Thank you to all who have prayed for the family from our Church (The Kochans) who lost their sweet Avery just a few weeks ago to a tragic accident. Richard and I were able to attend the memorial service at church and help out with the picnic that was held in her honor after. It was a beautiful memorial service. Family and friends had put together an amazing slideshow to music that was playing before the service and a wonderful display of some of Avery's things (blanket, shoes, scrapbook, etc). It was numbing, painful, emotionally draining, and an eye opener. I was amazed at the strength of her parents who were able to share their love of Christ at her service and provide some hope and direction for those who do not have a relationship with Christ. Her mother spoke at the beginning of the service that they have forgiven because Christ came before, died and has forgiven them. They know Avery is in heaven and they are assured they will see her again. Does it still hurt? Yes. Do they miss her? Yes. But they know this was God's plan and they know God will be with them every step of the way as they grieve, hurt, and try to take it one day at a time as the reality sets in. I was humbled by their strength and ability to take an opportunity to share Christs love at their daughter's funeral! I can only hope if I am ever in that situation, Lord willing that would not be so, I would be able to respond with the same strength.
The same day that Avery was taken home to be with the Lord, Steven Curtis Chapman lost his 5 year old daughter as well to a tragic accident. Along with this, another family who has been healing from the loss of their newborn daughter who was born with numerous anomalies, lost a 2 month old nephew to SIDS. My heart has broken for these families and brought me to my knees in prayer and tears. I have held my boys so much tighter. I have also felt the Lord has given me a new perspective on life in general. Life on Earth is short. I know I will rejoice with Christ in heaven someday because I have a personal relationship with him. Do you know where you will be? I also know that my children are truly His. He has given me (and Richard) the amazing gift of loving, caring, and raising them in Christ as best as we can. I also find myself not caring as much about housework and instead want to spend my time with the boys. Along with this, the Lord has helped calm my fears and anxiety about losing our boys. This has always been a struggle of mine and the Lord is helping me give those irrational thoughts to Him. Love your loved ones while you can!