"Grief Tinged with Hope"

Today our hearts are broken.  We grieve for our church family members who have died and gone home to be with Jesus, Scott and Mandy Kelly, and their youngest children, Lizzie and Judah.  We pray for our heavenly Father’s wings to cover and comfort Bekah and Jarred, and all their family and friends. There are so many questions.  We stand paralyzed as to what to do and say.

My mind remembers the Kellys - Scott as a deacon, a Sunday School teacher, a presence in the worship services here at Trinity, honoring the Lord in song and in prayer, a husband and father lovingly leading his family; Mandy as a women’s leader, an encourager, a writer who loved Jesus through every word, a wife and mother who cherished, cared for, and loved her children deeply;  Lizzie as a firecracker of energy in everything she did, boldly and joyfully singing and speaking the name of Jesus;  and little Judah, the answer to so many prayers.

This family came to Trinity a few years ago and quickly became a beautiful part of the story God has been weaving together in this church.  The loss is great.  We will miss them terribly.  Yet, I am grateful for the knowledge that they are now in the presence of our loving God, basking in the joy of who He is.

Mandy was an avid blogger and a wonderfully bright spot in social media.  She posted things that would point people to Jesus, and would help them understand the life that could be had in him.  There have been several posts from her even today - posts that she must have scheduled their release ahead of time.  One was about Worship and Gentleness.  In every word that she wrote you can hear her heart for the reader, encouraging them to find hope and rest in our Lord and Savior, Jesus.  At the end of this blog she included a link to a playlist of quiet worship songs.

Here’s the link to her blog with the songs:

http://worshipfulliving.com/2015/10/15/worship-and-gentleness/

There is no way any of us can understand the “why” of this tragedy.  There are no words to say that can make the pain go away.

So what we do is this: 

We stand right next to the family and help them take the next step.  They are difficult steps.

We pray.  We love.  We cry.  We are present.

We trust that our God is in control and press into His love for us.

We remember the words of the first song in Mandy’s songlist: “Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on You, and it is well with me.”

We stand on God’s promise that we “do not grieve as others who have no hope. For since we believe Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13,14