The picture above is of little Molly, a precious little one year old, the day before she drowned in a pool. Her mother Charissa was part of the youth group at Grace Bible Church years ago when my own kids were teens. They all hung out together, went to student conferences together, and had youth parties at our home. At the time, none of them ever dreamed that such unspeakable tragedy could ever enter their lives. Charissa and her husband Jordan are solid Christ-followers, as well as their families. Grandma Cathy wrote the piece below. Read it and weep with those who weep, and pray.
The Crucible of Pain and Suffering
Before the loss of Molly, I had been undergoing a mini trial
(because everything seems mini after this), and a couple times I'd prayed, "Lord,
change me!" I was almost afraid to pray that way because of what it might
And then Molly happened. And the grief and anguish of soul
served to undo us. But God has been here. Jesus has cried with us. And we are
all changing. In small ways He has opened our eyes to problem areas in our
lives. My precious Gene, who prefers to live a quiet and private existence,
wrote a letter to all the staff where he teaches. He talked about Molly, but he
shared our hope in Jesus. He would have preferred to remain under the radar,
but he felt compelled to be public with his heartbreak, and invite the staff to
the service. One teacher wrote that they would be there. Others, who don't know
Jesus, wrote that Gene's faith would help him. A door of witness has opened
because Molly's death has allowed opportunities to share Jesus. Her little life
is a beacon of hope and light. How we miss her! But we are praying many will be
brought to Jesus because of what has happened.
Our church has been changed. Trials have that effect. Our
local church body is growing stronger in prayer and encouragement.
We have heard of some who've not yet been drawn to Jesus
make reference to the faith we have in God. Our faith is a gift from our
glorious God, outside of ourselves. We can't muster it up on our own.
We've been privileged to share Jesus with those who were by
our side on the day of Molly's home going. Several in our family (and close
friends) baked lots of sweet treats, and, yesterday, took them to the staff at
the hospital where Molly was treated, and to the police dept who responded. The
treats were accompanied by thank you notes with the message of the Gospel, and
an invite to the service.
We keep going back to the well where unlimited grace and
mercy can be had. And we are finding help--so much more than we knew
possible--is there. And we are forever changed. It's not the script I would
have written, but I'm not in charge. A life of mediocrity will not do. Part of
me is afraid of what might happen next, but I continue to be bolstered by
Jordan and Charissa. And I think of verses that pop in my head about what Jesus
did for us, and how our suffering is but a microcosm of what He endured.
Lastly, we have the hope that He'll lead us safely home. And
that makes this present life more doable.
What follows is an excerpt from my darling husband's letter
to the staff. I hope you find encouragement from what he's written.
"Our family has been devastated by this loss, and yet without
despair. We’ve been comforted by the overwhelming love of extended family,
church community, and others, many in far-flung places, who have surrounded us
with their presence, tangible kindnesses, and prayers. We rest on the promises
of God, and the words that will be etched on Molly’s grave marker, 'I am the
resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and
everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die (John 11:25-26).' We long
to see her again."