CS Lewis once said that "grief is like the sky, it covers everything." In recent weeks, our family has found that this is so very true. It seems that there is no right or wrong way to travel this path of grief. I have created this blog in hopes that some day we will be able to look back on our journey and see written proof that our great God never leaves us. God is good all the time.

Celebrating Laynee

You might want to scroll to the bottom of this page and pause the music before playing this video.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

And Lions Roar

Anyone who knows me, who has taken the time to truly know my heart, knows that a few years ago, I was deeply inspired by a book called "In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day."  This inspiration came right around the time of Jalayne's birth and subsequent entrance into our lives.  The book,  written by Mark Batterson, pivots around a little known biblical event in II Samuel, the story of a man named Benaiah.  Benaiah, who later became a great leader in David's army, chased a lion.  "Benaiah chased a lion into a pit, then despite the snow and slippery ground, caught the lion and killed it"  II Samuel 23:20   I have to insert here the fact that I am always somewhat amazed at the mention of snow.  When I think of the ground on which our forefathers walked, I imagine dry, desert lands with hot, dusty conditions.  Snow does not fit my mind's image.  Nevertheless, snow is a virtually insignificant observation in this text.  The amazing question is this.......who in their right mind would "chase a lion?"  I'm fairly confident if I'm walking along and happen upon a lion, chasing it is not going to be one of my first instincts. In the event that I did chase it and managed to get it into a pit, climbing down into the pit with the lion wouldn't seem like the wisest of choices.  The scripture does not give much more information about Benaiah and what possessed him to do such a thing.  There is another scripture that tells us that Benaiah also fought an Egyptiam by wrestling his own spear from his hand and killing him with it.  Forgive me for saying so, but Benaiah doesn't seem like the brightest light on the block.  To the average person, these were foolish acts.  Yet, it was these seemingly senseless acts that turned out to be Benaiahs greatest blessing.  They won him favor in David's eyes and a spot over David's bodyguard.  Later, in I Kings 2:25 Solomon appoints Benaiah leader of the army in Israel, in place of Joab.  Blessings came for Benaiah out of an act that seemed utterly foolish.

The truth is that sometimes life does not make sense.  At times we are asked to do things that make no sense.  Other times life just happens and it makes no sense.  When we were asked to take Jalayne into our home, it made no sense, not to us and not to those around us.  Our plate was full, we had one severely disabled child already, how on earth would we handle a child with Down Syndrome?  Not only "how" would we handle it, but "why" would we handle it?.  Jim and I were terrified, filled with dread.  We knew full well what we were getting into.  Life with a special needs child is no walk in the park.  It is grueling:  physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially gruelling.  Many, if not all, of the people in our social circle questioned our wisdom and our sanity.  Some felt it their God given duty to tell us their views on our taking on another child.  It simply did not make sense and we knew it.  Certainly Benaiah must have known that chasing a lion probaly wasn't his smartest move yet.   I recall sitting in the chair in the neonatal intensive care unit, holding this tiny baby, my heart already melting for her, and asking God "WHY,  why are you asking this of us?"    We didn't have to say yes, we didn't have to take this child, we could very easily have said no.   But our lion was roaring.  God was saying "feed my child, take my child, love my child."   I shall never forget the words of Gretchen,  Moise's physical therapist, days after Jalayne's arrival.  We were at a therapy session for Moise, and Jalayne, only days old, was with us.  I explained that we didn't know at that point if we would adopt her, that she may be with us only temporarily, that it really didn't make sense for us to keep her.  Gretchen looked me square in the face and said  "don't think on it so much, just do it."    In other words, quit worrying about how God's going to work this out, just trust him.  And we did.  Then God took this situation that made no sense at all and he made it more beautiful than anything we could ever have imagined.  He formed Laynee into this incredibly beautiful creature with a sparkling personality.  He made her so beautiful that no one could resist her.  He molded her into the hearts of each of our children in a way that no "normal" child could have done. He made her just perfect for our family.   He gave new meaning to the words Down Syndrome.  He poured love into her that spilled over to us and we in turn overflowed right back to her.  Imagine what we would have missed had we not taken the "senseless" oppurtunity that God so lovingly placed before us.  Right now I am overwhelmed with emotional gratitude that our lion roared and that we chased him.  Thank God we climbed into the pit of uncertainty. 

Just as Laynee's entrance into our life made no sense, neither does her death.  It simply does not make sense that Laynee be taken from us.  We have so say in this matter of death, no one asked us,  there was no choice.  Still, God roars, he asks us to trust him.   I cannot begin to imagine how even a God as big a mine can bring something good or beautiful from the death of our sweet baby. I'm not entirely sure I know how to trust him in this.  It seems like most often when He asked me to trust him there was something tangible that he wanted me to do.  This time he has given me nothing that I can do with my hands or my mind.   He is asking me to do nothing but sit and trust him. I am not geared that way, I am an action person, I need to DO something.  My lion is roaring and God says sit?    SIT?  Are you serious God?    Just SIT?  I don't know HOW to SIT!!!  I have a visual of God actually chuckling at my horror of being told to sit still.   I can't audibly hear God, but my heart and soul know that his answer is "Sit, Stand, whatever, I don't care, but there is nothing you can do.  You must trust me."   Be still and know that I am God Psalms 46:10

I don't understand Jalayne's death but I do trust him.  I know that my God is good.  I know that he can "work all things together for good to them that trust him, to them that are called according to his purpose."  Romans 8:28  My lion is roaring.  Okay God I'll SIT, but please don't ask me to chase a real life lion.

1 comment:

  1. Love those pictures. My favorite one of Braska is right after her heart surgery.