Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mon, Dec 21

Well here it is another day. Ever wake up and think....well here we go again...that was my first thought. Will I make it? What does today hold? How does it hold?

God came in a special way to my kids yesterday. You all know that that is my only concern. I will handle anything....do anything for them. They are my concern. But, (at the moment I can't remember their names) but a couple,whose husband works with the FBI here in OKC brought some gifts for my kids. They were so happy.

I hope I mentioned that a few days ago that a family that asked to be anonymous also brought gifts for my kids.

I am so grateful for them. I couldn't shop. Not without John. He and I always went together. I just didn't want to shop for the kids. God did the shopping for me through these Saints who listened to his voice.

I went to the mall for just a short time for a return with Marilyn yesterday. It was good to get out. But my kids were so on my mind. I couldn't wait to see them.

Remember they went to the children's hospital to meet Bob Stupes (sp) and some of the football team. Isaac took a hat and a football to sign, and Rachel took a little bag to sign. I kept texting and calling to see how things were going. They were having the time of their lives. I prayed that if just for a minute they would forget the pain.

When they got home Isaac gave the hat to Matthew. Matthew accepted it with no fanfare,no excitement...it broke my heart. Later, Isaac told me how much fun he had. But he said, "I would have had so much fun with daddy. He would have loved it and laughed with me". My heart broke. Those are the times I ask again....why not just me.....why the kids too???????

Rachel, I should mention had a great time as well. I guess the team put on a funny fashion show and she loved it. If you want to see pictures log onto Allisons Williams facebook. She has the pics on there.

But, while I was at the mall I kept finding myself seeing things and actually looking at things that in my mind I would say "OH! John would love that!" And then I would remember....I don't have him to buy for! Then Sallye and Jeff make me laugh....I remember how they would make John laugh too, he loved their sense of humor...so much like his. But as they make a joke or do something funny, I think..."Oh, wait till John hears this...." then I remember...I don't have him to share it with. It's those things that bring the raw pain back...and I want him back.

Chris, Thanks for the story of Mary. I am reading a book by Anne Graham Lotz. I finished it last night and I am onto my next. But she mentions that also. Not to ask "Why" but "Why not me". What glory can come of this? Something good has to come of this. "Lord, how can I glorify you in this?" Mary didn't hesitate. She went on. While she endured embarrassment etc...I endure pain.....but she did...because she knew her Father.....and she knew that whatever HE did would end in good and for HIS GLORY. I feel like I have a long road to walk, but I am now I want see what good, for my kids and for me, HE has in store for us and for HIM. I just have to keep my eyes on that theory. That is the hard part..especially when my kids hurt so badly.

I appreciate your story of John. I can see him doing that. He was a man of many talents. I remember one man asking his wife (and I'm sorry I can't remember who it was) "Is there anything he can't do". I can answer that. No. He would find away to do whatever needed to be down. Especially when it came to the kids.

He thought so much of Jimmy. I am glad that in the last months he and Jimmy were able to get together and get to know each other again. He loved Jimmy as a brother....always.

Thanks so much for commenting and reading my blog. I want so much to reach out to the rest of the family up there in Michigan. But I just can't yet. Please, send my love....let them know that I in no way have forgotten them. I love them...each one of them. But I feel like I can only do one thing at a time. You know I thought the world of your mom...I am not sure I could get one word out of my mouth to talk to her without crying...and she couldn't understand what I was saying anyway. But, please let them know I love them. And one day....one day I will call and I will talk....and I will tell the story. Thanks so much for reading.

I haven't forgotten my little buddy. The time just hasn't been right. We will have him come sometime in these next few weeks. We are having family...but I know from experience that he would fit right in.....I love him...I love you all.

I love that song by Ray Boltz. I know I have asked for a lot of music. But I am trying to surround myself with HIS truth. If you can get your hands on that music...I would love to have it. You are so right.....that is John through and through.

My prayer request:
Matthew, God, work a miracle in his heart...in his life. I need him to be my helper.
We may be seeing a therapist tonight. Pray for wisdom from her and openess from the kids....AND that Matthew will go.
Safety for my family
Jay, Marilyn, Dawn and Family
A special someone for each of my kids to fill the hole that was left when John left us. Especially Isaac. He wants Matthew to do things with him so much, but he just won't. Help him to find a PAL with someone to help the pain go away. He seems so lost without John. My heart breaks for him.

Thank you. Thank you again for all you do for me with each of your comments. For all you have done for my kids.....for all your prayers.


Anonymous said...


You are amazing. Your grace comes to us with each sunrise and flows freely inspite of who we are. We don't deserve your grace. We do not deserve your favor, yet you give and give and give and give. I praise you Father for this grace, for it is this grace that will sustain my sister today and each day. Cover her like a blanket today. Cradle her as Mary cradled you. Give her comfort today. Help her to remember that today is all she is needs to walk through. But praise you, Father, your grace is sufficient for today!

Jesus you are wonderful. Help Matthew to know your love today. Lift the weight of this loss from Matthew's shoulders today. Draw Matthew to yourself and break down the walls from he has built around his heart. Help Matthew to have the faith to reach out to your and pour out the grief that he feels. Father, reveal to Matthew the blessings of this day and restore the joy to his heart.

