Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Back stories

I'd like to share with you some backstory on the songs picked for Sarah's memorial.

About a month before her death, Sarah noticed the little quote on the Church of Christ's message board as we drove past it on the way to Borger. "This world is not my home." Six words, easy words, that she could read. And she asked me what it meant. Panhandle was her home, and Panhandle was on the world, so what did it mean? I told her they were from an old hymn, one mom used to sing in church when she was a girl. And then, in my off-key, warbling momvoice, I sang it for her. By the time we got to Borger, she had it down. That was one of her gifts, a quick memory and a knack for songs. She had a beautiful voice. Every time we passed the sign, going to and coming back from Borger, we sang the song. But she still didn't understand what it meant. Why isn't the world my home? So I went back to her favorite Bible story, the Easter story. About 10 years ago, a family friend gave her a DVD set of Children's Bible Stories. She watched every single one, but she watched the Easter Story until she had it down verbatim, including the voices. Sarah was also a talented mimic, but that's stories for another day.

We talked about how sad Jesus's disciples were when he died and how happy they were when he returned. And then devastated when he told them he wasn't staying. She recited:

1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Her ability to memorize the dialog from a hundred movies still amazes me. 

But I told her we were just staying here waiting for Jesus to bring us to our forever home in Heaven, and she smiled and said, "Okay," and that was the end of the discussion. No arguing, no doubting, just total acceptance of a pure soul. 

So that's why we sung her hymn first. This world was not her home.

The second song was always one of my favorites. Growing up, I loved the melody and message. The deep assurance that no matter what was going on, God had His hand on the rudder and all was well. Even in the deepest grief. Even in my grief. A few days after her memorial, one of Sarah's teachers who had been in attendance shared the story of the song. Please go read it, and then listen with a new heart.


Phil said...

Dang it, two days in a row that I am suddenly enveloped in a dust storm out of nowhere and I can't see because my eyes are watering. God bless you honey.

Terry said...

A touching story about Sarah. Thanks for sharing the details.

Numbers 6:24-26 New Living Translation (NLT)

‘May the Lord bless you
and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor
and give you his peace.’

JeremyR said...

Losing a child is perhaps the worst tragedy that can befall us. I lost my younger daughter thirteen and a half years ago to a sleepy trucker. I know what you are feeling right now and you have my complete sympathy.
You have many friends here who would like to help as much as we can.
Trust in GOD. Trust also in Jesus. We do not know, nor do we always understand his ways.

Anonymous said...

All you’ve told us about Sara and what’s happened and I’m still so sad for you. I do not have words to express how bad I feel for you. I can’t even imagine your pain.


Unknown said...

Thank you Angel. We all love you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing that with us. Your little girl was special in many ways and this background only confirms more of that.

Nancy Jantzer said...

Thank you, Leslie. I needed to read this today. What a true gift Sarah was to you. I once read that God only lends us our children. I believe it is because she was such a special soul that he called her home early. <3

TinCan Assassin said...

Suffer the little children to come unto Me, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.

Judy said...

Those are beautiful songs just by themselves, now they are even more special because of what they mean to you. More hugs.

pigpen51 said...

It is no wonder that your beautiful daughter loved music so. And especially hymns. They usually reveal a part or a characteristic of God. And music plays a huge role in our lives, in that it influences us in ways that we don't usually understand. It can lift us up, or it can lower us down. It can heal us, or it can condemn us.

Yes, it is little wonder that she found God in the music the way she did. I truly believe that He was waiting for her when she got to heaven. And that is something that I would not lie about to make you feel better, it is the truth. I am sure that she is sitting at His feet, or running with new friends, or learning how the universe was made. Because God loved her so,and because He knew how she loved Him, simply because of the way she felt about music that praised Him.

Kristy Gen-X said...

Been following for over a year - about the time you turned 50. I like you - you're 1 ½ years older than me, also live in Texas, among other similarities. God bless you dear sister.

donnie said...

You don't know me and I only know You through web space. But, I know enough to say that You are a Special Lady from whom came a Special Daughter. You Loved hard and lost, but only for a season. Blessed Assurance. I pray for Your strength. Don't forget to take care of yourself.

Irish said...

My sincerest condolences Angel.

Loty said...

My dear lady, it is never easy losing loved ones, unfortunately I have lived through the experience quite a few times.

I have tried the questioning angle, but it always comes back to the sure knowledge that come the resurrection I will see them again, Jesus will guide us all home, and it will not be long now.

May He bless and comfort you until the day comes.

Mac said...

Good to here from you.Just to let you know I still check here every day to see if your coming back. Let yourself heal and then grieve. But we miss your wit and sense of humor. We,ll be waiting with bated breath.

Anonymous said...

and Sarah's singing, and beautiful, simple faith, continue to be with us, and to lead us to the TRUTH that she understood so very well. May God bless YOU and all YOUR family as you begin life in YOUR new home.

vaquero viejo

pigpen51 said...

Angel, I don't know if you keep tabs on this, but I just had to check back in to tell you that your family is not forgotten. I pray for you and especially for your daughter, Baby Queen. I know that your pain is still there, and time will never take it away. Just know that if I am thinking of you, then certainly there are many others who are as well.

I wish I had words of wisdom to share of thoughts that would make it all better, or could perhaps heal your broken heart. But the truth is, there are no easy words to put things back together. I can only tell you that when I am in sorrow, I have to lean on God. I know that is an empty phrase to many, but I hope you can make it work for you.

Unknown said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss.