Friday, April 17, 2009

praying goodbye

Last night we all knelt around Matt and held his small, weakened hands. We prayed thanks to God for allowing us to keep Matt for this short while. I thanked Him for the sister He has grown in “E” and the brother He has grown in “J,” and for the laborious hours of love and sleeplessness “R” has poured into loving Matt as only a mother does for her son. We shed tears as we prayed goodbye.

“Dada,” ‘E’ then says with tears on her face, “let’s read ‘J’ the story of Jesus dying on the cross so he can know how to get to heaven. “

And that is the story of Matt. Even in his weakest moment, with barely a breath left in his gaunt little body, God’s love and goodness cry out. Matt has changed our hearts and widely touched people around us, many of whom I have never even met. Now more than ever, God uses Matt to point our hearts to the gospel in the most desperate of ways.

Watching the process of flesh turning back to the dirt from which God formed it is painful and horrific. We can hardly bear to undress Matt for a bath. It is obvious our little boy is going home soon and we can feel the weight of an earthly lifetime of missing him looming. Our hope, however, is this: the suffering of this world is not worthy to be compared to the glory which will one day be revealed (Rom 8:18).

So have hope, my friends. If your heart breaks with ours at the coming loss of little Matt, let it be to God’s glory. Let our hearts break that we are “on the wrong side of the door,” as C.S. Lewis put it. Let us long to be there, with Christ, someday.

Last night in our circle around Matt, we imagined what he might look like in heaven. Can you imagine what it will be like for him to run and smile and laugh and do all of the magnificent things that he will do there? We will all wait patiently for Matt to leave his earthly body, glad to hold him another minute. In the future, however, we will wait very impatiently for our faith to become sight.

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him(1 Thes 4:13).



  1. Praying for you and your family as you wait for the moment that God calls Matt home. My heart hurts with you as this little boy glorifies our God, his creator. I am so thankful God brought Matt to your family, knowing you would raise him until He called him home. Matt's little life has had a huge impact on so many and all he has known is unconditional love from you and the Lord. I am praying His comfort around your hearts now and in all the days ahead. Matt has blessed my life.

    Love and Hugs, Laurie

  2. I pray for your peace.

    As for Matt being in Heaven, I know that will happen. In II Samuel 12 we read the story of King David's son who died shortly after birth. When he was questioned about going about daily business, he responded that now that the boy was gone, why should he continue to mourn? David said, "I will go to him, but he will not return to me", meaning that he knew that the boy was with God and David would get to see him again.

  3. I'm praying for a painless and peaceful passing from this world into the arms of his Heavenly Father. He will be greeted by the other babies who have passed to soon.

  4. I wish I had words. But tonight I'm going to just pray and hope that God speaks to your hearts tonight and in the days to come. I have followed along for so very long, and I know that Matt and Sydney will be dancing and prancing around the streets of Heaven!!! Oh how I can't wait to meet them!

  5. My heart breaks for yours. I wrote this poem for a little girl who went home last year at this time. I hope it blesses your hearts in some way. (I changed the last verse)

    If you could send a letter
    What would you say?
    A day is really as a thousand
    And a thousand only as one day?

    Are His Almighty arms
    Small enough to hold you tight,
    Do you have to shield your eyes
    From His Heavenly Holy light?

    How is it living without time?
    Do you have nights and days?
    Do you know what lies before us?
    Do you understand all His ways?

    If you could send a letter
    Would you be able to share?
    What your eyes behold
    Or is their nothing to compare?

    Would you even want to write about
    The things that have passed your eyes?
    Or is it just too glorious
    And you don’t want to ruin the surprise?

    I wish I could see you up there in heaven
    Do you dance before the King of Kings?
    Do you speak with His Angels?
    What are the songs that you sing?

    What is it like to stand before Him
    Seeing Jesus face to face?
    To be in the presence of the Creator
    To be held in His embrace?

    Oh how I wish you could send us a letter
    Even though we know you are doing well
    Just to hear from you what it is like
    With the Everlasting Father to dwell

    How is life for you my darling,
    Free from your earthly shell
    With eyes that see, a mouth that speaks
    Perfect arms and legs that didn’t work so well?

    God allowed us to be blessed by you
    Our hearts long for you my child
    Your memory will live on in our hearts
    We will miss your happy smile

    If you could write a letter
    Would you be excited just to say,
    The many things you couldn’t do here
    You do over and over every day?

    We look forward to the time
    When we will again see you.
    God heal our broken hearts, restore our joy
    We love you, Matthew.

  6. Beautiful.

    Please know that a mother who has also let her sweet baby go home to Jesus is praying for you tonight. There are no other words. May He bless you and keep you tonight, each and every one.

  7. May God's grace and love surround your entire family during this time. God is so great that he blessed Matt with you!!!
    Matt & the whole family will remain in our prayers.

  8. the disciples were with Jesus in His "garden of grief". that is what we want to do for you. we will grieve with you, along side you and will pray for you and your sweet family. this was a special season in your life that you have used to His glory. Matt will always be part of you. Bless you, jan

  9. Beautifully written! Praying for you guys!

  10. Went to sleep last night with prayers in my heart for you and Matt and continuing to do the same today. May God bless you with His peace and loving presence as he prepares to take little Matt to his forever home with Jesus.

    Love and Hugs, Laurie

  11. Still praying for all of you, as always. May you sense the presence of the Lord and His sheltering wings, may you feel His loving arms enfold you during this time of grief. May little Matt suffer as little as possible...

    My heart aches with yours,

  12. What a beautiful post... from a special person. There is a reason God chose YOU to mother this sweet, precious, beautiful baby.