It’s been over six months since I’ve written here. Those months have been filled with thoughts of Abigail, of the accident, of the days at the hospital, the graveside, the memorial service. Some scenes are played over and over again in my mind until I wish I could turn them off! It is then that I must remember that God uses those memories, just as He does events, to mold and shape me for a greater usefulness in His kingdom. It is in NOT forgetting what He has required of us that our thoughts will be focused on eternal things.
I believe I’ve thought more on heaven and eternity in the last 10 months than I ever did before Abigail’s death. It’s SO close, just behind the visible things!! My concept of heaven has been expanded as I consider and read about what it may be like there. I’ve begun to long for heaven, especially as I consider Abigail’s present state. Surely she must be amazed at God’s love, mercy and grace to her; falling upon her face in worship before the Father and our Lord Jesus who sits at His right hand! Sometimes I mourn what she’ll “miss” on earth…and then I remember that it’s not she that’s “missing” anything, it’s me and those who love Him that still remain on the earth! This is not all there is nor is it the best; for the best is still to come! My husband has often told our family over the years that this life is merely preparation for the next. To remember, as a quote by Nancy Leigh DeMoss says: “The truth is, a moment or two from now (in the light of eternity), when we are in the presence of the LORD, everything that has taken place in this life will be just a breath—a comma.”
God’s gift of focusing on what’s ahead does not exclude grief. Yes, we mourn! Our hearts ache, we know a great sadness way down deep inside of us, and tears flow often. I read somewhere that grief is very inconvenient. It washes over us like the waves of the ocean; sometimes at very inopportune moments. We live with hope, but we also live with loss. It is a fact in this fallen world that we mourn Abigail’s absence. A mother who has also experienced the death of a daughter shared a quote with me attributed to C. S. Lewis, following the death of his wife: “Her absence is like the sky; it spreads over everything.” We will never “get over” or “move on” from her death. It is the greatest trial that God has ever required of us; it becomes a part of us and part of our earthly journey for the rest of our lives. We will always be aware of the void left in our lives and home. We long to see and hear once again our silly, funny, bouncy daughter and sister. She was the one who made us laugh! Each family member misses their own special relationship with her. We know however that she wasn’t always happy. She experienced physical and emotional pain from the first auto accident in January of 2011 and fought a serious battle with depression. Can we rejoice that those limitations and battles are over? Yes, we can…even while we mourn!
The following paragraph has been adapted from one written by R. C. Sproul, Jr. about his wife’s passing:
“While (we) looked down upon (Abigail’s) lifeless body the morning she died, she was not looking down on (us). She was instead dancing to Him and for Him. When (we) were praying for strength, she was singing from her strength. As (we) were bent and broken, she twirled and pirouetted. As (we) became so much less, she became so much more. This is His plan and promise.”
Sorrowing and rejoicing go together…blended, intertwined, inseparable from each other.
I found a CD entitled Blessings by Laura Story in Abigail’s room; it had been given to her by a church friend after her first accident. The lyrics to a song, also entitled Blessings, had been printed and put on a wall in her room. I will never know exactly what it meant to her, but only what it meant to me as I listened to them. We often pray for things that seem good, but are not what God desires most for us. The beautiful words of the refrain say it all: “’Cause what if your blessings come thru raindrops, What if your healing comes through tears, What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near, What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?”
We had a significant milestone date occur yesterday and several more in the next few weeks. We’re grateful for those of you who have prayed for us; will you please continue to do so through the following dates?
January 21, 2015 10 months since God took Abigail to Heaven
January 27 4th anniversary of her first auto accident* (2011)
February 10 6 weeks of rehabilitation began at Mary Free Bed Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI (2011)
March 4, 2015 1st anniversary of Abigail’s second auto accident
March 21, 2015 1st anniversary of her home going
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says 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. (Psalm 55:8)