The many painful memories of June 8th, 2017, are a daily presence. Among them is a heart-rending image forever etched in my mind of Sarah’s sisters shattered and huddled together after their dad told us she was gone. I vividly remember the weight and urgency I felt in that moment to comfort them and assure them we “would be okay.” In my spirit I knew Scott and I would do everything within our power to make into reality what in that moment seemed like a hollow promise. But in that moment I was also acutely and excruciatingly aware of how very little power we actually have.
But God and His infinite grace have been ever so faithful. In the midst of darkest days and deepest sorrow He has faithfully heaped grace upon grace on us. Yesterday was another demonstration of His lavish grace.
Our oldest daughter, Katelyn, married yesterday. The weather was perfect for her dream outdoor ceremony. It was a beautiful wedding and reception that I hope held many precious memories for her.
As the bridesmaids stood before me prepared for her to make her entrance, I sat relentlessly taking captive thoughts of Sarah’s absence among them. As Katelyn and her dad made their way down the aisle to the front, my eyes were on her groom, Phillip. I saw God’s overflowing grace there. Phillip loves Katelyn so well. As she moved toward him he was captivated by her, and I was captivated by his love for her.
God has been so indescribably faithful and gracious to our family. He has taken that shattered huddle of my remaining children and carried them, Scott and me on Eagle’s wings. He has tenderly loved us, compassionately sustained us, and faithfully led us.
Scott and I gained another son last night. A son we deeply love and appreciate because we see how well he loves our daughter.
We gained our first son less than a year ago when Kristen and Austin wed. We feel reasonably confident we will be gaining a third son in the not so distant future as our youngest has been loved and cared for so well by her boyfriend over the past three years.
As I watched our girls with each of their guys last night I couldn’t help but be reminded of God’s blessings for Job. God has allowed us to walk the indescribably painful path of Sarah’s earthly death and absence. He has not filled, and will not fill, the void of Sarah’s absence this side of heaven. But He has undeniably blessed us with the priceless gift of an expanding family through sons who love our daughters well.
Through the years I’ve said many times that I wished we had six children instead of just four. Last night we gained our sixth. This side of heaven our family will always remain incomplete, the sting of Sarah’s absence ever-present. But even so, through God’s outpouring of grace upon grace our shattered hearts rejoice in His abundant goodness and faithfulness.
“This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. [They] are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23 [NASB95]
A precious gift to us from Katelyn. Us with all four of our girls on her special day, along with a perfectly appropriate quote from Sarah’s favorite book, Little Women.