Deliverance, Memorials & Hope

“So Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the sons of Israel, one man from each tribe;  and Joshua said to them, “Cross again to the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel.  “Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’  then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.”  Joshua 4:4-7 [NASB]

Throughout the Word of God we are instructed to tell what He has done.  Memorials and altars were built as reminders of His mighty works and deliverance, each time with the intent that they would prompt the telling of His provision and glory.  The theme of God’s deliverance of His people is throughout His Word.  The Old Testament is the deliverance of His people chosen and set apart for the ushering in of Messiah, and in the New Testament His offer of deliverance to the World through the precious blood of Messiah, Jesus Christ.  Each time one is delivered they are instructed to “tell.”  Testimonies of God’s provision and deliverance consistently give hope to all who hear.

“We will not conceal them from their children, But tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.”  Psalm 78:4 [NASB]

In the midst of God’s deliverance we might be tempted to assume we will never forget what we have witnessed, but with time and tribulation memories can fade, and with the fading of those memories hope can fade as well.  We need memorials.  We need written records of the mighty works of God.  We need to consistently tell the great works He has done, not just so the next generation and the generation after them will know, but also to remind ourselves and serve as an impetus to continually fix our focus on Him.

“Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually.  Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth”  1 Chronicles 16:11-12 [NASB]

God has been so faithful to provide for us in the valley of the shadow of death.  He is faithfully and mightily redeeming that which the enemy intended for harm, the taking of Sarah’s physical life.  Thanks to the generous donations of many we have a check for $90,000.00 to deliver to the International Mission Board to fund mission work that Sarah was so very excited about and willing to lay her life down for.  We look forward to telling and recording the story of how He uses that money in the days ahead.

“But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.”  Psalm 73:28 [NASB]

I long for the telling of our personal story of God’s provision and deliverance of our family in the valley of the shadow of death to bring hope to others.  This written record of our journey is our lasting memorial to Him, not just for the generations to come, but for us as well.  In the days ahead there will continue to be many dark stormy days when hope may seem elusive, but my prayer is this memorial will be a beacon in the night reminding us and others of the certain hope we have in Him.

“When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches,  For You have been my help, And in the shadow of Your wings I sing for joy.  My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 63:6-8 [NASB]

We savor and cling to each and every account of God redemptively using Sarah’s life and death.  To our family each testimony is like one of the stones Joshua commanded the leaders of the tribes to stack.  Each testimony reminds not just us, but all others who hear it, of God’s faithfulness to provide and redeem all things for the good of His people.  What a blessing it would be to build a memorial tower here of testimonies of how God is using our family’s dark valley for His glory.  If you have been impacted through Sarah’s life and love of Christ will you consider sharing your testimony here to join us in the building of a lasting memorial?

“I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.  I will meditate on all Your work And muse on Your deeds.  Your way, O God, is holy; What god is great like our God?  You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples.”  Psalm 77:11-14 [NASB]

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15 thoughts on “Deliverance, Memorials & Hope

  1. Sarah has impacted my families life so much!
    Maddie my oldest (7) looks up to Sarah and her walk with Jesus. Actually our entire family does…but it hits your soul in all the right places when your little girl says “I want to serve like Sarah.” She is so eager to learn more about God’s word. Maddie recently started “bible journaling” and looks at Sarah’s artwork often for inspiration. We love your family,and we love your Sarah.

  2. We have a chronically ill 24 year old daughter who has been sick since she was 7. Because of her suffering, I have often become angry or bitter toward God and have felt like He had forgotten us. I happened upon your blog that described you singing the song Even If on the long drive to Atlanta. I had never heard this song before and looked it up on YouTube. I saw a video of Bart Millard describing how he came to write the song, and I had no idea that it was written because of the struggles he had coping with his son’s illness. His testimony and this song have spoken to me and helped me in ways I can’t even describe, and he was able to put into words exactly how I feel in my heart. I don’t know that I would’ve ever found this song if I hadn’t read your blog, but now I have found your page, I read all of your blogs and your family is one of the things I pray for the most. Sarah’s walk wth the Lord and your walk through the fire encourage me to continue to seek God’s face regardless of the circumstances. Thank you for always being so real and so honest. I will continue to pray for you and your family and I know that God will bless you for sharing your heart with all of us.

