Sunday, January 8, 2012

Jack's Life Verse

We've known for a long time that Jack's Life Verse was "For nothing is impossible with God." I don't how or when he chose it. Perhaps he picked it because it was short. I mean, when I was a kid I used to keep "Jesus Wept" at the ready in case I ever needed to recite a Bible verse. Oh so clever, I know.

Maybe he chose it because although reading and math and logic and grammar and art and so many things came incredibly easy for Jack, others took extra effort. He truly relied on God, and one of our greatest pleasures in recent years was seeing how far Jack had come. He had so much going for him.

Jack's fourth grade teacher gave us the image below, so now we can all have Jack's life verse in his own handwriting-- misspelling and all:



I've been thinking about what Jack's verse means to me today. I mean, when Jack was alive, it had a "You can do anything! Lean on God! Never give up!" vibe about it. And that's how he lived.

But now? Hmmm. If nothing is impossible with God, why didn't God save Jack? I mean I was only a few seconds too late. Surely he could have been found and revived! Surely he could have lived.

My friend told me how she is going to look at this verse, and it makes sense to me. Surviving without Jack is impossible. Truly. But we will survive, perhaps kicking and screaming on my part, but survive nonetheless. We must. In fact, in time we may even thrive. And we absolutely can't do it on our own. We need God for that. I'm not sure what that's going to look like, but I know it is true.

I hope you will enjoy having Jack's verse. Perhaps you can print it out for yourself when you need a little encouragement. That's what I plan to do.

57 comments:

Shannon said...

Anna, thank you for sharing this beloved treasure with all of us. :o) I love his cursive handwriting. Makes my heart smile!

My Ethan's life verse was Proverbs 3:5-6 which is: Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not on thy own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Ethan also loved the Golden Rule, Matthew 7:12.

Anna, it is such a mystery as to why God didn't save our sons. I've pondered that at times. I also see all of the good (I know this is a hard thing to see in the midst of grief and tragedy) that came from our tragedy. I am certain that your Jack touched many lives, and is still doing so as he lives with Jesus. I am certain that the great mysteries of this world will be revealed once we are in Heaven. Until then, we live in the flesh, walking this very long, difficult path. I hope I have written words of encouragement. If I don't, please yell at me and tell me so. God bless you. I will be praying for you and your precious family.

Mediterrangirl said...

I don't really have the right words Anna. Just wanted to say that you, your family and Jack have given us a gift. To be better parents, better people, and to have faith that really nothing is impossible with God. For me, it started the day of Jack's memorial service when I witnessed the impossible happen in front of my eyes with your beautiful and amazing speech. I live in your town and never before have seen so much love and support pouring from all directions for one family in grief. You’ve brought out the best in us. Thank you for that. As a mother my heart aches. We are here for you to share your pain and hear you scream. It’s too much for one person, one family to carry. Hugs from across town.

NanaDiana said...

Anna- That is a powerful verse. I have had times like that in my life...when I suffered losses that I thought would kill me...but, in the long run, made me stronger. Sad still...but stronger. I think Jack left that as a message for you to find as you walk the path to recovery. You have no idea how I, not really knowing you, often offer up a little prayer for you during my day. xo Diana

Diana...aka...MeMe said...

Thank you for sharing this treasure with us! I will print it out and use it~ thinking of your Jack when I do.

Rene Foran said...

Beautiful Anna :)

Try as we might we can't know God's plan for Jack until it is time for us to know.

I pray for you and your family daily and wish you all wisdom, grace and strength in 2012 and for always.

Rene

Japolina said...

There is a reason. Even if it is horrible and the worst thing that could ever happen to you, there is a reason. xoxo

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

What a gift to see this written in Jack's own handwriting. And the message is a pwerful one that we can all hold on to. Thank you Anna and thank you Jack! And just so you know, I am absolutely positive that one day you all will be thriving.

Sami said...

I only began reading your blog yesterday, but your Jack has already touched my heart - I am so sorry for your grief.

Shell Flower said...

I think that just the fact that you are still blogging, still keeping on keeping on, and facing each day without Jack shows this verse to be true. If you had been asked before this if you could go on without Jack, you might have said no, but you're doing it. It sucks, it hurts, but you are doing it 'For nothing is impossible with God.' And maybe a little help from your friends... Still praying for you all.

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

Jack is a constant encouragement to me, and he's taught me to encourage others. I'm not skilled at it yet, but it's my goal for this year to become more proficient at encouraging others.

