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.