Saturday, May 24, 2008

Understanding.

Many of you have emailed me and sent links and notes about your sorrow for the Chapman Family and the recent death of their little girl, Maria.
My heart has been aching for them and I can't stop thinking about them as today they embrace one another as they grieve her death and celebrate her life at her funeral.
I don't know their family personally, but have been touched by Steven's music for many, many years. Chip and I had one of his songs sung at our wedding, and we had a couple of his songs played at Teagan's memorial services. I wore out the first tape I got of his back in my high school college days, and somewhere I have video footage of me having fun 'dancing' to "The Great Adventure" while one of my sisters colored my hair. So it is just as much a shock and heartache to me as the rest of you, to hear about this tragic, accidental, sudden death.
And many of you asked me if it brings back memories of the death and loss of Teagan, and I have to tell you that it does.
Even after all these years, I still think about Teagan and miss her everyday.
What a situation like this does for me is makes me remember the details so clearly...the pain all over again...and my heart understands all too well, what the Chapmans must be feeling too. I hurt for them on so many levels, and find myself asking the questions they must be wondering.
Grief is something I didn't fully grasp until Teagan died and then my eyes were opened, not only to my hurt, but to the hurt of others and the depth that such agony reaches.
What I also know though, is that the Chapman family have a strong faith and understanding of who God is and I am praying that this will only strengthen and grow in the coming days, weeks and over the years. I find myself aching so much for their hurt, yet at the same time, I am 'years ahead of them' in the journey of grief, and I know a truth- that God IS faithful. He IS merciful. He DOES comfort and heal and bring joy out of suffering. But it's not an easy road, and so today, as I have been since Thursday morning, I lift them in prayer and ask God to pour out Himself into their hearts in lives and give them His Peace and Grace in full measure.
I understand that they will have waves of grief and questions and ongoing struggles as they begin to process and live life without Maria physically in it. It brings back memories of my own shock and horror- I just remember how surreal it was to read the stories in the newspapers and to see Teagan's name and picture posted with dates of the year of her life and death. My mind had a hard time wrapping around the fact that she was really gone- and how it all happened so quickly on a sunny, summer day without warning.
I know that there are those who will never fully understand, and that's okay. I actually think you're the lucky ones and as I said, I used to be in your shoes. But now that I'm among those who know grief firsthand, I feel as though it is almost a 'gift' to be tapped into and I take that role in my life seriously. I pray and hope that some of my experiences give others Hope- that God will somehow bring good out of this heartache, and that in His time, they will come to rest in His promises and they will see little Maria again.
Here are the links to the Steven Curtis Chapman song lyrics that we had at Teagan's services. I know that at such a time people often say "there are no words...". Thankfully we found comfort in these songs (as well as others and Scripture too) and my heart's prayer is that the Chapman family will find comfort too.
"With Hope"
"My Redeemer is Faithful and True"

8 comments:

Karen Wilson said...

What a tragedy, and I know it hurts to see another family struggling with the painful loss.
(HUGS)

Tabitha said...

I agree, how totally tragic.
Thank you for sharing the song words.
sending love and hugs ~ Tabitha XX

Vanessa and John said...

HI Jody! Congratulations on your pregnancy!! YEA!! I too have left "the lucky ones" and have learned first hand absolute grief and suffering...and you're right it's made me a better and much more empathic person than ever before. Good luck on the little boy! :)

Megan said...

That is so sad. If you don't mind me asking, what Stephen Curtis Chapman song did you have sung at your wedding?

Danielle said...

I have absolutely no idea how I found your blog, but I do know that I have spent the last hour pouring over it. And it's rare that a single blog can keep my attention for that long. From your writing to your photos to your fantastic haircut, I just couldn't get enough. Wow. Adding you to my reader.

FlipFlop Mom said...

My heart aches for them... as it does for anyone I hear that loses a child :(

Thanks for sharing your heart with us.. I'm sure it isn't easy.... but it blesses many...

And if I had to guess what song was sung... I would day.. "I'll will be here".... Ü

Jody said...

Yes...the song at our wedding was "I Will Be Here". I still love it.
Thanks for the thoughts and prayers for the Chapmans...

Emily said...

I just stumbled upon your blog, and I must say, your words about life, love, God, and more have touched me. I find myself coming back to read previous posts. I have added you to my "Blogs I read" Hope you don't mind. Praying for you and your family, as well as the Chapmans.