Wow...what an amazing outpouring of cards, gifts, emails, etc., we've received from all of you over the last week! It has been such a comfort to hear how loved Hannah was, and to know how much God allowed her to influence others over her seventeen years. Hannah's story has been shared again and again over the last several days, and we are still amazed at how many people have been affected by it. We can only stand in awe of how God has worked through her life and how His work is continuing after her death.
Bethany is attending a Disciple Now event this weekend at our church, so Brad and I have had a lot of time to ourselves. It's been good for us to have the opportunity to remember and reflect...although it's been very quiet around here! Bethany is such a bright ray of sunshine in our home. She was nervous about her return to school on Friday, but her teachers and friends surrounded her with love, and she did fine. She was really excited about D-Now this weekend, and I think the timing was perfect.
We are definitely missing Hannah here at home. Some things are so different...it's so strange not to have her clothes in the laundry; I'm no longer buying her favorite snacks at the store; she's not here to watch American Idol with us...we no longer see her smile or hear her laugh. But, we have the confidence of knowing that she's experiencing things we can only imagine in Heaven right now, and she is not experiencing so many of the painful things of earth. That is where our comfort comes from.
When we were at the hospice center, we knew that without God's miraculous intervention, Hannah would be going home soon. We frequently discussed what her actual passing might be like...imagining it as peaceful and beautiful...maybe even with a smile on her face as she got a peek into Heaven. But, this was not the case. Hannah's last hour on this earth was not peaceful or beautiful...although I must quickly say that Hannah was not conscious of anything for the last several hours--she did not suffer in the least...but it was very difficult for us. When we got home later that evening and went to bed, for the first time since Hannah got sick I (Jill) found myself angry at God. I really could not believe that after all Hannah had been through, He did not give her what I felt was a peaceful homegoing. After several hours of complaining to God (into the early hours of the morning) He very quietly reminded me.........."My Son did not have an peaceful, beautiful death either".........and there was nothing else I could say. All my arguments/complaints were silenced, and His peace returned. He is so good, all the time.
In a conversation we had with Hannah a few days prior to her death, we promised her as a family that we would continue to tell her story in order to bring Him glory. Over the next several weeks and months, we have a desire to do just that. We are open to opportunities to share her story as the Lord provides them. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we continue into the next part of our journey.
Brad and Jill
"But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because He suffered death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone." Hebrews 2:9