Thursday, December 12, 2013

Choosing to SEE

The holidays can be difficult for those who have lost a loved one to suicide. I am learning again that I must keep tight reign on my thoughts. Otherwise, the enemy gets a foothold. I wrote out scriptures again and placed them where they were easily accessible so that when my mind is bombarded with thoughts of shame, doubt or depression I can run to the sword of the Word and do battle!

I've been slowly reading through Mary Beth Chapman's (Steven Curtis Chapman's wife) book called Choosing to See. Her older son accidentally ran over their younger daughter and killed her in the driveway of their home. I kept noticing this book in the stores but I didn't think I could handle reading about their extreme sadness and loss. Finally I saw it at a thrift store for a dollar so I bought it. I had to skip through some of the pages. I just couldn't bare it. But, I have gained some valuable nuggets as I've watched this godly family work through their grief.

I don't necessarily understand or agree with every method used in their process of grieving. They are human--just as I am--and none of us 'do life' perfectly. 

Here are a just a few quotes from her book that blessed me:

I think I am realizing something through all of the craziness. Yes, God wants my quiet, and yes, God wants me to rest and hear Him and learn from Him.  But all along, in the crazy last two weeks where I hardly had time to think, I realized that if I always think that I am going to finally get to that place where I am constantly trying to get--like in a quiet, picked-up house--then I am wrong. 

I need to choose to SEE Christ in every birthday party I drive to, every piano lesson that gets taught, every ballet tutu that gets twirled. God is with me.  He isn't waiting until I die for me to be with Him.  He isn't waiting until BB season is over or until I get completely healthy.  He SEES me now.  He is with me now.  I know this is a simple realization, but it was big good news to me. 

I don't want to forget... I want to remember.. God was with Maria on May 21 and God is with Mary Beth on March 10.

I have found that even during those times when the path is darkest, He leaves little bits of evidence all along the way --bread crumbs of grace--that can give me what I need to take the next step. But I can only find them if I choose to SEE. 

May we all CHOOSE TO SEE that God is absolutely with us .. each and every day... and especially through this holiday season.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Today my youngest son would have been 33 years old.

Time may heal a lot of things but I don't believe it will ever take away the sadness I feel when I think of him.   Life has marched forward. The busyness of the round of daily duties fills in the moments but a day never passes that I don't think of him... and my heart continues to grieve... for the dreams that were lost. 

 in the midst of the grief... 
God continues to bless in so many ways

~He has given a greater appreciation 
and thankfulness for loved ones who remain.

~He continues to teach me how to battle
 the accusations and lies of the enemy 
with His Truth. 

~ He has given me a greater understanding
of the Gospel. 

~He has loosened my hold 
on this earth a little more.

~He has given a greater anticipation
 for heaven. 

Yes, life has changed but God keeps His promises.. to never leave or forsake us.. to comfort us in our sorrow... and to give grace in our time of need.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. Revelation 21:3,4


Friday, May 17, 2013

In Acceptance Lieth Peace....

He said, "I will forget the dying faces;
The empty places—
They shall be filled again;
O voices mourning deep within me, cease."
Vain, vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in forgetting lieth peace. 

He said, "I will crowd action upon action,
The strife of faction
Shall stir my spirit to flame;
O tears that drown the fire of manhood, cease."
Vain, vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in endeavour lieth peace. 

He said, "I will withdraw me and be quiet,
Why meddle in life's riot?
Shut be my door to pain.
Desire, thou dost befool me, thou shalt cease."
Vain, vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in aloofness lieth peace.

He said, "I will submit; I am defeated;
God hath depleted
My life of its rich gain.
O futile murmurings; why will ye not cease?"
Vain, vain the word; vain, vain:
Not in submission lieth peace. 

He said, "I will accept the breaking sorrow
Which God to-morrow
Will to His son explain."
Then did the turmoil deep within him cease.
Not vain the word, not vain;
For in acceptance lieth peace.