I just caught up on some magazine reading, and I read about Queen Latifah in MORE magazine. She said, of her brother's death, "You don't get over it, you get through it." And then she said, think of how much you loved that person, if he loved you as much as you him, he'd want you to go on and achieve good things.

I couldn't help think of you, Jack and your beautiful family. You will live on and prosper because God is with you and because that IS what Jack would want.

A Speckled Trout said...

I am always amazed at the things people save, and how when the circumstances are right it becomes the perfect gift to someone who will cherish it.

Fueled by coffee and Coke Zero....... said...

Hi, Anna: Love seeing the cursive. Madison remembers selecting a verse, and Mrs. R. gave everyone in the class a piece of 'decorated' (Madison's word) paper on which to write the verse. Not a day goes by that we do not talk about Jack and pray for your family. Much love, Mariann Alicea

Lindsay said...

Sweet Anna--thank you so much for sharing this with us! I love seeing Jack's cursive handwriting that he had worked so diligently on. I'm thankful for this verse... a reminder from Jack! Keeping you and your dear family in our prayers and heart!

Anonymous said...

This verse can be inspiring in so many ways. But for me, thanks to your son, it has given me even more hope and faith. Thanks to you, too. I will print this out for myself and for my daughters. It is important to be reminded. We sometimes forget.

I hope you don't get tired of hearing this. I find you to be one of the most amazing people I have ever "met." You have dignity, grace and a master of words.

Regards, Julie

Barn Owl Primitives said...

Anna,

Thank you so much for sharing such a special gift with us. I printed Jacks verse and placed it in my studio as a reminder and as incredible inspiration. Jack will not be forgotten, and with God you will survive and thrive.

You may not see it now, but through your grace and elegance, you are helping so many others. You are offering hope and love and strength and faith. You are amazing.

You are in my thoughts and prayers!

xoxo ~ kristi

Zoe said...

thanks
it's in my purse now :)

Recovering Church Lady said...

Anna, you are doing it. The impossible. You are getting up each day and breathing and even sending us encouraging words. I am sure there are days when those things do not happen easily at all.
You are doing the impossible Anna and it speaks volumes to me about who God is in you. You inspire me so much.

Unilingual Mom said...

I realized today that at my church (Unity Palo Alto) in California, we display a similar verse: "With God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26)

I thought of Jack today while I looked at that quote in church. I'm praying for your family.

geri said...

what a treasure that teacher gave you, jack's verse in his own handwriting for you to cherish. i recently stumbled across a notebook of my son's, and it was like finding a pot of gold, his handwriting, his thoughts on some things.

i'm not going to write my thoughts on the God part of this, because so many people did that to me after Nick died, and many of them hurt more than helped. I will agree with your friend, and I read a very similar thought process in Kushner's "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" (which I highly recommend, I remember reading it in my 20's when it first came out, didn't realize then how comforting it would be decades later). He talks about seeing God in the kindness of others, in the strength to go on after such a tragedy, etc.

Jill said...

That verse in Jack's handwriting is amazing. I will be one of many I am sure who is printing this to post in my cube at work. What an unbelievable legacy he is leaving.

Princess Kate said...

The fact that Jack has a Life Verse is amazing to me. Shows me what great parents he has to teach him the importance of God at such a young age. I too am going to print this out and place in my office at work so I can remember Jack and his Life Verse. Thinking of you daily and praying for moments of peace for you and your family.

ella said...

Beautiful. What a thoughtful thing for Jack's teacher to do.

Rach said...

Your friend's way of looking at Jack's verse is just the way I look at it. She is a smart smart lady.

I love fourth grade and fifth grade boys--they're deliberate cursive, the misspellings, all of it. Thank you for sharing that piece of him with us. :o)

I have said more times than I can count that God obviously had a plan for Hannah and that I don't know what that plan is, and I may never know what that plan is, but he had a plan nonetheless. He HAS to have had a plan, otherwise this is all so senseless and unfathomable.

There IS a plan, there just HAS to be. Maybe part of it was so more people than you could ever imagine could be touched by Jack and see what a precious and wonderful boy he was, so we could try to live our lives the way he lived his--with his whole heart. I don't know...:sigh:

What I DO know, is I'll be privy to that plan when all is revealed. Until then, I just pray and pray and hold on to the knowledge our kiddos are in the most perfect place imaginable. Some days, that's all there is.

Many hugs for you and your family,
Rach

Beth said...

Wow, what a wonderful treasure to have. So much truth in this verse. Thank you so much for sharing. You do not know me, but I have been following your blog since the loss of Jack. I have a 12 year old son (he will turn 13 next week), and he has started reading your blog with me. I have printed this off and am going to make copies for my office and house. Your are in my prayers daily.

