I’m sure many of you are wondering how we are doing. We are still so aware of being surrounded by God’s grace and your prayers.
The memorial service was precious and many found it a blessing. It was really hard for me to go to the flower and balloon shop the day before. I couldn’t help but visualise Jenna skipping through the store, smelling the flowers and enjoying all the pretty ribbons and beads and girly stuff. We were told that it is virtually impossible to buy or rent helium gas cannisters here in SA and that the company did not deliver on Sundays. But when we spoke to the manager and told him our story he volunteered to personally deliver the balloons for us the next day. They were a gorgeous pink and we tied string made from organza ribbons around them instead of plastic.
People told us it was a wonderful and very meaningful metaphor, watching the balloons go up, up, up ever so slowly until they faded from view high up in the clouds. I told them that I liked to imagine that Jesus would collect them and read the messages on them to Jenna.
The theme of the service was that Jesus is alive, and therefore so is Jenna. I know it to be true. I will see her again some day, although it seems like a very long time to wait right now.
I miss her and I see her everywhere.We went out for the first time yesterday, other than to run errands. We took the boys to a touristy mall (built in the style of old Europe, both inside and out) nearby. The middle one wished we had brought a camera so we could fool his friends into thinking that we had gone to Europe. 🙂 We went to a bird sanctuary, and knowing how much Jenna would have enjoyed the bird show and the lemurs and the ducks made me miss her more acutely than ever.
On the return to the car the middle boy saw a little girl dressed in similar clothes to Jenna’s favorite outfit, with the same blonde hair tied into a ponytail. It shook him up a bit. But today he told me he realised that they have been having some good times also since Jenna passed away. It hasn’t all been sad, we have had moments of joy and laughter, as incongruous as that may sound. The boys, in particular, have really enjoyed getting to know their cousins and they all get on so well. The boy shared his little revelation to me with a sense of wonder, that even though Jenna is gone, life still holds some pleasant times.
I told him that I am sure we are in for a very up-and-down journey.There will be some good days, and there will be some bad ones. I trust that I will be able to cling to Jesus on the bad days, and praise him on the good ones.
We will be leaving SA on Monday evening, and arriving in the States on Tuesday. I am a little apprehensive of walking into my house and seeing all Jenna’s stuff, and walking into church/school/homeschool group and being the focus of everyone’s attention. I know it will be hard. But I also know that even there, God will carry me.
I’ll end off with another letter by hubby, sent to our church sometime last week. I always thought I was the one who could express myself in the written word but I have had little taste for it, whereas hubby has been doing so well in that area:
People around us tell us our faith is so strong. But this not so much faith, as it is trust. The bible says in Psalm 9:10 “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee”. The “know thy name” as we have learnt means to know His character, his very essence, knowing in the deepest sense who God is, knowing Him as a merciful, faithful, loving good God, and more – all that we have learnt at bible school, precept upon precept, and walked out in little ways in our lives.
So, we can honestly say, we are at peace. And we are at peace because we trust Him. And we trust Him, because we know Him.
To you Sam, thank you for so faithfully teaching us. To you all, pray for our pastor Sam, every day, it is a biblical command, and it is so important to hold him up before the Lord. Do not forget the price he himself has paid to bring us what God has wrought into his life.
It is hard, and we are sad, not having Jenna physically with us, but Jesus has been so precious, so comforting, such a sweet fragrance of his presence. At times, we are so uncertain of the future, but he bids us take only one step at a time, and each step we take, we find that Jesus is already there, and has prepared the way for us. And his preparation is with such careful attention to detail, everything is taken care of. When we look back how carefully He took care of everything before and after Jenna’s passing, we are so encouraged. For example, the last three weeks she spent with her extended family here, building precious memories, and the fact that Sumi and I were not alone when it happened – Sumi with her Mom and family, and I there at church with all of you and your love and comfort. It was God.
And, His preparation includes little gifts, nuggets, of his mercy grace and love. For example; I was quietly worshiping one morning this week, when there came upon me such a sweet sweet sense of His presence, and I had the sense that just for a while, heaven was worshipping with me, and then, just like that, I saw Jenna dancing before the throne for Jesus, in her little Jenna way, and the more I sang, the more she danced, and the more powerful and sweet His presence all over me became. I went and told Sumi, and she told me that at the exact same time, she was sitting reflecting on how she used to dance at church while pregnant with Jenna, and Jesus telling her that Jenna dances with her in the womb, and that she would be a dancer for Jesus, and then she realized that Jenna would be dancing in heaven. So God confirmed for us both, that what I saw, and Sumi thought, were real.
Surely, this is a road He has ordained for us to walk. And Jesus has become more precious to us, even in just these few days, and this place we now find ourselves in Him, we jealously guard. So while we are sad and mourn, yet we quietly rejoice in a Jesus so much more precious to us.
So be encouraged, there is not a road He would lead you to walk on, that he would not give you the grace, and more, to walk it, and come out the other side, with a greater measure of His glory.
2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory…
We love you all so much
R. and Sumi and the boys”