This is not an easy choice, by any means. Some of us have unimaginable hardships to deal with. Sometimes, not only can we not find a light at the end of the long, dark tunnel but we find we are at a gigantic wall... a crisis of our faith. It is at that time, where we can make the choice.
My sister-in-law, Stephany and brother-in-law, Tim have reached that point. Actually, I'm sure they've made the choice earlier than now, but now is when they are telling their story. I've mentioned my neice, Julia, in previous posts. 3 years ago, this precious baby girl was born. Dark hair, wide eyes, tiny fingers and toes. Only hours after her birth, did our family receive the devestating news: that Julia had been born with a chromosomal abnormality called Trisomy 18 that was incompatible with life. Most babies with this condition do not even make it through the birth process. The fact that Julia was here at all was a miracle.
Tim and Stephany were blessed with 6 days with their daughter. Six heartfelt, heart-wrenching, heart-stopping days to hold and kiss... to care for and cuddle... to sing to and pray over. And after 6 days, Julia gave up her earthly fight, and went to play in Heaven's grand playground.
What in the world can you say to a person who has lost their child? What small words of comfort can you come up with? There are none. There are no words that will lift the cloud of grief off of their shoulders. And even as they learn to laugh and love again, that grief hole is always there in their hearts.
But Tim and Stephany made the conscious choice to use Julia in a way to positively impact others. They set up a scholarship fund, and this year, will award the 2nd Julia Scholarship. They have an annual Charity Golf Outing to raise money for the fund... with amazing raffle prizes and even the opportunity to win a CAR (IF you can get a hole-in-one on a certain hole...). As the lyrics to the song proclaim, they are trading their sorrows for the joy of the Lord.
Trading My Sorrows - LYRICS HERE
2 Corinthians 4:7-12 talks about Treasures in Jars of Clay
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
My sister-in-law, Stephany, is ready to tell her story of frustration AND faith, grief AND gratitude, staggering loss-- yet bountiful blessings. She has aptly titled her blog "My Jar Of Clay" - knowing that while she and her husband have dealt with some of life's most devestating hardships (many times over!), they have found that their Faith has grown exponentially.
Hard-pressed, perplexed, struck-down... Yes.
But NOT crushed, despaired, abandoned, or destroyed.
I invite you to stop by her site and read her stories. The blogging journey is just beginning for her - but the story is not over, and there is MUCH to share. Here is the link: http://myjarofclay.blogspot.com/