*This was posted 1 year ago. I still think of this family and pray for them. Please take a moment today to lift them up in prayer on this, the 2nd anniversary of their loss. And if you don’t know the Lord as your Savior, my prayer for you is that as you read Leah’s story that today will be the day of your salvation!
One year ago today a Godly man lost his wife. two wonderful boys and a brand new baby girl lost their mother. Parents lost their daughter and her siblings were forced to say good-bye to their beautiful sister.
I loved being around Leah! There was an easiness about her. With Leah I was always comfortable, never working hard to be someone I wasn’t. Unspoken permission was granted to be completely myself.
Our oldest sons share the same birthday, and my third son is close in age to her Joshua. Upon returning to our homeschool co-op when the summer ended, I was overjoyed to discover that Leah was expecting her third child! As I learned that this baby would be a girl I was elated!
The second week of February, Leah and Dan welcomed their precious baby girl. Leah, Dan, and Xeva left the hospital to begin their new life as a family of 5. I can remember the joy of arriving home after a baby’s arrival and having all of the ones I loved so dearly together once again. This has always been a treasured time for me. But, for this family, after arriving home complications arose and a return to the hospital became necessary. We received word at our homeschool co-op Monday to pray for Leah. I was taken aback. What? I thought Leah just went home? My spirit immediately was stirred and for the rest of the day I could think of little else as I prayed. I have rarely done this, but I remember being brought to my knees as I knelt beside my bed that afternoon and pleaded for life to be breathed into Leah’s lungs, for her heart to beat strong, for her strength to return. That night a few of the moms from our co-op came to my home to pray. One of these women was receiving updates. The information being passed on was becoming more urgent, more serious, more life threatening.
I barely slept that night, keeping my phone beside me for any news that might come. Part of me was hoping that silence meant that throughout the night Leah had improved. Early that morning I finally received the news; Leah was with Jesus.
How could this be? The week before we were talking about how she would be meeting her baby in a few short days . Snapshots flew through my mind. I pictured Leah loving on her youngest son as he tagged along to his big brother’s class. I could see her oldest turn to check in with her during class, as he often did, sending a loving smile her way. I saw the quiet way she always assisted in class completing the unnoticed tasks that helped our tutor.
Leah, full of a quiet, gentle and loving spirit. Leah, who always seemed to have a smile and who loved her boys deeply.
This is the Leah I knew. The way I think of her.
It has been a year since she left this temporary world and walked into eternity.
A year in which her family had to create a new normal, if that’s even possible.
One of the most impactful moment at this time last year centered around Dan, her adoring husband.
Dan is a pastor. Dan loves the Lord, his family, and people. That all became apparent to me in the days that were to come following their loss
I believe true character is revealed in the midst of our deepest pain.
I can’t imagine what Dan was thinking or what he was going through. But in the midst of his pain he ministered to the depth of my soul.
That first night after receiving the news of her loss many of us gathered with their church family to pray for them.
Towards the end of our time together, Dan arrived. He asked for a moment to share. He said he wasn’t sure what the correct protocol was in these situations, but he desired to be with his church, his family.
As he approached the front of the room, I prepared to take notes. I wanted to remember what Dan, this husband, father, and pastor would share in the first hours of great loss and mourning.
The words he delivered this night, so easily rolled off of his tongue, there was no doubt that this came from his love and relationship with the Lord. It was apparent that the Lord is the center of his life.
Dan shared these words…
“The goodness of God doesn’t stop because of tragedy. He is gracious and kind.”
“Please don’t let Satan use this opportunity to do anything destructive. God is still sovereign. I hope He gets the glory out of this.”
“We don’t mourn as those without hope. We have heaven.”
“Honor her memory but take that opportunity to share the Gospel. That’s what it’s still about.”
As Dan left that night, one of the men in his congregation stood up and said, “We just witnessed a man who lives what he preaches. We are blessed. We need to love him and care for him.”
What a beautiful picture of the body of Christ.
I think of Leah and her family often. I keep her memorial picture propped up in my closet, so that I am reminded to pray for her family.
My heart still aches as I consider what they have journeyed through this last year, but as I consider the words her husband shared, I am encouraged to know that he has such a real and transformed life in Christ.
Dan’s final words as he spoke to us in the midst of his fresh and raw grief was to honor her memory by taking the opportunity to share the Gospel.
I don’t know if you are a believer, but if you are not, can I just share with you the joy that comes from following Him! The security I have in a never ending life. Hopelessness doesn’t exist in my world, because Jesus is my hope!
God is real! He sent His ONLY Son to live amongst us and to die, because of love. God loves us so intently that he put into action His perfect plan to provide His Son to make atonement for our sins. What did we do to deserve this? NOTHING! What can we do to deserve this? NOTHING.
This gift has been given by the creator of the universe, the One who sees all and knows all, our protector, our Father, our confidant.
If you have never invited Jesus to come into your life and to reign in your heart, I want to invite you to do that today. This very instant. Don’t put it off! Let no distraction, disbelief, or procrastination steal this solidification of your future.
Those who He calls His children are guaranteed eternal life with Him.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
And if you would, please pray for this family as they remember Leah.