Wednesday, July 22, 2015

But...what about Jeremiah 29:11...?

Last Saturday was gorgeous.  As was finally less than 100 degrees and it was cloudy! It's so rarely cool and cloudy here in the summer. We live in the desert!

Dean decided to go working on the house so we packed up (I got to wear jeans and a sweater!) and met him out at the land.  We stayed out all was wonderful.

A few days ago, I was looking at Dean's pictures of the house and saw this photo. I was so glad he had snapped a pic, without us knowing, of this moment.

I love deep conversations. And this was one of them.  I started it. I started talking about death.  Tirzah spoke up right away and said "Mommy I don't want to talk about this, can we talk about something else?" and I caught something in her voice...her expression so I asked if she would talk about it.  

I firmly believe one of the greatest responsibilities I have as a parent (aside from teaching them about Jesus) is to prepare them for life.  

Talking about the hard things.  

So...I mentioned the unthinkable.  I said "ok...what happens if Nazara was diagnosed with cancer and dies. Then what. What do we believe...?  How do we trust God through that...?"

It was a hard conversation. It's not easy for me to go there...let alone our kids.  It was Tirzah's question that got this conversation going.  She looked at me and said "ok. Ok this is what I'm thinking.  If that happened...then what about Jeremiah 29:11?  Did God not have plans for her? Good plans? I don't get it..."  Ahhh.  So good.

I looked up.  

I saw this amazing, breathtaking view from the main floor of our new, under construction house.  I pointed to a field. A field that in and of just another field. I asked the kids what they saw. They said "ummm a field." I asked if they were down there, IN the field. What would they see. Someone spoke up "weeds. Bugs. Snakes. Just...a field."  I asked if they would see beauty there. "ummm no, definitely not."  Would they see an incredible view...? "no."

I then looked back at these beautiful little people, all watching my every move. How would I answer this tough question...? Let's be honest...children are amazing. They ask what we all think...and lack the courage to ask.

You know you've wondered the same thing.  Where's the beauty here, Lord?  Where's your "only good" purpose in this loss...? This trial...? This pain...? 

I then pulled their attention to our view.  What do you see from up here? They started "ahhh it's so beautiful. The rolling fields. The yellow, green, brown. The hills. The mountains. The vineyards,'s just so ... beautiful."  

Would you see any of that if you were sitting down in that field...?


That's it.  When we are in loss...pain...devestation...that's all we see.  

We can't see this view. Yet, God always does.  This is His view.  He can see what's right ahead. He can see the beauty in the full view.  

We talked about Miss Kara. How is there any good in her death? 38 years old. Wife. Mommy of 4.  Good plans...God...?  I talked to them about how many people have come to Jesus BECAUSE of her cancer journey and death. Because of her faith. 

Full view.  Beauty.

Seeing that click in each child's mind was so incredible.

Yes. Let's talk about Jeremiah 29:11.  

I thought about my friend Nichole.  Her son was born with a rare condition and his life was hard. So much sickness. So much pain. So much hospital.  And then, too short...his precious life ended. Beauty...? Good plans...God...? 

I have had the amazing pleasure of seeing Nichole now years later. Her beautiful son Noah is whole. He's in Heaven and completely whole. Healed. Perfect.  

I can see Jeremiah 29:11 in Nichole. And her children.  They love and serve so many children with special needs.  They are so hands on with Make A Wish foundation.


Because of Noah.  

Full view.

While in the the loss...we only see the field. It's hard. It's full of weeds. And the pain is overwhelming. 

Jeremiah 29:11...? Not. Quite.

Yes...His plans are good. For you.  He sees the full picture and there IS beauty here.  Yes...for little Noah too. He's whole! He's in Heaven and his little body is healed.

This was a moment I will remember forever. This moment.  Sitting on the main floor of our new house. With children bold and honest enough to ask what many of us have thought...but would never ask.  

Ok. If He's always good...and if Jeremiah 29:11 is true...what about the little children that die of cancer? What about the mom who dies? The dad?  How do you answer that, Mommy?

Full view.  God sees the beauty beyond the hard of this current field.  He sees what becomes of this pain.  


  1. This was beautiful- thank you. I often struggle to explain this concept to my children, especially after losing our daughter, Erin, in a car accident when she was 11 yrs old. (Honestly, some sad days I even struggle to understand it myself!) However, since her accident 18 years ago, we have become foster parents and fostered 24 long term placements and are in the process of adopting for the 7th time (5 foster care, 2 China). Even at her young age, she often talked about adopting a housefull of children, and I know that she is smiling down on our family every time we give another child a home. Her death almost destroyed me, but the way she lived her life gave me reason to be hopeful. Beauty from the ashes.

    1. Oh Michelle. I read your comment to my husband and I could barely get the words out. Tears. And yet as I continued to read about your story...I could see the beautiful bright rainbow that came after the most devastating storm in your life. He does indeed make beautiful things out of dust. I would love love love to have the opportunity to go for coffee with you and hear your story. XO

  2. Dear Janice, Tonight my spirit is restless, useless worries about things beyond my control. I read for a while to distract myself but with minimal success. I was about to try and sleep when I felt this pressing sense of urgency to come to your blog. I couldn't ignore it. It feels like God's leading.
    I read the newest entry which in itself is unusual because normally when I come here, I scroll back to be sure I've not missed anything! Tonight, feeling tired, I didn't do that immediately. I read the latest entry and felt I must have been mistaken or maybe I just missed you, my cyber friend. I said to myself "Planned Parenthood? What does that have to do with me?" (For the record, I agree with you--despite not having heard about their actions or videos and knowing very little about their beliefs. Now that I know, I, too feel compelled to act by not supporting them in any way!)
    Back to my struggle, I felt yet another nudge telling me to read further. When I read this post, it became apparent--a God thing indeed! You see, I recently have been so very focused on stories, reports and several blogs involving cancer. It started with Kara due to having stumbled across her letter to Brittany Maynard. But it has only grown since then.
    Until very recently, I began dealing with a few odd symptoms. I tried to ignore it despite increasing worry. God led me here. You AND GOD will lead me to call my doctor Monday--and to remember that even IF it is cancer, there will be beauty and grace in the midst of even the fields and valleys.
    Love--and thanks,