Amy Carmichael

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Prayer for those Left Behind after Suicide


God of all comfort, who comforts your children in times of affliction, comfort those who are grieving in their time of extreme loss. Minister to the indescribable pain that gnaws at their heart every moment of every day; help them to remember Jesus and His indescribable suffering so that they will run to Him as the faithful and compassionate High Priest for every sinner who turns to Him in repentant faith.

God of peace, govern their hearts in this time of great confusion. Help them to take their thousand questions and “what ifs,” which swirl furiously in their minds, to Jesus, the Prince of Peace who has the power to calm the storm. As the Holy Spirit helps them take their anxieties to you in prayer, flood their souls with the peace that passes all understanding. When they cannot pray—when their hearts and minds are so overtaken by grief that they cannot find a word—remind them that the Holy Spirit prays for true believers when they do not know how to pray.

God of justice and righteousness, steady their minds with the understanding that you know all things, which includes the final state of their loved one’s soul. Let them not place blame upon themselves that does not rightfully belong to them. Remind them that the Judge of all the earth always judges righteously. Let them rest in this. Let them now concentrate on the state of their own soul before their holy Creator and quickly run to Christ as the Redeemer who came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. May they find the assurance of their own salvation, and eternal life, which you promise to those who turn to Jesus Christ.

God of mercy and grace, may they know your presence as you walk with them through this valley of death. May they know—in an experiential, not merely intellectual way—the sufficiency of your grace! Help them to rest in the truth that they do not need to try to live off of yesterday’s supply, but instead drink from the fresh stream of your mercies that are new this very morning.

God of truth, gently lead them to the green pastures of your Word where they will feed their hurting, doubting souls upon all your righteous judgments and faithful promises. Lead them to streams of living water, which flow from Christ who said “the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

Heavenly Father, knowing that every one of these requests can only be answered in and through and because of Jesus, draw them close to the Savior who invites them to let Him carry their burden. Hold them close in your loving arms. Cause them to know you more deeply as the Father of mercies and God of all comfort so that their every need will be fully met and they—in time—will become ministers of comfort to others.

[Based on 2 Corinthians 1:3-6; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Isaiah 9:6; Philippians 4:6-8; Romans 8:26; Mark 7:37; Daniel 4:37; Psalm 67:4; Luke 5:30; ; 1 John 5:11-13; Psalm 23:4; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Lamentations 3:21-23; Psalm 23:2; 119:7; John 4:14; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Matthew 11:28-30.]

Counseling One Another 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

  In all this 
Job did not sin
 or charge 
God with wrong

Job 1:22 ESV

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

So many questions...

The questions parade round my head
No peace, no rest, only mounting dread
When images of his last days crowd my thoughts
How could I have stopped him and spared this loss?

For months I questioned the God I love
“You could have stopped him, Your hand from above
A prompting from You, I would have gone to his side
I could have begged him, perfect words halt the tide
Of pain he was feeling and anguish of soul
Now it’s too late, his body no longer whole."

Regrets and sorrow over what could have been
Must I lay them to rest and only pretend?

Job, too, had his questions laid at Your feet
You answered from the whirlwind, his questions defeat
His friends assumptions of why God allowed
The death of his children… the suffering avowed.

Instead the questioning now came from You,
Was Job at creation when You made all new?
Was he God and able to understand Your plan?
Yet, see how you held him through all in Your hands!

Lord, help me cease striving and set this to rest
Be still, know He's God!  Stop putting Him to the test.

September 2012

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Why God? Why?

I spoke in an earlier post about the shame and guilt following my son's decision to end his life. I questioned so many things I did as a mother. I not only questioned myself but I found myself questioning God, too.  Probably the biggest question was, "Why didn't God stop my loved one from killing himself?" Not only was "I" on trial in my thoughts .. but I also attempted to make God defend Himself on the witness stand.

I remember the shock that followed those early months. I couldn't believe that God had allowed this. Hadn't I spent years praying for my son? Hadn't God answered so many of those prayers? I honestly believed that my prayers would be answered in exactly the way I had prayed. I couldn't believe that it had ended this way. I had so many unanswered questions.

