We are home after a whirlwind trip to Florida for Ava's Memorial Service. Her life was celebrated by thousands of people who knew her and loved her... and by thousands more who never met her, but were marked by her life, and by the life of her dad Josh and her mom Lisa. I'm so thankful that Ryan and I could be there with our family to grieve together, to remember Ava, and to celebrate that she is in Heaven, with no more pain and no more cancer.
Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
My cousin Isaac's message was phenomenal. The Bible says, "Blessed are those who mourn," We were blessed by God's gift of Ava and we mourn so deeply precisely because we were blessed so deeply. Isaac reminded us of Ava's courage, her love for others, her moxie. He made us laugh, told stories and wrapped it all in what matters most - that Jesus was honored by Ava's life, That Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life and we have hope because Jesus is exactly who He said he was - our Savior, our Redeemer, ever-present help in times of trouble, our Comforter, and our God.
Because of Ava, today I am holding Ryan and Ruby tighter, valuing my time more and trying to love well. I want to trust Jesus more, cherish the moments I have with the people I love, live in the moment and let disappointments go more easily. I've never been more aware of how valuable time is here on earth, but I love what my Uncle Hunter said at the end of Ava's Memorial Service.
If Psalm 90:4 is true, if 'a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday' she will no sooner get her eyes open then all of us who follow Christ will be with her. There will be no time in Heaven that she spends without us. We are on our way. Heaven is all of us who believe in Christ, together.
So choose ye this day whom you will serve - if it be the gods of the culture that seek to maximize pleasure and minimize pain, so be it. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord, the Lord who brings good out of every circumstance and has brought good to us today.