Sunday, January 20, 2008

Gifts Left Behind

Annette left many files on her computer for us to go through after she died. She named the file Documents If I Die. Always practical, she left intructions for the funeral and some other housekeeping things. She also left many of her thoughts behind for us to share. Annette also made a video last May and July for us. It truly is such a gift to have these words from her. I would like to share some of these thoughts.

Annette did not want anyone, especially her boys, to blame God for her death. She wanted no one to ask, "What kind of God would take away a 41 year old wife, mother, daughter and sister?" She continues..."I hope that, even through this, we can praise God for his unfailing love and faithfulness. I do not believe that God sent this cancer to me. Disease, illness, and death are a consequence of the is because we are not in perfect harmony anymore with God. Some people ask, "Why did God allow this (to happen) to me?" I find that a very selfish question. There are so many things that are tough in the world... genocide, the Holocaust, poverty in the 3rd world.... I do believe God CAN take away the bad things, but to do so would be the end of the world. He put the laws of nature in place and put us, human beings, in charge of the world. It's up to us to take care of it. "

"God is a God of LOVE. Pure love. What He wants more than anything is to be in true commune with us. But because of our break with Him, we are unable to be totally in community with Him at this time. But we can try. Meditation, praying, reading the Bible and getting to know the God of love are all ways."

"I look forward to being with God when I die. I'm just incredibly sad that I have to leave this world and my loved ones".

Annette never blamed God and didn't think she was "given" cancer. Her greatest desire was that, "even through this, we can praise God for his unfailing love and faithfulness".

Friday, January 11, 2008

No More Lamps Needed

Just after Annette died, my daughter Sara (8) and I were reading a children's book that dealt with death and heaven. One page was talking about heaven and all the things that would be there:

And all the things that wouldn't.
No more pain.
No more sickness.
No more cancer .
No more sadness.
No more darkness or night. Huh? Sara said' "Mommy, it says there won't be darkness and night in heaven. Is that right?" I had never heard that before! I told her I wasn't sure, but that we'd check that out soon. The following Sunday, in church, I was looking for some inspiration from Revelations. Lo and behold I came across Rev. 22:5 "There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever".
No more night! No more darkness! (Will we still sleep? Because I love my bed and a good night sleep!) Not needing a lamp because we will see by the light of God! How cool is that?
Take comfort that we will no longer have long, dark nights filled with pain and grief. No more shadows of longing for things we wished had been. Only God's bright joy to guide our every minute!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

In Christ Alone

Annette chose several of her favourite songs to sing at her funeral. However, she didn't want anyone singing them "wimpy". So we did our best. I thought it was beautiful. One of them was "In Christ Alone". The words have so much meaning and hope for all of us. I have uploaded the song here for you to listen, to remember if you were able to join us at the service, to share now if you were able to join us only in thought and prayers and for all of us to enjoy and reflect.

Peace and Hope,

In Christ Alone Worship Video with Lyrics

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Power of Hope

My friend lent me a book to read entitled When I Lay My Isaac Down by Carol Kent. Much in this book has spoken to me while I read it. One of my favourite parts I want to share with you. It begins with the words "The Power of Hope"

"Hope becomes unsinkable when we realize our hope is not in having spouses or friends who will never disappoint us, or in enjoying financial security or in having perfect health or in having children turn out exactly as anticipated. Hope remains constant when we get to know the Source of all hope.

"Perhaps the psalmist said it best: I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honour come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me (Psalm 62:5-7).

"Hope's power is that we have the energy and desire to gon on living because we believe something better is coming. That's the bottom line for Christians: something better is coming. There is more to this world than meets the eye. No matter what happens to you or your familiy, no matter what disappointments you encounter, no matter what diagnosis the doctor gives you, even if the end result is physical death, there is still something more.

"But we're not home yet, So my encouragement for today is that if I put my hope in the Lord, there are great benefits. Isaiah once said, "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:31)" (p. 108, Carol Kent)

What a wonderful comfort! I know Annette had this comfort too, which is such a comfort to us. We know the end of the story! I pray that you will also experience this hope in 2008.

Peace and Hope,