Leslie said...

His handwriting! WHAT A TREASURE this paper is.

One of the things I keep BEGGING God for on your (and Tim's and Margaret's) behalf is some sort of supernatural understanding in all of this. I pray for a peace that is beyond any kind of peace each of you has ever known. And comfort, an easing of the pain. But I ALWAYS pray for some sort of understanding. I don't know how it's possible to understand something like this. But Jack's favorite verse says nothing is impossible with God.

So I'll continue to pray for that overwhelming peace, comfort from the pain, and an amazing understanding.

I am SO SORRY you're going through this. To say I hate this for you doesn't even come close.

(Also, my gas station has an ad at the pump with a cute girl on it that looks like you. So a few times a week when I'm standing at the pump, I'm reminded to pray again because of that ad. Since I work late, it's always around 10-11pm. I hope you're sleeping by then, but if not, I'm praying for each of you sweeties in your house.)

The Empress said...

I'm going to tread carefully here, because I do NOT want you to think that I'm in any way comparing my pain to yours.

Not even in the same world.

When I was pregnant with my last, we had started out our first ultrasound being double heart beats, double sacs: twins. After the shock: we were thrilled and I couldn't wait. What a grand finale to my pregnancy days.

At the 3 month ultrasound, the doctor ran the scan over my belly: only one heartbeat heard, only one viable sac seen.

No more 2nd baby.

I was astounded. The breath left my body. I know, I know, I still had one baby...but still having one baby didn't take away the sting of losing that second baby.

What I'm saying is, it still hurts, not that Jack is even close to anything like only losing a 3 month old fetus.

But almost ten years later, even typing this out here...my eyes fill with tears.

I miss that baby I only had 3 months.

I'm his mother, I miss my baby.

You'll always miss your baby.

How could that ever go away?

Yes, we survive. That's exactly what we do...

Julie said...

Not sure how you feel about tattoos, that that would be a beautiful one. You could have it done literally in his handwriting like that and it would be with you always...

New Mom said...

Thank you for sharing. As you know, I didn't know Jack, but I have thought of his verse often since learning of him. Your post makes me think of Jesus in the garden asking for this cup to pass. I've asked where was God when Jack died, but I guess we can say he was in the same place He was when His own Son died. It's little little comfort and I still ask God, well why didn't you save your own Son then? But He is in the business of redemption and I pray that you will find abundant peace and redemption and that you would feel God's healing so powerfully working in your lives. Once again, thank you for blessing your readers in the midst of your storm!

SouthLakesMom said...

Anna, in CBS we teach this to the little ones, to the tune of "Do You Know the Muffin Man?" including the citation at the end...

The legacy lives on. Praying...

Meredith said...

http://teachingtuckandty.blogspot.com/

I think you'd like this blog. She starts blogging about grief in Dec. 2010. There's insightful and powerful thoughts for the grieving.

purejoy said...

Anna, sweet Anna. What a gift you have for writing. And processing.
I'm often encouraged by the volumes written by the readers of your blog. I hope your heart is as well.
I had to laugh at "Jesus wept." That's my 22 year olds "go-to" verse, lol, but he really claims Col 3:23. He is one to forget about doing his best, and that verse is such an encouragement/reminder for him.
4 months doesn't seem possible. Praying for you and your family as you continue on this unaskedfor journey. You are a great encouragement and inspiration to others. Jack, I'm certain, is proud of the way you are grieving. {I hope that doesn't sound lame} You are leaning on the rock and giving so much Glory to the One who made us.
Press on, dear friend.

Theresa O said...

Just printed the verse in Jack's beautiful handwriting - and will replace the typed version I created that I have on my mirrors at home, with Jack's awesome handwriting - impossible being mispelled makes it even more special....we aren't perfect. And that's why this verse means so much to me. I'm going through a tough time in my life, and when I am down, I just think of this...and it lifts me up - even if it's just a little bit...it works. Thanks for sharing all your beautiful words ... as always, each day, you become more and more of an amazing person to me.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I love all interpretations of Jack's life verse. And I do think I need to keep a copy of that... Thank you for - again - sharing a beautiful piece of yourself and your sin's memory with us.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Thank you for sharing this precious piece of paper. ((HUGS))

Meredith Self said...

With God. With God.

I'll linger with that. Thank you, sister.

Anonymous said...

Printing MANY copies and sharing with friends...Jack will not be forgotten and thank u for sharing!

Kim @ A Brush of Whimsy said...

It's the most precious thing!

Lisa said...

