Our lives changed forever eleven years ago today when my daughter’s “calendar” on earth ended. But her life in heaven had just began.
She was only 24 and my family never imagined that our bright, funny and faith-filled daughter would have such a short stay with us. But sometimes cancer interferes with our hopes and dreams. And sometimes, God has other plans.
My family has been through so much in the ensuing years, yet we continue to be amazed at the life she shared with us, as well as the impact she had on so many others. We will always treasure her in our hearts, and look forward to seeing her again in eternity.
The most amazing thing about this eleventh year has been writing Bethany’s Calendar, the story of her final days on earth as she suffered from brain cancer. The fact that I had the strength to write it at all attests to the power of intercessory prayer as others raised me up in this difficult writing task. Although it was emotionally exhausting, the words and the story flowed.
Now Bethany’s Calendar is on the verge of being released in a few weeks. I am amazed at the smooth transition from writing first draft to now anticipating holding the final copy of the book. I can’t wait to share it with others and PRAY that it helps patients and their families who are in similar circumstances.
I’ll be honest. Going through final edits this past weekend brought more than one tear. There is no loss like saying goodbye to your child.
Yet I am not bitter, nor do I repeat the often spoken phrase, “No parent should have to bury their child.” While that may be the human perspective, God’s perspective about life is that He is God, and He decides when our work on this earth is complete. Sometimes that is as soon as a child is birthed or it may be in old age. But “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job 1:21 NIV
Here are some of the words from “God is God” by Steven Curtis Chapman. This song played on my car radio—seemingly every time I went driving during Bethany’s illness. The verses are a reminder to me that God is the creator, with his purposes for His creation:
God is God and I am not
I can only see a part of the picture He’s painting
God is God and I am man
So I’ll never understand it all
For only God is God.
Launch for Bethany’s Calendar is December 12, 2014. It would have been her 36th birthday.