As my own beauties are sleeping soundly in their beds I can't help but think about what Layla Grace's sisters are doing and if they are sleeping well tonight, if her mom and dad are sleeping soundly in their beds... or are they up like they have been night after night for the past two years. If you don't know about Layla Grace or the story of this precious family who lost their child a few days ago visit this site and read their amazing story.
Jen and I attended the funeral this weekend, it was one of the most humbling experience of my life and God has done things in my heart from this brief encounter that I never thought possible. I will forever look at my life differently, look at my children differently, and look at each day given differently. It's not that I have never experienced loss, because I have, or that I have never known anyone else to loose a loved one-especially a child, because I have known that too... but to see a family SO entrusted to the Lords will, SO giving of their story to heal and encourage others in the midst of their pain, SO strong in their testimony that "what we have is not our own, we rejoice in our suffering that it might glorify the Father" to SEE a family live that out... I have never seen that in action like I have through the Marsh family.
We can say we trust God, we can even go through some seaming tough moments and come out giving Him credit...but to the degree that they have Lost and remained faithful, it's only reminiscent of Job to me. He lost his whole family, all his children his friends, his wife, his health... and he STILL said "Lord you are the one and only true God, I will follow you..."
As a mother of my own darling two year old, I can say all day that I would be okay if I had to bury her that knowing she was in heaven would give me all the comfort I need and that I understand when the scriptures say "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. " James 1:17 the trust of that gives me peace... but staying on the safe side of the waters edge and doing in the midst of a storm are two totally different things.
When I said it was a life changing moment for me let me explain.... Layla's dad talked about an analogy of life and humanity being the shore of a beach covered as far as the eye can see of ppl along the waters edge. Everyone is given tools; shovels....buckets...rakes...different tools, some will try and dig the biggest mound of sand with their tools to show off until someone else builds one bigger or the water inevitably washes it away, others will take the time to craft a beautiful work of art for the onlookers to enjoy, some will offer their tools to those around them working diligently, some will lie on the beach tools tossed and soak up the sun... enjoy a good book, live in the moment of the day.... he said that in the midst of all that all he can see is the sight of what he believes Layla would be doing: running down the beach little legs pitter pattering the sand and splashing at the rolling tide laughing and smiling and touching as many ppl she passes as she can, helping ppl along the way, enjoying her day in the sun and soaking up the moment to celebrate the time God gave her where she is. He challenged me to think about what kind of person I have been...how have I been spending my days in the sun? How do I want to be remembered by the ppl scattered where the water meets the sand...
Some days what I do or don't do feels really small and insignificant in light of the big picture and especially in light of what I think others might be doing with their days. As we know it's not God's desire that we compare ourselves to anyone but Himself...but I am seeing SO clearly now that God delights in me, in my job that HE gave me, and I only have today. I don't want to have to go through my own heartbreaking moment to get that lesson. I want to learn it now, through the lives God has let touch me and live differently. The next time someone asks that all too popular and loaded question "why does God let bad things happen to good people?" I believe it's because He hopes they will respond like the Marsh family: honor Him, trust His will, and share their lives that others my find hope themselves....
There are children all over the world who are making their journey to the throne of God, but for some reason THIS little girl is the one God used to touch lives and change hearts and I know she's being honored by the Lord and His angels for it.
God still asks me this question... are you willing to entrust them to me? (like I have entrusted them to you?)