These pictures are a bit blurry because it’s difficult to focus through tears flowing. These were on January 12th at about 1:30pm and we laid Noah before the Lord at around 1:45 or 1:50. I wasn’t watching the clock, obviously…
I’ve had a friend or family member die almost every year of my life since 3rd grade. I actually feared death for YEARS! I feared it even though I knew Christ and knew Heaven was this great place. However, in the last 9 years, God’s been showing me a lot about His return, Heaven, and death. I love that in His word, you can read the same passage time and again and have new insight that wasn’t the lesson for you the last time you read it. So, take into account the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden. God showed me that we live in a place for which we were not created. We live outside of the Garden. We are physically seperated from the physical presence of God. We are on earth, where pain, sadness, sickness and disease are realities. That is where the alien scripture comes into play from 1 Peter 2:11, “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.” That verse could have been in Genesis! Now, Noah, and many of my friends and family, and from your comments, many of your loved ones, too, are “in the Garden”. They are in the place for which they were created, the physical presence of God, glorifying His name for eternity. I’m the one “out of the Garden”. We’re the ones “left over” right now until it’s our time, of which only God knows. There are many Christians that would try to take scriptures and talk about our abundant life here on earth. Yes, that is something God offers us, BUT the perspective of eternity and through the wisdom of the Holy Spirit is the filter through which we need to interpret such scriptures. We are spiritual beings. Even Emily wanted to know where Noah’s body was when we told her he went to be with Jesus. She asked us a 4 year old question, “Did they throw him in the trash can?” I know it sounds pretty harsh, but the reality is, even my 4.5 year old knew that Noah’s spirit was no longer in his body. This isn’t something Jason and I had completely explained to her at that point. She just knew…
Until we become uncomfortable in our own skin, the pursuit of the cross, worshipping God, denying ourselves will never EVER lead us into abundant life in Christ! Abundant life in Christ is not making life on this earth AWESOME and AMAZING, in terms of the world. Jesus said that he came that we would have life and have it to the full, but that the thief comes to kill, steal and destroy. What things in our lives kill our joy, steal our attention and destroy our intimacy with Christ? We are ALIENS!
Yes, I miss Noah. I miss squeezing him. I miss going to the hospital everyday, which may sound strange, but that is my reality now…I miss smelling him and holding him, spooning him, and kissing the bridge of his nose that was perfectly created to fit my lips, like a lock and key. But, in the same vein, I have peace that is indescribable just being able to imagine him being at home with God. I said it long ago in a post that I have the realization that “my” kids are not, in fact, “mine” but they are God’s alone and we as parents are the stewards, the mentors, merely the ones on earth to whom they have been entrusted. It’s quite an honor to be a parent, really. That is the humbling part in all of this. I don’t think that we were “special”, more special than anyone else, but for some miraculous reason, Jason, Em and I were chosen to be Noah’s family. That is the awe that fills my thoughts quite frequently throughout the day. I have that same awe fill my heart when I stare at Emily. I pray that you get that awe deep in your own heart for the lives that God has brought across your path. We all know “life” on this earth is too short. Even my grandmother who is 91 and wants to live until she’s 104 (WHY?!) thinks that life is too short! But for which location are we living these lives? It’s all about PERSPECTIVE! What if life on this earth, even one hour, 12 days, 7 months, or 91 years is actually TOO LONG?! Think about how ticked off the devil would be if all of a sudden, millions of people on earth STOPPED fearing death and started living with eternal perspective…Now THAT is AWESOME!
And in God’s faithfulness, He of course covers this topic in His word, as He does EVERYTHING else…”Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is, the devil- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Hebrews 2:14-15. (emphasis mine) We don’t die spiritually when Jesus is the One on the throne of our hearts. But people, our bodies, our temples, do physically wear out. They pass away. It’s the fear of death that holds people in slavery to this life on earth…
That’s what Noah’s life has been teaching me today…
Once again your words have led me to the Word hungry for more. Thank you for all you have shown me.
I often find myself paralyzed by a fear that my children will be taken away from me. It is hard to be at peace with the fact that we cannot protect them from everything, and hard at times to have faith that God is at the wheel. You words bring so much comfort and joy to my heart. Thank you, thank for sharing your amazing pictures… seeing Noah brings me peace.