I spent unprofitable time pursuing answers to this kind of questioning and it kept me in a prison of darkness. The answer never came... at least not in the way that I was asking the question. It was only after I changed my thinking about God and the situation that I eventually found peace.

While searching for answers I was reminded of the book of Job and how he had lost all of his children unexpectedly. I had spent time in this book after my husband became disabled for I knew that Job had suffered physically.  I now began to sift through those pages again. This time hoping to find out how Job responded to the loss of his children.

I discovered Job had questions, too! *
  • Why didn't you let me die at birth? Job 3:11
  • Why didn't you dry up my mother's breast so that I would starve? 3:12
  • Why do you keep wretched people like me alive? 3:20-22
  • How do you expect me to have hope and patience? 6:11
  • What do you think I'm made of anyway? Stone? Metal? 6:12
  • If life is so short, does it have to be miserable, too? 7:1-10
  • Why don't you back off and quit hurting me for awhile? 7:17,19
  • What did I ever do to You that I became the target for Your arrows? 7:20
  • Why don't You forgive me before I die and it's too late? 7:21
  • How can mortal man be righteous before a holy God? 9:2
  • Why do You favor the wicked? 9:24
  • Since You've already decided I'm guilty, why should I even try?  9:29
  • You're the one who created me, so why are You destroying me? 10:8
  • Why do You hide Your face and consider me Your enemy? 13:24
  • Why don't You let me meet You somewhere face to face so I can state my case? 23:3-6
  • Why don't You set a time to judge wicked men? 24:1
I discovered that Job did not find comfort by his questioning either. 

The answer I was looking for was found towards the end of the book. God asks Job this heart probing question, "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?"  God might as well have asked that question of me! "Georgene, where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding."

God then begins interrogating Job with His own round of questions. Questions that will make it clear that Job lacks the knowledge and understanding to interpret life's difficult questions.

Here are just a few:
  • Who made the limits for the sea saying how far it could go?
  • Have you entered the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep? 
  • Have you commanded the morning to appear?
  • Were you there when I (God) laid the foundation of the earth?
  • Have you commanded the morning since your days began and caused the dawn to know it's place?
  • Have you entered the storehouses of snow? 
God ends His first round of questioning by saying, "Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it." (Job 40:2)

Job's response is life changing:

"I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth". Job 40:4

What changed Job's heart? What stopped the questioning? His body was still covered in painful sores. His children were still dead. His wealth was gone. What laid his questions to rest?

We finally get a glimpse of what is going on in Job's heart, "I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.  I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you." (Job 42:3)

Job bowed beneath the majestic greatness of his God. The complaining stopped and so did the questions because his view of God had been exalted. God was elevated to the rightful place of sovereign King who alone rules in wisdom over the universe He created.

"I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes. (Job 42:5,6)

This is where I laid my questions to rest. I was incapable of rightly judging this situation because I was not God. I was brought to that same place of humility, as my brother Job, where I bowed my heart in humility and said, "I repent for questioning you God. You alone are God and I choose to trust your character...even (and especially) through this dark valley that I do not understand".

You keep him in perfect peace  
whose mind is stayed on you
   he trusts in you
  Isaiah 26:3 

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

It became clear that I didn't have to find an answer to life's unanswerable questions. 

The tormenting thoughts slowed down to a trickle once I made the decision to trust God! Keeping close watch over my thought life became essential in the coming days. God gave abundant grace to take each thought captive with Scripture,

... take every thought captive to obey Christ.. (2 Cor. 10:5)

and then to renew my mind according to the truth of Scripture. put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life 
and is corrupt through deceitful desires,  
and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,  
and to put on the new self, 
created after the likeness of God 
in true righteousness and holiness.  
Ephesians 4:22-24

The accusing thoughts and questions still bombard my thoughts at times. But, now they are greeted as an unwelcomed guest where before I would allow them to take up residency.  I'm learning (again) that I must choose to obey His Word and trust Him.... today... in this moment.. and in this heart breaking trial. 

