Tuesday, April 10, 2012


At church this past Sunday we sang one of my favorite songs, Blessed Be Your Name. I started my day thinking about Alanna. Because I knew it was her family's first holiday without her, my heart was heavy. As we sang the song at church, I started thinking of her again. There's a line, "When the darkness closes in, Lord, Still I will say, Blessed be the name of the Lord" and it struck me as I sang the lines just how hard that is. It's not easy to still see God as good in a situation like hers. At the end of the song the lines read, "You give and take away, You give and take away, My heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be Your name." These lines did ring true to me. He has given me blessings upon blessings. He has given Alanna's friends and family blessings- simply knowing her, for example. And yet, he takes away too. He is a good God. It's just not always easy.

I have been thinking about this song all week. As I've struggled a bit more this week thinking about Alanna, the line that has stuck with me is, "Every blessing You pour out, I'll turn back to praise," because that is something Alanna was so good at. She was always sharing good news. She was quick to see the good in people and in situations. She never hesitated to acknowledge that the good in her life was from God. I am a better person because of her and because of witnessing this trait of hers.

And even though Heaven is such a hard concept for me to grasp, I have to keep reminding myself (on Easter, especially) that the whole point of Jesus dying and being raised from the dead is that we get to go to Heaven. As I struggle with feeling like it is so unfair that she's gone (that she's been taken from her loved ones), I try to remember that she's in a better place, that it was a good God who sent his son to die and be raised so that one day, we too, could be raised to new life.


al said...

That is also one of my favorite songs! Every time I sing it I think, "Would I love this sognt the same if the darkness were closing in on me?"

There is also a line in a song by Casting Crowns called Praise You in this Storm that says, "...but as the thunder rolls I barely here you whispier through the rain 'I'm with you.' And as your mercy falls, I'll raise my hands and praise the God who gives and takes away. And I'll praise you in this storm and I will lift my hands for you are who you are no matter where I am."

For me, I take so much comfort in knowing that God never changes. He is who He is no matter the circumstance, and that means that He remains good and perfect and true and that He is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine and He works all things for the good of those who love Him and He LOVES us and He is JEALOUS for us and He sent his son to die for us and now we get to live in HEAVEN!

Which is just amazing. This life is nothing compared to what is coming.

Sarah Marie said...

what an incredible trial for you, losing your friend.

one thing I've found, as I go through this life, is that we are but children in the eyes of God. when you take away a child's beloved candy, or toy, or whathaveyou, to save for another day, do they understand WHY or where it went? No, they demand it back. or, before an infant knows the concept of coming back- do they know that you're behind the blanket while playing peekaboo? no. they believe you are gone and are sometimes upset by it. I think, in many ways, this is how us humans feel about heaven. we don't completely understand it, and we want our friends and family back NOW. But, God has his own reasoning and he called his beloved Alanna back early in his providence. it doesn't make it any easier to think about, but certainly it gives the heart a moment of rest. God is not good by our human, childlike definition of good- He is good beyond every sense of the word. (because, what are words when it comes to God. we can't even fathom.) God encompasses goodness.

I'm so very sorry for your loss.

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