For the first time in my life, I believe I can honestly say, “I feel your pain.”
Many of our readers are already aware that this last year we lost our 12 year old daughter, Grace Evangeline, in an automobile accident. Though we have been surrounded by His Presence and care over the last 7 months, at the end of the day, we still hurt.
I often tell my family that we were never created to be separated. We were created to live forever in God’s perfect favor without any threat of separation or sadness. However, since we live in a fallen world that is subjected to mortality and sin (Romans 8:20), we will have these times of sorrow until Christ makes all things new (Revelation 21:4). Thank you God for Your promises. In our family, Your promises are absolutely everything to us.
Life is Painful
Our readership is full of people dealing with pain. Though this pain has a variety of sources, at the end of the day, pain is painful, and it hurts.
Life will find a way of giving us every reason to throw in the towel, get discouraged, or lose our faith. However, I have come to the conclusion that how we handle the pain life throws our way will determine whether or not we move forward as God would have us to.
May 18th, 2016
On May 18th, 2016, I was preaching in Williamston, NC. Little Grace had sung right before I spoke, and, during the final few minutes of the message, I started to talk about pain.
I remarked that life was painful. I also talked about our propensity as a people to idolize pain in that we allow it to show more power in our lives than God’s power and His promises. Never did I realize that, a few short days later, my family and I would be in the fight of our lives alongside I-95 as we watched our little Grace leave this present world.
June 1, 2016
About 10 days later, about 650 people from our community gathered to show their support and to find some sense of clarity and healing. I believe we found what we needed.
I decided to give little Grace’s eulogy. I have never been so nervous before a speaking engagement. In fact, for about 3 days up until the memorial, I felt like I was carrying a hundred pound bag on my back. I did not believe I was going to be able to do it. I thought that once I was there, I would fall apart, but, as a family, we felt that we needed to talk during the memorial as we wanted to ensure that what needed to be said was conveyed. Honestly, we felt that another minister would cater to our feelings and play it far too safe.
Life is a Maze
During the memorial, I talked about how life is a maze, and if we fail to make the right turns in that maze, we will either lose our faith or our ability to prosper in God’s service.
Over the last 7 months, we have heard from many of how God has used the recording of Grace’s memorial to help them to process their pain. Whether the pain is involving the death of a loved one, divorce or separation, unmet expectations, or disappointment, this recording seems to be helping others deal with their pain.
We have decided to offer this recording on our resource page as many seem to be helped upon listening. In some small way, my wife and I have been taking comfort every time we hear that another person is helped through our tragedy. In my view, it’s one way we can take this chunk of coal life has thrown our way and turn it into a diamond. The recording is called “God Isn’t Unjust.” It is available in CD and MP3 format.
The Grace Evangeline Bible Fund
Also, you may not be aware that we take a portion of every resource sold on our site and we place it in the Grace Evangeline Bible Fund.
Little Grace wanted to be a missionary oversees, and we are taking great delight in buying Bibles for hard to reach areas as she wanted to be a missionary in either China or North Korea.
A few weeks before Grace’s passing, Grace said that she wanted to be a missionary to North Korea. When her mother told her North Korea was closed, she said, “Then how about Iran?”
We have taken that conversation and started the Grace Evangeline Bible Fund. In fact, just this week, we are buying $1000 worth of Iranian Bibles in her name. You go Grace! You knew you would get that chance because you accomplished everything you put your mind to!!!