Monday, April 14, 2008

God is Good, ALL the time!

Well, the weekend of busy-ness has ended, and we're left to process and recover from the whirlwind. God has been very good, faithful to be our strength, peace, and comfort in the midst of it all. We have seen His hand and have experienced His very real presence. What a good God!

Gary did an INCREDIBLE job at the funeral. Of course, He was very concerned about it and if he'd even make it through it. He said he definitely sensed the very real presence and supernatural strength of the Holy Spirit. I can't imagine trying to preach my sister's funeral. (not that I'd preach anyway!) But, the Gospel was clearly presented and it went very well. 

The meal at our house afterward was pleasant as well. Everyone got along and there was plenty of food. All 11 of Gary's Grandma's kids were here, as well as many of Gary's cousins, many of whom we hadn't seen in years. Funny how it takes something so tragic to get everyone together. 

My parents were so very helpful, doing whatever was necessary to help us- from food prep to dishwashing (my dad was the main dishwasher!) to babysitting...whatever. I am SO blessed with them. Our church family came alongside of us, with so many preparing food to be brought for the meal, phone calls, visits, was overwhelming to us have all the support. Just to know they were praying and willing to do whatever was needed. Some of our friends drove all the way from Springfield just for the funeral and had to go right back. It was very meaningful to us to have them there. The love of Christ was definitely poured out on us, and we pray, was clearly seen and overflowing to the rest of the family as well. 

One awesome God-thing that we'd experienced through Jeanni's death- Jeanni died on the day that one of our former youth (which happened to also be Gary's 1st wedding he's done) gave birth to their first born baby girl. It was such a blessing to know the day He chose to take Jeanni, He ushered in another little girl.  This same family had experienced a loss on the day that our baby girl Belle was born. So, this was a sweet reminder of God's grace in our life.

So, we knew after a long weekend, we'd have Sunday coming, with some hard things within our church family. Our pastor announced his retirement, effective in August, and our discipleship pastor and good friend announced his resignation, which actually is effective tomorrow. There is much going on within the church, we believe a weeding out of sorts, and a challenge- do we desire God, or tradition? Will we insist on our own way, or trust God? Will we be willing to learn together in love, or demand that others change to our beliefs? It is hard to go through, but necessary for growth. We're praying that the church body would run to Christ and follow in obedience. We will see. We've been praying for the past month or so on what God wants us to do, with things stirring. Now we're seeking clear direction. 

In the midst of it all, we know God is good. We know that He is worthy of worship regardless of circumstance. We know that His ways are better than ours. And we know that He will work all things out for His glory and our good. So glad we can count on that!

Thanks again to everyone for the prayers and support. Much love to you all!


Heather said...

Love you all!

Shae said...

I'm so sorry for your loss! I will be praying for your family.

Jennifer said...

I am assuming you are talking about Whit with the new baby girl. I had the exact same thought when I found out the baby was born. Isn't God so good to give us small things like that in the midst of grief.