If you would like to join in on Fingerprint Friday hosted by Beki at The Rusted Chain go here to learn how. My fingerprint is way down at the bottom... There's a lot of explanation in getting to it.
This week... Hmmm. The year is still feeling raw. Josie is having a hard time, both in missing Marie and with friends at school. Luke has been busy a lot helping his cousin and so I've had a good bit of quiet time on my own. I've been feeling a little lost, a little worried for Jo, missing our Rie a lot...
I started reading the book Heaven Is For Real: A little boys astounding story of his trip to Heaven and back. The story was written by a pastor one town over from here. His son had a terrible bout with appendicitis, the doctors missed it and they nearly lost him. The book is well written and it grabbed me, pulling me into the story. Until I got to the end of chapter 4 or 5. I can't remember which. There the man realizes his prayer for his son to survive, to be healed, to live, it has been answered.
The pastor ends the chapter with this: "And Jesus answered my prayer? Personally? After I had yelled at God, chastising him, questioning his wisdom and his faithfulness?
Why would God even answer a prayer like that? And how did I deserve his mercy?"
Right about there I put the book down and burst into tears. Because I've been there, done that. I have had the same prayer and God answered but not the way I hoped for. No miraculous healing on earth for us. And I have stuggled just like that man. I have screamed at God "why won't you let her sleep, why can't she have some peace?" I have begged to God "please, heal her. I know you can. Do something old testament and powerful Father." I have envied. The woman who bled for twelve years and was healed by just grasping Jesus' robe? Why was she lucky enough to be there? If I could have touched that robe I would have asked nothing for me, but healing for my daughter. The girl that Jesus brought back to life? Why not my child? I have cried "Lord, where are you? Why are we so lost?". I have believed, clinging to the Truth as it's been taught to me until my knuckles have all but bled. I have put so much effort into accepting His will, but my child is gone. She is in Heaven and I can't touch her, see her, kiss her. And that is hard, because I can't. And this pastor can, why him? Why not me?
One morning in August, in the middle of our big bed, the Lord was in my house. He picked up my little girl and he brought her Home. Home to Heaven. And I KNOW He healed her. I know she is safe, and where she is it is better than here. I'm so happy for her. But the ache is because she is not here. My prayers for healing were answered, but that answer required that my little girl go to another place. And we were left here still, left without her. And I know it's temporary, but man. When you are in the trenches of grief it feels like it's going to be a very, very long time.
And this man's prayer was answered. Just as he had asked. Mine was answered too, but not like I wanted it to be. And I am maybe a little jealous of that.
So in tears I grabbed the phone and called my Pastor. Because he has answers. He listens to me, and he doesnt' judge. And I was weak and I needed something lean on.
I asked him if he'd read the book. He said he had. I asked him if he thought it was a good idea for me to read it. He told me no, don't finish it. He explained the story is based on that families experience and their son's life, and that boy has his own purpose. The book is written on that singular touch with God. It can't be related to mine, to my daughter, to our family. Marie's purpose was not the same.
And I'm not going to finish the book.
Not because it isn't a good book. I think it is, it has a good message. I question some of it, wonder if the story hasn't been distorted a little by this world. But the story is good and hopefully it reaches someone and brings them to, or back to their faith. But it's not for me.
My fingerprint today? My Pastor. Who was just a phone call away and there when I needed him. And our church, our church family who has been so consistently there. We are really blessed in that. That support.
What do people do when they go through hard things without a church to lean on? A pastor to lean on? That must be really difficult.
So my fingerprint today it my Pastor. Thank you. And my fingerprint is a prayer, "Lord, please help all your children to find your church and help them to call it home. Please let them find the blessings I have found there. Please let them see the importance of gathering together and spending time in your house. And thank you for giving that gift to me. In Jesus name, Amen".