I love his handwriting...what a treasure.

And I keep Jack's life verse with me and rely on it when I struggle as I watch my son struggle through his therapies...it gives me hope..for nothing is impossible with God. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Kelly R said...

What a beautiful keep sake. Jake's verse is something so special for you to cling on to. It seems to me that he held his verse so close to his heart and let it guide his actions and his attitude (what a wise and mature boy) and now he has left it for his sweet Mom to hold so close to her heart and guide her through this journey.
Always praying for your family.
Much love!

Vodka Mom said...

nothing is impossible.


Sure, everything can SUCK, but nothing is impossible.




so endeth the lesson.

DawnGes said...

Dear Anna, Thank you. Printing this out and hanging it up on the 3rd floor with your permission. Love, prayers, hugs.

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

I think your friend is very wise and I think you will do well to think that way. I've mentioned my friend whose son died in a car accident to you before. Last week marked their 10th year without him. I can say I have watched them go thru it all grief to celebration and yes thriving. There will come a day when will you thrive again. Doesn't mean you don't hurt and ache for your boy but a day will come where you find joy and peace. Jack wouldn't have it any other way!

Anna Lefler said...

This is such a beautiful post...and beautiful perspective.

Every time I visit your blog, Anna, you inspire me even more.

Sending huge buckets of love to you and your sweet family.

XOXO

A.

macmac524 said...

Around Thanksgiving my 7 year old son brought home a list he'd written at school of things he was thankful for.
On line # 3 he wrote, I am thankful Gesus (edged out by God # 1 and fishing # 2). It is wonderful knowing God understands gratitude no matter how it's spelled.
The way Jack wrote and spelled the words of this verse are endearing.
Thank you for sharing something so personal.

Lady Jennie said...

How precious to have the verse in Jack's own handwriting!

I think your friend had a very perceptive take on the Scripture, and it seems doubly encouraging that way. It is impossible to move forward without God's help (to start building a better life, as the bridge said). It seems like such a long time before you can see him again in heaven, and yet there is so much living to do here first - for Tim and Margaret, and even for you - the plans God has for you. Impossible without God's help.

Sending love always.

Tracie said...

Thank you, Anna. I don't comment here often but I've been reading (and crying) and praying for you and your family. This really touched me. I'm sure you are impacting many lives with your words.
xoxo

Anonymous said...

Praying readers will draw near to God so they, like Jack, know him when the impossible happens! My life hasn't been a cake walk (an alcoholic Dad who beat my Mom, rescued by the courts and raised by extended family members, brother's suicide, 3 1/2 years of infertility before being blessed, husband's testicular cancer followed by liver resection, loss of my Dad and Aunt who raised me, etc.). The most important thing my Mom and Aunt/Uncle gave me was an understanding of our loving God who saved us for an eternity through Christ's death, burial and resurrection. Tim and YOU passed this heritage on to Jack...that's why we have peace today about where he is! I knew Jack (my child was his classmate) and he would want every blog reader to know God as he knew him - through his Son, Jesus Christ. Draw near to Jesus...and you'll be ready when the inevitable impossible time comes!

Princess Kate said...

Just stopping by to say I"m thinking about you and the family and continuing to pray for all of you.

kitty said...

I will post that up.And when I read it this verse will have a new special meaning to me.
Keep you all in our hearts thoughts and prayers.

That gentleman's lady said...

Yes you wil. Hugs to you :)

Amy said...

This verse is written on my heart because of Jack.

Anonymous said...

My Uncle passed last night. I intend to print out your son's verse and bring it to his funeral.
Jack's spirit has inspired us all.
God bless him and your family.

Kim @ A Brush of Whimsy said...

The kids are darling!

PeachPrenni said...

I LOVE this verse and I believe it with all my heart to be true. I loved seeing it in Jack's sweet handwriting. Thank you for sharing with us Anna. Always.

Anonymous said...

God chose Jack because he was a wonderful human being. When God was adding another player to his team, Jack was the #1 draft pick. Yall must have done an amazing job as parents!

Christine said...

What a sweet boy! I emailed that photo to myself and its now the background on my blackberry. I will think of you and your family everytime I look at it.

I hope that you find increasing hope and comfort with each passing day. You are setting such a phenomenal exmaple for Margaret. She will see your strength, grace, and beauty through all of this and grow into such an amazing woman someday.

Stay strong, we're all pulling for you.

Mimi said...

Anna, I love this verse so much now. It helped me realize I could quit my job. I linked Jack's written note in my blog. I wanted to let you know. Thank you to Jack for helping me be brave!