Sunday, May 25, 2008

A Testimony of Impact

We are starting to hear stories of how Lindsay's life has had a impact on people's lives. As we hear them, we will put them on the blog for your encouragement.

The following article was written by the Mom of our "adopted" son, Brian Bitler. Sherry serves on the full-time staff at Glasgow Reformed Presbyterian Church in Bear, Delaware. Our family attended the church during the years we served at Sandy Cove Ministries.

This week, Butch and I (and Ellen and JoLynn) took turns watchingour two young grandsons from New Jersey. Their mom and dad were at Children's Hospital in Boston with their dear friends who were watching their precious 22 month old fight for her life.

From Tuesday through Friday, they sat with them, helped them care for their 3 year old son, brought food, read encouragement from the Word, shared wisdom(our daughter-in-law is a critical care heart nurse at Deborah Heart and Lung Hospital), cried with them, prayed, and prayed more.

Friday afternoon at 1 PM little Lindsay’s heartgave out, she took her last breath on earth and entered Heaven. Here at home, we went about the usual things a 3 year oldand a 5 year old do....and don't do. Each of us in the family trying to fit this unexpected visit into our schedule, privileged to be even an indirect part of ministry to this hurting family. In the evenings after the house was once again quiet, we would check the blog for the latest information on Lindsay. We would also talk on the phone with our son. We would pray.

I am amazed at how much this tiny little life has touched me - and I have never met her. I am amazed at the compassion I feel for this family- the mom I have known since she was a young girl, but haven't seen in years - the dad I have never met. They are probably 25 years old. Such a heavy burden. I am so thankful they belong to Him and have strong, Christian family to help hold them through the grief.

Worshipping on Sunday morning, totally aware that Lindsay is with Jesus; and that her parents and grandparents have a painful hole in their hearts that will never be filled until they are in Heaven with her, was heart wrenching and I could not hold the tears. Sometimes singing praises to Him also lets the pain and the lack of understanding seep out. I could feel myself intentionally and deliberately pronouncing the words of PRAISE and TRUST and ADORATION as if I could force myself to overcome the disappointment that God didn't provide a miracle for this family by verbalizing what I know is true - begging my mind to override my emotion.

We serve a sovereign God - sometimes that is a great comfort, sometimes that is very difficult to bear. But it is truth. Lam. 3:31-32 - Men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.

I am thankful Lindsay's story pointed me to this verse this week. I am thankful her grandparents took the time to share her story with us in the midst of their pain. I am praying for all the lives she touched and thankful for the Kingdom building that was accomplished through her short life on earth. Someday, I will understand more.

Thanks, Sherry, for sharing this testimony.