Thursday, February 04, 2010

My Love's Too Big for You, My Love

Year 1

My dearest,

Continue to be strong and courageous. I’m sure the past year has been tough, but God has been faithful, right? What are you thankful for? What can we give thanks for this past year?

If you are feeling up to it you can open up some picture albums and videos and watch them with the kids. I want the kids to always remember that the time we had together was wonderful, and though short, it was exactly how much time the Lord wanted us to have in His sovereign plan. Though it is hard to be without me, God’s design is perfect and He know’s what is best for us. Let the children know that I love them very much, and I wish I could hug and kiss them right now...

Deut 31:6 "Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you He will not fail you or forsake you."

- Andrew

Sunday, February 7th - One Year Since My Love Left Me.

This year, I feel like I have seen Christ with my own eyes.

At times daily, I have often called out to God, often out loud, holding Him to His promise that He is a Husband to the husbandless and a Father to the fatherless. He has met me at my every cry and need. He has never failed me. I will say more about that at another time, when I have more words.

But in recent weeks, I have been at a loss for words. This past year has been a continual wrestling with my memories. I've spent much of the year rifling through the archives of my mind, while other times, finding myself trying to block out the past; that if I convinced myself that what Andrew and I had shared had never happened, at least not as richly, then there was not as much to lose and not as much to weep over. But the truth is, I loved Andrew with all my heart.

I hope some of that wrestling with my memory can rest now. This week, I could not help myself but spend all day making the video below. I do not have to wrestle with my memories, struggle to access them, tackle them to hold onto them, because they are here now compiled on my hard drive and the internet. I have not had words, but I now have my video.

If you press play over and over and over and over again (and then repeat that a few times while your hands make lunch for your kids), then you'll experience what many of my days inside my head have been like over this year - except I did not have the convenience of a play button or the pictures already organized or their significance already explained. The experience of having such images grazing my mind, sometimes vivid, sometimes vague, have been more like trying to sort through and organize very unwieldy and slippery, entwined, and knotted spaghetti.

Thank you to all of you for cheering me on this first year, whether you communicated it to me, or quietly did so between you and Jesus. There are times where I can feel you praying for us and the Lord sustaining me in answer.

I used to write fiction. When I was still in the Philippines in 2003, Andrew wrote me, "Will you let me read your stories some time? Will you let me into your world?" I let Andrew into my world and he was better than fiction all along, through and through. I let him into my heart and he filled it with himself, nearly bursting it. I haven't written fiction in a few years now. But welcome into my world, everyone. Here is this old heart...

Music by Ingrid Michaelson, Sort of

One more thing. That I know Andrew would absolutely want me to put here. This was the message my brother-in-law preached the day after Andrew died, Sunday, called "Reflections on the Suffering and Death of a 27 Year-Old Man." Over 100,000 people came through here and listened to that message. Yes, 100,000 people. Curious yet? Or if you've already heard it, it'll benefit your soul to refresh your memory. Click here:

Please also feel free to share any memories about Andrew that you haven't shared yet in the comments section below. I absolutely love to read them, and I know one day my kids will also.


  1. Grace, I've been praying for you this weekend. I can't tell you how much the Lord has used your blog to encourage and bless me this past year. Often when I doubt the Lord's goodness, I'm reminded of His faithfulness to you and how you can personally testify to His goodness even in the midst of intense suffering. Thank you for sharing so openly your heart with us.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your heart, Grace. We are praying for you and your dear little ones.

  3. Beautiful video Grace. Praying for you today!

  4. Grace,
    What a life of courage God has enabled you to live. He gives us what is best and often we may want it to be different than it is today, but in the end He makes all things beautiful. What a purpose He must have for you and the kids to allow you to go through this deep water, but He is faithful to finish the work He has started.

    We will pray for strength for you as this very difficult milestone passes. He is the Father to the Fatherless and the Protector and Provider for those who are weak.
    Keep sharing so we can know how best to pray.

  5. Grace -

    We marvel at all that God has done in your life over the past year. We continue to uphold the three of you in our prayers, knowing that we worship a gracious and loving God who is your great Protector.

    We love you so much.

    dave & gale

  6. Hi Grace,

    Today we had a visiting missionary who shared about God's fortress built for our protection and said we generally would not care to know how strong this fortress is except when we are suddenly under attack. We will never, likewise, realize how faithful/strong our God is until we find ourselves clinging for life. I'm so blessed to hear your confirmation.
    Thank you for your openness.

  7. Grace,

    Many people from IBC follow your blog and think of you often. Some days, your words just sustain me and give me much hope. You can never know how much your writing has been an encouragement to me, even though I have never really spoken to you. Keep running the race, Grace. We are all so thankful for your life and your testimony.


  8. Grace,

    That was a beautiful video! Praying for you sister. Love you!


  9. I've followed your blog since hearing your story on way of the master radio. I will continue to lift you and your children up in prayer.
    God bless.

  10. I haven't had the pleasure of meeting you or your dear husband, but as one who has prayed for you this past year, I would want you children to know how incredibly proud they should be of the both of you...

    My heart aches for you and yet you remind me and the rest of us that we should be rejoicing and that at all times good and gracious. Mind boggling, but what an incredible hope... To have hope through pain and to have joy in sorrow and to know that He sees us and our tears, He remembers us. Your children should know that you and Andrew helped us to remember these things... Bless you Grace, and I will keep praying and checking in!

  11. grace, i listened to the message a year ago and for some reason i listened to it again tonight even before i saw that you posted it on your blog. it completely changed my perspective once again.

    thank you, grace, for sharing your life with us and for being a constant encouragement. praise the Lord for the ways that He is working in you and through you... i will continue to pray for you and your family.

  12. Hi, Grace...It's Julie C's friend--Me--again...just wanted you to know that while we have never met that I have prayed daily for you for over a year now...And I love you like a sister...First year down...that's an incredible accomplishment!!! And you have done it with grace and truth...and giving glory to Christ every step of the way!!!! May He bless you beyond your wildest dreams!! I continue to pray and think of you! In His love, Janine XO