Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Eph 5:20, emphasis mine)
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. (Col 3:17, emphasis mine)
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1Th 5:18, emphasis mine)
By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. (Heb 13:15, emphasis mine)
Give thanks to God – always, in everything and continually. Wow. If God’s Word states it, and repeatedly at that, we must take it seriously. Therefore, while reflecting on the tragedy and pain of the previous eight weeks, we are thankful for these many blessings:
- God’s mercy, love and care towards us.
- Jesus Christ died and rose again so that we may have eternal life.
- God designed us to cry tears to help release the hurt and cleanse and heal the soul.
- So many family events and memories occurred in the last year that were significant to Isaac and us (Gettysburg, LDA treatments, Millers Church, get-togethers with family and friends).
- It rained on April 16 so much that there was water in our basement and therefore I (Andy) was home on the afternoon of April 18 to finish drying the basement.
- We had a great day together on April 18 up to the time of the accident.
- Our neighbors immediately to the east were quick to help and provide special support.
- Isaac was surrounded by praying believers during his transportation to and at the medical center.
- The believers at the medical center who prayed over, reassured and spoke truth to us in the midst of our shock. Their words have remained impactful throughout these eight weeks.
- Our family and friends who supported and prayed for us during those dark hours after the accident.
- Friends who traveled from afar to support and encourage us.
- A gracious employer who has allowed me the time and space to mourn with my family.
- The many meals, cards, letters, phone calls, financial support and practical help that followed. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for us.
- Our pastor and his wife who gave so much of their time and wisdom to minister to us out of God’s Word and help us stand against the condemnation, guilt and doubt that plagued our mind and emotions.
- Everyone who came to Isaac’s funeral and memorial services.
- Confident brothers and sisters in Christ who reassured us of Isaac’s salvation while our minds were being attacked with doubt.
- Little treasures made from Isaac’s mind and hands that we keep finding around our house, like the little homemade cross that we just found in the garage.
- We now know that Isaac’s last drawings were in the pocket(s) of his pants that he was wearing on that day.
- That God blessed us with a boy for ten years who was a leader, adventurous, merciful, compassionate, energetic, happy and full of laughter. He was imperfect just like the rest of us. But we are reassured that he believed that his sins were forgiven because Jesus died and rose again.
- Brenda was able to spend every day with him, teaching and guiding him in my absence during the workday. She was (and is) an outstanding mother, by God’s grace.
- Because we educate at home and do most activities as a family, we have so many precious memories and reminders of Isaac. We are also thankful that we can talk openly about him and share our memories.
- We have hope with each day that passes that we are one day closer to being with Jesus and seeing Isaac again.
- While looking through Isaac’s home school portfolio from the 2009-2010 school year, we found this letter that we wrote to him.
- So many other acts of kindness and compassion that we have not mentioned but are sincerely appreciated.
We continue to move forward with the peace of God in our hearts. The dark clouds that have been over us are beginning to part. While we miss Isaac so very much, the heaviness in our hearts is lifting. We are different people because of this and our walk may look different from before. We are still regrouping and discovering who we are now as a family. Thank you for your patience, understanding and gentleness. We have newfound love and appreciation for you all.
Standing on the promises of God,