Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Last night we were reading a short passage for advent in front of the fire.  I wasn´t at all sure I wanted to even think about advent or Christmas.  My heart is heavy and this season typically holds so much joy and celebration that it feels foreign and out of grasp.  It has been a symbol of togetherness at our house. Jenna and Dani have always been home for Christmas no matter how far away they were during the year.  Receiving them was one of the funnest moments of the whole year.  Every year I had to ask the Lord for that same kind of anticipation about His birth as I did about welcoming them home!  Somehow,  I knew He understood.  

Yesterday I found myself thinking about Steven Curtis Chapman´s poignant song ¨Heaven is the Face¨, written after the loss of his precious daughter.  My heart resonated with his deep longing for his daughter and for his impossible task of seeing beyond her.  Christmas for us is lost in the face of Jenna this year.  We all love God & celebrate His coming to earth as Messiah this time of year - but she is overshadowing so much of our thinking and emotions right now.  Somehow, I think He understands...

                                                  "Heaven Is The Face"

Heaven is the Face
Heaven is the face of a little girl
With dark brown eyes
That disappear when she smiles
Heaven is the place
Where she calls my name
Says, "Daddy please come play with me for awhile"

God, I know, it's all of this and so much more
But God, You know, that this is what I'm aching for
God, you know, I just can't see beyond the door
So right now

Heaven is the sound of her breathing deep
Lying on my chest, falling fast asleep while I sing
And Heaven is the weight of her in my arms
Being there to keep her safe from harm while she dreams

And God, I know, it's all of this and so much more
But God, You know, that this is what I'm longing for
God, you know, I just can't see beyond the door

But in my mind's eye I can see a place
Where Your glory fills every empty space

All the cancer is gone
Every mouth is fed
And there's no one left in the orphans' bed
Every lonely heart finds their one true love
And there's no more goodbye
And no more not enough
And there's no more enemy
No more

Heaven is a sweet, maple syrup kiss
And a thousand other little things I miss with her gone
Heaven is the place where she takes my hand
And leads me to You
And we both run into Your arms

Oh God, I know, it's so much more than I can dream
It's far beyond anything I can conceive
So God, You know, I'm trusting You until I see
Heaven in the face of my little girl
Heaven in the face of my little girl

Last night as we read the familiar Isaiah 61:1-3, I was stopped in my tracks.  How much of why He came revolved around comfort!  Wow!  Out of 19 phrases in these 3 verses, 11 of them had something to do with comfort! All of a sudden Christmas changed for me.  It is alright for Christmas to be about comfort this year.  He Himself is all about comfort...  

Isaiah 61:1-3

¨The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord´s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion -
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.¨

I am going to get busy celebrating His comfort this Christmas!  And I pray I can become more each day like that strong "oak of righteousness" talked about at the end of vs. 3.  May His splendor be displayed in the comfort He gives us this season, as well as freedom,, light, a crown of beauty, the oil of joy and that garment of praise mentioned here.  I am so glad I have reason to find joy in this season in spite of missing Jenna so very much....

¨For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, 
and the government will be on his shoulders. 
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, 
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.¨ 
Is. 9:6

Here is Steven Curtis Chapman´s song if you´d like to listen (it´s beautiful!):

Heaven in the Face

Photo by:  allthecolor

1 comment:

  1. Can't even express how my heart aches for you all this Christmas season. Thank you so much for sharing Isaiah 61. My hope is that you and your family this Christmas, can still experience one another's love and sweet moments of laughter even while the loss is ever present. I'm sure that there are many, like myself, who are remembering Jenna--all over the world. Blessings to you and yours. --Chris & Nicia Irwin