Sunday, March 22, 2009


I miss Andrew a lot, but truly feel God sustaining me each day beyond anything I thought possible. Gracie, who will be 3 on the 27th, is the same, always strong, happy, fearless. (My mom always calls her the "Survivor." She did afterall survive a potty birth). AJ, who turned 4 in January, has fussy days and it's usually because he's missing his papa a lot. He was really close to Andrew. He's so sensitive, aware, and has an amazing memory. Most of the time, though, he's pretty happy, loves playing with all our different neighbors, who we've been getting to know a lot since we've been back from California, and going to his new preschool 3 mornings a week that I enrolled him in 2 weeks ago.

I'm really thankful for the times we have together at night before bed. I have a lot of heart-to-hearts with AJ, and the kids really need a lot of affection and reassurance right now. At age four, I think AJ is old enough to possibly remember a lot of Andrew. I keep praying the Lord will preserve his memories. The other night he mentioned his last birthday in California and asked if I had eaten any of his birthday cake.

I said yes.

He asked if papa had too.

I said no.

He asked why?

I said, Remember? He had a feeding tube, and I pointed to my stomach.

He said, "Yeah, and he used to have one too in his nose."

And I asked when.

And he said, "'A long long long long time ago."

He was right. A year ago for several weeks right after Andrew's surgery, he had a tube in his nose to feed through before he ever had a bigger one put into his stomach. AJ remembers a year ago!

In general, all day long AJ has various questions related to death and heaven. They have been constant opportunities to talk about so many different aspects of the Lord. How He is always good, always is with us, is everwhere, anywhere we are, yet is in heaven with papa. How He hates sin, and yet is forgiving, and we are incapable of obeying Him on our own, but through His Holy Spirit He can change our hearts to grow us more like Him. How He promises to be a Papa to the fatherless and will take care of us and we can trust Him. How He is yes, even bigger than Spiderman, and can rescue even those Spiderman cannot.

I feel as if God is really growing me through this difficult time. I feel more sensitive to spiritual things than ever before. When I hear a song on the radio that mentions eternity, I listen to the words intently, looking for truthful images, wonder if it's giving me a clue into what Andrew is seeing right now. Even if my private worship (my time in God's Word and prayer) was cut short a couple of times or I even missed it, I realize at Sunday worship that my mind has still been meditating on spiritual things most of the week, because it is so easy to worship God in song with all my heart and listen to the message without being distracted, though it has always been a much greater struggle in the past.

It as if any and everything during the day makes me think about how it looks to God, how He would see it and interpret it, what it has to do with heaven, eternity.

I feel as if everything has become very clear-cut, at least for the time-being, and my vision feels clear right now too. God uses searing pain to cause everything to come into focus.

The letters of Andrew

Andrew's letters have really shepherded me so much through this time. Reading his letters almost nightly the first month, all of which I have posted so far (at least the ones I'm supposed to read. There are still the 2 month, 1 year, 1st wedding anniversary without him, and a few others as well as for watershed events in the kids lives), have guided me how to structure my day, such as using the kids two-hour afternoon nap to take care of the onslaught of paper work related to his countless medical bills, changing names on all kinds of accounts, logistical things having to do with death or not having him here (...still goin' at it). Him telling me to take a realistic time during the day to work on all those things, plus telling me not to feel overwhelmed but to take things one step at a time, have truly protected me from feeling overwhelmed the first month. God also answered his prayer that it would be easy and fun for me to take care of all of those things, which truly shocked me, because I have always despised paper work, particularly when it's related to messed up bills and insurance companies. The Holy Spirit really must have given him the words to write, because how could he know what I was going to go through and know exactly just what I needed to hear?

I'm learning so much from Andrew's leadership in his letters, despite how proud and stubborn I always was when he was actually here. I find that I always forget little things he wrote in the letters, and so certain phrases become new to me again when I read them or strengthen me anew or refocus me.

I never could imagine life without Andrew, but somehow there is. I can't explain it. How I can miss someone that I love so much and yet still be okay. My only explanation is that the Lord is really helping me.

"But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless." - Psalm 10:14

Prayer Requests

- that I would be consistent in my private worship. that the Lord would refresh me each day and continue to sustain me as a single mom. The kids were sick this weekend, so I had to say no to some invitations. Being sequestered all weekend drove me a little crazy.

- (for the same requests as in the previous post)

Verse of the day

"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).


  1. Grace, you are an encouragement to me. I pray that God continues to strengthen you and will add the things you have asked prayer for.

  2. Dearest Grace,
    I rejoice today after reading your post because of God's evident grace in your life! Praise our great Redeemer for sustaining you as only He can!

    We continue to pray for you, always.

    Julie and family

  3. What a testimony of the grace of God in your life- it's wonderful! I'm so thankful to be able to read your posts.

    ps. our daughters are ONE day apart. I have a Mikayla Grace who will be 3 on the 28th :) fun age!

  4. Thank you for sharing your heart with us, during such a difficult, difficult time.

    It remains an honor and blessing to lift your family in prayer. Please continue to let us know the specific ways that we can pray for you, A.J. and Gracie.

  5. love to you, grace. i am still extremely blessed and encouraged and exhorted by your blog. thank you for your transparency. you are teaching many, many people. God is good. He answers prayer!

  6. Grace,
    It is such an encouragement to know that He makes no mistakes. That His grace is sufficient. He completes everything e starts. And He everything He does is for our good.

    Yes, consistence in your quiet time is huge. God shows us so much more when we are disciplined to be in the Word and praying.

    The anticipation of Heaven is very strong in my heart, but we have to remember that God has a plan for each of us that remain here and it will be fun to see what He does with us as we are faithful to His Word.

    Luke 11:28 But He said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!" Jesus didn't waste any words when He gave this admonition.

  7. You are strong,courageous, and faithful! And He will prosper you....May God continue to wrap His arms around you as you make this journey. You are daily in my thoughts and prayers, Janine (Julie's friend)

  8. Thank you for sharing your story. I'm from Woodbury, MN and have been battling breast and brain cancer that has mestasticised to the bones as well. I gain stength from you and your verses, and my prayers go out to you and your family.


  9. Praying for you every day...for God's grace to sustain you and give you joy.