Monday, December 22, 2008
The week before Hannah passed away, she was attending VBS at the Calvary Chapel, South bay. On the last day I believe, she came home with a foil wrapped paper cup with a smiley face named Jesus going into the cup right through the middle of it. She kept it on the table and told us " This has to be opened only on Christmas day." It has been sitting there since then. After Hannah passed away we have all been taking guesses as to what it is. It might be something that Hannah wrote or some craft she did at the VBS or some ornament she made....or maybe even, there is nothing in it! On the side of the cup there is a sticker that says " I am a new creation" and on the top of the verse is a typed verse " I want to know Christ and the power of his Resurrection" signed Hannah. Anyways, I am counting days to see what Hannah has left for us this Christmas.
Who wants to take a guess? Nimmy..?
Friday, December 19, 2008
I went through such an emotional war last week. I was eating breakfast by myself and I cried out to the Lord, " Lord, this accident that happened is so ugly. You could have called her home many other ways. I am always going to carry this ugly memories all my life, there is nothing good about this, Lord. Even after many years, when people look at it they are going to shudder. How are you ever going to glorify your name through this ugly accident Lord?" As Faithful as my Lord is, He met me at the breakfast table in a wonderful way that I think is worthy of mentioning in this blog. He said " My child, Look to the cross, it is even uglier than this. When my son died (for you), he was marred beyond recognition. There was nothing desirable about him. When he who created the universe hung upon that Roman cross, When he who knew no sin, took upon the sins of the world, When it was a curse to be hanging on a tree, yet when he took your curses, my child, it was uglier still. It was so ugly that I couldn't look at it. But that ugly thing, the Roman cross is the crux of the christian faith. Without that cross, there would have been no forgiveness of sins. My child, I am talking to you today only because of that cross. You ask me how I glorify my name through this, my child, I always use the foolish things of this world, the despised things, things that are not worthy to glorify my name."
So today if you have a despised thing, an ugly incident, give it to my Potters hand. He has been mending many specks and spots through the ages. I quote Corrie ten boom who said "There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still." So with the merriment and the joy this season brings, I am going to trust a father who once lost His son(Yes, to the Roman cross) and spend time with Him, knowing Him more.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Oh, I can go on and on with these thoughts.. At one point and all this before Hannah passed away, I said ," Lord I don't want to be alone when I die, I want my husband to die with me." Creeping out of my dead body as a soul and looking around for angels or chariots or even worse asking them for a ride to heaven, was too much to even imagine doing together, let alone on my own!!"Travelling through death's door was horrifying for me, UNTIL Hannah passed away.
Hannah's home going opened my eyes to see something that most has not seen. The bible says that if you believe in your heart Jesus is Lord and confess that he died for your sins and was raised to life and if you give the Lordship of your life to Jesus Christ, you are saved and born again. For this person, when they die, they are with the Lord. That is when you take your last breath here, next thing, you are in the presence of Jesus. The apostle Paul says "To be absent from the body is to be with the Lord". How that happens I don't know, But I know for sure now that I don't have to crawl or creep out of my body and wait for the call " I can help the next guest in line....". This has become a reality to me now. It's an assurance that I don't have to lie in the box waiting.... I am not there in the casket when I die....What others see is just my outer covering. I might be walking on the heaven's street of gold when people walk up the aisle to get a glimpse of my outer shell!
Oh! what a joyous day that is! Fulfillment of all that I ever waited for. To set my face on my maker! I wouldn't trade that for anything.Nothing in the world can give me that kind of ecstasy.The bible says the earth and everything in it will pass away. But there is only one thing that does not pass, God. So that's where I want to be, after I finish what my Saviour has called me to do. This makes me ask " Oh death, where is your victory?" Death has lost its sting since Jesus died and defeated death. I don't fear dying anymore. If I die, that means my duty here is over. What ever means I die of. This confidence is on a personal level.
