Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sheltered by God's Leading and a Giveaway

I looked at that handsome face one more time, kissed him on the little mole between his eyebrows, and told him the next time I would kiss him would be in Glory.  In faith, I turned and walked away, knowing that my  Savior would lead me.  ~Terri M. Stellrecht 

For those of us who have lost children, our minds hold on to that "last moment" we looked into our child's face.  My last moment was of a tiny sleeping face.  I rocked Sarah to sleep and laid her in her crib. For Terri Stellrecht that last glimpse was looking into the face of Trent before they closed his casket.

On Friday, February 18, 2011, God did the unthinkable in their lives in choosing to take Rob and Terry's 12-year-old son, Trent, home to heaven in a skiing accident.  Terri says, "It is only considered the unthinkable because our plans are not God's plans, and our ways are not God's ways."  In her book, How My Savior Leads Me, Terri tells the story of their tragedy.

Terri's book wasn't an easy book for me to read.  It tugged at the place in my heart graced by Sarah's memory.  But even in a heart-place occupied by the sunshine of a dark-eyed angel it brought memories of the first few months of my personal tragedy, and gently reminded me I'm not alone.

Terri's writing included contrasts -- from a point of one of the greatest pains a parent can face, to another of following Jesus through the grief journey, rose an arc connecting them in the form of a rainbow. It's an honest story of struggle, of a mother's grief, but most of all, a reliance on the leading of our Savior. Everyone's grief journey is different, but a central truth runs through them all -- either you choose to trust God or you turn your face from Him.

Whether you are walking your own journey or know of someone who is, I believe Terri's book will touch every reader.  She has provided a signed copy for me to give to one of my readers.  Simply leave me a comment if you wish to be entered in the giveaway.  I'll choose the winner next Monday. You can read more about Terri's journey at her blog, Where My Savor Leads Me.

One of the songs used at Trent's funeral was Casting Crown's Praise You in This Storm. Terri's book authentically offers the pain of the storm -- while documenting her praise through it all.

And I'll praise You in this storm,
And I will lift my hands,
For You are who You are
No matter where I am.
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand;
You never left my side.
And though my heart is torn,
I will praise You in this storm.

* * * * *

A Simple Desk Reminder
Perfect for Sheltering

1. Cut tagboard for the back the size you choose.
2. Copy hymn, All the Way My Savior Leads Me, to heavy paper.
3. Tape song to back.
4. Type, print and back words, add glitter sugar and glue to    hymn.
5. Glue picture and color blocks (I used a square and circle).
6. Glue crocheted lace and crinkled seam binding ribbon to bottom.
7. Decorate. I used chiffon flowers, paper leaves, crocheted heart and a black button
8. Punch hole in right top. Using three shades of ribbon, tie bow through hole.
9. Wrap Terri's book with the desk reminder with tissue, tying with ribbon.  Stick a sprig of lavender in the bow.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful, Auntie. I wish remembered Sarah more than the tragedy surrounding her death, but becoming a mother has made your story so much more real to me. I love you!

Little Birdie Blessings said...

Hi Pamela, My heart aches for this mother, and for you bringing up your heartache again. My sister lost her son in an accident a few years ago, I would love an opportunity to win a copy of this book for her. What a beautiful boy Trent was, I know this book will bring comfort to many, just as this post will. Thank you for all that you share here. ~ Abby

Rhonda said...

Oh the sound of an echo of his laughter within my heart, the image of his strut as he crosses the room, the breathing in of his cologne all unites me with the son that now abides in heaven, if but for a moment, in my life, still held by the limitations of living, I close my eyes to visit him! Oh I would love to read this book...regardless if I win it or not .... I shall trust the Lord to open an avenue so that I may obtain this treasure:
My son, his name is Craig...he died when he was but a young 22 year old vibrant man, died in an MVA on a cold Decemeber night on a lonely winding backroad of Arkansas. Seven days before Christmas...the red western shirt with the pearl snaps that was to be worn while struting his self across a room now covers him as he lays lifeless in his grave.
My Heavenly Father has been so gracious to carry me these fifteen years since Craig left this earthly journey...he awaits on the other side for our voices to join in unity in the praises of our God.
Any mother, dad that has lost a child will relate to this book...and it is a treasure I'm sure that will help in the healing of such a devastating wound to our hearts:

Mindy said...

Devastating. What a horribly sad story.

Thank you for being so open and honest even through your pain of losing that precious little Sarah. It is encouraging to witness the way you remain in the faith through exceedingly difficult times.

Saleslady371 said...

I can't imagine losing a child. I am sure this mom, this author, has heartfelt truths to share as her Savior held her up during this difficult time. No doubt she knows Him deeply.

Nicole said...

This seems like a really good book. What a sad story for her and her family and for you and yours. So thankful that you all do have God to turn to and lead you.

I can't imagine what you all have been through. My cousin lost her poor little boy to cancer a few years ago. Even though he was only hear for a year he touched so many lives in that short time!!

Praying for you all!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this book and your own personal story. I can't imagine the loss of a child however many of my family members have lost one of their own. I would love to read this inspiring story only to know how to help minister to those who are going through this grief. God bless you! ~Deb

Singing Pilgrim said...

Thank you for sharing, and thank you for having this giveaway. I agree that I think it will touch whomever wins it.

Christina A said...

Such a heart-wrenching post. Thank you for sharing your story and others' as well. We truly cannot fathom God's mind but we can rest assured that our souls are forever alive in Him and those who we have lost.

peggy aplSEEDS said...

i think it is one of life most difficult challenges, to lose a child. to remain faithful during such atrial is indeed a great testimony. thanks for sharing!
peggy aplSEEDS

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Pamela, wow. I feel so bad for all of you for losing a child. The very thought brings tears to my eyes and makes my heart very heavy.

