Jan 22, 2011 - christianity, missionary, Susana    61 Comments

Conversations that nobody should ever have…

My heart aches so bad…it hurts without limit.  I cry all day long.  I wake up in the morning and immediately feel the greatest pain and ache that my soul has ever known.  Sleep is the only thing that has been enjoyable, but then the second I wake up I realize that my reality is wrought with heaviness that I have never known.  And I know that this is just the beginning.  Oh how I need the grace of God at every second of every day.

Yesterday, we had 2 conversations that no parent should ever have to have with their children. First, I had the grueling task of explaining to my four year old princess that the tumors have come back and that means that Jesus is going to take her home very soon.  Basically, I’m telling my little daughter that she is dying!  But I am so thankful for the grace of God that gave me the words to share with her so that she does not see the fear and terror of this fact, but rather the truth that she gets to go to heaven first.  She wins the prize.  I told her that heaven is what we all long for, it is what our family lives our lives for.  it is our greatest desire to be with Jesus where we will see Him and live in perfection with Him for eternity.  And I told her that God is in complete control of her life.  And that He is so excited to see her face to face.  She looked like she understood, but I could tell that she was also somewhat scared because she knows what this means.  But we assured her that soon we will all be back together again in heaven forever.  And, by His grace, I said this with excitement and conviction.  And then I left the room, went into another room, fell to the floor, and burst into tears.

The next conversation was having to tell our 6 year old daughter that her sister and best friend is dying.  Oh my aching heart!  Maria had that conversation with her, and she too was given the grace of God to convey such a hard truth.  Isabela cried when she heard this.  But she understands also that death is not the end for our family.  She understands that we will only be separated for a time, and then we will all be re-united one day in glory.  And what a reunion that will be!  Oh how I pray that it is soon.  I really do.  I want the Lord to take us all.  But that might just not be His plan.  I pray that God’s grace will cover Isabela also as she processes these things.

It was after these conversations in which I felt angry, so angry.  I was not angry at God, for His plan and purpose is an eternal home filled with His glory for His children.  But I was angry at the fallenness of the world which was caused by sin.  I kept saying to my wife, “This is not right to have to say these things.”  And the truth is, as I also stated to her, is that it really truly isn’t right…and God knows that.  This is a fallen world.  Our conversations just proved the brokenness that this world is.  And God knows this.  But the truth is that this world is not our home.  It is not our final place.  Heaven awaits those who trust in Him.  And that place is perfect.  That is where life is not broken at all.  That is where true life happens.  This life here on earth is just broken, but it is the place where we labor and toil and strive to seek God and proclaim the good news to those around us that there really is more…so much more to those who call upon the name of the Lord.

We are thrust into a situation that forces us to “walk by faith and not by sight.”  But the truth is that that’s the way we as Christians are called to walk every single day, realizing that what our eyes see is not what the final outcome is.  If we walk by what we see, then we become royally offended and bitter by what is happening.  But, if we walk by faith, we come to understand that our King and Lord, our lover of our souls, is about to take our precious daughter into His arms where she will be made perfect.  And we may be left here on this earth temporarily separated from her for a season, but soon we will be welcomed into the arms of Jesus as well and we will be reunited with our daughter where we will live together…forever.  Walking by faith shows us that this life is but a morning mist that is here for a moment and then quickly fades away.  But heaven is forever.

Later that day as we were driving to another appointment, Susana said something so incredibly beautiful.  She looked at Isabela and said, “Isabela, I want to tell you something when I am in heaven.  I want to tell you that you are the best sister!”  I cried, as I am crying now typing this.  She knows that she is going to heaven.  She knows.

Oh, how we cry out to the Lord for His grace to sustain us.  That we might hold onto the truth and not let go.  that we might see entirely through the eyes of faith rather than getting caught by what we see in the natural.  Our hearts are so heavy that words cannot describe.  We simply need Him more than ever.  And we are so thankful that He is indeed ever so near to us.

I woke this morning with a scripture in my mind that I am now living out:  ”Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (somewhere in the Book of Job.)  Only by faith can we say something like that and truly mean it.  That is the faith that God has given us.  Yes, He is so real.  And only in Him can we hold strong.  He is the final prize and we will cling to Him always.

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61 Comments

  • Praying for you! Praying that God will wrap His unfailing love around you.
    You give me such encouragement to grow closer in my faith with God. Thanks:)

  • I just want to thank you for sharing your lives and personal trials with us. I am so inspired and convicted by what you wrote. My trials have been far less than yours, and my faith almost shattered. Yours and Susanna’s testimony is such and encouragement to press on and labor and pray for that faith that remains and grows stronger in life’s trials. My thoughts and love and prayers are with you.