But I have people who ask me but what about a loved one dying, what about our children....? I don't assume to know why God calls some when they are 5 and why some others from their mothers womb yet some others in their 90's. Those are done according to Gods perfect wisdom and when it happens I can only say that God has helped them to finish their race. Their race is finished whether that fetus got to see the world outside or not. According to God's timing, Hannah lived a full life. I have had people send me cards that read " sympathising in the untimely death of your daughter" I wanted to scream when I saw it. I believed, her death was timely. I believed God had given her to me for 6 years for some reason only he knows. I believed she lived a full life. Knowing all these is one thing, and preparing for another event of such magnitude is another thing. By going through this trial, I have become more appreciative of God's sovereignty and wisdom. But that, in NO WAY makes me prepared for another one like this....When you say, you are afraid if something might happen to your child, I hear you. I am not prepared either...but there is a thin assurance within me that says " God you are good and what you do is good." Psalms 119:68 Even if no one sees any good in it, I see... by faith ( sometimes only by faith). I know he does not make any mistakes... I also know that we are called to be faithful...He is writing HIS story... He has been writing... since creation and all this while did we ever think that He is allowing us to write OUR story?? Oh, how mistaken we are!! We have shifted the focus to us. The stage is His and the lights should always be on him because it is His story and He uses everything for His glory. Now, did I know this when I gave my heart to Jesus, perhaps not. I only knew He loved me so much as to die for me and wanted me to give my allegiance to him. But will knowing this now, make me walk back? Never. As apostle Peter said, " The words of eternal life are with you master, where shall we go apart from you." So all those who are afraid of the death of a loved one, let me tell you when you crash against something you don't understand about, fall back on what you already know. Exchange what you don't know with what you know. And what you know is,
Lord you are good and what you do is good.!! Psalms 119:68
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
(This is the continuation of my previous blog entry. Please scroll down to read from the beginning)
When a child is born into this world, it is born into an already defined structured environment which expects him to prove himself and progress into more complex criteria and standards. When they are little we call it 'milestones'. We expect them to prove themselves through the milestones and progress rapidly through to fall into different settings which we may also call "standards of the world." The child struggles to keep up with these standards and in the process develops his egos.
As with those of us from India, the motto or the standard is often
Grow up and become a doctor
Marry have a son and daughter
Drive around in the best motor
Don't waste time playing soccer
but store away cash in the locker.
With every passing stage the child's goals or struggles are more or less to keep up with these standards. Ever been there? I have!
As a christian the sermons and teaching I heard bordered around these goals too. Oh, sometimes they were just polished to make it look as though it was "blessings from God" or " For the glory of God".Sadly, the worldly standards have crept into many churches and over the years many saints have been drifted away to thinking this is how a christian should be living ( the prosperity theory, for instance.) While the standards in itself are not wrong and I don't have any doubt on the abilities of my God I strongly disagree a life that is set apart to follow the standards of the world.
If you did not pass one of these goals/ milestones, you were less spiritual?? Your prayers were not powerful enough to unlock the blessing door of heaven?? Ever been there? I have!
With a grateful heart towards God let me say, I learnt it the hard way that the church of Jesus Christ was built on the blood of the martyrs, blood of the saints who were persecuted and killed for their faith. Their families orphaned and starved because they heard the call to preach this good news to many those who have not heard it. These persecuted Christians did not wake up in the morning and pray " lord bless me, bless my husband, bless my kids" and sing showers of blessings and claimed more blessings and fasted for their blessings and developed faith muscles to exercise blessings. ( Nothing wrong with praying for your needs, just don't let that become your only prayer.) But, they cried, " Lord, one more soul" that was their passion. They did not have the struggles to keep up with the milestones of the society. They did not have any standards other than the son of God who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Knowing this they offered their lives as a living sacrifice and built not their homes, but the kingdom of God. Enjoying the freedom in Christ, this is what I want to be doing. I don't want to get in the rat race of building my own kingdom. It is my prayer that the spirit of God would cause this desire to grow and use me for the glory of His name.
