Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Rear View Mirror

Today I had to adjust my rear view mirror. I was driving home from taking Rylee to school and I looked in the mirror only to see the ceiling of the van. Thursday we got the lift taken out of the van. Our van has always had Regan's lift in it. Regan doesn't need it anymore. We are glad for that. But the empty space in the van felt like our hearts...so we decided to get it taken out. Now it is just an ordinary van. It feels like a new van. No rattle, my view out the drivers side is clear, it now seats seven instead of five. I never used the rear view mirror to see out the back. I always used the rear view mirror to see Regan. She loved to ride in the van...I loved to watch her ride. Today after I dropped Rylee of I automatically looked to see her. She is not there. I wonder when will I stop expecting her to be there.

We keep saying the hardest part of life now is that all of you wants to go back but life keeps making you go forward. Rylee says she wants to go back to her mornings with Regan. Brian wants to kiss her before work like he did every day. Ryder just misses her company while he reads. I miss her all day...yesterday I mowed the lawn by myself. Normally she watches me from the front porch or the back deck. It made me cry. I loved life with Regan. I miss talking things through with her. I miss reading her your blog comments. That is the life I want. I know it is good for her now but our hearts are sad because when we ride in our van she is not there.

When Regan was alive our family talked a lot about "the Forward life" it was one of our battle cries. It was the truth that a life in Christ is anchored forward. It is not a life anchored in the past. Many people anchor their lives in past hurt, pain, lose, experience, victory, happiness...but God has called His people to anchor our lives forward. This forward life finds stability not in he present or in the past but but in our future hope. That forward life brought us hope because we knew Regan would only suffer here on earth but that there would be an end to the pain. We knew that pain would be nothing compared to the future glory in Christ and that it would be like no time at all compared to eternity with Him. Now that forward life is our battle cry for our pain and suffering. That this pain that we will always feel because she is gone will one day be wiped away. We know this pain will be nothing compared to the future glory in Christ and that it will be like no time at all compared to eternity with Him. So we find stability in the future hope not in the past but this is work because in the past is where Regan is.

You see we know that one day we will see her again but the Regan we knew is not the Regan that IS now. What we knew of her is only a sliver of who she is now. That is great for her but we are still slivers ourselves and we really liked the sliver of who she was. A friend of ours drew a picture of Regan running to Jesus. We love it because with all our hearts we want to see her face. All we can see is this picture is her long curly hair bouncing and her strong legs running. But you see Regan isn't running to us. She isn't interested in us anymore because she knows Jesus. She sees his glory and the pain is nothing, the time on earth with us mean less because she is WITH CHRIST in the fullest sense of that phrase. This picture is painful to look at because we want to see her face..we want her to turn around and see the four of us standing here and run back, or wave, or blow us a kiss, or tell Jesus to let us come too. She however is memorized with Jesus. We are just a sliver. We know when we see Jesus we will feel the same way about her. We aren't frustrated with her about this fact. We just have to live with it but as little slivers of who we will be it is painful. In the words of our sweet Rylee last Sunday after church..."Heaven is not a family reunion!" She continued on to say, "When I die I want to see Jesus!"

So the pain we feel is that we want to move forward looking back in the rear view mirror. We really want to look in it all the time. Driving forward often feels empty because the life we desire is back there. But that is not safe for us or those driving around us. Most of all it isn't what faith in Christ looks like. We are called to remember but not with a longing to go back...we are called to remember because it encourages us to anchor forward knowing the future hope is better than what was back there...even if it was Regan


HODAPP said...

you all are so amazing strong in your faith! That your children are wise beyond their years says so much about the parents I knew you would be!! Your house... your hearts are filled with the love and hope of Christ and that angel face is the biggest blessing of all!
About the rear view mirror....
My daddy was my world.. it's been 5 years now since he went home and I STILL pick up the phone to call him. It's strange, but I think it's because they touched our hearts so strongly that they're still with us even if they're with their Lord... they will forever be where He is.. in our hearts. Until that day I patiently await.. for me... I hope my daddy takes my hand and runs me to meet my Father.
My love and my prayers to you -- always.

lowery5 said...

Hey guys,
We keep watching the video. Having just recently attended the funeral of a non-believer, it just uplifts us to remember Regan's service. There was such a sense of worship and hope. Thank you for sharing that with us. It brings hope to our family in a time of darkness. Jesus is so good to us all, and we know he will wie our tears. Thank you for showing us how to grieve with hope.
The Lowerys

Aaron said...

We love your wisdom. As young parents, we look to you for guidance. You don't even have to say a word. Your faith as a family speaks louder than any words ever could.

The Roemers

randsmadden said...

Chantell,Brian, Ryder, Rylee:
Just found your blog and watched the video. You are an amazing family. I countinue to pray for each of you. May the peace of God continue to be with you and provide new strength each day. Love ya....Sally

Mandy said...

What great imagery of the rear view mirror and driving forward and being anchored forward. Thanks so much for sharing this friend.

And Rylee is so right...though we might want it to be a family reunion in heaven, we're going to be much more concerned w/ seeing Jesus. She's a smart little girl.

Love you all.

Mark said...

Brian and Chantell,

I want to let you know that as I type this, there are literally tears running down my face after reading your blog. I am so sad for you guys right now...what a difficult time in your life you are dealing with...yet what a wonderful time awaits you when one day you WILL be ushered in to see Jesus (and somewhere, in the background, will be a beautiful gal with strong legs and a gigantic smile, waiting for her turn to greet you). Your faith is SO STRONG...I don't know how I would handle that situation with either of my boys...you guys are definitely an inspiration to me. If we didn't have this amazing hope in Christ, this life would certainly not be worth living. Thanks for writing. God is good, all the time.

Christi said...

I love you!

Brookelyn said...

i don't have any words to take away your sadness or pain- just know that we love you all. we will be praying for continuous healing. Chantell, I will be thinking of you on this Mother's Day- strength, love, patience, understanding
Let us know if we can do anything