Friday, January 7

a better country

when i was a child i used to pretend quite a bit... one of my more eccentric pretends was to imagine life without one of the senses (touch, hearing, talking, sight, taste). the worst one for me was always blindness... i would close my eyes and stumble through my house, cursing when i'd stub my toes and  thinking of how brave blind people must be to attempt to encounter a world that would always hold a surprise for them.

today i've felt a surge in compassion for the campers that we serve each summer. we often do a group development activity that involves blindfolding campers, teaching them to rely on their friends and to learn to trust. some are able to trust immediately, seeing this as a game and laughing about how they stumble about. others are frozen, and nothing can coax them out of their current position and inspire them to move.

i've felt "off" this past week. while on our trip, i was in survival mode, just trying to make it through each day until i got home. now i'm home, and i've felt emotionally stunted, blinded once again. i've felt disconnected from God, and irritated about it. He did take my child; the least He could do would be to stick with me through it all. and what am i to think about the promised Holy Spirit? isn't his role to comfort and counsel? so what the heck, God.

On December 28, the Lord whispered to me through Isaiah:
"And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know; in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do; and I do not forsake them." (Isaiah 42:16)

So where was this Guide? Did He leave me? Is He ignoring me? Am I too stubborn to get up and move?  Where is the promised light before me?

I got my answer in another treasure hunt... combine John 1 with chapter 1 from Randy Alcorn's book on Heaven, plus Isaiah 42:16, and this is my conclusion:

I've been sitting in the dark, cupping my hands over my ears, trying to hold on to grief, hold on to Gwen, and block out anything that could further hurt me, be it friends or family or God. It's still dark. I am blinded by it, and blind to the glory of Heaven that is TRUE, and awaits those who put their trust in Christ. But Jesus has been standing by my side, patiently waiting, calling me to reach up and grasp His hand, and trust that He will lead me. He didn't say when He would turn the darkness before me into light. But He is the Light. He didn't say when He would bring me from this valley. But He promised to lead me through it. and His promises are sure.

"The blind must take by faith that there are stars in the sky. If they depend on their ability to see, they will conclude that there are no stars." (Heaven, pg. 13)

"We will one day be delivered from the blindness that separates us from the real world [Heaven]." (Heaven, pg. 13)

"In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:4-5

"These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one." Hebrews 11:13-16

If i see my Gwendolyn has having attained a home in that real country, and my short time here as preparation for such a place, will it make living without her, for now, endurable?

hmm. more to consider...


  1. "A person who lives in faith must proceed on incomplete evidence, trusting in advance, what will only make sense in reverse" -Phillip Yancey

  2. That is an interesting analogy. It's funny that no matter how many times we've led and participated in group development activities, there's always more to learn. God always has more to teach us.

    A couple at my church lost their baby granddaughter this week to SIDS. It's heartbreaking, but I just have this image of Gwenny and Chasity being friends though.

  3. i have prayed for you much; have tried to understand, if only for the sake of knowing what to pray.

    was thinking...maybe it seems like holding on to grief is the only way to hold on to her. like if your heart heals, this will all seem like a distant dream that you've woken from; that pain is the only thing you have that keeps her from disappearing.

    i pray that God shows you a healing that lets you have joy without diminishing the sorrow you felt at her loss; a peace that doesn't undo her existence. i know he will do that.

    he is leading you still. he knows what it is to lose a child; he will show you how to be her mother without living forever in sorrow.

    he is good and he loves you immensely.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing the details of your heartache and how you talk and walk with God in them. I want to pray for you and reading your posts helps me know to keep praying, how to pray and not to assume that smiles mean you are all better. I want to pray for you as long as you need it.

    Your posts are also just encouraging to my personal faith and walk with God. You make the word real for me in how you listen to it and find real answers for a very real life. Thank you for that.

    I was very encouraged by thesideburns post. I feel as they do, in that I have not had a child die. I especially liked this, "i pray that God shows you a healing that lets you have joy without diminishing the sorrow you felt at her loss; a peace that doesn't undo her existence. i know he will do that." I will pray that for you as well. You have tender-hearted friends and for that I am so thankful.

    Praying for you and Blair often. I am sorry Gwenny is not here...

  5. Erin, about your post on Friday, Jan 7th, I too found comfort in the fact that my baby boy was in a better place. And mostly that I would hold him again one day.
    Praying for you.

  6. Randy Alcorn is my favorite! Oh, your thoughts are beautiful. Yes, Christ has been standing there. He is ever patient. Ever loving. Ever trustworthy.

    We are not. Our emotions are not. Our minds are not.

    I'm so grateful you know Him and seek to know Him better.

    You are in my prayers, sister in Christ.