|Isaiah and Doug|
I am away with my husband, Doug, and my two sisters and their husbands. We are continuing to talk about Christina. Last night we sat up very late. I said, “God has done abundantly above all I could ask or imagine. And that fact gives me great hope for all the situations I face that feel impossible.”
My sister Loralee said, “Let’s hear about the abundantly, beyond." So we spent time recounting the amazing parts of our recent journey with Christina. Here are a few.
1) I miss Christina. I miss talking to her. But, I will see her again and spend all of eternity in God’s most amazing provision for us. In the meantime, I have this little grandson, Isaiah, and his daddy Doug. They bring hours of joy and relationship—thank you, Jesus. When I was saying good-bye to Isaiah, he grabbed my face and slobbered all over it. Then he buried his face in my neck and grabbed on like he would never let go. A beautiful gift to my heart.
2) Christina’s friends have been in touch. I miss my daughter but I have gained some other sweet daughters who just want to talk or remember Christina. Every conversation is like gold to my heart. Every letter from one of these special young women is a treasure. Every visit fills me up with joy.
|Jo Dee and Jenny Rose|
3) We have just had some friends visiting from overseas—a mother and daughter. The mom gave her life to Jesus a couple of years ago as Christina and I shared our hope with her. This past week, the 10 year old daughter spent time working in the garden with my husband Doug. She asked him all her questions about faith and Jesus. She gave her life to Jesus toward the end of the week and then my sister Jennifer came over to teach her to pray. What followed next took my breath away.
|Christina with a new little Kingdom Princess.|
She wanted to know what Jesus wanted her to do next. Jennifer said, “That’s a good question. Why don’t you ask Jesus?” A sweet little prayer followed. “Jesus, what do you want me to do next?” A time of silence. She looked up and said, “He said he wants me to read this book (Jesus Calling, for children) and the Bible and get to know him really well.”
Then she said, “Does He want me to tell people what I know now or wait until I know more?” Jennifer said, “Good question. Why don’t you ask him?”
“Jesus, do you want me to tell people what I know now or wait until I know more?”
More silence. Then—“He wants me to tell everyone what I know right now. If I don’t know something that someone asks, we can research it and learn together.”
On and on we went for over 3 hours. God at work in the heart of a 10 year old who was drawn to Jesus by watching Christina. Life is good. The above picture was taken 2 years ago, but I picture Christina rejoicing in heaven with the good news of this little one's new journey with Jesus.
And there is so much more. I didn’t know what it would be like to live on without Christina in full view. God is faithful and powerful and full of love. I am excited for all that lies before me. I know that there is a great purpose for the rest of my days. What can I do but praise Him? This is the path God has for me. It is full of abundant blessings. Far more that I could ask or imagine.
On the back of Christina’s Memorial bulletin was this quote from September 2008.
“It was a year ago today that I went to the doctor for my headaches and recently blurry vision. Brain surgery to remove my 6 cm tumor followed within a couple weeks. News of malignancy and radiation treatment in Seattle followed not long after that. I just can’t believe that was all a year ago! Praise the Lord for how he makes life new. My life is NOT the same as it was a year ago. I have been stripped of all strength, all pride, all independence, all perspectives, and totally rebuilt into something fresh. I like to think this is a continual process. I think that we all need to get stripped of these things one time or maybe a thousand times to truly understand our unshakable reliance on the Lord as we live in this hurting and diseased world, looking forward to the day we truly get to come home. The fun part is…we don’t have to just sit and wait. Even if life gets hard, even if we become sick, even if it feels like our life as we know it has completely crumbled away… we don’t have to just sit and wait for life to be over or life to get better. We don’t, in fact we CAN’T, just throw in the towel and give up. We are ALIVE for a reason. You, I… we could be dead, but we’re not! For whatever reason God still has us alive and kicking on this earth, and who are we to throw that away?! You and I are living TODAY. There will never be another today or another right now. How EXCITING is that??”