Jesus you are all powerful. Surround Hannah today with peace and joy. May she laugh today! May she sing today! Lift her heart to you today and may she feel your love wrapped around her heart.

Jesus, you are our friend. Come to Isaac today. Be everything that Isaac needs in this day. Reveal to Him that you desire his friendship. Today may Isaac see a glimpse of hope. Today may he step towards you and know that you desire good things for him. Wash over Isaac and today may he know you that you will never leave him.

Jesus you are awesome. Wrap your loving arms around Rachel today. Rachel is your special angel. You created her and designed her for a wonderful purpose. Help Rachel to trust you today. May she feel safe and loved. Help her to trust in your unchanging love. Surround her with angels that will guide her in this day. May she know and feel your presence in this day.

Father, you are everything. Right now, as Saunie is reading this prayer, come to her. Fill the void with your love. Send light into the darkness and help her to see you in this day. Be her comforter. Be her joy. Be what she needs at this moment of time. Oh, Jesus, in the very depths of the hurt annoint Saunie. May she see a glimmer of hope in this very hour. May she know your strength in this day - for that is all she needs. For this day, for this very hour, be what Saunie needs.

Oh, Father, you are our everything. We worship you, not because of what you do for us, but because of who you are. I know we can trust you. Take Saunie's weariness and be the comfort she needs. Take Saunie's sadness and be her joy. Take Saunie's confusion and give her wisdom. Remove the torments of her mind and bring her peace. Father, God, amazing and wonderful Savior and lay this wonderful family at your feet today - the place where they are safest and will be sustained.


I love you, beautiful, sister. For always! Debbie

Wanda said...

Good morning, Saundra, it's me again. I wish I lived in OK for just the moment and I'd find that Ray Boltz cd. However, I'm in KY and by the time I found it...I'm sure you would alread have it by then.

As I said in my last comment, I awake with your family on my mind and I'm finding my order on the computer has changed. It used to be email, FB, bank acct...now it's Team Griffis Page, email, FB and then bank account.

I'm praying for safety for your family as they travel to Bethany.

I'm so glad you have Jeff and Sallye...love them both, but Jeff was a special 'kid' to me while he was at SNU. I loved to have him around...no matter what kind of day I was having, he would always bring a smile to my face. They are truly angels for you.

I know God has someone special in mind for each of your kids. I'm praying that whoever they are, they are mindful of God's leading.

You live in an awesome community. I lived there for 62 yrs and in the same house for 33. I know the Bethany community and if someone is going to have to go through the pain you are having to endure, you are in the community of God.

I'll keep your prayer request close and prayer especially for you as Christmas draws closer.

You are truly loved...Jadean Murray

Kristie said...

Saundra, I can only imagine if anyone's situation closely resembled Dory's, the little fish from finding Nemo, it would be you ... so just keep swimming, ok? :) Even though it might not sound like much ... a simple trip to the mall, or the grocery store ... those are the little steps that model for your children how to just get up each day and put one foot (or fin!) in front of the other. You might feel like you are barely making it through the day, but I promise we're all praying it continues to get a little easier for you, and all of the kids.

Anonymous said...

Saundra, God is Good, especially surrounding you with such great folks. I went to BNC with Jeff and Sally, was in Henry and Charlottes wedding and cried for Fred as I did for John. I think they were put there for a reason, but you know that already. Our pastor did an a awesome Christmas sermon Sunday, reminding us of the deity of Christ even before he became man. He showed his dominion over every living thing, just as we were created to do before we sinned. However in his infinite love for us and through his word we see a glimpse of the unwavering compassion and love that mourns when we mourn, cries with us, shelters us, and uses other caring christians in our lives to magnify what he wants for each of us, and that is to know that he is there and always will be. I know this Christmas will be a blur for you guys, and it saddens me to think that, but hopefully just as the tiny little star far off in the sky guided the shepherds to the manger, that there will also be the start of a sign in your lives that you can start to follow that will only get more obvious as time passes. I pray that God will start with that small pinpoint of light for you and guide you to what he has in store for you and your family just as he guided Mary, Joseph, even Simeon that was filled with the Holy Spirit and was promised to not die before he saw the Lord, proclaimed Luke 2:29"Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel."

May you too see his light in this Season....Jeff

Rebecca said...

Dear Saundra,

Praying specifically for Matthew this very moment.

When my oldest child was in high school I really struggled with some of the things going on in his young life. I feared for him. Felt overwhelmed by the world pressing in on him. I worried what would become of his life, what he would do, his choices, where he would go. I worried about who he would be and, even though he was amazingly gifted, that he might fall through the cracks...

My sister Jenny told me during an especially difficult time "Beck, God has already given your son everything he needs to fulfill the calling on his life...He will reveal his plan to "B" in His time. Trust Him, He's Faithful! God will not let you down. He will not disappoint!"

I just stood there in silence knowing that my sister's loving words were sent to me directly from the heart of God.

Blessings to you as you continue to lay your sorrows at the feet of Jesus.


Wanda said...