Be still, and know that I am God. 
I will be exalted among the nations.
 I will be exalted in the earth!”  
Psalm 46:10

* Permission granted to use these questions from Secret Strength by Joni Eareckson Tada.
   Scriptures used from the ESV bible. Underlining is my emphasis.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Who's to Blame?

O Lord, the deep, deep pain … I grieve
the loss of hope ... he chose to leave.
Could I have loved him more, not less?
Could I have saved him from distress?
Was there nothing I could do
to stop him.. nor would you?

Then remembering a disciple once the same
from grief of knowing he was to blame
Took upon himself the right to die
And not trust in Him who would be crucified.
Jesus knew and loved him still
Yet did not stop him, that would kill.

His Master was holy in every way,
the disciple could find no blame
Jesus loved him perfectly, not like me
He taught him everything he would need
Yet his soul still overcome with pain
chose to leave.. was Jesus to blame?

So why do I in sadness still
Believe the fault, to take at will
For choices I did not alone make
For a life I alone did not choose to take
Oh God help me.. these thoughts to cease
In acceptance lieth peace.

Here I must commit my thoughts
and not focus daily on my loss.
But turn now to those who are left
and support and love them with Your best.

Let those of us who are left behind
Not let the torment in our mind
Steal from us the days left
Instead to hide within the cleft
of your love and grace remain
knowing it will heal our pain.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Grief, guilt & the Gospel

The months following my son’s death were like a roller coaster ride. Not the kind of ride you experience at a kiddy park but the horrific ones where you are hurled in one direction and then another and fear that your heart won't survive until the end of the ride. I had stretches of time where I was riding on the waves of God’s grace and His peace would fill my heart through His Word. But, as the months progressed, I found myself slipping from those grace filled moments and plunged into a dark, dark pit of depression as a result of unrelenting guilt and tormenting thoughts. I have never lost a child to suicide so I have no idea what the ‘norm’ may be but I do know that the thoughts and meditations of my heart were responsible for a lot of unnecessary pain. 

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.1 Thess. 4:13

The grief I experienced in the early months following my son's death was not this kind of grief… the kind filled with hope.  I can look back now and see that the enemy of my soul was at work full time in my thought life and I, oftentimes, laid down my spiritual weapons and allowed him to plummet me with his accusations and tormenting thoughts.

It’s not as if I didn’t know better. I’ve been studying God’s Word for a very long time and had hid a great deal of scripture in my heart. I would have thought I was prepared (by God’s grace) for anything. But, in the midst of the battle, I let my guard down and  did not obey God’s Word. I allowed Satan to get a foothold in my thoughts. 

The biggest torment were the accusing thoughts of shame and guilt. Questions were hurled at me like: Why didn't he call me for help?  Was I a bad mother? Is this why my son killed himself? Would he still be here today if I had done things differently? It seemed that the only thoughts I remembered were my failures. Worry and fretting became the response to the guilt and then the depression came. My thoughts were filled with accusations. Remember that Satan is rightly called ‘The Accuser’ in scripture.

And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. Revelation 12:10
Were there times when I had sinned against my son? Yes! Was I a perfect parent? By no means. Did I try to be the best parent I could be? Honestly- yes! Yet even my best efforts as a parent were done imperfectly. Instead of looking to Christ, who paid for those sins and the punishment they deserved … I continued to look at myself. I became the judge, jury and prosecutor when God alone was the only One qualified. His solution, found in the life and death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ, was no where in the equation. I was stuck gazing at my failures as a mother. I had lost the hope and peace found in Christ alone. 

I was blessed that several godly souls began exhorting me to take my thoughts captive in the fight against the tormenting guilt. (2 Cor. 10:5) I was reminded to 'put off' the ungodly thoughts and to renew my mind in what God's Word says. (Eph. 4:22-24) Not halfheartedly but to get serious! Then to 'put on' thoughts of who I was in Christ. I had been holding onto many promises in God’s Word since the first day we heard the news but when the guilt would come I oftentimes sat like an accused, hopeless man on death row... feeling as if I deserved the punishment.

