The year 2006 was a year in which I truly felt "to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
In July I became an aunt for the thirteenth time when my nephew JT was born, and his birth mother gave the incredible gift of life to my sister Cathy and brother-in-law James. (See photos here and here.)
In September I grieved at the death of my long-time friend Laraine - and yet (as I wrote here) I also realized that even my grief testifies that there is "a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted . . . a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance" (Ecclesiastes 3:2,4). It's all part of the circle of life.
When, on November 2, JT died from SIDS, it was only my faith that brought me any comfort. A few weeks before I had told my family about a song that I had heard during the women's meeting at our church. The son-in-law of our pianist had written the song when his baby died, and the title was "I'm Not Suffering." When I heard the title, I assumed the "I" was the baby, and I thought the song was going to be a trite statement about how the baby had gone to a better place. Instead, the "I" was the father, grieving over his child, and the lyrics were based on the promises of Jesus Christ to "not leave [us] comfortless" (John 14:18), that He "hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows . . . and with His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:4-5), and that while life is hard, He is with us and will give us the strength we need to carry on.
Still today I have to believe in those promises! Throughout the circle of life, He is with me!
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