On my way to work this morning I was thinking of exactly what you are speaking of – and of you all – so imagine my surprise and delight at your posting. To your words and to get another glimpse of Noah (I’ve missed him too) and the tender moments you all shared.
You’re insights have really made me think about and come to clarity on my feelings about many things. There’s more I want to say, but I’m at work so I can’t right now.
So glad to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ from you all.
Thank you for sharing with us the pictures and your thoughtful words. All of us in “blog world” really missed not seeing your little guy.
I am struck every time I read one of your posts at not only how blessed you were to have Noah in your life, but also how blessed he was to know you as “Mom”.
I pray God’s perfect peace to you this day.
P.S. I know you are a huge U2 fan (I am too!!)….Last night I was listening to a CD in my car and “Beautiful Day” came on. It brought tears to my eyes just thinking about the beautiful day Noah is having right now.
This is the clarity I talked about in a earlier comment. So clear now! I pray that the Lord will hide this deep within me and you that it can not get snatched away by all the distractions of this world.His perspective! It’s awesome to hear of the things the Lord is doing through his church. He has the same agenda no matter the person!!!! By the way… I love the photo of Jason, Em and you releasing the dove that represented Noahs spirit,so cool! You all have your hands open wide. It was also very interesting how that dove flew in the opposite direction from the others. Heaven must have been that way! Blessings!
I don’t know if someone has already given this poem to you, but reading your post reminded me of it and I thought it might mean something to you.
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)i am never without it(anywhere i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
Just wanted to thank you for this. My mother who is only 44 was diagosed with an incurable cancer. Today I was having one of those days where my heart was gripped with fear about her dying. These were the words that my sould needed to be reminded of. Thank you.
I was recently referred to your site. My husband is on staff at a church in Wisconsin and he found out about you through networking with Red Rocks Community Church. (I just thought you may want to know the connection.) I’ve been reading your story over the last few weeks and am so grateful for your honesty and willingness to let me (a complete stranger) in. I lately have felt so numb to life in Christ (sadly) and am encouraged by your experience – clearly God is at work. Sometimes I fear what it will take for Him to get my attention, but your story calms me. I know it’s painful and messy, but still HE IS THERE in the midst of it and that brings me peace. Thank you for reminding me that these kids of ours are not ours at all, but a gift and an honor. To the level that I am capable, as a mom, I have entered into the pain of the loss of your dear, sweet, little boy. You’re right, he is an absolute angel. Thank you for letting God live and breath in you to touch the lives of others. My prayers are with you.
Thank you once again for sharing Noah and your amazing Faith with me. I am in awe of the amount of faith you have, you truly are a great family. Because of Noah I will hold my little ones a little tighter, love a little more, and believe a little more. Thank you.
GoodNESS, seeing a broken man is so…hard to explain. You know what I mean.
I love today’s post. Is it weird that we talk on the phone AND I send you fan mail? 🙂 Anyway…this is the same thing that God has been teaching me lately. What I am learning is about relationships. How our day-to-day AND close, meaningful relationships are really all to be treasured while here on earth. That we are supposed to be really salty…and the more we know God and let him teach us, the more we WANT to be salt and light to everyone we meet. There are so many relationships that are tough…but if we only look at how we are affected by the other person, we’re missing the point! How can I love people better? It’s so clearly spelled out for me… And THAT is what I consider abundant life here on earth to look like. Being a servant is the most awesome job!
A, J & E –
How great to hear from you again. I guess it’s true what they say – do something for every day for 28 days and it will become a habit. Checking Noah’s blog is now a habit!
Another phenomenal post. Somehow from a very early age, I realized that death only means the beginning. As a result, I’ve always gone to funerals feeling more envy that sadness. I don’t tell too many people that, however, because – well – it’s kinda weird. Yes, I miss people who have left for Heaven, but I know they’re up where they belong and for the first time EVER they feel 100% content, fulfilled and at peace. DO YOU KNOW HOW BADLY I CRAVE THAT????
I don’t know why some of us are “stuck” down here longer than others. But, you are an example of how a person can use the time down here for the glory of God which should be the goal for all.
Thank God for prayers and tears – the language of my soul. The message they mostly carry is to beg God for peace, strength and connection to Him to the fullest extent that is allowable on earth. I am encouraged to know that He is providing these desires to you guys as well.
