This post is not for everyone. It is very personal to me and something I don't talk about often in a public forum other than a brief statement of encouragement to someone in the same circumstance.
Today is Thoughtful Thursday. Also, the theme for the third of November photo/blog post is Headstone. The headstone I chose was my son's. He signed his name “DeReK” so when I write his name that's how you'll see it. I've avoided writing anything substantial about him for a number of reasons but today is the perfect theme with which to write about him.
DeReK on his trip through Europe the summer after his senior year of high school.
I encourage you to look up the Bible verses on his stone. They were special to him. If you do look them up, you'll get a little surprise. Some of those verses don't exist. The first time we saw his stone I pulled out my phone and looked up the verses. I looked in almost every version of the Bible I could find- ESV, NIV, KJV, etc. I talked to his pastor who had been very involved in the funeral arrangements, etc. He laughed and said he thought DeReK would love the mistake and want it to remain. I thought about that for awhile and realized he was right. DeReK had a wicked dry sense of humor and loved God with all his heart and he would have loved that this mistake on his headstone made me immediately open my Bible and start digging. He would like for everyone to have that reaction. Anything to get you to open God's word and look.
So I encourage you today to look up those verses. Read and reflect on them and on the state of your relationship with God. If you do a personal worship time (or even if you don't) I'd encourage you to listen to what I think was one of his favorite songs, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. There were a couple of songs that were played at his funeral and one that I listened to after his funeral that were especially comforting to me. If you'd like to include those here they are:
I Need Thee Every Hour
Absent from Flesh
I Will Rise
God is merciful. Blessed be His name.
If you have a friend who has lost a child please don't be afraid to talk to them about their deceased child. However irrational it may seem to you, one of my biggest fears was that people would just forget that DeReK existed and it would eventually become as though he had never existed. This is common among parents who have lost a child. The parent may cry when you bring up that child but it isn't because you have caused them pain- they are already in pain. By bringing up their child you are helping them release some of that pain and you are relieving some of their fears that no one will remember their child. Sacrifice a little of your own comfort this week to stand with a grieving parent. Share with them a memory or a photograph of their child. They will thank you.
"Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven- for she loved much..." Luke 7:47, The Holy Bible
Until next time,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives