July 3, 2013

Nearly a Year Ago

Nearly a year ago, I wrote this post.
At that time we thought our troubles with Austin 
were a thing of the past.  We were wrong.

It turned out to be a beautiful reprieve in the midst of the trial.
We must remind ourselves that Austin's healing is complete ~ he is well.
It was God's plan all along to heal him ~ just not here.
Oh, how I thought it was going to be here!
My heart aches with the reality that we now face.

Through it all, however, I still believe that God is Good.  Always.
I still believe that He does all things well.  Always.
I still believe that He is in complete control.  Of all things.
Even when the *unthinkable* happens.  Yes, even then.

~ L to R: Emma, Calvin and Fraser at Austin's grave ~

Why did things change for the better, and then end like this?
Why did the LORD call our son home to Heaven?
Because His ways are higher than ours.
And, the way He accomplishes His plans sometimes is mysterious.
But, that does not make Him any less Good.
Any less in control.  Any less than Perfect.

Not at all.

We just look through a glass darkly.
We see things through finite minds.
We are limited on this side of eternity.

But, God is not limited.
He sees perfectly.  He acts perfectly.
He does all things well.

And, He cares when we hurt.
Yes, we hurt.  But, He is meeting us in this pain.
And He is carrying and providing and giving grace.

Moment by moment.  

~ L to R: Fraser (3), Emma (6 mths), Austin (7) and Calvin (5) ~

Today I give thanks.  To the Giver of Life.
Our Great God is worthy of all praise.
For all eternity we will praise Him.  Austin is praising Him at this very moment.
May He help us to do so as well, even in the midst of pain of suffering
on this side of eternity ~ in the here and now.  

On this day, I am thankful for these mercies...

 Austin died at home ~ peacefully in his sleep.
He'd had a good night and was looking forward to the day.
The *little black box* in his pacemaker that told us what happened.
It would have been a pain-free passing ~ how that comforts my Mama heart!
And God, in His mercy, allowed me to have one last moment with him that morning.

He was not in the hospital and never had been hospitalised for Crohn's.
We had an extra 14 months with him ~ two or three of which he felt really well.
He was beginning to play his violin again and create music with Fraser ~
I am so grateful that I recorded some of those moments on video.
He took Emma along to the library and on errands a few times in his last month.
We were able to go to the park together and watch him send up a rocket ~ twice.

Cousins had been over to visit recently, not knowing what was to happen.

Grandparents each had their last visit with Austin recently as well.
We have many, many memories of our precious son.
And, I had taken many photos of life as it happened.

Austin's testimony was clear and his faith strong.

He loved his Saviour and grew spiritually through his struggles.
Mercifully, we didn't focus during this last year on the possibility of an early death.
Rather, we lived, as much as we were able to, in the moment.
And, we enjoyed life together.

The day prior to Austin's home-going he was studying for an exam.

He was living life, too.
He had planned to re-connect with a childhood friend on that Saturday.
I remember hearing Austin chat on the phone with that particular friend 
as they caught up with one another ~ it was SO wonderful to listen to 
Austin's side of the conversation and piece it together ~ JOY!

I am thankful for the many memories we have to cherish.

Austin in his Uncle's Canadian Airlines uniform ~ 
he was approximately six years old.

The boys in the dressing room getting ready to play some hockey.
L to R: Austin (11), Fraser (7), Calvin (9)

Austin and Fraser playing at their cousin Kristy's wedding
in May 2012 ~ Austin was 17 and Fraser was nearly 13.

Last Summer on my birthday ~
We thought Austin had turned the corner for good.
Oh, how thankful I am for those precious, precious days!

So, yes.  God is Good.  Always.

He gives grace and strength and peace and comfort.
And, when there are no answers we trust and we rest.
In HIM.  In HIS perfect plan.  In HIS Sovereignty.

All is a gift from His hand.  Everything.  

Many Blessings, Camille


Hopes Handcrafts said...

Camille...I am speechless in the way you are coping, dear friend. You are a true witness of the Lord's Strength and though I know you probably have many moments when you feel overwhelmed by grief, what you share here on your blog is an amazing testimony of God's Grace and Mercy. His Love. His Comfort and His Everlasting Truth. Thank-you for sharing your heart and your experience. {{big hugs}} and much love, Julia X0

Grandmabeckyl.blogspot said...

Thank you for sharing more of Austin's life in photos, your love for him, the sadness and hope for tomorrow and today's moments..Praying.for joy to be in your life again. I'm sure it's hard, I can only imagine. Hugs to you, sweet sister in the Lord.

Cinnamon said...

What beautiful gifts the Lord gave you just before bringing Austin home. Such memories to cherish and savor as you think of your dear son.

I remember reading the post about Austin a year ago. My heart aches with yours yet I also rejoice in the joy that you have knowing Austin is home with God.

Sending you hugs tonight Camille.


Patrinas Pencil said...

What a blessed family you are! Heaven's just a bit closer now, isn't it?

Thank you for your quiet sharing. Your peaceful heart...through all the grief and loss...speaks loudly of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ's powerful mighty hand to keep you standing. Austin's life was such a blessing to so many...particularly his family.

God is absolutely good...all the time! His ways are perfect!

Covering you with an extra layer of love. I trust the Lord to hold you steady through this unfamiliar journey you must all walk together.

Blessings to you dear Camile and your family of faith.

Patrina <")>><

Dianna said...

Thank you, Camille,for sharing with us as you walk through your grief, as you draw close to the Saviour, as He carries you through. What a precious testimony Austin had, and we see that same precious testimony in your life now. Love to you, my friend!

Jennifer Jo said...

Oh Camille. I can't read for crying. From one mama to another, this is all I can do: cry. Fierce hugs to you, mama.

Bevy @ Treasured Up and Pondered said...

So good to read all of this... precious photos and precious memories.

The(best)way for healing to continue to happen is just to keep the stories and the memories alive - by sharing them with each other.

Cling to the HOPE you have, that one day you will see him again. In Heaven!

Maryann said...

Thank you for sharing these memories of your precious son. It is a reminder to me to live in the moment God gives me...because I am not promised tomorrow. Thank you for the wonderful reminders of truths that you have included in this post...Yes his ways are higher and he is good!

Patty said...

Precious memories. Praying for each of you by name as you walk through this time.

Heather said...

Oh, dear friend, I can't read your blog anymore without weeping. I wish I could fly to you and hold you in a long hug.

Dawna said...

Speechless . . . <3

Sandy said...

Dear Camille,
Tears just roll down my cheeks as I read your blog. We are praying and thinking about all of you much. May God's Word continue to bring you comfort and peace. Thank you for reminding me to live in the moment, how true.
Hugs to you, my friend!!
In God's grace,

Camille said...

Dear Julia ~ Thank you for being a sweet friend...I appreciate you. Thank you for your kind and compassionate words...they bless my heart. Yes, the grief is nearly crushing at times...but, God is Greater. Moment by moment is the only way to go through this...with HIM! Hugs back to you! :)

Dear Becky ~ Thank you for praying for us my friend. And, yes...you are praying the right things...thank you from the bottom of my heart. Hugs. :)

Dear Cinnamon ~ The best thing about all of this truly is the assurance that Austin is right now with the LORD in Heaven worshipping HIM. Here, however, it feels like an amputation. There is a big part of our family torn away. But, God is Faithful and He walks each step of the path with us. What a blessing. Thank you for entering into our sorrows with us. Hugs to you! :)

Dear Patrina ~ Thank you for your sweet and encouraging words. I appreciate you pointing me to the Saviour...HE is always worthy of all praise. I am thankful for the eighteen years the LORD gave us our Austin. It was a gift from HIS hand. Blessings to you! :)

Dear Dianna ~ Yes, truly, HE carries! We are so blessed to belong to HIM. Thank for your kind friendship and for your sweet words of encouragement. Hugs to you! :)

Dear Jennifer Jo ~ Thank you for crying with me my friend. And...the hug? Giving you a fierce one back. :)

Dear Bevy ~ I appreciated your words here...thank you. It's a precious thing to recall the memories and rejoice in the ONE Who gave them. Thank you for your wonderful encouragement. Blessings to you! :)

Dear Maryann ~ We can bear anything that we must in the moment...with HIM...isn't it true? I am thankful for you and your friendship. May God bless you continually. :)

Dear Patty ~ How precious to think that we are each being prayed for by name! That really touched my heart...thank you SO much! Hugs to you. :)

Dear Heather ~ Our door is open...you are welcome here. :) Thank you for entering into my life and for being my friend...I appreciate you. Hugs to you.

Dear Dawna ~ Sometimes I am, too. Love to you and yours my friend. One step at a time...HE is Faithful. :)

Dear Sandy ~ You are a sweet friend and I appreciate you so much! Thank you for all your kindness to us and our children over the years. We must get together soon. Love to you all! :)

With Much Love,

Lois in Texas said...

I feel I know your family through your blog, but also feel I'm "intruding" on your grief and private moments. (I know I'm not, since you blog about it.) But, your faith shines bright and clear. I think if an unbeliever would read about all these trials you are experiencing, they would be wooed to the Savior. 2 Cor. 1 is a gentle reminder to me that none of our suffering compares with what Christ endured, and when we suffer loss, we are able to comfort those who are also suffering. I see God using you in that capacity of comforting others. Thank you for allowing God to use you in this special ministry. You are willing to share your pain and grief without bitterness. You continue to grow in your faith and truly inspire me. I'm wishing you plenty more pleasant memories of Austin and your times together. Oh, and congratulations on your anniversary! I know you couldn't imagine going through this without your husband by your side! God ahead and behind, and holding you together in the middle, is MY definition of grace!

Farmgirl said...

Beautiful inspiring words Camille.
The Lord IS indeed good even when life is hard.

Heather@Cultivated Lives said...

I find myself weeping afresh - deep sadness mixed with awe at God's goodness. How can that be? Reading your {unofficial} gratitude list just puts me in awe of how God is right there with us in the midst of the pain and the missing...

Continuing to pray for you all. Last night Emma was on my heart and I spent some time lifting her up to our heavenly father.

Camille said...

Dear Lois ~ No, my friend...you are not in any way intruding. Thank you for your sweet encouragement and for being sensitive. I appreciate you. Yes, I chose to blog about this journey long ago...I didn't think it would end like this...but, God's ways are higher than ours. He is still Faithful. And, He is still Good. May HE bless you and your precious family as you follow Him each day. He alone is worthy. Hugs to you! :)

Dear Heather on the Farm ~ Yes, my friend...even when life is hard. Especially then. :)

Dear Heather in AZ ~ How precious you are! How lovely to think that the LORD laid Emma on your heart...I will tell her that...she will be so encouraged!! Thank you for being sensitive to HIS leading. You bless my heart. Hugs to you. :)

With Love,