Thank You

January 26, 2009 | 11 comments

Simply saying “thank you” seems so inadequate.

How does one express gratitude for this? You had nothing to gain. Most of you, I’ve never meant.

But you’ve prayed. You’ve sent private emails. You’ve stopped here to leave words of encouragement. You’ve started prayer chains, and even asked your readers to pray.

Do you have any idea how much that meant to me?

We’ve faced death in our family — twice in one week. In the front seat of my crushed Toyota Sienna, I survived and am here to tell you about it, to testify to God’s faithfulness.

And then, four days later, from the bed of a hospice room — where sunset’s soft light fell … well, my father-in-law’s story ended differently.

Yet, he won, too, you know.

We both claim victory. Sweet victory. Four days apart. Two separate battles. One loving and gracious Savior at work in both places.

We buried my father-in-law yesterday on a snowy Iowa hillside, where old soldiers folded up an American flag and handed the triangle-shaped bundle to a grieving wife. Tomorrow, I head to the doctor to have stitches removed on a Y-shaped wound.

Grateful, I am.

I’m slowly getting back to blogging now. I don’t know if I’ll have the chance to tell you in person how much your support has meant to me these past days. So many of you I’ve never met. Yet you took the time to stop, to pray, to write.

As Cherie wrote here this week, “I add mine to the list, Jennifer, knowing that even though it’s just a repetition of the same sentiment, when it reaches heaven it sends a whole new throng of angels out to surround and console your grieving family.”

God bless you all.

PHOTO: My two girls still have their Mama but miss their grandpa so much. In the background is a van and a tree. Both have significance. The van was totaled in my accident last week. The tree’s significance is this: Lydia asked Grandpa for just one thing when he got to Heaven. She asked if he would plant her a tree, so that when she gets there one day, the tree will be big enough for both of them to climb.

by | January 26, 2009 | 11 comments

11 Comments

  1. God's Not Finished With Us Yet...

    Awwww, that tree part just made me start to cry. That is so bittersweet, touching, and sentimental all at the same time. The idea that Lydia, at her age, is knowledgable enough to ask her grandpa for something so selfless and loving; a tree for the two of them to climb once they are in heaven together….how precious and endearing.

    Praying and serving others (you)Jennifer is not a duty or obligation, but rather a heartfelt passion that Christ puts inside each one of us because He loves and cherishes your whole family. And as we all have learned to know you, we can say the same, that we cherish you as well.

    For now, don’t hurry about getting back to blogging. Take your time and rest, heal your wounds, and enjoy your loved ones. We’ll all still be here whenever you come back around; no worries, just rest.

    Much blessings,
    ~Sarah

    Reply
  2. janelle

    Jennifer, the word that comes to my mind this morning is grace. Five little letters, apart from each other they aren’t really anything special, but all together in that specific order, they mean everything.

    You will all continue to be in my prayers. With love, Janelle

    Reply
  3. Chris Godfredsen

    And for me, I have two words, peace and rest. May you all be at peace and find deeper peace in these events – and may you find rest. Literal rest, but also rest for your souls in Christ Jesus.

    When the waves of grief come, cry out to him and rest in him. When the burden seems too much, rest in him.

    Love you guys,

    Chris

    Reply
  4. Chris Godfredsen

    And for me, I have two words, peace and rest. May you all be at peace and find deeper peace in these events – and may you find rest. Literal rest, but also rest for your souls in Christ Jesus.

    When the waves of grief come, cry out to him and rest in him. When the burden seems too much, rest in him.

    Love you guys,

    Chris

    Reply
  5. lynnrush

    Bless you, Jennifer.

    Reply
  6. patty

    God Bless you and keep you and make His face shine on you.
    love, Patty

    Reply
  7. Billy Coffey

    …and God bless you…

    Reply
  8. The Unknown Contributor

    Thank you for sharing Cherie’s comment about prayer. I started to write the thoughts that it generated and it bloomed into a rather large post about what I have (so painfully) learned about prayer recently. So maybe one day I’ll blog it. (I am new to blogging, does one say that…”blog it”?) Suffice to say that I had a little eureka moment… a reminder, a little “yes, yes, that’s why you do it.” Each prayer and each time it is prayed, is heard uniquely in Heaven and a response is made by our God who loves us.
    And so I will say one more for you this morning…Lord, I lift Jennifer up to you and ask that you breathe your healing into her body and her emotions. I pray for her children that even as they grieve the loss of their beloved grandfather that they feel the comfort of your Holy Spirit within them. Send your Holy Angels, again, to surround this whole family with your love so that they might unmistakably feel your presence and know your peace. Thank you Father. Amen.

    Reply
  9. Lisa

    Jennifer,

    My thoughts are with you today. Your father-in-law looks like a wonderful man. I loved the story about the tree. You write beautifully. Hugs!

    Reply
  10. Darlene

    I am just now seeing this! I am so sorry for your loss, dear friend. He seems like an amazing man. Thank you for sharing glimpses of him with us.
    May He hold you close at this time.

    Darlene

    Reply
  11. Carey

    Oh, Jennifer, Lydia’s request of her Grandpa…tears in my eyes. Still praying for your family.

    Won’t it be great when we all get to heaven and can see them climb that tree? Oh, God is good.

    Reply

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