Well friends, it’s been another emotional few weeks at the homestead. I know it’s been a while since I’ve written… but there’s been a lot going on real estate wise, plus the kids are back in school, and I’ve started an inductive study of the book of Hebrews. Boy, if that doesn’t give a person lots of good food for thought, I don’t know what will.
In addition to that, this past week we sold our backyard swing set. We’ve had that swing set for quite a few years, but even more significantly, we had just rebuilt the entire swing portion with new swings and monkey bars, for Gavin’s 6th birthday last April. At that time, I remember thinking – no matter what happens, I want him to have some swings to swing on if he wants to, and I don’t care how much it costs – it’ll be worth it. So in a way, it was just one more piece of Gavin that we have now said a sad goodbye to. I know… how could this inanimate object hold any emotional value… it’s just a thing. But for any parent who has pushed their littlest of kids on a swing set, and paused to take in the pure joy of those little smiles and laughs and first steps climbed on a ladder that with such bravery and anticipation turned into their first slide down a slide, probably while holding your hand… it means a lot. You know? Because those days will end one day… and turn into other days for the most part… but in our case, those days with Gavin anyway, are just memories now – they’re over, and no new memories can be made. And when I see all those adorable pictures with him in them, with his cousins and his brothers, and how sweet and cute he was – so playful and silly – it just tugs at my heart.
And then I hear the theme song to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV show and it kills me a little more. Gavin loved the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles… and he loved dancing to their theme song, and imitating the ninja moves they do in their intro. And he did it with such attention and such happiness – remembering it is one of my favorite things. Every time I hear that song, I think of him and it’s so bittersweet and I realized this morning that even after his surgeries and all he’d been through, there were times when he was still able to jump on the trampoline with his brothers like nothing had ever happened and I would look at him in disbelief and in awe, and with such love, yet such worry that it wouldn’t last… and I see now that my worries effectively came true. Hearing that song is on one hand like having him home again, yet reminds me of a beautiful fearful time where I didn’t know what was going on. What could I count on? I wanted it to last so badly, but was afraid that it wouldn’t.
That’s where my study of the book of Hebrews comes in. There are many references to the days when the people God led out of slavery in Egypt saw miracles when God parted the Red Sea for them, fed them each day with the manna, and quenched their thirst with spiritual water from rocks, and protected and led them for those 40 years in the desert, to the promised land… but do you know how many people over the age of 20 actually made it to Canaan? TWO. Because those were the only two who truly BELIEVED in their hearts that what God was saying to them was true – amongst all that God had SHOWN them and let them experience – so they would unite what they had seen, with a faith in their hearts. They saw all those amazing things and they still didn’t have faith… and that’s just a tragedy.
For anyone who has studied this book, you know it is emphasizing the importance of Jesus as the basis for our salvation, and how THROUGH FAITH, we have the tools and strength that we need to run this race of endurance that has been set before each of us, by God. He sent Jesus after all, and “He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Whoa. Stop the presses. Jesus lives to make intercession for me? (Heb 7:25)
It hit me this morning that in a way, I have acted no different than those fools in the desert. Except I now have the benefit of the whole Bible, where they did not. What fool would I be, not to read everything that God has told me through His Son… and heed every word of it? You see, God had been showing me miracles through Gavin, in answer to the prayers of my heart, right in front of my very eyes, that were not explainable by his doctors or anyone else, because they were miracles! And even though I recognized and acknowledged them at the time as such, I still had the fear in the back of my mind and in my heart, that it would not last. I believe it took losing him to get through to me. You can’t have real faith and also be living in fear! It doesn’t work that way! You must trust leaning on God fully, and with confidence! God knew that’s what it would take. Oh God, I’ve been so stubborn. So fearful. Lord, thank you for teaching me to learn from my mistakes, and helping me to trust you with my whole heart and my whole soul and my whole mind. You have set me free. Please continue to guide my steps that what I do and how I live might be pleasing to You.
Hebrews 10:19-22 says, “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which he inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
“In full assurance of faith”… what a difference that can make! I don’t want to be like that third group in the parable of the sower Jesus spoke of in Matthew Chapter 13. Please Lord, let me not be so caught up in the worries of this world that Your word is choked out of me! I will remember and share the things I have seen and the things I have learned, and I will not go forth with doubt but with confidence that Your plan is the best one for me and my family because we belong to You and You know our names, and cared enough to send Gavin to us in the first place. And oh, what I have learned because of the gifts of Gavin’s life.
Until Gavin died, I never knew I needed Jesus so much. I’ll be honest with you about that. Right up until the night before he died, I was trying to do everything myself and thinking that I could save him and trying everything I could to do. Yes, we prayed and yes we read the Bible, but I was afraid to fully rely on Him. I was afraid to let go, even though I knew that I should. But then the rubber met the road, and choosing God was the only way to go. This world and its conditioning is strong, and affects your thoughts and your life so much more than you realize. If I didn’t now know that God had already seen all of this beforehand and know Gavin’s days down to the moment, I would not be able to get over being without him for the rest of my life. And I know this is not the best thing I’ve written, but to know that God has a plan for each of our lives, and to see the transformation in my own life since Gavin came into it, even before his very conception, has made for an incredible testimony that I want to share.
You know, for some reason, a lot of people seem to think people turn into angels when they die an earthly death. But the book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus and the son of man are held higher than the angels, “For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but he gives help to the descendant of Abraham.” For so many reasons I am beginning to believe that our family was destined to be a foursome – and was just fortunate to have become a fivesome for about seven beautiful years – and that an angel named Gavin was sent to us from Heaven to show us the way to live, by pointing us all to Jesus. Oh, what a beautiful gift!!! And so… we haven’t lost him… we were just very fortunate to have him amongst us for a while. And I will see him again, someday. Oh Gavin, Mommy loves and misses you so much! So much! My confidence in God has been elevated to yet another level today, and I am so grateful.
Thank you Jesus! Thank you book of Hebrews… you have changed me forever. It’s well past time to walk by faith, and not by sight, people. Do you see it?? Can you feel it?? I get it now. Yes, I still shed a mother’s tears of heartache… but seeing things through God’s eyes, and not my own, has made all the difference in the world. May your heart be changed also!! Why do I share these things with you? Because I love you, that’s why!
“For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?”
“Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by FAITH in those who heard.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope WITHOUT WAVERING, for He who promised is FAITHFUL…”
“Now FAITH is the assurance of things hoped for, the CONVICTION of things not seen.”
“All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.