I’ve been sad lately.
I think it all started on Friday. Friday afternoons/evenings are special. While there are some variables, it always involves a movie, lots of pizza and soda! The boys look forward to it all week, and it’s usually a fun-filled night of family time.
This Friday, however, was the beginning of the sadness. While Aaron and the boys watched Star Wars, I sat in the dining room by myself eating pizza. Aaron was on call and Noah was feeling a little sick so we didn’t have company. We decided to do a quiet evening as a family, and the boys wanted a boy movie. I could have joined the ‘man party’ but I was overcome by my lack of a companion. The fact that I didn’t have a little girl to share the evening with was too much to bare.
Since that night, a new wave of grief has overwhelmed me. I find myself wondering how long her hair would be now. Would I know what to do with it? Besides ponytails and pigtails, I’m a rookie at girly hair dos. Would she like movie nights as much as her brothers? Would they delight in watching girly movies with her? How much would she rule the roost?? How many words would she have? I wonder what she looks like, how she walks and runs, what her voice sounds like, how she would fit into this Tenwek community.
At this point, 10 months since we said good-bye to Hannah, these really sad days aren’t quite as frequent. They only happen about once a month. BUT when they come, they are still so deep and painful. It’s like the door of grief breaks open like a flood and I’m left drowning in tears.
I don’t think I’m pretending or stuffing the grief down. Whether I like it or not, I’m moving on with life. I’m teaching the missionary kids, hosting visitors, planning trips, joining ministries, etc. I’m trying my best to obey God’s direction for my life, to submit to His timing in all areas, to bring Him honor and glory in it all. Even when I don’t understand, especially when I miss her so much that I can’t stop crying, I still trust God with my life. I trust Him so much that I yell at Him, I question Him, I tell Him I hate this part of the plan!
But here is the bottom line: No matter the circumstances, God does not change. If I can praise Him on the mountain top, I must praise Him in the valley. I was created to bring HIM glory. I was brought here to serve a God that is good and holy and righteous. If I fail to do my part in His plan for me, He doesn’t win. I give satan the victory. And that, friends, is not going to happen! If I must endure this season of grief, you better believe that I’m going to make it worthwhile. I will give God all the glory, praise and honor He deserves, even when I feel like He doesn’t deserve it. Because my emotions do not have the power to change who God is. I know my firm standing on my Solid Rock mades satan cringe. It makes his plan for this trial fail. In that, I greatly rejoice.
“…though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” I Peter 1:6b-7
Praises and Prayer Requests:
1. Praise God for visitors! Aaron’s mother and stepdad will be arriving this week! Please pray for their travels. They leave PA on Tuesday and arrive at Tenwek on Thursday.
2. Praise God for great friends! God has blessed us with such a great support system here at Tenwek. When I am feeling especially sad, these friends rally around us and we are so grateful!
3. Praise God that my house helpers are back! They have cleaned the house from top to bottom in effort to prepare for our visitors. The walls are washed, the mosquito nets are clean and even the front porch is spotless!
4. Please pray for my dad. He completed this last treatment today! Pray that the cancer is gone and NEVER comes back!
5. Pray for Noah. He will turn 8 on the 18th. Pray that God will richly bless him and grow him as an 8 year old.
6. Pray for all of us as we anticipate Hannah’s 2nd birthday on January 22. We are planning a celebration, but it is not at all what I thought her 2nd birthday would be.
“10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” I Peter 5:10-11