So, I sat down and collected a list of Scriptures that would renew my mind in who God said I was. This is only part of the list I used but it will give you an idea.

I am God’s child. (John 1:12)
I belong to God. (1 Cor. 6:20)
I am Christ’s friend. (John 15:15)
I am holy and blameless in Christ. (Ephesians 1:4)
I am a member of God’s household. (Eph. 2:19)
I am set free in Christ from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2, John 8:32)
I am a new creation in Christ Jesus. (2 Cor. 5:17).
  When the enemy (or my conscience) would hurl the accusations of things I had done (or not done), I would confess them (if I had not already) as sin (if they were), ask God’s forgiveness and then I would remind myself that I had been forgiven by what Christ did on the cross, his death and his resurrection. I would then IMMEDIATELY go to the scripture list I had placed above my kitchen sink and start reading the scriptures to myself .. sometimes even out loud. I had to be consistent and I had to do this IMMEDIATELY at the first thought and not allow the enemy to gain any ground in my thought life.

The gospel and God’s Word became my life line…. literally.

As the days went by the torment became less and less and within less than a week I was set free from the depression that was a result of the guilt that was not handled biblically. The thoughts slowed down to a place where they only occasionally pop up in my conscience now.

The grief still comes … but I watch very closely over my thoughts and do not allow myself to entertain anything that is contrary to who God says I am ‘in Christ’.  I still grieve for the loss of my son but have realized there is a difference in a godly grief that brings glory to God and one that allows sinful thoughts to steal the peace found with God through Christ Jesus. 

We often treat the gospel as if it only pertains to our salvation. But, over the past several years, I continue to learn how the gospel relates to every area of my Christian walk and how life changing it is to preach the gospel to myself daily.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

Scriptures taken from the ESV Bible.

Monday, January 14, 2013

One year ago today...

One year anniversaries can mark many things. Often, they are reminders of happy events.. a birthday, an anniversary, a year free of cancer. Today is the one year anniversary of the death of our youngest son. I cannot say that it marks a happy event. For our family it marks a day that is filled with the memories of some very dark times marked by many tears and deep sorrow.

It’s taken me a year to be able to write the words that follow… our youngest son committed suicide.  Even after one year of the Lord gently working me through the grief from his actions I still experience a horrific pain when I face the decision he made to end his life. 

But, today on the one year anniversary of his death, I do not want to focus on the darkness of this past year. I want to share with you the constant thread  that so evidently wove it’s way through the ups and the downs of this past year. The evidence of the Lord’s presence with us through the ministry of family and friends and the comfort and power of His Word were our saving grace. 

In some ways this past year reminds me of the story of  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were thrown into the fiery furnace. Their faith in God did not rescue them from experiencing all that the trial produced.  But, as they were thrown into that furnace the Lord made His presence known to them. He was in the furnace with them. That is the overall banner of this past year. God has been with us!

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 42:2-3 (ESV)

I’m not sure I can even adequately share with you all that God has done over this past year.  I believe the greatest measure of His presence has been through His Word. His Word has been a light that has shone bright through the darkest valley and when I have looked to Him for direction… He has directed me safely to the next step. I have fallen many times but that has only been when I have taken my eyes off His Word and listened to the lies of the enemy.

The  first night after we had arrived in Texas (where my son lived) I began to plummet emotionally. We had been busy throughout the day with many details but after loved ones had gone to their rooms for the night then I was bombarded with many dark thoughts. No one knew what was going on inside my head… not even my husband. But, the enemy of my soul was throwing his fiery darts of accusations and instead of taking up the shield of faith (as I had known to do in times past) I accepted each hit. Suddenly the phone rang (as it had all day). I had not been taking any of the calls. I just couldn’t talk to anyone. But, at that exact moment the Lord gave me grace and I picked up the phone and the Lord ministered to me through the words of a dear friend on the other end of the line. She had lost a relative through suicide and was able to encourage me through those first dark moments. After our phone conversation ended I picked up the Gideon bible found in the hotel drawer and started reading. The Lord brought to mind a scripture I had not thought of in literally years. His Word instantly filled my heart with peace and that scripture became a very important weapon in my fight against the guilt that would hound my  soul over the coming months.

