"Lord, the trials we face at times seem too much to bear. We're grateful, though, for the reminders in Your Word that You will stay by our side and help us endure till You call us home. Amen."
Boy that was for me. I have a dear friend, who has experienced this lost of losing children, I've met in the past few months, and we share a special date in tomorrow, June 11th. Her precious daughter Camryn Grace was born on June 11th, 2008 and passed away the same day. She was born at 22 weeks, also at UAB. We were so close and didnt know it. Tomorrow is the anniversary of when we had Layah's funeral. It's also the anniversary of my mom's little brother, Ronnie, who died in the 40's from the croup. When I read that I was reminded that this is all temporary, especially the heartache and troubles. When my friend and I talked today about tomorrow being the anniversary of her precious, tiny daughter also going to be with the Lord, I told her about my feelings at Layah's grave. I do feel the need to go from time to time, but as I told her, I never feel close to Layah there. As I've expressed before, I feel the closest to her and the Lord, when I'm experiencing praise and worship. She said it's always hard for her to leave her daughter's grave, without her. I know this and she knows this, but mentally, it's hard for our human brains to wrap around the fact that we will be with them again. We would never want to bring them back to us from where they've gone. I read a Psalms that I know was meant for her, and I hope she gets it while she's taking time to remember sweet Camryn Grace. Psalms 90:14 "Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days." Being able to sing for joy and be glad ALL our days, seems impossible. Maybe that's why the Psalmist prayed for it.
I also thought it so God to speak to me the Psalms 139 on the anniversary day that Layah went to be with the Lord, Monday, June 8th. It was as if He was reminding me that there are no accidental children, no mistakes with lives created. Layah's days, and all my dear other friends who have lost her children, were all specifically numbered. His "WORKS are wonderful". The title of the devotional was A Life Remembered, and what's even MORE remarkable, the other verse noted, is 2 Corninthians 1:4 "That we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble , with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God". The verse I read and knew God was sharing with me that He would use this tragedy in our lives to comfort others and minister to those experiencing loss.
The writer described a family who's teenage daughter said "Daddy help me" as her last words, 2 days after she said she didn't feel well. A strep infection took hostage her body on a Thursday, and by Saturday she was gone. The writer was a speaker at the family's church and he too had experienced losing his own teenager daughter a few years before. He told the church that as believers, we have to recognize the sovereignty of God as the Psalms says, every life is exactly the length as God intends. He also told the people present at the service, to NEVER forget the family. Whether it's 2 months or 5 years later, the family will never "get over" losing their daughter, and they will never stop needing Christians who care to remember.
I cry as I type this because I know exactly how that feels. Last week was a bit torturous, a bit peaceful; a bit sad, a bit happy; a bit mourning for a life gone, a bit hoping for new life. I know many were praying for us, but I felt that many had forgotten. Many did not remember our pain, as life "goes on". For those that did and will continue to remember, it means so much to us families who've experienced the loss of a child, when others reach out and remember with us. I want to thank those of you who were praying for us and for those of you who remembered Layah's short life. I'll never forget a dear card I got from a cousin that said she was so grateful and felt so privileged to have gotten to meet Layah. I read many cards after she died, but I was numb, in a bad dream, in a fog and didn't remember a single card I'd gotten. So reading them this anniversary, was reading them for the first time. I'll close with this. The poem in this devotional said,
"When we sustain a heartbreaking loss,
When grief overwhelms our soul,
The Savior who gave us the cross
Reminds us that He's in control"- D. De Haan
That sums it up.