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.

Friday, September 10, 2010

God Did Good

This morning my mind wanders back to September 10, 2009, the day of Jalayne's memorial service, the day that her tiny little body was placed in a pink vault beneath the ground and covered with dirt.  As with every other memory of that time, there are only bits and pieces.  I have no idea how Jim and I and our children spent that morning.  The first thing I remember of that day is the soul searing pain of knowing I would never look upon her beautiful face again. I knew that I had to step away so that they could close the casket but I wanted to touch her and look at her forever.  I ached to pick her up from that casket and hold her close and never let her go.  I fought against the powerful urge to climb into the casket and lie down beside her.  I wanted to do all of these things, but I didn't.  Instead I settled for trivial acts that felt necessary but brought no sense of comfort.  I had the irrational fear that she would be cold under the dark, damp earth so I took her beautiful pink satin blanket, and tucked it around her, making sure that it's softness lay against her cheek. We made sure that one of her beloved hee hees was tucked into her grasp.  I placed her favorite book, the one with the fuzzy yellow ducks and furry kitties, beside her.  I kissed her hands, her face, her forhead, knowing full well that it would never be enough.  Then I walked away, I didn't want to watch as the lid came down, ensuring that I would never look at her again. 

I do not recall the service but remember driving to the cemetary.  Someone was out mowing their lawn and the impossible reality that it was just another day for everyone else, hit my square in the face.  There was a construction truck that appeared to be repairing a part of the road and I wanted to jump from the car and scream "how dare you act so normal, that's my baby in that hearse."  As we drove by the day care that Laynee had attended only a few times, I watched as a couple of the workers watched our procession with sadness.  I saw children playing and knew that Laynee would never get to be their friends.  The drive that was only a few blocks, seemed endless and not long enough at the same time. Everything in me rebeled at the thought of placing her beneath the earth. 

Yesterday I felt compelled to pull out the CD of her service and listen to it.  I questioned my own wisdom in doing this as I suspected it would bring a torrent of tears.  However, in the past year I have come to understand that tears are healing and, in some strange way, refreshing.  They are a source of expression and purging of all  the emotion that wars inside of us.  They are the voice of the broken human soul.  I did not know a single word spoken at her service and suddenly needed to know. 

What I heard was beautiful.  The minister from our church, whom we selected to officiate,  is one who knew Laynee well.  He is one he spends his life advocating for children with special needs and he is one who knows the joy of adoption.  Among the songs that were sung were an upbeat song, God is Good and a song that asked the question that would challenge us for many days, Do I Trust You Lord.  Steve spoke of the legacy that Jalayne was leaving, one of joy and peace and happiness, a legacy of being SUNSHINE.  He spoke words that made me smile, and words that brought fresh tears.  Steve knew Laynee's joy and that she, in 2.5 years had left her mark on our family, our church family, and our community. 

Toward the end of the service Steve spoke words that have left me feeling humbled by how awesome my Lord is.  He said that God did good.  God did good when he knitted Jalayne Grace in her mother's womb, paying close attention to every detail that made her so special.  He did good when he placed an extra chromosome in her genetic make up, knowing that, for those who cared to see it, she would bring a little something extra.  God did good when He orchestrated the events that brought Jalayne to central Illinois, and ultimately into a family who so needed to learn from her.  Though I often lose sight of this, Steve reminded me that God did good when He took her from this imperfect earth and placed in her glorious forever home.  I am humbled by how I pick and choose to see God's goodness only in the things that feel good and safe and comfortable to me.  God did good because God is good.......all the time.


  1. God indeed did good.

    "The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears." ~John Vance Cheney

    "Tears are God’s gift to us. Our holy water. They heal us as they flow." ~Rita Schiano

  2. Yes...God truly is good and perfect, although I don't understand it. Since my heart so often doesn't believe it I am thankful that my mind knows it.

  3. "Praise You in this Storm" has been playing all week at our house. Every time, Karol, I think of you and of Laynee.

    You're very frequently prayed for here.

    Loving Laynee,

    Cathy in Missouri