The  Lord would continue to minister His Word to each struggle I would face in the coming days.  Some were given in my quiet time with Him. Others came through a few close friends who patiently ministered to me through those dark days. His Word, when obeyed, became the light that continued to help keep me on His path of peace. When I deterred and stopped obeying His Word then that is where I entered those dark places of torment.

Secondly, the Lord  made Himself known as our Provider. I started following Christ when I was 17 years old but I had never experienced such an outpouring of generosity as we did in the days following our son’s death.. not only for ourselves but the entire family.

Most of you may know that my husband became disabled a few years ago and as a result we are living on a very tight budget.  The morning that we received the phone call that our son was dead we immediately called our daughter in love. There was no hesitation in our hearts … we knew we had to travel to Texas immediately regardless of what it cost . We were able to find a plane leaving within 4 hours and so we booked the flight.  We had not even left town when a close friend showed up and handed us money for our trip. Within hours we received a phone call and were told that a family member was sending money to help with expenses. Then we received word that another one was sending money. A dear friend and her husband paid for our hotel room on our trip bringing our daughter in love and grandchildren back to California. By the time we arrived home our entire trip had been paid for. Oh my! I can’t tell you how much this ministered to us. God did not keep us from the deep painful grief of those beginning hours and the days that followed but He ministered to us through the outpouring love and generosity of others. He was making Himself known as our Provider.

After we had made it through the funeral and had arrived home we started opening cards that were handed to us at the services. We found love offerings in nearly every card. We were speechless. We just couldn’t believe it. Our hearts were overwhelmed. There was enough money to not only pay the pastor for his services but enough money to start saving for his cremation plot. My mother’s heart wanted his ashes placed somewhere permanent as a remembrance. I knew it would probably take a few years to save for the cremation niche but my husband and I agreed that it was important and committed to saving for as long as it took.

The day that his ashes arrived at my front door was another dark time of sorrow. The grief hit like a tsunami wave when I took the heavy box from the UPS carrier. I didn’t even let my husband know it had come yet. I was trying to gain the courage to tell him when I heard the mailman drop the mail in the garage slot. As I began opening the mail I couldn’t believe what I found in one of the envelopes. There was an extremely large check that covered the rest of the burial plot. Only a sovereign God could orchestrate such a huge blessing to arrive on such a sad day, for we had told no one the desire of our hearts. We immediately called our daughter in love - our son's widow- and all of us were able to drive to the cemetery and make plans for his burial. Our son’s ashes would have a resting place and we experienced the comfort of knowing a tender God had again provided for not only for our needs but our desires.

I never again want to go through what we experienced this past year but I can tell you that I have come to know God in a more intimate way through it.  He has been my comfort. His Word has been my guide. His presence has been my peace. I can not imagine.. I mean this in full sincerity… how I would have lived through this past year if I had not known Him as my Savior.

Thank you.. from the bottom of my heart.. to all that prayed for our family.. to all that gave so generously of your hard earned money… to all who reached out to my children in the weeks that followed and brought them meals… to those who stayed behind and helped my daughter’s family get a room ready in her home for my daughter in love and grandchildren... to my other children and their spouses who gave of themselves in so many all who helped provide money and clothing for my daughter in love when she arrived (that is another story all in itself!). The list goes on and on. You will never know how you ministered to my entire family. 

To those I have never met personally but have known you as an online internet friend and who prayed and sent money… thank you so much for reaching out to someone you have never met. Thank you to all those at Victory Life Center who allowed us to have our funeral at the church where our son grew up and who gave of your day to provide food and organize all that went into the planning and to a dear friend who made a beautiful picture memorial of our son. The list goes on and on and I fear that those I have not mentioned will not know how much each gesture, small and large, meant to us.  Each of my family members repeatedly said during those following months that WE were learning how to minister to others in their time of need by the way that others had comforted us.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

May God bless each one of you!