I am inspired by your faith. I can only begin to pray that my faith will only grow. I have at times doubted the existent of God even though I myself am a Christian. But you truly inspire me to keep on the path that is straight and narrow, to find the life I long for in HIM. The strength you show in your faith, is truly a testimony.
On January 20th, A friend of a friend recommended in an email, that I read your entire blog about Noah. I was strangely drawn to do so, in one long setting, with my eyes leaking and my heart 100% engaged.
Even though I haven’t had the privilege of meeting you personally, I hope you don’t mind receiving my response. I send it with respect and love and longing and peace through Jesus Christ.
Two poignant images on your having released Noah to his place in the Lord’s house above occur to me:
…the first is of Hannah with the young Samuel, who while he was still very young, delivered her son to the holy place for God’s good purpose (which she could only understand–but did nevertheless–by sheer faith). This you have done.
The second picture I see (rising from our experience of raising birds) is of a tiny exquisitly soft, silver-white mourning dove. He has unexplainably been hurt and urgently needs examination. You attempt to soothe him and he flutters wildly for heart-stopping long seconds as your tender nurturing hands seek to provide healing. Occasionally he stills and seems relaxed enough to begin cooing and preening quietly the way a young dove does when at ease. But something deeper is troubling his peace now and under his fragile breastbone, your thumb can clearly detect a heart that is beating too fast. His little clawed feet struggle feebly in your hand as he trys desperately to catch both his balance and his breath.
Who’s to say who this is harder on…He is so helpless and obviously so distressed. You on the other hand have adult knowledge that’s “suppossed to” bring some perspective to all of this…But you also have the gnawing pain of awareness that much more than knowledge and perspective are going to be required before this is through…Ahhhh.
Then, at some imperceptible juncture, you become aware that God has spoken again. Few others can hear it, and fewer yet may understand, but a personal invitation of compelling beauty has been is issued from the Lord of All Life, and your little dove senses it and responds. At a precise yet unknown moment, pure Hope like oxygyn begins to flood the premise, and you are captured by the call and receive the grace to respond by opening your hands…Those hands to whom the precious fledgling was first entrusted, become the flattened palms of a natural and a holy act of worship…
Miraculously the assurance comes that all “doing” has now been done. The sweet creature who momentarily rests on your overlapping hands, is poised for his virgin flight. As the breeze of the Spirit picks up in kindness and in strength, the gentle being lifts his young but wise soul, straightway up into heaven. His work IS finished. He is healed! You have blessed and not cursed. The heart of the Father is glad.
“Ours for today, he is God’s for eternity.”
…And much fruit will follow, for “we know Whom we have believed, and are persuaded that He is able to keep that which we have committed unto Him against that day.”
I just found your blog this past week and sat and read through tear stained eyes your honest, humble and loving account of Noah’s life. As a mom of a ninth month old son, my heart mourns your loss but as a believer I am challenged and encouraged by God meeting your deepest needs during a time of hurt that I could not imagine. Thank you for this post today and for sharing your wisdom gained through being Noah’s mom. I miss Noah with you and pray for God’s continued peace in your life.
Ade and Jason,
The habit… I think so many of us can relate to the daily checking of your blog. I know I check often. More than anything I want to know how you’re doing and this is a glimpse of how you are on that day, in that moment. But, what I find so interesting is that reading your posts has become a sort of devotional.
There is no question that God has given you a gift and he is using you all to reach so many people. The words you are writing have become so inspirational that it could be only God speaking through you. On the days that you don’t post I find myself re-reading previous posts and comments. I know part of it is a yearing to connect in some small way, but another part is feeling drawn to inwardly digest the thoughts you’ve written down.
The thoughts that are with me most these past days are from a post that Jason made early in this journey. He said something to the effect that relationships are the only thing we take with us from this world. I have loved that! I had forgotten that we took anything at all. So many times God has reminded me of that truth and helped me to focus on what’s most important. I have to say that there are many missed opportunities still to relish people more than anything else. But I know God is moving me closer to focusing of people first always.
As you’ve said, ironically God calls us to hold onto what’s most important in this life with an open hand, not a tightly clenched fist. I can’t say for myself right now that I moved beyond wanting to hold my own children, husband and loved ones tightly. But what you’ve written today inspires me to see them through an eternal perspective – to see myself as a steward. But I also have to admit that it scares me to even write these words.