Saundra, I just heard this song on TV...it's always been a favorite of mine. Read the words, they're awesome comfort. It's by Karen Peck and New River.

"It's been one of those days
If anything could go wrong
It went wrong
I know I'm feeling sorry for me
There's a lot of self pity goin' on
Tomorrow I will be okay
The dawn will bring a brand new day
I'm sure by then I'll be fine
Lord, today I really need a friend
I know that you understand
Would you hold me while I cry
I take a lot of your time
When I should be strong
I should be standin' by now
But, its you I'm leaning on
You've always kept me safe from harm
Like a child in your arms
You've cradled me through hardships faced in life
Lord, it's just one of those days
I've been fought in every way
Would you hold me while I cry
I try to be stong
But if anyone can fall apart
I fall apart
I run back to you again
and you heal my broken heart
You have truly been a friend
Reaching out to lend a hand
Lord, when you could have passed me by
I'm asking' for your strength today
Lift my spirit, Lord, I pray
Will you just hold me while I cry
You've always kept me safe from harm
Like a child in your arms
You've cradled me through hardships faced in life
It's just one of those days
I've been fought in every way
Would you hold me while I cry"

Love you...Jadean Murray

Anonymous said...

Hi Saundra,

I don't know if I have any helpful thoughts, but I'll forge ahead anyway. :)

Matthew surely has so many things going on in his turmoil.

It's hard to move away from home and then return, even in the best of circumstances. Freshmen are notorious for returning at Christmas Break, after a semester on their own, and wanting to disregard every rule and expectation of parents. It's hard for the parents and hard for the freshman. Matthew has been on his own for a semester, and once that freedom has been had, it's quite hard to give it up. That part is extremely normal.

And add to that his father's sudden death at such a young age. I remember John saying, back in October, that Matthew was finally showing appreciation for all you guys had done for him. John was so pleased, although he showed it in his low-key way (of course!). But Matthew was at that point of redefining his relationship with you both, and now that reshaping of his relationship with dad is lost in limbo forever for him. He will have to find a way to come to terms with that. That will not come quickly or easily.

He is also old enough to process this death differently than the other kids. He will have the same depth of questions and doubts that you have. The other kids have voiced them; perhaps he has not. But he has those doubts. He is at that age when all things are called into question. That will make his doubts perhaps move powerful for him.

He was praised by friends for being the "spiritual leader" for your family and "the man of the family" during his father's hospital stay and through the burial. He is too young for that responsibility long-term, and he surely knows that on some level. For an 18-year-old to maintain that level of leadership long-term would be virtually impossible.

Keep praying for him. He needs people in his life to whom he can talk - really talk. Guys are not so great at talking!! He will find a way.

Just be there for him. You are doing a great job of giving him "space," although it pains you. You love your kids so much! Sometimes that love requires us to do things that help the kids but are uncomfortable to us. But you already knew that.

On another note, have you read the C.S. Lewis book, "A Grief Observed"? He wrote it after the untimely death of his wife. It does not hold all the answers we crave, but it has some wonderful observations about such a loss. You might find it to be a comfort to your hurting soul.

By the way, there IS faith on the other side. It is almost certainly different than the faith of "before."

In this stage of my life, I have found myself seeking out older, wiser people who have lived through tragedy and have found faith on the other side. I do not seek answers to all my questions from them, but I seek their perspective that only comes with experience. Their understandings differ from person to person, but I also find their struggles to understand to be comforting. We all, throughout the world, struggle to deal with tragedy and the ensuing questions that naturally arise.

By the way, the older I get, the harder it becomes to find OLDER, wiser people. Wiser is a breeze, but the older part, well, . . . . :)

Love you Saundra!

Janet Hall :)

Kristie said...

Saundra, just want to say that I think Janet brings up some really excellent points. Things that I wouldn't have thought of, not having kids that age myself, and not working with kids like she does .... but I'm grateful for such wise and compassionate people to be reading here!

Anonymous said...

Hi Saundra,
I also must agree with Janet. and Kristie...but there was a time when i didn't want to hear anybody else's situation nor experience. I felt overwhelmed by my own situation and couldn't really listen. I believe that does change the older we get and the more experiences we have here on this earth we are passing through...
I don't know if any of my experiences would mean anything to you, but I want you to know I have always seen you as a loving parent, even when I didn't recognize you and your family at the time...
Hang in there. I hope you can keep the Word on your mind. I used to write it on notes and put on mirrors, on the fridge, on the doors you go through...
and, in case you didn't get a chance today, I have daily scriptures in my kitchen and here is the front and the back for you:

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." PROVERBS 3:5-6
"I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth." ROMANS 1:16

May Peace be with you, dawna:)

P.S. I am also praying for traveling safety for your family.

Anonymous said...

I pray for each of you each day but I always say a special prayer for Matthew. I guess it's because I know him the best and because he and Trey are friends. I agree with Janet Hall's comments. Matthew is processing so many things right now. He will be fine, eventually. How can he not be? You and John did a wonderful job with him and all of your kids. Just keep loving on him.....something tells me he wants and needs those extra hugs. Love to all of you....Gaylene