Tuesday, August 30

:: Arlington Update & Thoughts ::

This is sweet Arlington on her way home from the hospital early this morning. Yesterday she had her cochlear impant surgery and it couldn't have gone better. I sat with Terri & David at the hospital yesterday and was amazed at the sheer number of prayer pages they rec'd while I was there. During the 4 hour time period it was easily 50 pages or more. It would go off while the doctor called from the OR with an update, it would go off while we were praying with their pastors, etc, etc. It was an emotional day for me. It was the first time I have talked about the pager ministry and why we started it to strangers. That was hard. But it was also a day of being extremely proud of my little girl. As the pager went off, I would silently tell her that she did this. Because of her, so many people are being comforted by Jesus's people. It still amazes me that she accomplished all of this in such a brief time here on earth.

Sunday when we were at church we sang a song that has resonated greatly with me. Here are some of the lyrics:
"When the oceans rise and thunder's roar,
I will sail with you above the storm.
Father, you are King over the flood,
and I will be still, and know You are God."

I've found myself silently singing these words over the last few days. There is a since that as life swirls out-of-control around me I can soar above it all with Him. I am doing a study that I would highly recommend by Nancy Guthrie called, "The One Year Book of Hope." She has a very heart-wrenching story of loss of her own, but what is more remarkable to me is the choice she makes every day to use her life and circumstances to glorify Him and help others. In her book she says to a woman who also lost a child that..."Your son has given you an incredible gift. He has given you the gift of being forced to reconsider the very purpose of your life. Those who are sailing through a comfortable life at this point have not yet been forced to carefully consider their lives and surrender their dreams. But because you have been shaken to the core, you see clearly that if you cling to your own plans and desires, you will never discover the freedom and joy found in losing your life for Jesus."

Last night I was reading Ecclesiastes 7 and came across these verses:

"The day you die is better than the day you are born." Ecc. 7:1

"Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us. A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool think only about having a good time." Ecc. 7:3-4

I can't say that before Olivia passed I ever really thought about death. It was not something I wanted to happen. I'm sure you feel the same way. But it is undeniable. We will all pass away, whether we live long lives or short, it is the inevitable end to every human body. But with Christ we have victory over death. I remind myself that this is only the beginning, and I have the hope that the ending will only be the beginning to an eternal life so much better than even the best things in this life.

As the weather changes and I see leaves start to fall, I get sad. A time of year that used to be full of excitement for me is now a reminder of the one year mark of loosing Olivia that is right around the corner. Much of me wants to press fast-forward through the next five months of holidays, anniversaries and birthdays. Please pray for us over these coming months of lot of change and stress. I pray that this anticipation I am feeling will be much worse than the actual days we are dreading, which is usually the case. Pray that one day we will be able to be happy that the leaves are changing and the weather is breaking.

Thanks, friends.

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