Born March 1, 1985
Born Again July 1993
Received into Glory May 30, 1997
"...because I live, you shall live also." (John 14:19)
Anna so very, very much and, while this pain is not lessened by time,
the Blessed Hope shines every day brighter in our hearts. We
thank God for
allowing us to share Anna, the sweetness of her spirit and her love for
Jesus the time we did. We thank Him for His abundant grace,
goodness and boundless mercy in ALL things but specially in how He
and gently took her unto Himself. We thank Him for the many that
stood and still stand by our side with words of comfort and acts of
We thank Him for those special warriors at Arnold Palmer Children's
PICU and all those who did their best. You did not fail. We
know the Lord did allow the best to happen. We thank our almighty
God that by His grace, Anna knew Him, loved Him and served Him and, by
power of His precious, redeeming Blood, now waits for us, who also know
Jesus as our Saviour, in the presence of His glorious majesty. We
pray daily that those whose lives Anna's touched might also accept
gift through His Son and not choose eternal death but everlasting life.
to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
At around seven on that Friday morning, May 30, 1997, a doctor placed his hand gently on my shoulder to indicate that Anna's brave, generous, loving 12 yr. old heart had tired of beating. Somehow, however, I knew that our heavenly Father had taken here home that Wednesday evening shortly after we had prayed and, as always before bedtime, professed our love for Jesus and each other. "First, Jesus, Mommy..." It was always "first Jesus", even this night as she was rolled down the hospital corridor. It was the last time we saw her sparkling eyes and beaming smile. "Say good-bye to the church for me," she called out as she waved, "and tell them I'm sorry I can't be there tonight." What a comfort it was then, and more so now, to know that Jesus was first in Anna's life! Because of this, even in our deepest, most overwhelming sorrow, we rejoice, for we have God's promise that we will see her smile, hear her voice and share her sweet spirit again and forevermore.
"Dear heavenly Father, thank You, thank You, thank You for your grace and your mercy. thank You for allowing us to know You and love You. Thank You for Jesus and His finished work on the Cross of Calvary. Thank You for His glorious resurrection. Thank You for His victory over Satan, sin and death. Thank You for Your assurance of forgiveness and eternal life to those that believe on His Name. Oh, Lord, there are many names on this page today and so many broken, grieving souls reading them. We pray, dear Lord, that You would place Your loving arms around these and allow Your Holy Spirit to fill their hearts. That they too might believe and, even in the midst of this indescribable pain, know your comfort and peace."
"...I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:2,3)
It is a time of thanksgiving. While Anna was with us, it was a time of thanksgiving. Now that she has gone Home before us, it is a time of thanksgiving. It has always been a time of thanksgiving. We never cease to give thanks to our Lord for the wonderful people He has placed and continues to place around us. We thank Him for their presence, their prayers, their smiles, their tears, their encouragement, and yes, even their gentle reproaches. We thank Him most of all for those who have shared Anna's and our love for Jesus. We are especially thankful to our Saviour because we know Anna is in Heaven. And, oh, how very grateful we are that we are sure we will join her when our Lord calls us Home! God's Word gives us this assurance.
"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son, hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." (1 John 5:11-13)
"Abba, Father, thank You for Jesus! Thank You for the precious. atoning Blood of the Lamb. Thank You for allowing us to know You!"
It is a
time of thanksgiving.
"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3)
Do you weep? Do you grieve? Do you mourn? Do you hurt? Do you do so in despair or in hope? There is a vast difference. Hope is the grace that shows me how to rejoice in the prospect of promised glory. Hope sits beside me and lifts up my eyes. Because of Jesus Christ, I have hope. Because of her new birth, Anna is in Heaven; because of my new birth, so will I be. Because of my new birth, I can see the kingdom of God and I can grieve in hope; through tears I can offer the sacrifice of praise. Ifs and buts are murderers of peace and comfort, but"I know that my Redeemer liveth." (Job19:25); I know that both Anna and I have eternal life because"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life. . ."(John 3:36).Jesus is offering to take your heavy burden of despair in exchange for His easy yoke of hope. Bury your face in Him now and cry out to Him and weep in His arms. He knows, He cares, He also wept.
thanks be unto God, which always causeth
asked Jesus into her heart in July of 1993 at the tender age of 8
and grew in His knowledge and grace. At the age of 12, Anna
was taken from this world by a merciful God Who did not allow her to
suffer too greatly with the cancer that devastated her whole
body. We have not lost, Anna, however, we know exactly
where she is. While we greatly mourn and grieve her departure, we
rejoice and thank the Lord daily for allowing Anna to know Him as
her personal Saviour. As we look at the obituaries of our daily
newspapers and see so many names of children, we cannot help
but think of the parents, their pain, their helplessness,
their despair. Rest assured that your little one is in
Heaven and should
you not have the assurance that your beloved now dwells with Christ,
this unknown bring you to unconditionally trust in the infinite wisdom
mercy of God. We pray that His Peace, His Comfort and His
might be very, very real to you.
