Saturday, April 19, 2014

What do we remember?

I'm often told, "You remember everything!" I'll admit I do have the ability to remember dates...I have close to 30 nieces and nephews and have most of their birthdays etched in my mind, I never forget the day I played my first varsity game or lost my last, and I often recall random things which many admit to forgetting. This gift was absent back in history class and sometimes my marriage would be better if I was quicker to forget, but last night I found myself remembering. In that time I was challenged to remember something new.

I found myself thinking about today - April 19th, a date that's been etched in my mind for 19 years. Back in 1995 I had reconstructive knee surgery and basketball was never the became a date I didn't appreciate. On top of that, it was also the day of the Oklahoma City bombing...a day many didn't appreciate. This day became even harder in was our expected due date, but a miscarriage turned a day of anticipation into a day of dread.

A year ago, I finally found myself at a place where I didn't just survive the day and get consumed with grief...I even shared about it HERE. I expected this year to be the same, but last night my mind took over and I got to thinking that our little Jenae Hope would be turning 5. Questions entered my mind, tears filled my eyes and pain filled my heart. Thoughts went back to when the miscarriage took place and I remembered the hurt, the grief and the questions. I wondered why I had to be the one who remembered everything!

And then God whispered to my heart, "Jill, remember Me." Those were just the words I needed and that's exactly what I did. Immediately the Bible's shortest verse came to mind, "Jesus wept." What a comforting thought...sometimes I struggle grieving our little girl because I know if she were here Jed would not be, so I know God brought good and worked through this. But as I thought about this verse I realized Jesus knew what would happen with Lazarus but He cried anyway. Tears are not a bad thing, so I shed a few more and listened to the next verse that came to mind.

"Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him." (Psalms 127:3) There is such truth in that statement and I understood that so much more after we lost one He had given to us. Prior to this I had taken pregnancy and the whole process for granted. And following it I was reminded to enjoy the moments because we don't number our days, or our children's. They are a gift from Him and they belong to Him...may we appreciate, train and love them while they are with us!

Finally the third verse that came to mind was one I'd read an hour earlier as I completed Bible study homework - "All this I have told you so that you will not go astray." (John 16:1) In response to this I jotted down, "God gave us His Word for a purpose - so when I'm tempted to drift or doubt, I must go to it!" I was amazed at how He did just would have been easy to let my mind go down that road of doubt and grief and focus on all that was lost. I could have been consumed with pain, but instead through His Word God led me to cry while I remembered.

I remembered my little Jenae Hope (read the story of her name HERE), but I also remembered His presence and power that I experienced in a whole new way when I walked through that trial. I also made a new memory and will now remember His faithfulness, goodness and power of His Word when I think back on April 18th, 2014.

Friend, today I encourage you to remember...remember the ones you love, remember the road you've walked...the good stops and the deep valleys and while you take the trip down memory lane, please remember God. He was there through it all and He is with you now! If these things you can't forget cause pain and bring you down, please go to His Word...He wrote it so we wouldn't go astray!!

If you feel like sharing, I'd love to hear what you are remembering today and how God is in the midst of those memories! In the meantime here's a song for you -


  1. Oh Jill...thank you for sharing this. How I would love to sit and visit with you and give you a hug and share the journey's the Lord has taken us on.

    Today I remember a verse God spoke to me a year ago today from Isaiah 52:11 that said: "Depart! Depart! Go out from her and be pure you who carry the vessels of the LORD." A specific call to end a friendship that had taken me further and further from the Lord. It was a desperate day a year ago. A day of tears. Tears of loss, tears of remorse, tears or regret, tears of repentance, tears of unworthiness, tears of conviction, tears of forgiveness, tears of thankfulness and love. It was the beginning of a "year of release" that the Lord spoke to me from Deuteronomy. It has been a continual surrender and sometimes a hard climb, but "thus far the Lord has helped me". Rejoicing in all He is doing and continuing to do as He purifies this "vessel" for His service.

    Hugs, love and prayers,

  2. Thank you for sharing. It's amazing how life is full unspeakable joy as well as incredible sadness and grief, and I'm thankful that we can share.

    A friend is watching the kids today so Kyle and I can see Heaven is for Real. We read the book several years ago when Jonathan was in the hospital, and that sentence -- heaven is for real -- is the only thing that gets me through tough days. I cling to Psalm 119:50 "My comfort in suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life."

  3. Beautiful, Jill. Thanks for sharing your heart and precious Jenae Hope with us! Hugs to you today.

  4. Praying the God of All Comfort is with you today and this weekend as you celebrate Easter without your sweet Grandma. I love your beautiful heart and how you always share it with such authenticity!!