We will always remember Ellie for her love for others, her creativity, sensitivity, and delight in life! Ellie's light has spread far and wide... may it continue to shine in our hearts.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter

I was just reflecting back on the past two Easters. Two years ago, Ellie was in the ICU. I decided to take a walk down memory lane and re-read some of those ICU entries. I've been sitting here crying over my computer for the past hour... The intense stress of that time came washing over me all over again. I remember Ellie's doctor telling me most emphatically that he did not believe in miracles, but Ellie's recovery was one of two events that he knew of that could qualify as miraculous. I've since pondered on that and wondered why God brought Ellie through that hell only to allow her to die 8 months later. But even as I wonder, I really do know the answer. It is grace. He gave her time to enjoy life again without pain. To be a little girl again. To hug her grandparents again. To play with her little brother again. To leave us all with a legacy of love and songs and memories that were untainted by her pain, but rather enriched by the suffering she had been through.

Then there's last Easter. I'm not even sure that I remember Easter last year. My heart still continually alternated between feeling raw and numb, and my memories of much of that time are fuzzy. Just after Ellie died, one of her friends had a beautiful dream about Heaven and was comforted. I would beg God to do the same for me - just allow me to experience a small taste of what life for Ellie was like in Heaven. At first my dreams were completely empty of anything relating to Ellie. And then I would see her in my dreams, but each time I had the full realization that she was going to die. Then one day, Ellie was in a dream in which she was normal - there was no cancer or death - just Ellie sitting on a bunk bed asking for her daddy. At some point I resigned myself to the fact that I would not be granted that glimpse of Heaven that I so wanted. My dreams always tend to be very "normal" - all of the boundaries of everyday life apply, and they are filled with the mundane stuff of ordinary life. I supposed that dreams of Heaven were only meant for children, who have the kind of eyes that are needed to see through "reality". I decided that seeing wasn't the important thing. I knew with all of my heart that Ellie was living with God, and I trusted that she was completely happy and free. This was just going to have to be an issue of faith for me - since faith, by it's very definition, does not include sight.

And then one night God gave me exactly what I needed to see. I still was not transported to Heaven in my dreams, the way that I imagined. It was even better than that. This dream felt so real that even now, it seems as if it actually happened. The dream began with me sleeping in my bed. I got up, and went out into the mud room to find that God had sent Ellie back from Heaven just to hug me. Ellie motioned to the window with a wave of her hand and showed me an exquisite display of the northern lights in the sky. As I watched the blues and greens wave across the night sky, Ellie wrapped her little arms around my waist and snuggled close into my chest. She never spoke a word, but before I let her go, I looked down into her upturned face and saw something that I will never forget. In Ellie's face, I saw all of the vast treasures of eternity. I couldn't read them myself, but I could tell that she knew them all - all of the secrets of the ages. The wealth of all wisdom and knowledge were contained in that precious little face. She had seen the face of God.

I know that speculation abounds regarding whether those in Heaven can see us here on Earth. Some feel that they cannot, because God has wiped every tear from their eyes, and how could they look upon our pain and suffering without sorrow? I used to wonder about that. But I now have a different take on it. The wise, peaceful face of my sweet girl told me that she could look fully at my sin and suffering without pain. She lived life in this dying world and suffered, so she knows how it feels. But now she knows all of the secrets and what the future holds, and instead of feeling sorrow for my pain, she whispers words of comfort to my broken heart: "Keep going, Mom. Don't give up. It's only a little longer... You can't even imagine how quickly it will be over and you will get to see God. And me. Just keep clinging to God. Don't let go."

Today is Easter. It's the day that we celebrate Jesus' resurrection from the dead. I wanted to think of something insightful and wise to say, but "spiritual" words just seem to fail me. I am so grateful that Jesus died for my sins. I am beyond thankful that He conquered death and now lives in Heaven. But I have this terrible realization that I don't love Him enough. There's this scary little sensation in the pit of my stomach that all I can really feel is that His incredible gift gives me the chance to see my Ellie girl again. I should be longing to see His face, but I keep imagining hers... I am so glad that my Savior knows that I am still bound by the constraints of my sinful nature and that try as I might, my love for Him will not be perfect until I reach eternity. Still, I hope to spend the rest of this life that I have, learning to love Him better... to long for Him more. That one glimpse of Ellie's transformed face tells me that it will be worth it.

22 Comments:

At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your ministry. This was just what I needed today!

 
At 5:12 PM, Blogger Amy said...

I'm am crying with you again this morning. What a beautiful dream, I'm so happy that you have that to remember. God knows our hearts and that are motivations are rarely good, it's the perseverance, holding on and standing firm that are really important.

 
At 6:05 PM, Blogger LindaSueBuhl said...

Sarah - when you open your heart with words it pours out such love and pain. I'm crying right now -but smiling too -my belief in heaven says of course they CAN see us but why would they spend a lot of time looking at us when they can turn and see the Light of the world? whatever we believe I do know for a fact - we'll get to know the reality one day - and forever and ever and ever -

 
At 7:32 PM, Blogger imamom said...