Lord, help me not to fear.
And that is what Noah has taught me today…
I, like so many others, come to your blog…to hear God speak. You have been given an amazing gift for words and I do believe that what I read is truly from our Father through you. Noah has an amazing story to tell the world…of a Father who loves us, and about an eternal life waiting for us. You are an incredible testimony of His Love and His Grace. God Bless all of you.
In His Grip,
Thank you for allowing God to use you and Noah’s story in such a powerful way. Your post today went along perfectly with what we have been talking about all week in class. We wanted you to know that God is working, this is His day, that He has made…..so let’s Rejoice!!! He has been speaking the same thing this week to our class which is half way around the world from you. Thanks for continuing His message, to us at least.
With our prayrs,
Centennial Christain Schools Fourth Grade Class in Seoul.
Wow…you have given me a new outlook on life AND death, What wisdom and perspective God has given you, even in the midst of loss and grieving. Thank you for sharing this.
Been thinking of similar things as you have written so eloquently here. I think of you daily and check your blog though I only found you days before Noah went to be with the Lord. Thank you for allowing God to speak so freely though you. These are words that NEED to be heard by SO SO many.
Jen, Mom to Miracle Samuel
what an unbelivable story you have told-my heart ached as I read this then soared as I realized what a special person you are and how touched I am for reading your story. Rest peacefully baby Noah.
Thank you for sharing those beautiful pictures. I have been missing seeing Noah, so thank you for that. I so appreciate the wisdom and faith that you share with all of us. Like everyone else, I wait with anticipation for each post and always gain so much from what you put into words. We continue to pray for you and think of you so often.
I have prayed for you. We live in Thailand and have been broken in a good way by your story
Thank you for sharing your insight and wisdom with us all. Every time I read your words, I am just awed at God’s grace that allows you to touch so many hearts while your own heart is surely broken. It is so humbling to “meet” a mother who is so honest and open about her divine insights and I thank God for allowing me to “know” you and your family. And thank you for sharing yet more beautiful pictures of Noah…I have missed seeing his precious face.
There is a song “Noah” by Michael W. Smith that is just perfect for you. You have to get ahold of it!
You are such a ray of light for the Lord. I visit the blog regularly and look forward to what you are writing and the pictures. Think you for sharing such intimate moments and your faith with us. I know for me personally it has inspired me to become a better Christian. You truly have a gift with words and how you express the Word. I have been sharing the blog with as many people as I can and have put a link on my own blog. I think it is very important to pass on your testimony for others. There are alot of people that you are reaching and I commend you for that. Looking forward to your next post. In His Name,
Kris in Troup, Texas
Right now I have too many loved ones bringing bad reports of illness in their families, I have felt inadequate in my help.
Knowing that prayer is the best offering, but feeling like it isn’t enough. Your continued faith build me up each day…and I know that a few of my friends have been reading, drawing strength for what they are facing through your witness.
Thank you…you keep on giving us all so much despite the loss you have experienced. God is good.
I know well the awe you speak of – having an inexpressible attachment for the people around you mingled with the fear they won’t always be there.
I get it but I still miss him. I think it’s jealousy. I want the garden back.
Thanks for your constant inspiration. I needed to read that today. I need to read it every day.
Love you and miss you beyond words…
God has given you a beautiful soul and spirit. Thank you for Noah, For sharing him with all of us. I have often struggled with the death of little ones, wondering what is the point? your blog, your story, your words, your strength, your encouragment to everyone out there who reads this, that is the point. God shines through you and the life of little Noah.
I am in awe of your faithfulness. I find so much hope in reading your posts. My family has been praying for you daily.
Thanks for sharing your beautiful hearts to us. We are learning about life from your faith also.
We will praying for you.
I sit here crying my eyes out as I read all these entries over the past 7 months. I have a 7 month old boy who was born 2 weeks before Noah and I stumbled on this page from a blog of friend of a friend of a friend. I was just meant to see this today. Thank you so much for your words. I can’t tell you what a difference these entries have made on my life. God is clearly using Noah (and you) to touch hundreds and hopefully thousands if not millions throughout the world. You have so much wisdom and you have so much to give. Thank you for giving so much. I will not fear death and I will live daily to do my best to truly LIVE! Thank you and God bless you all.