Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Every morning I wake up with a song in my head. The only exception to that has been the first three days after learning of our daughter's death nearly 3 weeks ago. 

Four days after we got the news, we sat in church; I remember that Teen Challenge Atlantic was there. The worship leader had chosen songs that morning that talked about the love of God. Every song spoke to me, washed over me, soaked into my parched and weary soul. 

There was one she led that morning that was on my mind as I woke this morning after a particularly long bout of insomnia led me to drift into an exhausted sleep and wake unrefreshed. It's a modern hymn, one I had assumed was in the hymn book but which I have discovered today was written only in 2012, by a songwriter / worship leader from England, Stuart Townend. The first verse goes like this:
How deep the Father's love for us - how vast beyond all measure - 
That He would give His only Son to make a wretch His treasure. 
How great the pain of searing loss - the Father turns His face away - 
As wounds which mar the Chosen One bring many sons to glory. 
As I listened to (and sang) these words that Sunday, and let them sink into my spirit, I realized something that I already knew but which struck me as if it was the very first time. I'd always looked at the anguish of the Son as He cried out, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" as the pain of Calvary. And it's true; Jesus gave up EVERYTHING for us.

Photo "Sun Ray Behind Dark Cloud" by Sura Nuralpradid at
But, as if for the first time, I saw (first-hand by experience) the Father-Heart of God. I recognized the sacrifice that the Father made ... letting them kill His Baby ... and it brought home to me the words to a passage of scripture that has always been precious to me  ...  and now even more so: Isaiah 40:28-31, and in particular, the tail end of verse 28: "No one can measure the depths of His understanding." (NLT) In other words, it's unfathomable.  He understands fully and in every way the pain of losing a child - and knows the awful, horrible and heart-wrenching joy of countless lives being changed for the better (as weird as that sounds) as a result. 

That day it arose in my heart that God understood better than anyone the pain of that kind of loss, that kind of sacrifice, that kind of grief. That He could have STOPPED it - something that I couldn't have done for my daughter no matter how hard I tried - and DIDN'T ... out of His deep love for us - for me - explodes into my spirit in such depth as I never knew I was able to experience before. How vast beyond all measure!!

As our daughter's mother, seeing already how many people's lives have been transformed and impacted by her life - and now by her death - I can only know a small glimmer of the Father's loss at Calvary, and catch a peek of His joy at bringing thousands, millions, maybe even billions into relationship with Him, rescuing them from certain death as a result. 

But to know that God the Father knows, that HE has experienced that same pain far greater than I ever could, helps me to trust Him even more, and to know that how I feel (as terrible as that is sometimes) is allowed ... even right ... for the circumstances. It grants me permission to bury myself in His understanding, to let His deep and abiding love envelop me and carry me. 

Any strength that people have seen in me or in us since the accident is simply not mine or ours; it is His. My - our - knees are just as weak and feeble as they always were. Truly, "Little ones to Him belong; they are weak, but He is strong."

It's hard ... the loss is very real and we miss our little firecracker so very much ... but God is THERE. He is holding us. He is good. And He understands.

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