Monday, December 1, 2008
I am set free, released and liberated from such fears at least theoretically. I still have to pass the practical tests in some areas.
Fear of life.
As a child I always worried about my parents, I worried what would happen to us if something happened to them. Growing up, I worried about the test scores and my friendship skills. I worried about who would love me and I worried about all the possible "what ifs" that could happen before the sunset everyday. As an adult I worried about my career and life. As a believer in Jesus Christ I was 'concerned' about the discrepancies I saw around me....There were always worries and concerns... With Hannah passing away, I have understood that life is so fleeting, this place is not my permanent home. I am here only to decide my eternity. Eternity is where I am going to spend my life. It is like you are travelling to a place and you are at the station to buy the ticket. You don't worry about what ever happens at the station, because the station is not where you are going to be, you are going to go to your home. You are at the station only for a while...Just like Jesus said, "In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. " I have understood that I am here only for a while and I will be boarding soon. While I am at the station let me call as many as I can, and tell them the right place to go and the way to go. Jesus said "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal. Mathew 6:19,20." So as I live my life here, I am going to store away treasures in heaven. I am going to fill my heavenly account with credits. This I do by obeying my Lord as I have been set free from the fear of life.
I shall write again about Fear for life and Fear of death in the following posts. Stay tuned.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
This picture was taken at a hands on museum in Michigan. Hannah has a smile on this one as she is pretending to be injured and is taken in an ambulance as you can see. About two years after this picture was taken, on July 23, 2008, Hannah was again taken like this, only this time she had no smiles.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I made this shadow box as a memorial for Hannah and now it is kept in our living room. It contains some of the precious things that Hannah loved and Hannah used. It also contains a lock of her hair that was given to me from the E.R of the hospital where she was pronounced dead. I shall go over each item here and explain its significance.
Birth announcement- This was on her bassinet on the day she was born. It was rather like an information tag for the hospital staff. It has my last name, her birth weight, her height, head circumference, date she was born, name of my doctor and medical group.
Birth picture- Hannah posing on my arms with her dad nearby,for her first picture with the entire labor "crew". The one in blue scrubs is my doctor.
Name HANNAH- Hannah wrote this with glitters at preschool with her teacher's help.
Pink Purse- Hannah had been asking me for a purse, for her 6th birthday. One of my gifts were this purse filled with make-up goodies. On July 23rd, the day she went to be with the Lord, just before we left home, I asked her if she had taken her library card, because we wanted to stop by the library to get some books. She said she did not have it. I had to help her get the purse down from the shelf. I was also trying to get her into the habit of carrying her purse and be responsible for it. So off we went that day and she had it in her lap the time she died... So it is very precious to her and me. I later got a blood stained purse from the stuff they gathered from the wrecked car. On top of the purse you can see her Coast Christian school I.D badge and the bible that was given to her on the day of her dedication. Attached to the purse is a pink bracelet that I gave her on her last birthday here.
Picture with Abigail- Any memorial for Hannah is not complete without portraying her love for Abigail. This picture was taken when Abigail was brought home from the hospital for the first time. Hannah held her for a considerably long time until we were done putting things away that we brought from the hospital.
Watch- We got this watch for Hannah to teach her time management. We would set up alarm for her and she tried her best to wake up and finish her milk on time! This watch was always on her hand, except when she got in for a shower. Again, she had it on that day and the hospital staff gave it back to us.
Pink marker- Pink was her favorite color and markers and pencils were part of her life. She drew, she wrote and occupied her self with her love for reading and writing.
Hannah' s program brochure printed for her home going service.
Fruit "lollops" and chewing gum-Another passion of Hannah, beyond reading and writing. She must be chewing on a lot of them, walking on the streets of gold.
Earrings- A gift from her uncle, she had been wearing it over a year. Again, we collected it from the coroner's office.
