Yesterday, as I sat in church, my heart was filled with thanksgiving for my church family. Though it seems much longer, Jim and I and the kids have only been attending Northfield Christian Fellowship for 6 years. I love the people in our church. They have come along side of us in this time of grief and have lifted us up. These are the people who have seen us in some of our lowest times, as well as our strongest times. There are those who have sat in the pews, after the services, and cried with me. There are older gentlemen, some who've buried children of their own, who come to me and put their arm around me or pat me on the back, they do not have words but I hear what they are saying to me. Through their silent presence, they are encouraging me and telling me that they have not forgotten. There are many who sit beside us and pray aloud, anytime, anywhere, knowing that words are inadequate but prayer is vital.
While it is true that church has been one of my most difficult places to be since Laynee was taken from us, it is also one of the most important places for us to be. There have been very few church services that I have been able to sit through without a flood of tears. I long to have her there with me. The many children in church make me hurt for her. I have sat in the church pews, under the preaching of God's word, and wrestled with my own thoughts, questions and doubts. In those same pews I have been made aware of God's undying love for us. There I have been reminded over and over that my God is in control of all things.
Yesterday as I slipped into the church pew, I felt weary and exhausted. I felt as if I had no fight left in me to ward off the ever present hands of desperation. As we sang in worship, I could feel the spirit there in the sanctuary, bringing me back, parting the shades of darkness so that I could see and feel his presence once again. We sang this song and I was once again humbled by the steadfast love and patience of our Lord. I was reminded that even when we lose sight, when we fall off the tracks, he never ever leaves us. He draws us back to him again and again. Though last week I seemed to be in a place of darkness, today I find that I have come full circle once again. Once again I'm in that place of quiet, peace, and restfulness. As we sang this song I was once again awed by the awareness that my little girl is in heaven with Jesus.
Jesus Christ, I think upon Your sacrifice
You became nothing, poured out to death
Many times I've wondered at Your gift of life
And I'm in that place once again
I'm in that place once again
And once again I look upon the cross where You died
I'm humbled by Your mercy and I'm broken inside
Once again I thank You
Once again I pour out my life
Now You are exalted to the highest place
King of the heavens, where one day I'll bow
But for now, I marvel at Your saving grace
And I'm full of praise once again
I'm full of praise once again
Thank You for the cross
Thank You for the cross
Thank You for the cross, my Friend