Life if not measured by the number of breaths we take
but by the moments that take our breath away.
Rachel lived a very big life.
Rachel Lynn Hansen
April 20, 2000 - June 8, 2007
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Monday, April 20, 2015 6:23 AM CDT
She'd be fifteen..........fifteen.
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It's been a tough past couple of weeks. I don't know why it's hitting me so hard this year. The tears are always ready and waiting to flow down my cheeks. I can hardly say her name--or even think about her for that matter--without the water works starting. It's frustrating.
I saw a friend of hers the day before Easter. She's not seven. Actually, she's a young lady. It blew me away. It's not that I didn't know or acknowledge the fact that kids grow. It's not that I want all her friends to stay seven. It's not that I don't know that life continues to move forward. I'm really not sure what it is. Maybe it's that she's been gone long enough for her friends to become pre-adults. Maybe it's that I've lived without her longer than I lived with her. Maybe it's the fact that I've survived what so many people think is "unsurvivable." Maybe I just miss her.
I dreamed about her recently. She was seven. She will forever be seven. Yet, seven-year-olds don't bother me. It's the kids who are the age she would be that bring the tears. Lydia is only a year-and-a-half from being seven. Although I remember things Rachel did at her age, it isn't her or her friends that make my eyes well up with tears...and she wears Rachel's clothes, lives in her room, and has her bed. I should probably say she "wore" Rachel's clothes. There isn't much left of Rachel's that fits her. Rachel was very tiny. Except ... Lydia is currently wearing Rachel's purple cowboy boots! She adores them. They are going to be so completely worn out when she outgrows them that they will end up in the garbage! There are a few more pairs of shoes left of Rachel's for Lydia to grow into, but then that's it.
I know that Rachel was born only 18 months after Lance. Yet to see another fifteen year old girl puts it into perspective. Maybe it's that I can't imagine her at 15. Maybe it's that I don't know what she would look like. It doesn't really matter that I can't, nor does it matter why it's been a tough couple of weeks. It is what it is.
The one thing pulling me through with any dignity at all is the fact that I reached my goal with her. As a believing parent, my one true goal for all my children is that they love the Lord their God with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their strength, and with all their mind (Luke 10:27). When one truly does this, you automatically want to follow all of His commands, you have a personal relationship with Him, and you are no longer who you once were. If you truly have these things, you walk the narrow path which leads to heaven and not the wide path which, sadly, most are on (Matthew 7:13-14). I know where she is. I know exactly where she is. I know I'll see her again.
Too many people deceive themselves about where their loved ones are because they do not know the truths of the Bible. Too many preachers are too willing to tell people false teachings because the people's ears don't want to hear the truth. Every funeral I've ever been at I've heard that person was going to heaven ... even if the person didn't believe in God. Really? That's false teaching. I even heard one preacher say there was beer in heaven--from the pulpit, during the funeral, and not in a joking manner. People are being lied to from the pulpits of our churches, and because they don't study the Bible for themselves they believe the lies. If they stay in that place, they are in for a rude awakening when they die.
I find it very interesting that every person I've ever asked thinks they're going to heaven. Why do they think that? They tell me they're going to heaven because they are a good person. I find that interesting. The Bible tells us no one is good (Mark 10:18, Romans 3:12). Not a single one of us is worthy. All one has to do is use the Ten Commandments as a measuring tool to see how wretched we truly are. Ever told a lie? Who hasn't? That makes us liars. Ever stolen anything no matter how small? This means even a pen or a paperclip, or time (ever check personal email or facebook at work). Again, I don't know anyone who hasn't. That makes us all thieves. Ever hate anyone? Jesus says that's murder. We're all murderers. Ever look at anyone with lust (any thought that isn't pure is lust) that isn't your spouse? Even your spouse before they became your spouse fits into this category. Christ says that's adultery. We're all adulterers. Ever use the Lord's name as a cuss word or in any other way except being respectful? OMG is included with this. And you only have had to do it once. That's called being a blasphemer. We're not doing so hot, are we? We're only half-way through, and I know there isn't a person reading this who is free from guilt. Most will have done every single one of these things.
