Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Happy Birthday, Sara...
Sara's "Celebration of Life" services this weekend were beautiful. The service on Saturday began with the 1000+ people in attendance singing praises to the Lord. We sang Sara's favorite song, "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever." Then, Sara's youth pastor, Chris, started the service by having everyone SMILE! Sara was known for her smile and this was so fitting! After discussing Psalm 23 (walking through the valley of the shadow of death), Chris encouraged people to not just remember Sara's life, but to be different because of knowing Sara. Then he talked about the legacy that Sara left behind. A dear friend of ours sang "Legacy" as the service was coming to a close.
"LEGACY" by Nichole Nordeman
I don't mind if you've got something nice to say about me
And I enjoy and accolade like the rest
You could take my picture and hang it in a gallery
Of all who's who and so-n-so's that used to be the best
At such-n-such...it wouldn't matter much
I won't lie, it feels alright to see your name in lights
We all need and 'Atta boy' or 'Atta girl'
But in the end I'd like to hang my hat on more besides
The temporary trappings of this world
I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy
I don't have to look too far or too long awhile
To make a lengthy list of all that I enjoy
It's an accumulating trinket and a treasure pile
Where moth and rust, thieves and such will soon enough destroy
Not well traveled, not well read, not well-to-do or well bred
Just want to hear instead, "Well Done" good and faithful one...
Click the link to hear the song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vbi4nSrhRxo
After the song, Chris gave an invitation to the group, allowing those who wanted to experience the peace that Sara had, to accept Christ as their Savior. Many raised their hands and accepted Christ on Saturday afternoon.
Here is a neat story about a life that was forever changed this weekend. Some of my details might be a little fuzzy, but you will get the gist...
On Friday night, there were lots of people at the church for the viewing. The line to see Sara's body got backed up and the queue of people started to wrap around the outside of the church building. There was a football practice going on across the street and the long line of people got the attention of a guy named Mike. After the practice concluded, Mike walked over to the church to see what the crowd had gathered for. After asking some questions, Mike learned about Sara and somebody gave him the blog address. After reading the blog on Friday evening, Mike was back at the funeral on Saturday, as a complete stranger. Sara's story had struck a cord within Mike's heart and during the invitation at the end of the service, Mike chose to follow Christ. SARA, YOU CONTINUE TO REACH OTHERS AND CHANGE LIVES!
In a previous post, I was disappointed about Sara being unable to donate her heart because of the cancer and chemo. As I thought about this for the past few days, it became apparent that everyone that Sara has impacted has a small piece of her heart. She has been "donating her heart" for the past 29 years...and continues to do so.
I hope and pray that Chloe will develop a heart like her mother's. Chloe will forever have a reminder of her Mom with her "Heart Tattoo" birthmark on her right arm.
It has become more apparent over the past week, that September 22, 2009 was Sara's time to go. As Chloe and I were driving back to San Antonio on Tuesday morning, I was doing lots of thinking. I started thinking about the timing of everything that has transpired over the past 8 months. The timing of us finding the lump in Sara's breast, the timing of Chloe's conception, the timing of the chemotherapy treatments, the timing of the first bleeding complications. Then I prayed and thanked the Lord for Chloe's premature birth. Think about it...she was not supposed to be born for another 3 weeks.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. --Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Sara, on your birthday, we remember you and the multitude of happy memories we have with you. I can only offer you kind words on this day. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for choosing me and giving me an incredible 5 years of marriage. Thank you for our baby girl. Know that I will do my best to raise our daughter in a way that would make you proud. I LOVE YOU!
Lord, thank you for knitting Sara's life together and for perfectly orchestrating her 10,584 days on Earth.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. --Psalm 139:13
P.S. Happy Birthday Momma Sheryl (Sara's mom). I love you, too!