Friday, March 13, 2009

In Memory of Precious Baby Chandler Grace

This has been a tough week for some close, precious friends.
Chandler Grace was born and died at 4:19 March 8, 2009.
We continue to support and pray for this dear mommy and her family.

At the memorial for Chandler Grace I was asked to speak and read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 11. These verses are taken from both the NIV translation and The Message.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die,
A time to plant and a time to uproot,
A time to kill and a time to heal,
A time to tear down and a time to build,
A time to weep and a time to laugh,
A time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
A time to embrace and a time to refrain,
A time to search and a time to give up,
A time to hold on and another to let go,
A time to keep and a time to throw away,
A time to tear and a time to mend,
A time to be silent and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace,
He has made everything beautiful in its time.

I’d like to repeat…He has made everything beautiful in its time. Our Sovereign God has a perfect plan. He had a perfect life plan for Precious Baby Chandler Grace and she has forever changed Elissa and many others who have been affected by her short life.
Psalm 139:13-14, & vs. 16 tell us that God created Chandler’s inmost being; He knit her together in Elissa’s womb. We praise Him because she was fearfully and wonderfully made; His works are wonderful, we know that full well. All her days were ordained for her in His book before one of them came to be.
We can hold on to the Truth that God knew ALL of Chandler’s days. Her days were full of love by a mommy who adores her.
I think back to the day Elissa shared with me that she was going to have a baby. She had recently returned from YWAM and life happened. We met in the commons and I knew something was in her eyes. They sparkled with joy and excitement, but the tears of uncertainty welled up and spilled onto her cheeks. She had been given a great gift, but knew not what the future would hold. One thing is certain Elissa loved this little girl from the moment she knew she had conceived.
God is the amazing creator of life and He has a perfect plan for Elissa and Chandler. I’m crazy about Elissa and have loved her since she was a vivacious young AWANA girl experiencing life to the fullest! She remains the strong, vibrant person God designed her to be, but she has grown into a woman of character throughout these past months with Chandler.
Throughout her pregnancy God poured His grace into her life and she received it with open arms. Her strength and determination to provide a good life for her daughter has inspired many. She sought wise council, she pressed into Jesus and she sought Him in the Word, through prayer and while gathering with other believers. Among words people have recently used to describe her are:
Strong, inspiring, amazing, mature, brave, faithful, a passion for Christ, excellent, beautiful, precious, encouraging, amazing faith, one who leans on God and I would like to add worthy, valued, loved and adored. Lives have been touched by Elissa as she carried Chandler Grace.
I have seen Elissa grow her relationship with Jesus since her return and have seen her focus especially on building her foundation on the Rock! Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV) reads:
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."
I know Elissa has a firm foundation on the ROCK and this storm has come, but she will not fall, she will stand strong and God will bring forth beauty from the ashes.
Isaiah 61 tells us that God will comfort all who mourn, and bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
Lastly I’d like to close with a prayer of Psalm 34:18 from Beth Moore’s Praying God’s Word, “You, Lord, are close to the brokenhearted and save those who are crushed in spirit. You are surely close to Elissa, Lord. Help her sense your presence in her life. She needs you more than she needs her next breath. Amen.”

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