Many of you know Judy Hensley, a fellow and greatly loved co-journeyer with PD. Many of you know her from here, where she wrote for a long while when she could. Many of you know that, sadly, she tragically lost her daughter – and only child – Carol, just a few short days ago.
Carol was a beautiful girl, who I had the privilege of meeting a few years ago when I visited Judy in Tennessee. If you met Carol, you’d know she fell straight from Judy’s tree – full of life, all smiles, loved her Lord God, and had a fun loving spirit like her mother. (If you want to read a great tribute to Carol and a spot on account of just who Carol was, go here.)
It’s hard to understand why some things happen the way they do. Why some things happen when they do. If you believe in God Almighty, the Great I AM – then you believe He is sovereign. That He knows what He’s doing. That’s what you want to believe. You believe He has a purpose. And again, that’s what you want to believe. And in a situation like this, you may be tested and wonder if indeed you do believe and so you must trust. Trust that He does know what He’s doing and that He does have a higher purpose, even if you never know what it is.
Steven Curtis Chapman sings a song with these lyrics:
I don’t even wanna breathe right now
All I wanna do is close my eyes
But I don’t wanna open them again
Until I’m standing on the other side
I don’t even wanna be right now
I don’t wanna think another thought
And I don’t wanna feel this pain I feel
And right now, pain is all I’ve got
It feels like it’s all I’ve got, but I know it’s not
No, I know You’re all I’ve got
And I will trust You, I’ll trust You
Trust You, God, I will
Even when I don’t understand, even then I will say again
You are my God, and I will trust You
Judy is trusting. She is holding on to the One who is holding her and she is trusting because even though she may not understand, she believes that God is sovereign -that He knows the whys, the wheres, the whens, the hows. Not that He causes them, but for some reason, allows for a greater good.
However, right now she is surrounded by hundreds of people who are sharing in her pain, but in 3 weeks, 3 months, when those of us who have continued on in our usual, daily routines and Judy (and Bill) picks up the phone to call Carol, that’s when she’s really going to need a shoulder to cry on. When Carol’s new husband of less than a year walks through the door of their apartment, anticipating her beautiful smile, that’s when we need to make sure we have not ceased in our prayers.
Judy, our prayers here at PJ are with you. Our thoughts are of you and Cooper and Bill. Our hearts ache for you.
Welcome Home, Carol
Life is hard they say
and I am inclined to believe it’s true
for it can be so awfully hard to understand
the things of this life
God calls some to go endure.
You think you’ll have tomorrow
and you think you’ve got this day
because you were given another morning
never thinking for a moment
it just might be taken away.
But God didn’t promise if you saw the sun rise
that you would see that same sun set –
He never said life would be free of pain
or things would be fair, at best.
I cannot imagine the pain of so great a loss as a child-
the void within and the void without
I do not understand God’s purpose
in choosing some to stay, choosing some to go
and leaving just a lifetime of memories behind.
But I know and I believe
God is sovereign, merciful and kind.
There is a greater purpose
than any we’d ever be able to find.
It’s because of previous sorrows endured,
seasons of heartache and seasons of tears
the family and friends who came and stayed near
I know our God will carry us through.
When those we love are taken
before we are ready to let them go,
we have to trust and rest in what we believe
we have to trust in what we know…
There is now no more sorrow,
there will never be anymore pain –
their joy is now full, they have been perfected
they have walked through the gates of Heaven.
***Since PJ ‘crashed’, I have not had the time to republish all of the posts to date. Look for Judy’s posts in the next few weeks and be encouraged by this crazy, winsome woman of faith.
Journeying with you,