Confirmation of Timing

I was asked lately, “how’s the book coming?”  I immediately felt a bit anxious and hurried.  Not by the dear friend who was genuinely interested because  she asked in such love, care and concern.  I felt this anxiety because I wanted to be able to say something different.  I often want  to rush the project of compiling the book, “Leah’s Legacy”.  I need to be reminded that God has given this project to me and He has a plan and a purpose.  He has an end in mind for what He wants to accomplish.

In the same way I want to rush the book, I want to rush through this process we call grief.   I haven’t blogged lately because I felt I haven’t had anything of purpose to say.  The confirmation that came to me this morning motivated me to blog once again.  We have just finished  a two-week time with Leah’s son, Jansen.  Jansen celebrated his fourth birthday while we were there.  It was a joyous time.  However, in the joy I was reminded of the pain in knowing the things our Leah is missing in being absent.  I do know she truly isn’t “missing” anything as she celebrates daily in the presence of her Lord, Jesus Christ.  It’s more that I am missing seeing her enjoy her little man as he grows and matures into a little boy and as God wills, into a young  man and then an adult.

With this pain and  thought in mind I share this morning.  “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” (Eccl. 3:1).  Upon arriving to visit this dear friend this week I was asked about “the book”.  I knew when she asked it was not to get a particular answer.  She asked because she was genuinely interested and cares.  The anxiety I felt was my own.

All this, to bring me to the reminded reasoning that God is in control.  He began this work and He will bring it to completion in His time.  I have loved all the letters (now 51) received for Jansen to be included in the book.  However, there are a few that I want to see from those who were so vital to Leah’s life and love for God.  I hadn’t received those letters and I was hoping and praying God would prompt them to send their contribution.  This morning, one of those letters came.  It is a letter from Leah’s Youth Pastor.  Along with the letter for Jansen, he sent a message given at her graduation and the program of that special day.  I am so encouraged that he was able to articulate the words to share.  He expressed his regret and apologizes that his letter was “tardy”.  I reassured him it wasn’t tardy,  but in God’s perfect timing.

When we become discouraged in the waiting, God somehow comes along side us with the encouragement of HIs Word, His Spirit, and then at time His children.  Be encouraged with me in the journey and in the hope that endures in the dry times until the moist dew of Heaven once again appears.  God bless….until next time.

“It was Good and it is Good.”

May 8th was Leah’s one year anniversary with Jesus. How can I say that is not good. It is good. Even in our sadness, I can see God’s handiwork, as He weaves His plan in allowing the tragedy that brought our Leah’s physical Earthly existence to an end. I am humbled by the lives He is touching and the story He is telling.

The day before Leah’s anniversary a special friend called to share a way to remember the special day. She shared that she would release a balloon in Leah’s memory. Bob, Robyn, and I thought that was a great idea. We purchased 26 pink balloons, one for every year of Leah’s life here with us, pink because it was one of Leah’s favorite colors. At 6:33 PM we released them toward Heaven, symbolic of Leah’s journey to Heaven.

One year ago, these would not have been my thoughts. I couldn’t even have a rational thought it seemed to me. Now one year later I understand what was happening. Things God was putting in place for me, for this day. Reading in “Streams in the Desert” I now have understanding. “And that is all God asks of you, His dear child, when you grow faint in the fierce fires of affliction. Do not try to be strong. Just be still and know that He is God, and will sustain you, and bring you through” (page 142). I have spoken honestly often as people would comment on my faith, “I speak words of faith, but it’s not what I feel”. It’s true. I can attest to the fact that as we humbly, in our weakness, speak faith, God who is our Faith Giver, enables faith.

As I look back at this past year, I see that Psalm 27:13-14 is true. “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strenthen thine heart: wait, I say on the Lord.”

I fainted and He strengthened me. When I once again “faint” in the future, and I am confident I will…He will strenghten me yet again.

New Grace Needed

It’s a new day. May 8th is the day set for me. One year ago today our Leah went home to be with her Lord as a result of a one car accident. She and her son Jansen, who was then only 2, were cheerfully traveling home to be with Josh, her husband and Jansen’s Daddy. Leah and Jansen had been with her Dad and I as we traveled to Texas to visit her sister and family. Leah’s plan was to surprise Josh by arriving one day early. He did not know she was traveling home. It was an exciting plan….

The plan established before the beginning of time was different than we had thought it would be. It is true, we plan our way, but in the end, it is God who orders our steps. Life changed for her, for us as her parents, for Jansen, for her husband Josh and for all who knew and loved our Leah. Time stood still for a very long time. It’s sort of surreal as I look back and realize during that time, I was probably as close to Eternity as I will ever be until I experience death myself.

Nine months later, God gave birth to a new passion that would keep me focused on Him, on the memories of the 26 years we had our Leah here on Earth with us, and hope for all He would do in the months and years to come as He tarries. That new passion was born out of a great burden. Leah’s son Jansen was 2 when his Mother had to go. Would he remember her, know her? That grief was more than this Mommy and Gmama heart could bear. Attending a Grief Recovery Group at our church I heard a testimony of ways to help children deal with grief and how to keep the memory of the parent who died alive for the child. The next morning I called and secured a publisher and knew this is what I was meant to do. I would compile a book in Leah’s memory for Jansen. I would ask those who would be willing to write personal letters to Jansen telling him things about his Mother that would allow him to know and remember her.

The title of the book, “Leah’s Legacy” came many months prior. When the Lord gave it to me, I didn’t know why or what. My husband and I thought maybe we would establish a ministry by that name, but what would the ministry goal be? It became evident, “Leah’s Legacy” was to be the title for this book. The purpose of the book is three fold. First, that God be glorified in our pain and loss. Secondly, that Jansen know and remember his Mother. Finally, that each person, including myself, who reads the book would be reminded of this fact, we are all preparing a legacy that will remain and to be intentional about the legacy we leave.

I then set the date of May 8th, the first year anniverary of Leah’s home going as the date I would have contacted everyone the Lord layed on my heart who knew our Leah, to inform them of this project. Since then, many letters have come, each one blessing my heart beyond measure, soothing the pain of loss in my heart, and enabling my soul to soar and to keep moving forward.

This blog has been established to inform those contributing on the process of the book. By contribution I mean whether you sent a letter or you’re praying I want you to know what God is doing in and through the process. How long it will take to now do my part…only Heaven knows. I will begin to go through pictures today with Robyn, our daughter. My hope is that by Leah’s second anniversary with Jesus, I will have a book in hand.