25 May 2012

Without Ceasing: Matt, Sara, Elizabeth, Ruby, and Hannah

You know when you were in school, and you knew you had a test coming up...and instead of preparing for it, you did other things? You ignored the facts and sort of blew it off? And then it came time to face the music, and it smacked you in the face?

That's a bit of how I'm feeling right now. Because I knew Ava was dying...but I didn't really prepare myself for it. Maybe there's no way I could have--after all, I never even met her.

The good news is that Ava doesn't need your prayers anymore. She's gone. Those of us in Christ have faith that Ava is with the God who loves her, because she's experiencing the undeserved favor of a gracious God, because Christ died for her. She's good.

But Matt, Sara, Elizabeth, Ruby, Hannah, and a host of other people she left behind desperately need them. As Sara put it, "Mamas shouldn't say goodbye to their babies." She's right, of course, and yet that's where they find themselves. And in the tension of "shouldn't" and "can't," I find that a small-but-heavy question presents itself..."how?"


How do we do this? How do we grieve? Comfort each other? Comfort ourselves? How do we have faith and believe that God works all things together for good for those who love him? How do we not become bitter at how wrong and unfair it seems? Jealous of those who don't seem to have these things happen to them? How do we stay tenderhearted?

"How" is hard when it comes to big things, but maybe even more so in the little things, especially for a mom...How do I keep getting laundry done and dishes washed when I feel like this? How do I make dinner feel normal? How do I make it through the grocery store without embarrassing myself?

"How" is hard. They'll need your help. Here's some ways to pray for their family:

-Elizabeth Joy, their oldest, has pneumonia, and Hannah, their youngest, is also sick. Pray for a quick recovery for both of them without any more hospital visits, so they can all be together.

-Hannah is probably too young to realize what's happened, but Elizabeth and Ruby are very much aware. Pray for the right words and actions for Matt and Sara to comfort them and help them understand it all.

-Pray for friends and family and community to come around them and supply their needs: physical, emotional, spiritual. Pray especially for people who like doing laundry and cooking meals and all those other things that just can't go by the wayside. Pray for friends who will sit and listen without offering that which is unhelpful.

-Pray for time alone for each of them to process and sit with God. 

-Pray for strength as they plan her memorial. Pray that it would glorify God. Pray for safe, easy travel for those coming to join them.

-There's a whole, huge network of people following Sara's blog, worldwide. Pray that it would be a testimony of God's grace that would lead them to Him.

Thanks, friends. You can follow their story here: www.msharms.blogspot.com