Monday, November 3, 2008
November brings back a lot of memories for me, I've been thinking about things a lot, and then singing the song "Like a River Glorious" in church yesterday really brought back memories about Joel. That song was very close to my heart during all we went through 2 years ago.
I know this isn't really a "normal" blog post for me to write, I generally don't talk about Joel a whole lot, not necessarily because I don't like to...I guess I'm just the type of person that keeps things like that to myself unless I'm specifically asked. But not talking about him, certainly doesn't mean I'm not thinking about and missing him often. So why am I writing this? Well, a year ago I wrote out something in my journal entitled "Thinking Back." I wrote it with the intent that I might possibly share it somewhere, sometime on my blog. :) Well, seeing as it's sat in my journal for almost a year I thought I'd post it today. Perhaps it may be an encouragement to someone, or if nothing else it's just to remember Joel.
"Thinking Back" Nov. 28, 2007
As I think back over the last year and a half or so of my life, it's hard to believe all the things that have happened. So much has changed. It is truly the mercy of God that we do not know what a day may bring forth.
November...it was a very difficult month for me. It was a month of questions but we didn't have answers. It was a month of much heartache, just seeing little Joel so sick, but not know what was wrong. There would be days that he would feel better, and our hopes would rise, only to be cast down the next day. Why these fevers? What was going on in his little body? But God's grace was always there, carrying us through the valley.
December came, finally the answers we were seeking but not answers we wanted to hear. Cancer was such a foreign word to me. Something that old people got, it never had a lot of meaning to me, I guess I just never thought about it much. It was always something that happened to others, never something that would happen to us. But yet that was the answer we received, Joel had cancer, a very aggressive kind of cancer, at stage 4. When Dad came home and told us the news I just felt like I couldn't bear it. How could life go on like this? How were we going to get through this? I just wanted everything to be "normal" again...but no, nothing would be "normal" anymore, that was a thing of the past. I remember so clearly spending time with Joel in the hospital. Reading books to him, coloring pictures, even one day taking a little stroll down the hallways with him. Memories that I cherish but yet are so painful.
Then Christmas came, I don't think I really even imagined that it would be the last Christmas we would ever celebrate with Joel on this side of heaven. We were hoping and praying that Joel would get well, I never really thought that it would be otherwise. But God's ways are not always our ways. January 3rd...that day was extremly difficult. The phone call late in the night saying that Joel had had a seizure, oh the memories of it are so painful. But still even through this the darkest valley of our life God's grace was still there carrying us through. And then on January 23rd, 2007 when God chose to take Joel home to Him in glory, the wonderful grace of Jesus was manifested to us.
Yes, it's hard, really hard, we miss him terribly, but I can just imagine him waking up in heaven as a dear friend shared with us, saying "I'm all done?" Yes Joel you are all done, no more pain, no more pokey things, and no more cancer. Joel experienced the ultimate healing, and though it was not the healing we were praying for, God has used his precious life to impact people around the world.
As I ask myself would I take him back if it were possible? No I would not, he is alive with Christ and free from all sorrow and pain. But yet I wish that I could hold him in my arms once more...see his eyes looking into mine and hear his little voice. But praise the Lord, someday I will, soon and very soon. What a wonderful day that will be!
I love you forever Joel, can't wait to see you in heaven!