Praise God for His goodness in granting us safe travel up to St. Louis yesterday and home to Tulsa today. Wow, what a couple of days.
I will have you know I got my ticket dismissed. The DA was really kind and could tell from my pictures that there was NO WAY the police officer could have seen if I stopped or not. So I told Greg that I had saved him $211. He proceeded to tell me we could use that to get some football package for fall since we have pretty much the most basic cable package... I proceeded to tell him that I wanted to use part of it to go out:) My girlfriends from St. Louis said that we should put it towards our girlfriends getaway cruise next year:) ( I know we are kind of dreaming... but since we all now live all over the U.S., we are trying to throw together some sort of get together... we will see:)
So we arrived in St. Louis, and headed straight over to the sem. to see our friends. It was so nice 3 of my girlfriends were right out back of our old apartment at the playground on campus... It felt just like it used to be, seeing them out there. The weather was gorgeous and we just sat and visited for a couple of hours. It was so short... but so sweet. I can't tell you how much I treasure those friends. We sat on the bench and read my tear soup book together. In light, especially this week of our friends loss, and just over 3 weeks ago the loss of baby Joel, the emotions are fresh. These ladies had gotten to know our birth mom when we stayed in St. Louis for a four days back in June.
Baby Nate's funeral was really nice. Please continue to pray for Jerry, Gretchen and Noah, as they walk through this tough journey AGAIN. Gretchen said today that it really wasn't about that for her... walking it AGAIN...right now, it is just about Nate being gone and how difficult that is to bear... it isn't that they have lost 2 kids in the last 18 months. But who knows that may change from day to day the reality and what issues come to the forefront. After the service Greg and I found them. When Greg gave Jerry a hug, Jerry just let loose... so did Greg... so did Gretchen and myself. My heart was so grieved for them , to see those grown men crying together. Jerry just said, "Greg what is going on?"
There are so many tears. There are so many questions... that who knows if we will ever have any answers to. Gretchen invited us over to their home... we were so blessed to be able to go over there, have lunch, share our mommy necklaces with one another, and talk things over with them. We were able to see precious pictures of Nate... what a sweet, beautiful little guy. I just picture their 2 little boys Caleb and Nate up in Heaven with Samuel and Joel. There are lots of little boys running around praising our Lord.
All in all, I can clearly see the Lord sustaining them... but I also know the reality of grief and loss. It is so up and down and there are so many emotions and things that come up later, when the shock of the situation wears off. They are incredibly strong and are proclaiming God's glory through it all, even though in the same breath they will say how much the situation really STINKS. Oh, how we all wish things could be different, we could go back to last Thursday when things were as we think they should still be. In the blink of an eye... life is so different.
It is odd, but there really is a fellowship of the suffering. When another has been through a similar loss, there is just this incredible understanding there. As much as I would never wish any tragedy on anyone, I am so thankful to have others that have also been through and TRULY understand. You can relate to one another on a level that others can't seem to. There are those few that are willing to step into the grief zone with you whether or not they are comfortable with it or if they can relate to it or not (I am constantly thanking God for them as well).... and then there are those that head right in the other direction. I completely get it, but it doesn't make it any easier.
We love these dear people, the Hays, please continue to pray for them if the Lord brings them to mind. We can feel the attack of the enemy very strongly... I want them to be able to remain steadfast in the ministry the Lord has called them to. I also know firsthand the stress that this can bring to a family and marriage. I can't help but wonder if the Lord has something in store for Greg and Jerry together. What are the chances that 2 out of maybe 10-12 of the men in their same program at the seminary would have 2 major losses in the last 18 months? They certainly will have personal insight into grief and loss like many pastors may not have. I have no idea, maybe the Lord just gave them to each other to support one another through all of this.
Thanks so much for your prayers and for hanging with us through this all.