Thursday, October 22, 2009
A Significant Day...
Today, October 22, is a significant day in the Sullivan Household. Today is Chloe's original due date. Today also marks the 1-month anniversary of Sara's death. LIFE and DEATH, JOY and SADNESS, smashed together on one day.
It is strange how the timing of the past month feels completely different when compared to these significant events. I cannot believe that Chloe is already 7 weeks old. That time seems like it has flown by. I cannot believe that it has only been one month since Sara died. That time seems like it has drug on incredibly slowly.
After Sara's funeral, a friend (who has walked the journey of losing a spouse) gave me a book of devotions called Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman. I am amazed at how each night, the entries are speaking directly to my heart. I am sure most of you have been to a church service where you feel like the pastor is speaking directly to you. Well, each night, I feel as if the devotions in this book were written for me at this particular time in my life. The overriding theme in my life right now seems to be peace. Last night, this is what I read.
The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. --Phillipians 4:7
There is a part of the sea knows as "the cushion of the sea." It lies beneath the surface that is agitated by storms and churned by the wind. It is so deep that it is a part of the sea that is never stirred. When the ocean floor in these deep places is dredged of the remains of plant or animal life, it reveals evidence of having remained completely undisturbed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
The peace of God is an eternal calm like the cushion of the sea. It lies so deeply within the human heart that no external difficulty or disturbance can reach it. And anyone who enters the presence of God becomes a partaker of that undisturbed and undisturbable calm. --Arthur Tappan Pierson
When Sara had her seizure, I was in the process of organizing our office. Now that things are staring to slow down, I have spent numerous hours in the office, going through our belongings. Last night, I found Sara's prayer journal from her time at Wilford Hall. Sara's final journal entry was on September 7, the day before Chloe was born. I took a break from organizing and began to read back through her prayers. I am encouraged by the peace that she had, knowing full well that God was in control. I am also excited for Chloe to get to read her mother's prayers for her, desiring her to live her life as a "Godly Woman." Here is Sara's final prayer in her journal...
September 7, 2009
May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. --Psalm 119:76
Thank you for your unfailing love, and that it is and has been my comfort. I can rest in you alone because I know you will never forsake me. You are in complete control of everything and there is so much peace in that. May the peace I have and feel be evident to those around me - may they continue to ask how - and may I share without hesitation that it is you! I love you, Lord and ask that I will be a blessing to you today. Be glorified in and through me. I ask this in Jesus' name.
It is strange to read back through her journal and see how excited she was "to see Jesus face to face." I do not think that she knew she was going to die so soon because lots of her prayers were requesting wisdom for us as we "brought Chloe up in the ways of the Lord." However, she was not one bit afraid of death. Every time Sara would pray before our meal, she would start out, "Lord, thank you for another day that is not promised to us..." Reading back through her prayers, she was truly thankful for each day and wanted to live each one to bring GLORY TO GOD. This reaffirms that the "Soli Deo Gloria" saying is perfect for her bracelets.
Back to the theme of peace in my life, I will share with you my journal entry from September 30, Sara's birthday.
"When God places a burden upon you, He places His arms underneath you." --L.B. Cowman
As Chloe and I begin our new journey of life together, we are thankful for your provision. Lord, thank you for your word and your calming, peaceful holy spirit. Though I feel as if I should be a complete "mess," there is peace in your plan for my life. Though the thought of raising Chloe as a single dad is frightening, You are with us.
Lord, as I lay in bed alone, I am so thankful for the life you allowed Sara and I to live. Thank you for our time in Korea and Japan. Thank you for all the time I was able to spend with her this year. Thank you that the final words we spoke to each other were, "I Love You" (18 Sept 2009). Lord, I ask for continued strength and faith. Thank you for growing my faith through all these trials.
Lord, I ask for wisdom in raising Chloe and what to do with the blessings you provide. I pray for protection and health for Chloe Grace for her life.
Lord, I love and trust you completely.
In Jesus' Name,