Monday, March 18, 2013

When You Toss the Master Plan the Soli Deo Gloria Party

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The last week has been *stressful* to say the least.  I'm not going to get into all the extraneous details, but the deal is that by the time you are reading this, I will have attended the funeral for Craig's grandmother.  

Since my own Grannie's passing, I have managed to avoid funerals for almost three years, save one.  Not because people haven't died, but because I have been unable to get to the place where I can handle it.

I have serious reservations about being able to handle this one.  For one, it's an open casket.  Much to my chagrin, my grandmother's was open casket for the wake and the funeral and I had two children that were 5 and 4 at the time.

This  made for very interesting conversation, to say the least. In fact, Hannah's (who was 4) last words at the funeral as she was wheeled away were:

"Is Grannie going to be okay in that box?"

Fun times, people.  Fun times.

Anyway, I've been all up in internal anxiety about attending this funeral today.  I'M worried about my husband and his grieving process.  I'M worried about my children's reaction to yet another open casket.  I'M worried about how my children might react to Craig's tears (and possible wailing).  I asked him tonight (it's Friday) if he wanted me to go into the room with him during the wake, clearly wanting to be there for him in whatever capacity he needed, but internally begging him to say that my services wouldn't be needed after all.

I wanted clear expectations so that I could perform accordingly, and yet, he just said, "I'm not there yet.  I don't know."

And I totally get that.  Because I have been there.  Sometimes you just don't know.  Sometimes you just can't plan.  And all the time, you just have to trust God.

I've decided that I'm just going to get over myself.  I'm not going to let myself get weighed down with my anxieties and "what ifs."  I'm going to take it as it comes, function as I can, and lean on God a whole lot.

Because He knows that I'm going to need Him.  He knows that grief and death stink.  And He knows my children better than I do.  Who knows what will happen?  

But God will be in charge.  And I'd rather get over myself and quit worrying than try to master plan everything.  Because He is the Master and He has a plan.  So I guess you could say that I do, actually, have a Master Plan.  It's called God.

This is not just relevant to open casket funerals.  It's relevant to every single situation we even think about worrying about.  If we only go by what we think we can handle, we limit ourselves in very real ways.

So who can throw out their master plan with me and instead seek The Master Planner?

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  1. so sorry for this loss. it's such a hard thing to process with no set boundaries of how to grieve, how to answer those hard questions, how to remember and how to go on. loving on you hard! xo

  2. Ooh. Tough one. I hesitated attending the death of my friend's parent because it was so close in time to the deaths and funerals of my own parents in the same year.

    God will see you through though. He always does. Even if seeing you through means through tears. Whether you go or don't go. Love you, Jen.

  3. Jen, the first wake I went to after Dave's death was at the same funeral home and the next month. I stood there, speaking to the daughter-in-law and just started crying then I ran off. I felt like such a fool but grief is its own ride and we're along whether we want to be or not.
    Your little one's comment made me laugh; how priceless!
    When Dave died we had a closed casket; it was one thing he was absolutely adamant on. In order to have a closed casket and so no one would ask to see "the body", I told the funeral home Dave wanted a "green funeral". That meant his body couldn't be embalmed which granted Dave's request and saved me a few thousand dollars.
    And finally (gee, I'm being really mouthy tonight)...I don't always succeed but I try to pray for God's perfect will and not His permissive will. Throughout my life, He's given me both and I've found His perfect will is always best. A lesson I'm still learning.
    God bless you and yours, Jen; it's always so hard to say good-bye and we're Christians. How do those who have no such comfort do it?

  4. Okay, I'm with you. This was an awesome, post, missy.Our God is the Master and He has a plan. (And for the record, it's a good thing when children are part of the dying process--at any age. If they're left out, it leaves a hole. This will be a good thing.)
    Love you!

  5. Oh, Jen...not easy, I know. Especially with kids. Praying for you!

    I wrote about Life Wrapped in Risk tonight...sounds like we're on the same page. Take care.

  6. Jen, I am sorry for your loss and I trust that the God of all Comfort was near to you today! Yes, He is the Master Planner and is sovereign over all. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  7. Jen, I like your Master Plan. It is so hard to let go sometimes.... I freak myself out imagining all the "what ifs" for every situation.... if I could just stop my brain from going into crazy mode, I think I would have less gray hair.

    Praying for you, Craig, & the sweet littles you are raising so beautifully. Hugs

  8. so sorry Jen I know how you feel,prayers for you and your family

  9. Children are so vocal at times! Bless her heart. I know grandma will be missed, but joy comes in the morning.

  10. Why is it so hard to throw life to the Master Planner?! I so appreciate your honesty, and your decision to lean into the hard times, because you're leaning fully on Him. Thanks for challenging me. Hugs to you, my friend. I'm praying for you.

  11. Praying for you, Jen, as you all continue to grieve and walk through the formalities that come with death. I especially pray that you will find comfort in being together with family, that tears and laughter and stories will flow freely, that you'll remind one another of God's loving presence, even in the midst of loss. Love to you, sweet friend.

  12. i hope all was okay....that you were able to celebrate a life. i have allowed so much worry and anxiety into my life of late. ridiculous things out of my control make my legs turn to jelly. needed this reminder today.

  13. Certainly not an easy path, but yes, the Master's plan is the best path. I'm so sorry for your sorrow. Praying God will wrap His arms around you as you face the sadness.

  14. Makes one long for heaven, eh? Praying with you, dearest as you process your grief, comfort your honey and help your kids learn how to grieve, too. That is alot of hard work, so take care of yourself.


  15. What a difficult position to be in....praying for comfort.

  16. Jen, I'm sorry for this. I know it will all go down the way the Lord intends for it to go down. You are an amazing support for that man of yours. You are a great wife and Momma. Love to you!

  17. Jen - I was in TX a couple of weeks ago for my GrannyJo's funeral. And yes, the open-casket-part was HORRIBLE. Wanted to remember her as the vibrant woman she was the last time we spent time together...not as the empty shell in that box. Hard stuff. My heart is with you!

  18. Praying for you and your family, Jen. My husband's dad passed away when our girls were about 7 and 10. I was worried about how they would take everything, especially the open casket, but they did ok.

    I love your suggestion to throw out the master plan and lean on the master planner instead. Great wisdom and comfort for difficult times.

  19. "I'm going to take it as it comes, function as I can, and lean on God a whole lot."
    Oh, sweet throws a lot more at us than funerals, and this is all we can do, all we ever really have to do, and all God expects us to do. And it's enough. It's always enough.
    Bless you as you all remember Grannie.

  20. Praying for you, Jen. Praise God that His grace is sufficient. Thanks for hosting & God bless!

  21. Hi Jen! Your thoughts and comments are so dear to my heart right now! I deeply appreciate your kind comments on my blog earlier this week! Saying goodbye to my grandfather was so hard. My big girl would start asking questions...and sometimes, I just wasn't emotionally ready to answer them and other times...I just didn't know what to say. I am so thankful for the peace and comfort we can find in the Lord when we know our loved ones are with Him! Prayers to you!!!


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