  • Love & prayers from our family to yours!

    Praying God will bathe you guys in the peace, grace & comfort you need for each moment of each day!

  • Crying with you and praying for you. Thank you so much for the reminder to remember my blessings before my pain, to hold onto hope even in the most hopeless looking situations, to love those who are close to me with all of my strength, and to embrace each day with all of my many blessings and treasure what I have been given.

    Praying for comfort and peace for all of you, and for this time to be one full of joy even in the middle of such great sorrow.

  • I just wanted you to know that I live in Ohio but am from Delaware. My family and especially my 78 yr old Gpa have been praying for you. I think he heard about your daughter@ his church. He is such a prayer warrior and you all have been heavy on his heart. I read the Kellys Korner blog and just came to your blog from there. What a small world. I didn’t even know you had a blog. Just know there are people praying for you all over! We are praying for your family and I am just so sorry you are all having tto face this!

  • I think it’s devastating that you have to go through the pain of preparing to lose your beloved daughter. But, as a Pediatric oncology RN, I think it’s awful that you have told your sweet 4 yr old that she is going to die! Spend this precious remaining time loving on her and making her last days happy and carefree. No 4 yr old should have to deal with the heavy news of her impending death. Please speak to a counselor that specializes in dying children for better guidance.

  • Amanda,

    I appreciate your concern and felt the need to address your comment. The faith in Christ that we live by tells us this: Our daughter will not die…she will live forever in eternity with Jesus. For those who belong to Him and who call upon the name of Jesus, that is the greatest news ever. The bible even tells us that because of Jesus giving us the promise of eternal life, we need not fear death. Death did not have a hold on Jesus, who rose from the grave, and likewise because of Christ rising from the grave, we too will not be held down by death. I don’t fear death because the end of this life simply marks the beginning of my new life in eternity.

    We live for this very reason. We shall praise the goodness of God with our life and we shall praise the goodness of God even when we are about to pass from this life here into our blessed union with Christ.

    But just to let you know, the conversation that I had with my little girl never once involved the word “death” or “dying”, for that is really not the final outcome of all of this. The conversation was more about getting excited to finally be able to see Jesus face to face. I told her that perhaps she will get to see the Lord Jesus in heaven and have a huge party with all the angels. You see, I’m not afraid to talk about truth with my children because the truth, even when our last breath is taken at the age of four, is still more glorious than anything. So, I’m not going to let my daughter live out her last days here without telling her the most glorious thing that awaits her soon. I want her to be excited about seeing Jesus because, for our family, He alone is our exceedingly great reward. Susana absolutely loves Jesus! She sings praises to Him all the time. She always wants to pray. She always wants to hear bible stories at night. Why would I be afraid to tell her about Jesus, the One she loves and adores, coming soon to take her into the glorious heaven that we all long for?

    I hope that gives a little more clarity to what our conversations are about than what you may possibly be imagining. We’re talking about life here, not death. My only hope is that you yourself know of such life eternal, a most blessed life, for those that call upon the name of Jesus and treasure Him above all things. With Jesus, all is well with our soul. He is so good and kind, and we ourselves can’t wait to be brought into glory as well. And now our longing and excitement grows even more because we shall see Jesus and we will also be reunited with our most precious Susana…and we will LIVE forever. O how glorious is our God. Do you know Him like this?

  • Oh Jesus. Sustain them and flood them with your overwhelming grace and love during this difficult time. You are not far-you are so very near, in their midst. Help them to breath in you and praise you in the midst of all this heartache. Give them sweet moments making memories and deep treasures in one another.

  • Blessed be the name of the Lord. Continuing to pray for you all, especially precious Susana.

  • Dearest Bother and Sisters in Christ, I must say, I cried through this entire letter. I can’t even imagine the hurt you guys are feeling. I am so sorry all of you are going through this. Your posting was very well put regarding the anger towards our enemies, which is satan,death, this world and our flesh. Christ is our only Constant that we can cling too in this world .. our only hope of tranquility, peace, forgiveness, and salvation. Pray the Lord with carry You in His Strong and Everlasting Arms through this very difficult time … I know He will because His Word says He will do that for us…these verses came to mind Deuteronomy 33:26-29 and 2 Corinthians 1:2-5 … In His Sustaining Graces, Patsy

  • Your testimony has touched my heart and every post has brought me to tears. As I forward your stories on to my friends that do not know Jesus as their personal Savior I long for them to ask “how does this family go on??”. Know that your little Susana is touching the lives of so many unsaved family and friends. Please pass along a little kiss from my family and let her know my 5 yr old twin daughters are praying for her and that we will look forward to the day we can meet her.

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