Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Season of "This time last year..."

Today marks one year since Jude's burial service in that small Indiana cemetery.  It was a day that changed my world forever...a day of grief and pain and loss...yet saturated in hope.

For the past several months, we have been walking through a new season of grieving...a season of "This time last year."  For example...

This time last year, the most traumatic experience of our lives began.
This time last year, I saw my precious child's eyes for the first time.  
This time last year, Jude was being transferred between hospitals.
This time last year, Caleb met his brother.
This time last year, our sweet baby was in the operating room.
This time last year, we had to decide to place our whole hope in Jesus...not in a number or test result.
This time last year, we were celebrating Caleb's birthday via video.
This time last year, God loved us through this person.  Or that person.  
This time last year, we saw His faithfulness in this way.  Or that way.
This time last year, we were completely dependent on God to get through each day.
This time last year, we witnessed our baby leaving our arms to be held by the everlasting arms.
This time last year, we flew across the country to let Caleb know his brother had gone to be with Jesus.
This time last year, we were grappling with our loss, looking at tombstones, and trying to figure out where to go from here.

On Jude's birthday (August 15), we went to the beach.  It was Caleb's idea, and it was a perfect way to spend the day (being so far from his hospital and the cemetery).  It was beautiful, and the Lord met each one of us as only He can.

On the anniversary of Jude's death (October 21), we were in the mountains.  Last year, after his burial, we took a few days in the Smokies to be together as a family.  So, it seemed like a good way to mark the date this year.  It was sad and difficult, but we experienced the Lord's love in sweet ways once again.

As an example of one of His sweet gifts, Caleb and I found this while hiking:
Written on the tombstone of a baby who lived just about as long as Jude was the phrase:
budded on earth to bloom in Heaven 
I couldn't have said it better myself.


Anonymous said...

I find myself thinking about you so often these days, Mandy. My mom and I are still praying for you guys often.

Nicole Dunn

Anonymous said...

Love you Mandy, praying for you all! Jenny Best

Terry said...

BEAUTIFUL (really beautiful) post and blog, Mandy... so obvious that is comes from your beautiful heart! I SO wish I could take all your pain away, but know that God brings good from it. He is a good God and has a redemptive plan for all. Much love to you. I am thankful to get time with you this year!

Stacia said...

what an amazing tombstone to find and a very sweet phrase. wishing you peace and beauty!

Kristy said...

Thank you for sharing your lives with all of us...your grief, pain, hope, and even the seemingly mundane matter. Remembering with you. Praying too. Love you all, Kristy

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