Do you ever wonder why bad things seem to happen around a big event in your life? I am always the first to say that when something big is happening in God’s name, evil always tries its best to divert our attention to something else. It is just the truth. During Pete and my wedding, his uncle was suffering from a very debilitating cancer and his grandma was having an enormous amount of health issues. We could have diverted our attention from our wedding very easily to worry about Uncle Jim’s and Grandma Kollada’s health, but Pete’s mom and dad were very adamant that we concentrate on the wedding. Their strength ensured that we kept our eyes on God and off of worry and fear.
Recently, we have been getting ready for Kate’s First Communion. In the Catholic Church, First Communion is a Sacrament. Sacrament (to define it for all Christians out there) is an outward sign of God’s Grace. I could go into more detail, but for the purpose of this blog – it really isn’t important. Just know that Katie in her First Communion will be doing something powerful to outwardly express her love of Christ and the church. Katie has been attending weekly church services all her life and watching our entire family take communion. She is so excited about taking the body and blood of Jesus.
We are celebrating her big day with some friends of ours that also will have a son taking his First Communion. We plan on having both extended families over to our house for a big picnic and just overall fun afternoon in celebration of what God has done for us. With that being said, on Sunday morning we received a phone call from Pete’s dad. Pete’s cousin was biking in Colorado and suffered a heart attack and died suddenly. It was a shock to all of us. In fact, it is so shocking that the reality of it still has not completely sunk in. We are still trying to wrap our minds around the situation. No words can express our deep sorrow for Bill’s family. As we ingested this news, I went back to one of my blogs last week where I talked about the beauty of death (even untimely death). God gives us hope that Bill is in heaven with Him. Bill had outlined for his family what he wanted at his funeral – a celebration. To die at such a young age and write out exactly what you want is amazing to me. What a gift Bill gave his family by being so upfront about his death. During prayer on Sunday at church, I recognized that Bill’s life was a gift to all of us and I did my best to keep my eyes on God and not on fear and worry about Bill’s funeral.
Our dear friends who we are celebrating with on the day of First Communion found out yesterday that their uncle succumbed to cancer and at the same time the uncle’s daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. You see what I mean about God’s Glory and how we can move our eyes to worry and fear and miss out on the beauty of God? When multiple things happen around a big event, my mind wanders to the fact that God is doing something really big and evil doesn’t like it. As we continue with our plans for Katie’s big day, I know in my heart that this is what God wants. God and Katie have a connection that even I may not be able to wrap my brain around. Katie has always grasped the power of prayer in her life. She is the one in our family that reminds us to pray before meals. When she or one of her friends falls ill, she is the first to offer a prayer to God for healing. When we moved into our new house, Katie insisted that we put up the cross in every bedroom. Katie always asks questions about the happenings in church. She is curious and observant. Of all my kids, Katie understands that her First Communion will be a huge way for her to connect with God (the God she has been so curious about all her life). She even has a countdown every day for when the big event will take place.
If I take my eyes off of God and let worry and fear take over, I will miss the Glory of God that is happening in my child right now and right here. I will miss the glimpse of God that shines through my little girl on this great day. If I worry about funerals, preparing for a party, cleaning my house and who will attend; I will miss the beauty of God. I refuse to let evil overtake this precious day. I refuse to let evil take my eyes off God. I refuse to look at anything but the goal ahead: God radiating through my youngest child. Most importantly, I know that Bill and my friend’s uncle will be looking down from heaven praying for our children on this great day in their life.
Revelations 3:2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God.