Thank you for this thoughtful post and for your ministry of your blog.

God bless,

Kathy M.

Jen Ferguson said...

I remember when your wrote about Sarah. I just have to say, I am so thankful that you choose to trust God. Your space here has been an encouragement to so many.

I'd love to enter the giveaway. My friend's sister lost her son in a car accident the day after Thanksgiving. I'd love to pass it to her.

Anonymous said...

This book sounds so interesting! Our family has lost several family members in a short period of time. . . books like these are very much needed! This book will be a blessing to many.

Cooking Up Faith said...

Praying for you and Terri and every parent going through such grief. Please don't enter me in the giveaway, as I would rather it go to someone else, but just wanted to say my prayers are with you all tonight.

Mari-Anna Frangén Stålnacke said...

"I will praise you in this storm" is such a strong reminder for all of us what to do in our darkest moments. We can't but God. Thank you, Pamela, for a powerful post. BLESSINGS!

Joe Pote said...

What a soul-stirring description of grief molded by grace!

Pain and grief are experiences that everyone in this life share, at some level. What a great place to begin sharing God's love and faithfulness!

Joan said...

It is hard to understand why God chooses to take the life of a child. I'm sure this book will help many through their grief.


Maggie Ann said...

Hi Pamela, We too lost a child in her teens....and what you said...'either you choose to trust God' or you turn away from him is the very truth!! Bending to His will brings healing...in time. And also causes greater faith to be exercised. And less hurt in being able, though thru much heartache....of letting go and giving that child back to the one who created and owns her or him to begin with. You need not put my name in for this book...(I have peace with God & healing from grief) ...just as he promises, from trusting his fully, though many years have gone by now. Someone else who in hurting now...will surely be more needful of Terri's book. (hope that makes sense!)

How was that chocolate drizzled popcorn? =) What's not to like...I like it too much, you know how that goes. It is a very snowy and cold day here..but I'm trying to lose 5 or 6 pounds...so no treats for me in the way of chocolate popcorn!

Laurie Collett said...

What a beautiful, touching, and inspiring post! When we reach glory, there will be such joy in being reunited with our lost loved ones in Christ.
Love in Him,

Cranberry Morning said...

How can that story not touch every mother's heart. Please enter me in the giveaway for the book. Praise God that there have been people down that very difficult road who have chosen to follow Jesus through the grief, and who came out on the other side, stronger in the faith and pointing others to Him.

Susan Evans said...

I got choked up as I read this. I forgot how much I love that song.

Ross said...

I can't begin to understand what a parent goes through. My best friend lost his 16yr old daughter in December of this year in a car accident. Such a powerful post! Please enter me in giveaway for the book.

Ruth said...

I can imagine the book was not easy to read as you identified with Terri's feelings. It's in those hurts so good times in our lives that more healing comes. You have much to give because you have walked through the valley of the shadow of death. Blessings as you continue to pour His love on others.

Jan said...

Very poignant and heart rendering post, Pamela.

Sharon said...

Oh, dear Pamela. I can't even imagine the grief that Terri went through, or the grief that you have had to bear in your own life.

I loved how Terri said that these tragedies are only unthinkable because we don't think like God. THAT is a statement of tremendous faith.

I am touched deeply by this one.


Wanda said...

Since I have no children, I can not really begin to imagine the grief one feels when losing a child. But I am grateful for a God journeys with us even through dark days.

Deb Chitwood said...

I can't begin to imagine the heartache of losing a child and the grief you and Terri have had to work through. The book sounds amazing. Blessings to you and Terri for writing and encouraging so many others.

LeAnn said...

This was a very heartfelt post. Just this last year we had a family that lost a son that was 12 years old. He was struck by lightening while on a scout trip. I am familiar with grieving from losing loved ones; but a child is so different in so many ways. In fact a friend of mine that had lost a daughter as a teenager said she felt it was the hardest test she ever faced. As a hospice nurese I have worked with those that are grieving and these deaths are one of the hardest. I will look forward to reading the book. I used to do classes on this subject. Blessings to you all and I know that the Savior is near to those that grieve. The give a way is good one.

Deborah said...

I haven't been by to visit in quite awhile, and thought I'd pop in while I have a few minutes. What a blessing! This book is the kind I love to read....I'm not into fiction or romances...give me a true story of enduring faith through diffiult times! I'll be adding this one to my wish list.
I love the way you decorated the hymn too. Have a great day!

A Primitive Homestead said...

I like to return a visit to those who have visited me & left a comment. After sharing losses & thankfulness in my post & then reading your post my heart goes out to you. I have always believed that losing a child is the most hurtful pain any parent could have to go through. I am sorry for your loss of Sarah. Prayer lifted for you & Trents parents.This book would help many in their journey of grief. I read all your comments before commenting & place my trust in God that He who needs this book will receive it. So wonderful of you to pass it on to another to help them. Blessings!

Denise J. Hughes said...

What a beautifully, tender post. I cannot imagine losing a child. My heart and prayers go out to you. May His peace surround you.


Charlotte said...

I think having a child die is one of the worse things I can imagine. Knowing that this life is not "all there is" would make it bearable. I know Terri's book has helped many people through tough times and will continue to do so. Thank you for sharing this post.

Melodie said...

I don't know how I missed this touching post! Remembering sweet Sarah and sending hugs your way!