Friday, March 19, 2010

Sitting Shiva...

Sitting Shiva - /definition by Rob Bell/An ancient Jewish practice that is called sitting Shiva. When you loose someone you love (or you know a family that has lost someone), you go to their house. You just sit with them. You don't say anything. If they want to talk, then you talk. If they prefer silence, you give them silence.

This is what comes to my mind when I have been thinking about the loss of little Bethany and what her family is going through. Sitting Shiva. I first saw this video in our Nooma class at First Assembly in Siloam Springs. Rob has an amazing way of bringing up how even Jesus mourned. If he had the need to mourn, we also have to. We can't push it away, we can't become bitter, we need to let it out. It has been an AMAZING video that touches me every time I watch it.

Nooma 012: Matthew - Part One & Part Two (click on the links to see the actual part one and part two video)

Here it is. The final message from some wonderful people about the last days of dear Bethany.

I'm so encouraged and amazed by their faith in our Lord! I mean, I love the Lord with all my heart, but I don't know how they were able to deal with this. They are amazing!!!

I know this is not the last we have heard from this awesome family. I know we'll be seeing their passions for people and causes come forth in weeks, months and years to come. Bethany and her legacy is not gone nor forgotten. She will be living on in the hearts of her family and friends that will work to honor the battle she has lost.

As I mentioned before, please keep their family in your hearts and prayers for a long while to come. Here is what Amy had to say about Bethany's last days. It is hard to read. (click HERE to help them with their funeral fund)

Dear Prayer Warriors and Friends,

I want to first say a HUGE thank you to all of you who have prayed for Bethany and our family. I am truly humbled and blessed knowing that so many people have joined this group. I am amazed by the amount of love and support our family has received just through facebook alone. Its just amazing that so many people have shown their support and love to our family during this extremely difficult time.

Bethany was and will continue to be my hero. Her life on this earth was extremely short, but it made such an impact. God placed her on this earth for so many reasons. She brought so much laughter and joy on a daily basis. Her character and spirit was so playful and silly. Bethany was such a trooper and that fact alone taught us to be stronger and to endure. She NEVER let the cancer in her body get her down. She knew she was sick but she never moped around seeking pity. She endured... she lived every day with zeal for life.

The last 2 weeks of Bethany's life was beyond difficult for our family. It was so hard physically seeing the cancer finally take control of Bethany's life. Through out Bethany's life, people use to say to us that they never would have guessed Bethany even had cancer. They used to say: "put a wig on her and you would think she was just fine." Well, the last 2 weeks of her life, everything changed. By the time she passed on, the cancer had spread to every single part of her body. She was in so much pain. Bethany was on constant extremely high dose pain medicine. Even on all of those meds, we could barely move her without causing her to scream out in pain. She stopped eating and walking. I have to say, even through all of this difficult time, every now and then, the true Bethany showed through. She wanted to walk and talk, but just couldn't.

Tuesday, March 9th, was her last full day of life. She basically slept and cried the whole day. We were having such a hard time seeing her this way. Around 8pm on that day, her breathing started to sound very labored and full of fluid/blood. We thought it was going to happen quickly. So, my husband and I stayed awake. However, she kept breathing and breathing. By 3 am, both my husband and I fell asleep, Mike was holding Bethany and I was sitting on the couch next to him. Then, right around 5am, Mike woke me up and said that Bethany was gone. She had waited until we were sleeping and at peace.

The morning after she passed went by so quickly. The hospice team came, some close friends came and our pastor came. We spent some beautiful time with Bethany's body and eventually the funeral directors came and got her body. The sweetest thing was what Mike said that day. When God gave us Bethany, Mike was the first person to hold her. It was like he was physically receiving the gift from God. Then when she passed away, he was the last person to hold her. He was the one who carried her to the funeral director's van and laid her body down. Mike said it felt like it came full circle... he received Bethany from God and then he gave her back to God. That is truly how we feel right now. We are so blessed that God would consider Mike and I to take care of Bethany while here on earth. Through God's help, we did every little thing possible to give Bethany the best treatment possible. The day Bethany was diagnosed with cancer, I knew deep inside that her life was going to be a difficult road. However, I knew God was going to be with us through every single obstacle.

Earlier I mentioned that I knew God had placed Bethany in our lives for so many reasons. I truly believe that the greatest reason Bethany was placed in our lives was to help us fall in love with God so much more. The greatest lesson I have learned through out all of this is: GOD IS FAITHFUL. My relationship with the Lord is the only thing that has kept me going. God's love for me and my family has never failed and because of that we have the strength and peace to make it day to day!!!

Bethany's funeral last Saturday, was really a testimony of God's faithfulness. I couldn't have asked for a better service. It was so beautiful.

I know that sooooo many people have been touched by Bethany's life. So many of you have contacted me personally and shared so much of your life with me. I say this to ask one last question: What should I do with this facebook group? Obviously, I believe it is an awesome tool to talk to people and rally prayer. Should I change the name? I was thinking about keeping the group, but I'm just not sure right now. Please share your opinions.

Thank you once again, from the bottom of my heart!!! Your love and support is just mind blowing. Even the support we have received financially is just amazing! Wow! I could go on and on... but I will stop here.

May God Bless you greatly!!!

1 comment:

Jessica said...

wow. I almost quit reading halfway through when I couldn't see through my tears. aaahhh, this poor family. But, what an amazing testimony they have. I will just continue to pray for them and think of them often. Thanks for bringing this to our attention!

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