"But my God is a merciful, loving God!" is the reply I often hear. Yes ... but He's a JUST God. He's a HOLY God. If He weren't, He wouldn't be worth worshiping. He will dole out punishment to those deserving of it. We're ALL deserving of it. We expect our judges here on earth to be fair and dole out punishment where it is due. If someone were to hurt someone we love we would expect justice. We would expect the judge to hand down a guilty verdict along with a prison sentence. God is no different. As the Perfect Judge, He, too, must hand down a verdict and a sentence. The verdict for sinners is guilty. The sentence is hell. The Bible is very clear about that.
That's why He sent Jesus Christ. Jesus died on the cross to take our punishment. Jesus died in our place. His blood covers our sins so when God the Father sees us, all He sees is the blood of Christ. Yet, the Bible is very clear that Jesus didn't die for everyone. He died for those who truly believe in Him. He didn't die for those who say they believe in Him yet have made up a god in their minds that suits their own needs. He died for those who believe in the God of the Bible. He died for those who believe in the God that the scriptures say He is. Do you believe in the God of scriptures? Do you know who He truly is? Or have you made up a god in your mind that fits who you want him to be?
Don't walk on the wide path. Study your Bible! Don't expect to be spoon-fed on Sunday mornings and then have nothing else to do with God or His Word for the rest of the week. It doesn't work that way. Sadly, the group of "Christians" that truly know their Bible is getting smaller and smaller and smaller. There are false teachers in the pulpits of many of our churches. Are you sitting in front of one? If you aren't listening to a preacher that is preaching FROM THE BIBLE, you probably are sitting in front of a false prophet. Christ warns us that these preachers will be prevalent. Do not be deceived! Is what they're preaching line up with scripture 100%? Most won't even know because they don't know their Bible. Hard to use something as a measuring tool when you don't even know how to use it as such. It also doesn't matter what you WANT to be true. It doesn't matter what we want or how we feel. It's what God wants that has to be what we want, and it's how God feels that must direct how we feel. I don't necessarily have to understand it--or even like it for that matter--but if it is the way God thinks, feels, or commands then I have no right but to accept what He says as true and right. This may very well mean that we have to accept that we and/or our loved ones are doing wrong by God.
These are tough words. They are true words. They are biblical words. Joyfully, I can sit here and say that the goal of having all my children in heaven has for certain been attained by one of them. There is not a doubt in my mind where Rachel is at. That is one of the blessings of having her die so young. As for the rest of them, that truly is between them and God, but I'm pretty confident about which path they are on. How about you? Which path are your kids on? Which path are YOU on?
My prayer is that all my friends and family will be saved. Yet, I know that isn't going to happen. The Bible states that most of the world is on the wide path to hell and only a few find the narrow gate which leads to an eternal life in heaven. Most are deceived. Most don't want to hear the truth or they think they already have it. Either they allow others to deceive them or they deceive themselves. I pray it isn't you.
It's been a long eight years. It's been a short eight years. After she first died, I could not imagine living through the first week, the first month, or the first year. I lived through it and then some. One can live through their worst nightmare. It's survivable. Fun? No, but it's survivable.
We will always grieve for Rachel. Always and forever in this lifetime. Grief is not something you ever get over. Grief is something you learn to live with. It is what it is. It will still have the power to turn on the waterworks for years to come. It will still have the power to affect my life. Yet, God will hold me through it. He will guide my path. It is He who makes me strong. She's with Him. I long to be there, too. Someday I will be. Will you join us?
~Those who don't know their Bible find an intensive Bible study.
~Those sitting under false preachers find a Bible preaching church.
~Those whose ears are stopped up and whose eyes are veiled to the truth of the Bible be opened.
There is no longer a need for a hospital
As Rachel is currently living in the arms of Jesus
http://www.umm.edu/bone/eweingssarcoma.html Ewings Sarcoma Description