Friday, January 7, 2011

January 6 - Another Monument

January 6 - Elyse has now been gone the same amount of time that she was with us. This is a difficult monument in the entire process.  In my eyes it's symbolic of the fact that time just keeps passing and that my memories of my little girl just become more and more distant.  Of course we do everything possible to keep those memories close, but time does indeed keep ticking away.

My beautiful wife wrote the most painful, honest and straight-forward account on her blog yesterday.  She really captured the heart of where we are in this entire process.  

Here are a couple more thoughts from me...
  1. This stinks! - There's no way around it.  This is the hardest, ugliest, most painful experience I've ever gone through.  No amount of comfort, encouragement, books, videos, sermons, etc. can remove the pain.
  2. God did not promise me an easy life! - The more I study scripture and the more I've experienced life this past year, the more I've learned the simple truth that LIFE IS HARD and TRIALS WILL COME!  We're called to endure, persevere, and to never give up.
  3. The consequences of giving up are much worse than the pain of endurance.  Giving up would be the most selfish thing I could ever do.  It would mean withdrawing from life and becoming a selfish jerk.  I have the most amazing wife and son whom I've been called to love and care for.  God has me in the position of husband and father to care for them.  I will not give up on God and I will not give up on them!
  4. God has met me in the pain! - No doubt.  Read back in my blog to the Spring and those stories of how God has faithfully reminded me of His presence continue to this day.
  5. There IS hope for the future. - In the process of not giving up I'm learning to know that as time passes, signs of God's redemption emerge. They're small at times, but they are there, and provide hope.
  6. I can't wait for heaven. - I've never longed for heaven as much as I do now.  It truly is a blessed hope that allows me to endure. I can't wait for that day where I get to meet my Savior and be reunited with my little girl. Maybe she'll show me around a bit. How will she be different? How will she be the same? So many questions answered in that ultimate day of redemption!
  7. God continues to use Elyse's life and death to draw people to Him. - I've taken just about every opportunity to share with groups the goodness, faithfulness and sovereignty of our Lord through this entire process.  In March, a group of students in the Joshua Wilderness Institute.  In April, a group of about 50 youth pastors.  In May, our Hume Staff in a Staff Chapel service. In October to Missionary Kids in Papua New Guinea.  And finally this past November, I got to speak to several hundred high school and junior high students at a Christian school. Every time I've spoken, it's been a privilege to share the truth of God's love in the midst of living in a painful world.
There's so much more I could share, but I'll save it for another time.  Suffice it to say that we continue to value the prayers of so many friends, and so many others that we've never even met. The Family of God has been exceptional through this entire process and we are eternally grateful. No matter what, HE IS ALWAYS GOOD!

3 comments:

Angie Horn-Andreu said...

Cliff, I think about you & your family often. I continue to pray for you & care about this journey.

Lola said...

Cliff,
Thank you for sharing your heart with us. You and your family our so precious to Keith and I. We continue to pray for you and thank God for your ministry in the midst of this long road.

Erick Reinstedt said...

God bless you all. You are loved. If we were there right now Mary Ann and I would hug you tight. Just know that we would if we could.