Sunday, August 21, 2011

Caught Unaware

She's going to miss her first day of Kindergarten.

I laid in bed Saturday night, lamenting that my grandmother isn't going to be here to see Hannah go to kindergarten.  Well, honestly, if she was alive, she still wouldn't see Hannah arrive in her new classroom, being that she lived in Florida and we are in Texas.  But, regardless of our distance, she would hear me talking about it.  And, perhaps what I crave most, I will be denied, for what I desperately want is to hear her sweet, scratchy voice tell me that it is all just going to be okay.

Because sometimes, I just need a grannie to tell me everything's going to be alright.

And then, fast forward to this morning:

I'm in a new church,
invited here by my sweet sister-in-law and her husband,
we go to pass the peace and behind us is my husband's old boss and his family.
I think of all the churches, of all the services at this church, of all the rows, of all the seats,
they are right here behind us.
Are you doing something, Lord?
Is there more forgiveness to be spoken or a friendship to be rekindled?
And the next song comes on and my thoughts instantly break from this
and I am reduced nearly to a puddle because what the band is playing,
in the true hymn form --
How Great Thou Art.
And this, my friends, is one of my grandmother's very favorite songs.
The same grandmother whose absence I am lamenting, mourning, missing so deeply.
I am awash in grief, wanting to burst from the room and let my anguish explode,
but instead my legs just start to shake because I am only letting the tears creep out
one by one.
And yet, as I pull myself together, I hear the words that she would say to me, albeit a different form, but the meaning still the same:

How great Thou art.

When I consider everything that You are, O Lord, when I consider every promise You have made to me and to my family, when I look at the losses and how your redeeming power has overcome, I stand back and say...

You are great.
You are mighty.
In everything, I can see Your hand moving, protecting, creating, if I would just look,
if I would just surrender,
if I would get outside myself,
I could see that I can trust You in Your entirety.
I can trust You with life plans, with my heartbreaks.
I can trust You in sending my little baby into the halls of her new school.
How great You are that I can live without fear.
How great You are that I can walk in assurance of unconditional love.
How great You are that I can lose someone so vital to my existence and still stand to praise You for all things.
How great You are.
How great Thou art.
Linking with Michelle at Graceful...
And Laura at The Wellspring...

Don't forget...I would love for you to share your heart with us at
Soli Deo Gloria, starting Monday night at 8pm.


  1. Oh Jen, I am so sorry for the grief you experience as your mourn your grandmother. I remember how I hurt when mine died. Praying for you now.

  2. I love How Great Thou Art. This was a powerful post!

  3. What a sweet, sweet picture! There will always be some things we long to hear our grandmothers say, Jen. My heart's with you as you remember her and as your little one walks new halls tomorrow.

  4. I was sitting in church this morning with a friend, singing "O For a Thousand Tongues." She leaned over and said, "O For a Thousand Tongues" was my grandpa's favorite hymn. Isn't it funny what reminds us of our grandparents?

    So sorry for your sadness.

  5. Thinking of and praying for you and the girls tonight and tomorrow. It's a big day and I totally get that you want to share it with your Grandma. I'm glad you're engaging the grief - both of your loss of her and the growing up of H. Let Him be your strength tomorrow.

  6. I am sad along with you in your grief. The loss of such a dear one is ever so hard! And I rejoice along with you in the goodness and greatness of our God. He is the ultimate comforter and provider! Thank you for sharing this.


  7. Hi Jen - isn't it amazing how one song can draw all that our of you? Not only that, the knowing that God knows exactly what you needed to hear? He is so good, showing us how much He loves us, even down to the Sunday service song choice.
    God bless

  8. Love when God shows up in big ways...just when we need to him too! I love How Great Thou Art. It was one of my mom's favorites too.

  9. Oh, what strong words. Thanks for sharing with us. I just came to your blog today. I appreciate this.

  10. My dear Jen, I realize I'm not your Grannie, but I can also assure you that everything IS going to be all right. Especially since you are so willing to reach up from your grief and trust the Lord.

  11. What a beautiful post. What a treasured testimony to who you are because of who she was and how deep your love is for her and for your Savior!

  12. Jen, my heart breaks for you. As I read this I thought of my oldest daughter who was extremely close to her grandmother and what her loss meant to her and all she must long for. Tears following as I think how precious His love and How Great Tho Is!
    Thank you for pouring your heart out.
    With much prayers and Yes!
    Everythignwill be okay.
    You two are on a new jounrey that will take you to on wonderful learning experiences togehter.
    Enjoy the new season.

  13. Oh, Jen. Just look at those three beauties. His promises are true. One day we will know in full. I'm humming it with you, Jen. How great thou art, How great thou art...

  14. "Because sometimes, I just need a grannie to tell me everything's going to be alright."

    I know this feeling and I've wondered what the older and wiser generation look to for their reassurance? Maybe they are no longer in need of it?

  15. How Great Thou Art was my grandfather's favorite song. He would stomp around the house at 4:30 am singing it at the top of his lungs. When we asked him why so early? He would answer that everyone should be up before dawn!

  16. Jen this is a beautiful post that honors your grandmothers. She must have been a super lady to make such an impact on you. Those old hymns can be such a source of comfort.

  17. Sorrow lasts for the night but joy comes in the morning. Grief takes the life out of us but the Lord is faithful to give us His life to carry us through to the other side.
    Having lost my Mom whom I loved dearly and was as close as a best friend, I understand your loss and can confidently say that the Lord is great and does bring us through to sweet memories.



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