    1. Laurie, I am typing this “thank you” through tears now. Thank you for sharing and blessing and encouraging me with your testimony. Thank you for your prayers for us. I am lifting you and your precious 24 year old daughter up in prayer right now, asking God to daily rain down in abundance His continued grace and mercy for each new day. Much love for you in Him ~ Karen

      1. Awww Karen! Thank you so much for praying for me and my daughter. You are such gift to this hurting world, and God is using you in mighty ways to further His kingdom! Laurie

  3. Karen, I was up late Wednesday night reading all of your posts and remembering Sarah (and there were tears). I was trying to think of a more real-life way to be an encouragement than just a comment on a blog or an email. I wanted it to involve some more work or a sacrifice on my part. So I started writing (two-sided) letters to each of your daughters & I prayed to God to give me some sort of specific insight or encouragement for each one. I woke up Thursday and thought “oh gosh, this is a silly idea! What if what I say isn’t relevant to them right now?” and I wanted to not do it. But after reading this and being reaffirmed, I am going to finish it off! I connected with Sophie & Katelyn on social media in August, and (though I’m taking a break from social media now) having faces to put to the names makes it all the more personal, goodness! They are all so beautiful. I’m also going to write an overall letter for the whole family explaining the very specific way Sarah has changed my faith walk. So stay tuned for a really thick envelope with five letters (yep, one for sweet Sarah too!) to show up in the mailbox within the next couple of weeks from Ohio. 😃❤️

  4. Karen and family,
    Sarah’s life, written in the form of your blog, has been so inspirational and impactful in ways I can hardly explain. I hesitated even writing this because I do not write or describe these things well but I do want you to know that your words sink deep in my heart. Sarah’s devotions, drawings, music and journals speak to my heart and life as well as your words in ways I simply cannot describe. It changes me to the core. The Lord speaks in to my life through your words. Thank you for sharing and being so honest and genuine. Your family is so loved and prayed for. love and hugs, Diane

    1. Thank you so much, Diane! I woke feeling so discouraged this morning and before seeing this had just finished praying and asking the Lord to give me a Word of encouragement to help me start another day, thank you so much for giving the encouragement I desperately needed this morning. ❤ Much love ~ Karen

  5. I am in awe of Sarah’s unbridled love she had for our Savior! The strength God gave her, through His word, in her battles of fear of going so far away from home and being frustrated with her own shortcomings, has challenged my walk with our Lord. She is truly an inspiration! From your blogs of Sarah, yourself, and your family, I can see she had awesome examples! Her testimony has caused me to desire and commit to have a more intimate relationship with our Lord through His word.

  6. On a walk a few days ago in Franklin, Georgia out of the blue began asking questions about “Katelyn’s sister”. It gave me another opportunity to engage her in a great gospel conversation. I told her Sarah’s testimony and how she wanted to tell others about Jesus. In conversing with her almost 6 y/o self, she went on to say that she wants to be a missionary to tell everyone about Jesus. She said she needed to work on a speech and started writing it once we were home. Will post that on your FB. Love you all.

  7. Sarah’s love for God and your families willingness to share her story ignited a fire of revival in my soul. In the past 4 months I have been striving to be in the word and spend time in prayer daily, a habit I did not have before. I still have many changes to make, but y’all have truly impacted spiritual life. Thank you for your willingness to share. I will continue to pray for y’all.

    1. April, thank you so much for encouraging my family and me by sharing this, we are so very blessed by your testimony! Thanks also for praying for us, we know those prayers are powerful in sustaining us and we covet them.

  8. I was very affected by the press conference your family did the night Sarah left. What struck me so much was how Sarah was so fully present in the Word of God. I have read all of your blog and now see how deeply she understood and dwelled in it. I am sixty years old, belong to a church, and am active, but I have fallen away from being in the Word to a great extent. Both Sarah and your blog have let me know what I have missed. I am taking time each day to study and have already felt the rewards. So an old lady taking up her Bible again is indeed a memorial to Sarah. Thank you for writing this blog and sharing Sarah with us. Thank you also for your honesty.

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