|Moments after she squeezed |
my finger for the last time
When she squeezed my finger that morning I didn't imagine it might be the last time I would feel her little fingers squeeze mine.
I naively kept thinking to myself, "How can God be glorified through the death of a one year old?"
Little did I know that the answer to my question would swiftly be answered sooner than I would have preferred.
I know I am not the first person to blog about this nor do my story telling skills really do the testimony justice so I will give you a brief summary of what happened then direct you to two different blogs that will give you a better understanding of how God turned a tragedy into not just one, but many miracles that have so eloquently showcased God's glory.
The Kelley family moved to Tenwek around the beginning of February. Aaron is an ER doctor and Stephanie stayed home with their four children, Hannah- 1, Levi-2, Jacob-4 and Noah is 7 years old. God spoke to them before their trip and told them that if they chose to obey his calling on their lives and become missionaries in Kenya that they would suffer a great loss, but through that loss God would be glorified and their faith would be strengthened.
|The Kelley kids (photo taken when they first arrived in Kenya)|
|Baby Hannah and I (photograph by Ellie)|
|Baby Hannah down by the river a few weeks before she got sick)|
Through spending so much time at the hospital I discovered that I love caring and praying for sick patients. I found myself constantly watching the doctors and (mainly) the nurses and attempting to memorize what they do, how they do,and lending a helping hand wherever I could. This had led me (once again) that nursing school might be in my future. It something I am still praying about, but I am definitely seriously considering the option.
I found joy in knowing that both Ruthie and Hannah were up in heave ting on Jesus's lap sucking their thumbs and giggling. And an unexplainable peace that despite the pain and sorrow felt by everyone around me, God's purpose was being fulfilled.
I was convicted. So often I have taken my life and the lives of those around me for granted. So often I have questioned my life and the purpose God has for me. I found truth through the grief and sense of loss I was feeling. God reminded me that every single human soul on this planet has a purpose, every single one. Whether they are on this earth for 1 year or 100 years, God has a beautiful plan for their life.
I continued to return to this scripture:
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
- 1 Corinthians 15:54-58
I felt theses words echo truth through to the bottom of my heart and soul. Through all of this I've learned to trust God even when I really, really don't understand his plan. For his ways are higher than my ways and his thoughts higher than my thoughts.
There are still moments when I am struck with grief and my heart breaks over and over again for Aaron, Stephanie, and their boys and their loss. But my heart is also encouraged when I think about their testimony of the greatness and abundance of God's love. My heart is consumed through and through with joy when I imagine baby Hannah and Ruthie waddling towards Jesus' open arms and plopping on his lap, their high pitched laughter resounding and both of them sucking their thumbs as they fall asleep in His arms surrounded by unfathomable love.