It’s Been A While…

Jack
Sweet Baby Jack and his precious Mama

Hi Everyone!  Sorry for the blogging absence.  We left town on a family vacation about two weeks ago and while we were gone, we learned some heartbreaking news about some of our dear friends, which has made coming back to this space to talk about life more difficult than usual.

Instead, I’ve been using my blogging time to avoid life and throw myself into mindless distractions…you know, the really horrible kind like Keeping up With the Kardashians and The Bachelor (Juan Pablo, what in the world?!)  (Ugh, definitely not proud.)

Last weekend was a weekend of great highs and devastating lows.

My family and I gathered in the Bahamas to celebrate my mom’s 60th year on earth.  At just sixty years young, my mom has lived an incredibly full life.  She truly embraces each day she’s been given and continues to leave a legacy marked by faith, abundance, and purpose.

Simultaneously, I learned that one of my very best friends in the world had to say goodbye to her precious newborn son, Jack, after courageously bringing him into the world just 2.5 days earlier.  A loss that no mother should ever have to experience and one that I’m struggling to process as I, once again, ask why such a good and loving God allows such heartbreak and pain.

As my family gathered to celebrate and reflect on my mom’s life, and I tried to hold it together and choose joy in the moment over the grief that plagued my heart, I realized something: even though Sweet Baby Jack’s time on earth was far shorter than what any of us would have wanted for him, at just 2.5 days old, his life carries a legacy and an impact that few people, even those who live to be 100, can match.

Last Wednesday, people traveled near and far to honor and remember Jack’s life at his memorial service.  At one point, his brave and proud father got up and shared a few remarks saying two of the things that Jack taught him were:

1.  To live a life worth writing about–after Jack went to be with the Lord, his parents came home and unable to sleep, they took the advice from a friend and wrote down their account of Jack’s life.  As they started to write, the words and pages began to flow.  At just 2.5 days old, Jack’s life and legacy was one worth writing about and his life continues to have incredible weight and purpose.

2.  To live a life in community–throughout Jack’s life, both when he was safely nestled inside his mama’s womb, as well as when he entered the world, Jack’s life was lived surrounded by family and friends who loved him and covered him in prayer.  Soon after he arrived, Jack’s family and friends gathered around him to make sure he was never alone and he knew how deeply loved and cherished by both his heavenly father, his loving parents, his grandparents, his aunts and uncles, and the countless people who have been touched by his life.

Though Jack’s time on earth was far too short, at just 2.5 days old, Jack lived the kind of life that many spend their entire lives trying to attain.

A life with purpose.

A life worth writing about.

A life surrounded by the love, support, and prayers of those who love him.

I don’t know about you, but that’s certainly a life worth living, and one that I want to aspire to.  I will forever be impacted by Jack’s life and the courage and strength of his brave and proud parents.

 

About a month ago, Jack’s mama and I heard a talk by Christine Caine on the difference between “facts” and “TRUTH.”  An incredibly powerful and divinely inspired word and something the pastor also touched on briefly at Jack’s service.  As I continue to wade through this loss, her message is something I continue to think through.  It’s easy to want to sit and wallow in the facts…

Medical diagnoses.
Unimaginable loss.
A life gone too soon.
More questions than answers.

But here’s what ultimately, deep, deep down, even when I’d rather sit in denial, buried in reality TV than face reality, I know to be TRUE:

Jesus has overcome the world.

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

Because of Jesus, death has ultimately lost it’s sting.

Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?
1 Corinthians 15:55

Jack is fully and completely healed and is now spending eternity with Jesus.

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!
Revelation 21:5

Jack was created for a unique purpose and his life had and continues to have meaning and eternal significance.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
    before you were born I set you apart.
Jeremiah 1:5

Even in the midst of unimaginable loss, in Jesus, we have hope.

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.  I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.  Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.
Lamentations 3:19-24

 

The things of this world are temporary.  The things of the Lord are eternal.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18

It is an incredible gift to have such hope and comfort in the midst of sorrow, but it doesn’t mean that we still don’t wrestle with pain, grief, and loss.

If you think about it, please say a prayer for Jack’s parents and their family.  They are truly some of the strongest people I know, but even the bravest of the brave need time to grieve, heal, and process.  May God continue to provide them the comfort, strength, and rest that they need as they walk through this difficult time.

 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

Last week, Jack’s Great Aunt wrote a beautiful piece on Jack’s impactful life and the faith and strength of his parents.  Read it here.

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