Friday, April 3, 2015

Finally March is over and April is here!

March has seemed forever long to me this year.
Our weekend away for Amy's birthday brought back many memories of our oldest daughter's days living in Lancaster, going to college and then another year on her own. So many trips back and forth to see her singing and other special events, shopping and seeing the sights of the city. One place we had never visited was the reproduction of the Biblical tabernacle. We went there on the morning of Amy's birthday. It was very informative and we enjoyed the presentation and also the movie in the information center about the Amish and their faith. I have been doing a study on the tabernacle and I have thought of that morning often over the last few weeks. We had a late lunch and after ordering I used the restroom and there was my niece from England! 
That was definitely a blessing from the Lord as they were finished eating and on their way out the door when her daughter had to use the washroom.  They sat and visited with us while we ate and then we shared a few more precious minutes before they had to be on their way. This was the same niece that visited us for two weeks in January and so it was so good to see them once again.

 On the way home we were also able to visit with another niece and finally get to meet her youngest baby.

We wandered through the country, enjoyed the snow and the Amish farms. We happened upon this farm with the snow people and a snow cave.

A day after we came back home Bill had his shoulder operated on again. All went well and he had intense physical therapy and is still going to therapy three times a week even though the spring work has now started. He is still in a good bit of pain, but manages to put up with it. 

I was on the edge of tears most of the month. Just waiting. Waiting for spring and warm weather, waiting for the month of Amy's birth and the memories of her hospitalization of two years ago to be over, waiting for the birth of a granddaughter. WAITING.  It is not an easy thing to do or something I do well. 

One Sunday we were all in church together. The first hymn we sang that morning was "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee." This was the first song we sang at Amy's funeral. She loved Beethoven and really liked this hymn. I think this is the first time we sang it since she died. Emily and I looked at each other and the tears started.Then we sang a new song, "Sovereign Over Us."  (New to me, anyway.)

There is strength within the sorrow
There is beauty in our tears
And You meet us in our mourning
With a love that casts out fear
You are working in our waiting
You're sanctifying us
When beyond our understanding
You're teaching us to trust

Your plans are still to prosper
You have not forgotten us
You're with us in the fire and the flood
You're faithful forever
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us

You are wisdom unimagined
Who could understand Your ways
Reigning high above the Heavens
Reaching down in endless grace
You're the lifter of the lowly
Compassionate and kind
You surround and You uphold me
And Your promises are my delight

Your plans are still to prosper
You have not forgotten us
You're with us in the fire and the flood
You're faithful forever
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us
I was holding baby Will and I could see Tessa's very pregnant tummy on the other side of Bill. I had so much to be thankful for, but I was feeling such loss. Most of that service I spent in tears.

The following Sunday we had a guest speaker. The title of his sermon was "For the Glory of God." He talked about our inevitable encounter with loss, that everything is about our change of heart, and everything is for God's glory. He read the passage about Lazarus, Mary and Martha, "This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it." John 11:4  
He said we can put whatever is going on in our life in the blank.   This _______________ is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.   God spoke to me through this message and I realized that my life is not about Amy's death, but about the glory of God. And then in verses 14 and 15,  "So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.” I realized that God could have healed Amy but He chose not to. He chose to take her to heaven with Him, for His glory.  Do I really, really believe this? Does self-pity rule my heart or does God? 
What God impressed upon my heart the most was that I need to visit Amy's grave with celebration not with sorrow. I need to celebrate the day of her "going to heaven to live with Him" not as a horrible thing but one of great glory!  I have found it difficult to visit the cemetery since my niece and family were here. I used to go there a lot and talk to Amy and cry. Almost always I would go in sorrow.  But then I started to feel like there was no reason to go anymore. It just seemed so meaningless. She's not really there. But listening to the preacher talk about Mary and Martha and how everything that happens to us is for the glory of God, I realized that there is reason to visit her grave still and that reason is for rejoicing! Rejoicing that she is no longer living in this world full of sickness and pain, but living in a beautiful palace with the King.

My sister posted a photo on Facebook and my niece, Jenna,  used the idea and took one of the pictures from Amy's funeral and shared this:
Thank you sweet Jenna, for this photo. I needed this reminder. I still need it and I always need to remember it was for God's glory that He took Amy home.
We will be celebrating the second anniversary of Amy's home-going on Wednesday. As last year, we will meet at the cemetery and each release a balloon in Amy's memory. Last year  we had an extra balloon for the child Laura was carrying. This year we will add another balloon for Tessa and Brad's little girl. Only God knows if she will still be in the womb or in her mother's arms.

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful Mom! I love how God is working in your heart! Love you!