Thursday, April 30, 2009

God Showed Up

Background info: The radio in my car is predictably broken. Has been for 6 months or so. We are replacing the car very soon we haven't bothered to get it fixed. Occasionally, for whatever reason, the wires connect long enough to play part of a song, but those instances are few and far between.

Today I explained to Sawyer, my 5 year old, that his great grandmother is very, very sick. In as few words as possible I tried to prepare him - if that can be done - for the loss he will face. We were in my car and he was quiet, which was fine with me because I haven't had many words today. Out of his silence a question:

"Mommy, are we going to Indianapolis because GG is going to die?" he asked.

Deep breath.

"No, we're going to see GG because we love her," I said. Tears welled in my eyes, blurring the road in front of me. "But one day soon she will go to be with Jesus. She will be in heaven and she will not be sick any more, not ever. But to get to heaven she will die. I will be very, very sad and I will miss her very much, but I would rather her be with Jesus than here, in pain."

"Will she die because she is old?" he asked.

Tears poured down my cheeks. "No, she will die because God is ready for her to be with Him. That's why we believe in Jesus. This life is not special or important if we don't have Jesus. GG loves Jesus right now and because He loves her, too, He wants to bring her to be with Him forever." The words came easily, but in those few moments I did the whole "white-knuckled, keep the car on the road death grip on the steering wheel" thing, hoping he didn't know I was upset.

I don't have a problem with him seeing me cry. Yet I didn't want my grief to control the situation. It wasn't about sugarcoating pain, it was about simple, direct hope that's available to even him at 5 years old. That is what I wanted him to take away from our talk.

"Sawyer, does that make sense to you?"

Peacefully he said, "Yeah, I think so."

In that moment, just that suddenly, the radio in my car came on. The words and melody rang clear, "How great is our God. Sing with me how great is our God. All will see how great, how great is our God. You're the Name above all name. Your are worthy of all praise. My heart will sing how great is our God..." and do it went.

Just like that, in my crappy, run down car with a radio that seldom works, while talking faith and salvation to my son, God showed up. He showed up big and strong. He showed up and affirmed everything I believe. He affirmed the faith that was handed down to me through my grandma's love for Him. That love lives in me and is being passed on to my son. One life to the next, generation to generation, God showed up.

Of course I'm sad right now, achingly so. But, what rises to the surface is my faith. Circumstance and pain ebb and flow, but He never does.

If we have nothing else, my friends, we have a God who lived for us, died for us, rose again for us....and still takes the time to show up.

I pray He shows up big and strong and undeniable for you today. Thanks for reading.


Alison said...

What a fabulous moment for you, even in the midst of your pain. Praying for you and all your family, especially your mom.

Shark Bait said...

Wow. That is an awesome story. When people talk about the power of great miracles, I think they sometimes lose sight of what a miracle it is that such an awesome God 'shows up for us' in such everyday ways.

Just prayed for you and your family, and will continue to do so.


Candace Jean July 16 said...

Love "Godwinks" like that, Stacy. They happen to us when we most need them. He knows that. I have been praying for you and your Grandma and thinking about your heavy heart. Hug those kiddos for me.

Beth E. said...

Isn't it awesome how God will take those teachable moments we have with our children and use them to also bless US - the PARENTS!

I'm so glad that God ministered to you during that precious time with your son.

Praying for your grandmother, you, and your entire family.


Rebecca Jo said...

very well explained... even how painful it is in our earthly sorrow & loss...

praying for your whole family & GG - for God's peace & love to surround her while she's struggling

Mandy Leech said...

I think the hardest thing about dealing with death and grief is helping the kids through it. It makes me even sadder to think about what they're going through. When my best friend died of lung cancer a year and a half ago, I was miserable, but even sadder for my kids to have to muddle through that process. You're makin' me cry just thinking about it. :) I'm praying for you, and your kids and the rest of the family, and I know that your kids can do it, and God strengthens you (and them) for it. I love you!

rk2 said...

"simple, direct hope" says it all.

rk2 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Helen said...

Praying for you and your family.

Jenny said...

This reminds me of the story Corrie ten Boom told of when she was a child and expressed to her father her fear of death. He gave her an analogy of taking a train trip. The father asked Corrie when she receives the ticket from him, and her response was "Just before we board."

So is the same with our Father. He gives us what we need at the very exact time we need it. Such mercy!

Still praying for all of you.

teamstrand said...

stacy, i just love you. that's the best story and you touched me so deeply.


hello jessi! said...

Oh, the little reminders that our Heavenly Father is paying attention.
You and your family are in my prayers today.

Dean Kuest said...

Stacy, I have an almost five year old and can completely picture myself in the midst of that conversation. (You probably never imagined that we would have kids the same age) I would have had to pull over and ball my eyes out if I were in your situation. Wow! Thanks for sharing.

Marni said...

Stacy, my youngest was 4 when we buried her best friend. I struggled with how to talk about death to her, but God was merciful and gave me the words...just like He's doing for you.

I taught Peyton (my daughter) the words to the song below, and it helped her deal with how she felt about death. And if you need them, I have some great books for kids to help them walk through grief and see it from a Biblical perspective. They were such a great resource for Peyton and I'd love to share them with your family if you need them. I'm still praying my sweet friend...


You're in a better place, I've heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you?

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here so far away from home

In Christ, there are no goodbyes
And in Christ, there is no end
So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again
Until I see you again

And I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow?

I've never been more homesick than now

Billy Coffey said...

That was a wonderful story, and you are a wonderful mom. Prayers that strength and grace will be shown to your family.

Neyhart said...

I am so thankful we have Christ.
I am continuing to pray for you and your family.
I love you very much