Tonight I can’t seem to find the words. I’m usually not at a loss for words. Maybe I have too many words. They don’t seem to be flowing like they usually do. More than anything I just don’t know how to start. I wanted this post to be special. Maybe the Lord just wants it to be short. Tomorrow is her birthday.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
I thought I would celebrate today by sharing some of the thoughts I've been reflecting on in the past two months:
To our precious family and friends,
You have been a treasure to us on this journey! The words “thank you” somehow seem inadequate to express all that is in our hearts toward you. We have been so richly blessed by your prayers, words of encouragement and comfort, for the tears you have shed for and with us. You have demonstrated your love for us in countless ways and your companionship on this journey has been priceless. We ask for the privilege of rejoicing with you when you rejoice, weeping with you when you mourn, offering the love and friendship you have so freely offered us. Our sincerest prayer is that Maggie Faith’s life would draw you closer to the heart of the Father! May He richly bless you for the kindness you have shown us!
Layne, Amy Joy, Katy Jayne, Connor, Jordan “JoJo” and Maggie Faith
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Today I’d like to share with you how He has captivated me. He gave me the great honor of being Maggie Faith’s momma. While we are experiencing a deep and abiding loss, here are some things we gained from being a part of Maggie Faith’s life:
A longing for Heaven
“Momma, why does God make people sick?” Katy Jayne asked recently. I paused and breathed a prayer and the Holy Spirit put these words in my mouth. “Sweet love, God doesn’t make people sick but He does allow sickness so that we long for a place where there is no sickness and no pain. Do you know where that place is?” “Sure, Momma, that’s Heaven with Jesus!” [Revelation 21:3-4]. I have never found myself so desperately longing to be in two places at once – here on earth to love on the family that God has so graciously and generously given me and with Him in Heaven holding my sweet baby girl, Maggie Faith. I can’t really explain it but somehow I feel as though I know the heart of God better and saw a glimpse of Heaven as a result of having seen the beautiful spirit he put in her fragile little body. On her good days, she would move her little feet just like a ballerina. In fact, I described her kicks while I carried her in my body as “dancing.” I see her dancing before the Lord to his sheer delight on those beautiful little feet. That vision is so beautiful it takes my breath away!
A greater sense of awe and wonder of our Heavenly Father...a desire to earnestly BELIEVE Him
She was so beautiful and so fearfully and wonderfully made [Psalm 139: 13-16]! He expanded my capacity to trust Him in this area. I remember the day I realized I really could ask Him to heal her of things like Down’s Syndrome. The God we serve is so big, unfathomable really, and delights when we pray asking Him to be Himself, to be HUGE [Psalm 77:13-14, Ephesians 3:20-21]. That realization was so essential when the findings from each test we had were worse news than the ones before. I asked God for some pretty unbelievable things from a human perspective. I think He delighted that I would ask even when He answered me, “Beloved, I’m so sorry. I have something different in mind for her. But thank you for asking! Thank you for believing I could even if I don’t!” I love Him so much! I could be disappointed that He didn’t answer my prayers the way that I prayed them. But instead of looking elsewhere for comfort I want to press into His presence, to experience His embrace more fully, to be loved so abundantly by Him, for my spirit to dance for Him like Maggie Faith’s, simply for His pleasure.
Maybe you are here today and you’ve asked some pretty amazing things of God and been disappointed by Him. Maybe you loved Him once but turned away because the pain of life was too great. Maybe you are no longer convinced of His power, His love and His goodness. Maybe you can identify with Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, who experienced doubt when He found Himself imprisoned for proclaiming Christ to his countrymen. John sent a few of his followers to Jesus to ask, “Are you really Him?” John was expressing what you may feel toward Jesus: “Have you forgotten me? Can you not do something about the situation I’m in? Did I risk it all for the wrong thing?” Jesus kindly answers his heart and yours, “Blessed are you if you are not offended by me” [Matthew 11:1-6]. Would you be willing to give your disappointment to God and let Him hold that burden instead of you? Did you hear in the passage that Layne’s dad read how God can turn the Valley of Weeping [Baca] into an oasis where others are comforted too (Psalm 84)? He is the “Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” [2 Corinthians 1:3-4]. I pray that our journey and the beauty of Maggie Faith’s life may somehow inspire you to turn around and find that God is waiting with open arms to comfort you. His love for you is so fierce. Would you allow His love to quiet your heart so you can hear Him singing and rejoicing over you [Zephaniah 3:17]?
Maybe through Maggie Faith’s life you are meeting Jesus for the first time. We welcome you on this journey! We pray that you would see a little of our Heavenly Father’s heart toward you through our love for our little girl and our love for Him. I’m convinced the intensity of our desire to spend eternity with Maggie Faith in the presence of Jesus pales in comparison with His desire to spend eternity with you. Do you know how much God the Father loves you? He loves you so passionately that He sacrificed His Son for you so that you can live with Him FOREVER [John 3:16, 1 John 4:9, 10]. Do you hear Him speaking tenderly to your heart? Do you long to be loved like that? Do you recognize your need for a Savior, for that kind of love, that you can’t find it on your own, and you want to receive it from Him, to accept life with Him because of the life His Son gave for you [Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, Romans 10:9, 13, Romans 5:1, Romans 8:1]? We long to see you in Heaven and so does He.
Maybe like us, Maggie Faith’s life has inspired you to greater faith in the Lover of your Soul. Would you press in? Savor your time with Him, press in, draw near to His heart through His Word, songs, hymns, fellowship with other believers, pray, pray hard, pray unbelievable things, ask Him to increase your faith and help you in your unbelief [Luke 17:1-6; Mark 9:14-25]. Press in...press in...press in!"*
*I was so blessed this past summer to have the opportunity to complete once again a Bible study by Beth Moore entitled Believing God. Many of the precepts you read here are a part of what I learned then. I could not have imagined what God was preparing me for, but I'm so glad He did.
For those of you who have asked, here are the photos that we had up front for Maggie's memorial service. These were all taken by our good friend Ami Trull. She is a wonderful photographer and she did a marvelous job of helping us preserve some very precious memories of our sweet girl.