September 30, 2010

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have"

I read this quote several months ago, and feel like it really is true of our whole family.  We have had one trial after another for the past seven years.  Today is the fourth anniversary of Jeff's passing.  I feel like this one is even harder than the others.  I love the picture that Amy posted of all of us at the beach this summer.  We had so much fun.  We seem to be at our best when we are all together.  We look very happy in this picture, and we actually are.  But I wonder if we could see us through spiritual eyes, how badly beaten would we look?  Would you see broken hearts, broken and bandaged arms and legs, bruises and black eyes, swollen lips?.  You get the picture.  We have been in a battle for a very long time.  Even the kids....two have lost their mother to cancer, 3 have lost their daddy.  We not only grieve for our loss, but theirs as well.  There are many places in the psalms that say "how long O Lord, how long"...I know we are all tired, but I also know that God has been faithful. He has given strength when we felt we had none.  Jeff sang a song many times called The Anchor Holds...I know that to be true.  That is the message I want to give to my kids--all of them-Brian, Tom and Jenn, Amy and Mike, Gwen and Reed, and their kids-Kaylee, Austin, Josh, Andy, Nathan, Olivia, and Emily.  Don't ever give up, don't ever give in--God will not let you down.  He is our only hope.  And someday, many years from now, we will have another family picture taken--and Jeff will be in it.

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