August 5, 2017

And suddenly there was awe and joy

{ Joining in Barbie's #glimpsesofhisbeauty linkup. }

It's been a tough week, what with one of Jerry's medical issues becoming somewhat worse. We're a bit quite disappointed by a lack of any treatment for it (because of the nature of the problem and because it's Jerry we're talking about), but for now it's on the backburner. I want to move on and share a couple happy things from the past couple or so months that I've been waiting to tell you about.

It's no secret that our family's lives were turned upside-down when my oldest son Jeff died in 2013. It's coming nigh on to four years in November. I cannot even begin to tell you how many days and nights I've spent on my knees in prayer for daughter-in-law A and the grandkids, and my youngest son J (Jeff's brother who saw it happen at work).

I watched daughter-in-law A struggle to even breathe each minute of the day after that, retreating to the bedroom, unable to handle even the smallest of daily tasks. The grandkids clung to their mom, afraid to let her out of their sight, for fear something would happen to her, too. I spent nearly every day at their house for... what was it? Almost the entire first year? I divided my time between caring for them and caring for Jerry (who was going into his fifth month in the hospital due to the failed spinal surgery). And youngest son J... already living with anxieties, now had PTSD added on top and the gut-wrentching grief over the loss of his brother.

Only by the Grace of a God bigger than this tragedy have we all made it to this point.

And then... suddenly there was awe and joy!

* heavenly choir sings ahhhhhhhh! *

Youngest son J had been living with a young lady for nearly four years. He had even given her an engagement ring, and her daughter (now 11 years old) was calling us grandma and grandpa. Unbeknownst to any of the family, their relationship had gone sour around Christmas 2016; he was even taking all the blame. He finally confided in us about her part in the breakup after she moved out and to another state. That's neither here nor there anymore, but it was certainly a shock to all of us.

Then, around the first of May, son J and new gal E met... where they work (he works for a separate company in a tiny supply building on the same property where she works for a much larger business). She knew son Jeff from working with him at a previous employer and saw son J one day, asking if they were brothers. They started visiting during break times... and a bond grew. Quickly.

I repeat... QUICKLY!

Let me tell you how quickly... they were married at the courthouse on July 7th!

Now I have daughter-in-law E – AND! – she has an adorable daughter (from a previous marriage) who will be 2 years old in September... so we can add granddaughter N to this story!

And my son J? He is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PERSON, all because of this beautiful, loving, simply amazing woman in his life. We haven't seen him this happy and smiling so much in years. YEARS, I tell you!

* heavenly choir sings hallelujah! hallelujah! *

A lot more I could say about them, but we'll save that for later. I want to tell you about the other awe and joy!

Daughter-in-law A has always been a strong young woman, but Jeff's death nearly did her in. Six months before it happened, she gave her life to Jesus and was baptised. Our family took up two whole rows in the church, and we were quite noisy in our praises afterward. But, I'm telling you, if she had not been saved by Christ at that precise moment in time, I'm positive we would have lost her, too. In spite of her being saved, God allowed for many, many mistakes and mishaps over these past few years. It hasn't been easy to stand back and let her learn – and fail sometimes – on her own. Being suddenly thrown into the dual roles of widow and single-parent all at once can test even the strongest of souls. Yet, slowly, things are leveling out for her and the grandkids. There is still plenty of lateral damage we're dealing with, but we continue to lean on the Lord.

Once again, only by the Grace of God is there still life. And one more time... suddenly there was awe and joy!

* heavenly choir obliges by singing ahhhhhhhh! again *

A few months ago, I think it was sometime in March, daughter-in-law A met new fellow J. (Oh my, all these letter J's!) And a love has blossomed between them. They're now even planning to marry!

* heavenly choir belts out hallelujah! hallelujah! again *

This new fellow J is a quiet young man, a Christian who rededicated his life to God recently; he attends two men's groups and a mentoring one-to-one at his church. He's also had two bouts with Hodgkin lymphoma in the past year (is currently in remission) and must get fluids at the hospital 2-3 times each week. He is unable to work full-time but is a carpenter at local construction business.

I've seen HUGE POSITIVE CHANGES in daughter-in-law A and the grandkids! There is a long road to go yet, but it's truly nothing short of amazing what I've seen happening with them over the course of a very few months.

* sigh *

That, my friends, is a sigh of happiness, thankfulness, and yes, even relief. My kids and grandkids finally finding a semblance of peace in their lives and a new focus for love in their families... that is nothing short of a God Thing! This makes my heart sing with joy! My unending prayers are being answered by a God Who never leaves us. Once again, I'm in awe of His Greatness and Love. I never doubted. I just didn't expect such sudden turn-arounds all at the same time!

But then... God is pretty good at doing things like that. 😉


  1. Isn't God awesome? So happy things are happening in your life...good things!God are carried you through all these hard places and molded you into a wonderful , very caring person. I just loved reading the good news.

    1. Awww, thank you, Mary Ann! I'm so very glad to have you come by all the time. And, yes, God is super awesome... and I'm super excited for my kids' and grandkids' new lives! :)

  2. He is so good at doing things LIKE THAT!

    1. Amen and AMEN! Thank you for coming by, Susan! Blessings to you. :)

  3. How wonderful to see the joy amidst all the pain! Thanks for sharing. May God bless you and your family.

    1. Thank you so much for your words, Gayl! And many blessings to you and yours... thank you for visiting! :)

  4. Beautiful testimonies, Diana! It's always so inspiring to hear when the Lord redeems the years of the locust. Blessings on your week!

    1. Indeed it has felt like the locust has been at my heels, but now the Lord has given us joy! Thank you for visiting, June!

  5. I'm so sorry for the loss of your son. But I also love seeing how the hand of God works all the sadness and sorrow to create an "Awesome God story"

    1. Thank you so very much for your beautiful words, Christy. Your visit is much appreciated!


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