Sometimes it makes me feel really sad when I think about all the things Hannah missed out on by going to Heaven in her junior year of high school at the age of seventeen ... especially when I think about all the things Bethany's been able to do over the past couple of years. Hence, this month's Ten on the Tenth -- Ten things Bethany has gotten to experience that Hannah never did.
1. She was able to enjoy her senior year of high school.
2. She went to prom. Actually, this year was her third prom to attend. And may I just say, I'm thrilled that it was her last. They were all fun, but I am so done with proms.
3. She has a serious boyfriend. They will have been dating two years this month, and he is a wonderful Christian young man. What a blessing he's been to our family!
4. She won an individual state championship in high jump and a team state championship in softball. We are thankful for the opportunities she's had to excel this year!
5. She graduated from high school!
6. She started her first job. She'll be working at Family Farm Christian Day Camp as a counselor this summer. This is the same location where we hold our While We're Waiting retreats. I'm so thankful that she will have the opportunity to spend the summer in such an awesome Christian environment before she heads off to college this fall.
7. She opened her first checking account. Between her paychecks and some very generous graduation gifts, she has a nice little balance to help her get ready for college.
8. She turned eighteen this past Friday. She assures me that that means she is now an adult. We'll see about that!
9. She enrolled at the University of Arkansas. We have not yet gone to her official freshman orientation ... that will come later this summer ... but she is all signed up.
10. She had the opportunity to lead a child to the Lord last weekend at Family Farm. Hopefully, this will be just the first of many kids she will have the opportunity to pray with this summer.
Now, for the "Times Two". As I pondered the preceding list, I realized once again that Hannah really hasn't missed out on anything. If I'm being perfectly honest, I have to admit that I'm the one who sometimes feels cheated because I didn't get to experience these things with her. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized all the things Hannah's gotten to experience that Bethany hasn't.
1. Hannah had the opportunity to discover the depth and reality of her faith as she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and faced brain surgery. She got to experience firsthand how God carries His children through devastating circumstances as she battled cancer.
2. She may never have gone to prom, but she is feasting and dancing in Heaven.
3. Although she never even went on a single date, she is now sitting at the feet of the Ultimate Bridegroom.
4. Even though she took after her mother athletically (poor kid), I'm thinking she can now probably high jump over Mount Everest and hit a softball right out of the Milky Way.
5. She may not have graduated high school, but she graduated life!
6. She never experienced paid employment on this earth, but I believe that God's job for her here was perfectly fulfilled.
7. Hannah never had a bank account, nor did she ever have much money to speak of. But now she's hanging out with the Owner of "the cattle on a thousand hills." (Psalm 51:10b)
8. Her earthly existence ended when she was seventeen years and some-odd days old, but she is now ageless, living outside the realm of Time.
9. She never attended college, but can you imagine what she's been learning at her Savior's knee?
10. I'm not sure if Hannah ever personally prayed with someone as they received the Lord, but I do know a number of people who were saved as a direct result of her testimony.
No ... the more I think about it, Hannah hasn't missed a thing!