Sarah - I can't imagine the pain....I just can't even bear the thought...and then to read your blog and your honesty and grace just overwhelms me. I could only hope, being faced with the pain you have, that I might have a crumb of the trust and strength that you have. You are such an encouragement to me.

 
At 8:44 PM, Blogger Sheila said...

Praying for you and thinking of you. What a beautiful Easter post, thank you!

 
At 8:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. May God continually provide comfort to you in the way that only He can!

 
At 8:54 PM, Blogger Allison said...

You are always amazing with your words. As I sit her wiping tears again, You are so right, your last paragragh is so true. God Bless.

 
At 5:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Sarah, for sharing your innermost thoughts with the rest of us! You move me to tears!

~ dana c

 
At 6:09 AM, Blogger Angela said...

Thank you, Sarah, for sharing that story. It was beautiful.

I read your post to my kids. We've been following your story. It really touched us to hear about your dream of Ellie and what God did for you and what you saw in Ellie's face.

 
At 7:32 AM, Anonymous Mema said...

I needed to read your words this morning. Thank you for sharing your dream and the realization that the truth of heaven is seen in Ellie's face. I am glad Jesus died and rose again so that I may have life. That alone gives me cause to celebrate and be glad. God Bless you all. Love Mema Tyler in SC

 
At 4:05 PM, Blogger Kara said...

Wow - This is a powerful post! I have been following your blog now since you began your journey with Ellie. I remember in the beginning, feeling so bad for your family but feeling thankful that I couldn't really relate. Then, 2 years ago in May, we had a family tradegy. I won't go into all the details, but I will say, I can now relate to the pain of watching a loved one suffer. I have had a difficult time reasoning out everything in my mind. What you posted on today - the idea that this life is just a glimpse of the eternity that we will get to spend in Jesus - is the only think that makes "sense." Thank you for sharing what you did.
Kara Plimpton

 
At 11:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Sarah, I loved the glimpse of Ellie. Thank you for sharing her with us. I am not good with words but my heart is full and my eyes are brimming after reading your post. Love you, Sheri

 
At 6:51 AM, Blogger Becky K. said...

Very well said, Sarah.

My Mom had a similar dream after my Dad's passing. There was so much comfort to be had in "seeing him" so healthy and happy.

My Grandmother was very ill this week and I awakened one morning with a "vision", I use that term lightly, of angels gathering up the loved ones already gone ahead with excitement and joy to greet and meet the next family member to finish this race that we call life.

I was so moved. Just to think that they are going to be cheering us on as we cross from death to life. And to see our Savior face to face. It melted me, I tell you!

Thanks for sharing this with us.
Your Ellie lives on in Eternity but also in the hearts of all who fell in love with her here.

 
At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Nancy Martens said...

I cried and smiled with this post. I feel your heart, your pain and joy. Ellie is happy and at peace. She is waiting for the day of reunion with you all.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. Wow! You paint with words such a beautiful picture. I loved what you wrote about your John on your anniversary. You wrote exactly the words I feel but they never come to me in the such poetry as your words come. Thanks for expressing your world.

 
At 10:45 PM, Anonymous kristen miller said...

Oh sarah, that is just awesome. Thank you for putting into words some things that i totally have felt - you're not alone on those last thoughts ... Thank you for being so honest and real. I love you so much! praying for you, love - Kristen

 
At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Mike Stark said...

You are such a dear for sharing that Sarah. Your little blog WAS indeed very helpful to alot of us who have lost loved ones. I too, have wanted to see my loved one who's died - so much more than even Jesus. We are alot alike, not perfect...yet. But one day we will understand. I continue to pray for you dear sister-in-Christ.
Michael Stark, Blairstown, NJ

 
At 9:43 PM, Blogger sumi said...

Oh Sarah, thanks for ministering to this broken mommy-heart today. I have not had the precious dream you had, but I too believe that Jenna knows secrets I cannot conceive of yet, and that she looks down on us , cheering us on. It makes me want to run this race just a little bit harder, you know?

HUGS to you today...I needed to read your words because I was becoming weary of this road.

 
At 5:32 AM, Blogger Mrs. Rabe said...

Beautiful! What a gift God has given you...that "dream" moment with Ellie...Amazing!

 
At 12:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sitting here crying my eyes out Sarah. You always touch me deeply with your words, absolutely amazing. I don't think you realize how powerful your words truly are. I'm so happy you had that vivid dream of Ellie. God bless you & you beautiful family!

Debbie Pyszka

 
At 7:55 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

Wow, thanks for sharing your dream of Ellie with us. What an amazing dream. I also think God understands a mother's love (He gave it to us!) so i have a feeling He understands how you long for Heaven in order to see Ellie again. In fact He probably rejoices in your love for your daughter and is looking forward to the day that He can reunite the two of you!

After reading your post today, i just had to go hug my kids. We have a new little boy, we named him Ethan.

 
At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last part of this post,is just how I feel, Thank you for putting it into words!!! THANK YOU!

Sarah, MN

 
At 12:12 PM, Blogger Keri said...

That is the most beautiful "dream" I have ever heard of. God has truly answered your prayers above and beyond what you could have imagined. Isn't that just like Him?

Keri

 

Post a Comment

<< Home