May 30, 2003
know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day
upon the earth and that though after my skin worms destroy this body,
yet in my flesh shall I see God."
sorrow not as others do,
May 30, 2004
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow
death, I will fear no evil. . .." (Psalm 23.4)
By our Lord's grace and mercy,
now walks in His Light. But, yes, that's
where we must walk. . .in
valley shadowed with death. I gaze at the tiny, tiny seedling we
over seven years ago. I told Anna it would grow and blossom just
her. It hasn't. It has withered and died with this intense
and lack of rain. But Anna is flourishing in Heaven where she
never thirst, where there is a river of life. I lovingly tend to
beloved pets she had to leave behind. They are getting very old.
tell them how much we love them, she loves them and, most of all, God
them. I kiss the furry heads her little hands once tenderly
I pray our Lord has a special place for them close to her.
look from the garden into the window from where she would burst into
and waves when she saw me approaching the walk. Is it the
that has gotten so hazy or is it my tears? So I hose down the
and my tears clean my heart. I hear the clock chime 2 p.m. and
phone ring and I can almost hear her voice, "Hi, Mommy! I just
to say I love you and miss you." But, of course, it's not her but
client demanding attention. I remember Anna's kindness and the
edge of my pain rubs away. I just received the class of 2004
Her best friend made sure I got it. She hasn't forgotten.
everyone else has. . .This fact strengthens me. It causes,
almost pushes me to reach out with compassion to others who carry
heaviest of burdens; that they may know Jesus loves them and their pain
not forgotten. Yes, I walk in this valley shadowed with death,
I fear no evil. I walk towards the Light ; I point others
God, give us wings to rise above
May 30, 2005
"Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strenghten thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." (Isaiah 41:10)
remember Anna's hands. As a baby she would curl them tight around
tendrils of my long hair as she nursed. As a small child her
hands were everywhere, getting slapped often for being where they ought
not; chubby little hands leaving a trail of sticky memories. I
never did paint over some of them. I'm so glad I didn't. As
a school aged child she would draw them, finger paint them and use them
to decorate almost everything from hearts at Valentine's to turkeys at
Thanksgiving. I saved them all. As she got older, her hands
became such a beautiful extension of her gentle, compassionate
nature. She would wave them from her window every morning as I
left for work and enthusiastically grab me when I came home. She would
reverently fold them when she wasn't holding my own in prayer; she
would use them so caringly to tend to all her little pets and every
night she would soothe my brow with those soft, cool hands and let me
know how much she loved me. As she was wheeled into the operating
room from where she would never regain conciousness, with wisdom so
beyond her years, she waved her hand and sweetly whispered "Goodbye,
Mommy". Then there is the last imprint I have of her hand; the
one taken at her death; swollen and distorted lines of black on stark
white. It lays in her memory box with a lock of her silky hair.
I'm reminded of another Hand; the Hand of our sovereign God "In whose hand is the soul of every loving thing and the breath of all mankind." (Job 12:10); the Hand of our almighty God for "The right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly." (Psalm 118:16); the Hand of our merciful and compassionate God who ". . .openest thine hand and satisfiest the desire of every living thing." (Psalm 145:16); the nail-scarred Hand of a God who heals and lifts up the weak and brokenhearted and protects and saves because "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me." (Psalm 138:7) and He has promised, "Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strenghten thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." (Isaiah 41:10)
"Dear Father in Heaven, thank you for your sovereign, almighty, merciful, compassionate, guiding and saving hand upon our lives. I am sure it has been and continues to be as much a comfort for others as it has been and is for me. And, Lord, I believe this my prayer is echoed by many of grieving parents every day. Lord, you know I would not ask for her back even if I could but Lord, I miss her so very much. In my dreams, could you let me hear her small, gentle voice telling me I'm "her favorite Mommy" and smell her sweet scent and smooth her long, silky hair and feel her slender arms about me and share her love for you? And Lord, please, please could you, for even just a moment, let me feel her hands again?
May 30, 2006
Forever Grateful for the Cross
"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:14,15)
The waiting room in the PICU of Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital quickly began to fill that Wednesday night, May 28, 1997. It was the very first time Anna had ever missed service and our whole church family, shocked by the news, started to trickle in after service was over. These were followed by equally shaken neighbors, friends, co-workers and family members, young and old, who came from near and afar. More and more chairs were brought in; coffee and juice was passed around and for the next 34 hours George and I were silently embraced by a roomful of people whose tears mingled with ours in liquid prayers. The collective grief in that room was so intense you could almost see it billowing towards Heaven and, had it not been for our Lord's amazing grace, would have bordered on despair. Holding each other tight, so frightened, so confused, not understanding the why of this heartbreak, we, sustained solely by our Lord's everlasting arms, all praised and thanked our God asking for His strength and mercy and, crushed by the weight of such great a burden, trusted and leaned on Him. The hospital staff and other bystanders peered curiously into the waiting room, perhaps waiting for the outbursts of pain and anguished wails which never came; very often actually asking why we still trusted this God of ours. We would, and still do, sadly but confidently smile and say "This is the way of the Cross. . ."
A much longer time ago a crowd gathered at the foot of this Cross. Upon it was nailed a young Man, left there to die a painful horrible death for crimes He did not commit. Many bystanders also peered curiously at the small group surrounding the young Man's mother. Their vigil, like ours, bordered on despair. They also were shocked, confused and frightened. Their grief also billowed towards Heaven and clouded the sky. All this pain, all this fear, all this confusion was laid to rest, however, when our Lord Jesus triumphantly rose from the grave that glorious Resurrection Day as He had foretold and promised.
We again and again thank our almighty God that by His grace, Anna knew Him, loved Him and served Him and, by the power of His precious, redeeming Blood, now waits for us, who also know Jesus as our Saviour, in the presence of His glorious majesty.
Oh, what precious peace our Lord brings! My brightest hours have been during the darkest days; the warmest thoughts have been during the coldest dreads. Praise, praise God Who has touched our sorrow with His blessed hope! May this hope be yours.
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