very blessed and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

By God's grace...

How many times have I spoken those words? As a Christian I understand how crucial God’s grace is, how pivotal it is in our lives as well as the history of the world. As a Christian I know I am saved by His grace. I know Jesus Christ came to this earth, fully human and fully God freely giving up His life for the world. This is the foundation of Christianity. It is the foundation of my life. But now, I find it difficult to speak those words.

How can I say it is by God’s grace Joshua is alive and happy and well today when the flip side to that statement is God’s grace didn’t cover Paul’s family or Maggie May’s or Rachel’s or Taylor’s or Lexie’s or David’s or Jackson’s or John’s or Kory’s or most recently…Labri’s? (I could go on and on with names here)

Why didn’t God’s grace fall on these children and their families? Why do their parent’s arms ache to hold them one more time? Or long to hear their laughter? Rachel’s mom often writes, “We have a Rachel shaped hole in our hearts?”

Just two weeks after his death, Paul’s mom wrote “I’ve been trying to find a word to describe how I feel, and the best one I can come up with is: Raw. I feel freshly wounded, but without hope of the wound being healed. It’s an interesting place: I can’t be healed (on earth) by being reunited with Paul, but I don’t want to be healed without him. Healing would mean that somehow I’ve “gotten over” Paul. I’d rather hurt for the rest of my life.” She knows she will be reunited with Paul in heaven, but it’s the here and now, the aching and sorrow and tears and “rawness” that must be endured today.

So where is God’s grace for these broken parents?

I’ve decided, it must be a different kind of grace. As I read their websites, talk with them and watch them, I see a kind of grace that gets them through each day. I see a kind of grace that gives them strength to somehow go forward, to suffer, longing for the day of their reunion with their child in eternity. I see a different kind of grace, which propels them into taking great action in their child’s name, honoringthem. I see a different kind of grace where memories comfort their forever damaged hearts. There will be no perfect wholeness for any of us, until heaven.

So, how can I celebrate God’s graciousness of my son’s life here on earth, right now, while grieving the loss and seeming lack of grace for yet another child who has died of cancer? I guess I’m asking, why the death of one and the life of another?

By God’s grace… I will be attending Labri Dirkse’s memorial service this Saturday. She was twelve years old.