Lock of her hair- while I was collecting things for he shadow box, I remembered her hair given to me from the hospital. I had much difficulty taking it out, because her hair was her... it was part of her.... it was part of her body....I had stroked that hair countless number of times....I had brushed and tied her hair every single day... I pulled on her pony tail and kissed on her hair and shampooed her hair every single day....everything else in the shadow box was of hers but her hair was HER. As I took it out from the box, my hands were not shaky, but my heart was pounding. I was shocked at the lock of hair I was holding... I tried to stroke it... NO, it was not the same...something was missing... It was COLD! There was no life in it... it didn't feel like her hair that was once soft and full of life, bouncy and wavy... this feeling was different. I had heard that death was cold. But this was beyond it, lifeless... the lock was stuck together like someone had glued it. It was hard and DEAD.
Birthday candle- I had saved it for some reason, I am glad I did.
Clothes- Hannah was wearing this pink T-shirt and skirt at home, before she changed to go to the park. For the first time, she had it neatly folded on her bed over the pillow and spread her comforter over it. That's where I found this dress on the day she died. I never got a chance to appreciate her for this work done so neatly. Someday I will get to see her and I shall tell her all these things. But, will the things of earth become strangely dim at the light of heaven? I do not know, but I shall continue to love her there in the presence of my Lord.
Hair band-Hannah always had this on her head. This was her favorite head band. Though I bought her another one, she continued to use this. My husband had to go to take out all the stuff from the wrecked car the day after the accident. He came back and told me, He couldn't bear the sight of this head band resting by the brake lights on top of the back seat. He could not look at the head band and not see Hannah's head under it. He imagined at the impact of the accident, the head band flying away and resting on top of the brake lights. This brought so much pain into his heart. He could not finish telling me that without sobbing.
I put Hannah's comb and her half used cotton candy perfume inside the head band. Hannah loved her perfume, though she smelled of cotton candy after wearing that perfume, I had started getting used to a "Cotton candy Hannah".It was a gift to Hannah from 'Laly mummy' our Pastor's wife, who she affectionately named so.
Those are the shoes we bought from target on her birthday with the gift card her grandmother gifted her with. After bringing Hannah to the E.R from the accident site as the paramedic lady rolled away her stretcher, she stopped by me and wished me all the best, then she handed one of Hannah's shoes to me. I grabbed it instantly and put it in my bag. Later, we got the other pair from the hospital staff.
I like the way they call this a shadow box. To me everything in it are just shadows.... One day we will hear the trumpet call and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Yes, Hannah's glorious body is going to rise from the grave, just like Jesus rose, after he died. It will join her spirit, which is with the Lord at this time. Then, the bible says, we who are alive, will be caught up with him in the air. This is called "rapture". And there will be a glorious reunion in the air. Her face will not be marred like the last time we saw it, she is going to get a glorious new body. This is the hope of everyone who has put their trust in Jesus. The life here on the earth will just become a shadow on that day. Everything we strive for, everything we build here, every work we do.... all will be shadows of the glorious things God will reveal to us on that day.
To those who read me today and know-not what I am talking about, Jesus came to the earth 2000 years ago, to identify with human life, he lived for 33 years and then died on the cross, for our sins. he took our punishment on the cross and died the death we were supposed to get, so that by believing in Him, even though we die, we shall rise again from the dead and live for ever with Him. He did this because he loves you so much to see you die, without hope. All you need to do is to believe in your heart, Jesus died for your sins, and receive the new life Jesus wants to give you. When you do this, you are born again into the kingdom of God. Jesus says, "I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me, will live even though he dies." John 11:25.
May God help you to understand this truth and help you to put your trust in Him.
p.s If you happened to put your trust in Jesus Christ through any circumstance, Please let us know, leave a comment for me.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I will live my life with your memories
Spoken of by our parents.
Though, I have lot of worries,
I know you are at peace!
I see the pictures of you carrying me, holding me, and feeding me
It sure is a loss to grow up without you
I will never know what I am missing, see
I always grew up without you!
I know I will see you one day
and we will rejoice holding hands
Until then, your body here lay
but your spirit with our Lord, dance!