Today is a day that I will never forget. It will be forever etched in my mind. And as difficult as it was, I really don’t want to ever forget it.
On May 16, 2008, our precious granddaughter Lindsay Bear Groen slipped into the arms of Jesus at 1:00 PM.
It all started with a well check-up that resulted in the discovery of a leaky heart valve. Open heart surgery followed by a cardiac arrest and a second open heart surgery led to this momentous day.
On May 15th, the doctors decided that on May 16th she would have surgery to get a Berlin heart – a precursor to an heart transplant. These hearts were not FDA approved for kids, but that was the only option for her survival.
There were no statistics to give even a glimmer of hope for survival. Our kids had been valiant and brave through the tedious weeks facing each setback with confidence in God’s care despite the pain and suffering.
The night before led my daughter, Laura, and wife Jan to the same passage of Scripture. John 4 was the account of the man coming to Jesus begging him to come heal his son. Jesus told the man that He had already healed him at 1:00 PM. That was the time for Lindsay’s surgery. Could it be that this was the healing we all longed for?
Fast forward to that morning. Everything was wrong. No hope. Nothing more could be done. Everything was shutting down. For the next several hours, saying goodbyes consisted of our kids bathing their daughter, singing, weeping, praying and worshipping. Gut wrenching. Heart breaking.
Finally a doctor who was witnessing this holy moment realized that Lindsay was gone. No other physician or nurse mention His name during the entire time the kids faced this trial. But Dr. Green lovingly picked up Lindsay and say, “Laura and Jon, Lindsay is home with Jesus! Time of death 1:00 PM.”
Did he say what we thought he said? She’s home with Jesus! And with that, our brave daughter through her tears and ripped out heart faced all of and said, “Mom, God was true to His Word. He healed her at 1:00 PM and gave her a new heart!”
In the midst of intense grief, there was the comfort that only God can give in the mist of the storm.
Eight years later, it still hurts. It hurts just as bad today as it did in 2008. But we rest and trust in the God who knows best.
Eight years later, we still tell the story – her story. Every time that story is told it touches someone heart. It points people to Jesus. It gives a message of hope.
Today we will send up balloons. I don’t know if she’d see them or not. That isn’t the point. The balloons are a reminder of the faithfulness of our God even in the midst of the pain and suffering:
“This I recall to mind, therefore WE have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Thy Faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23
Pop loves you, Lindsay Bear. I hope Jesus gives you a big hug today!!!
Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.
Daily Quote: “In looking back on the way the Lord our God has led, we can sing of the beginning, and we can sing of the middle, and we believe we shall sing of the end. Through it all we have been supplied for the King’s palace in both earthly and spiritual things.” ~Charles Haddon Spurgeon
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
23 The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
24 Though they stumble, they will never fall,
for the Lord holds them by the hand.