April 8, 2014

Never Nineteen

On this day, nineteen years ago ~ our precious Austin was born.
Our first child.  The first of three boys.  The oldest of our four children.

He was a gift directly from the loving hand of our Heavenly Father.  Just for us.
  Each child the Lord has entrusted to our family has been a gift that we cherish.
Every single one.  They each bring a special dynamic to our home.
We are so thankful for the opportunity we have been given
to raise each of these precious souls for His glory.  

We feel absolutely, incredibly blessed.

We had no idea that Austin's life would be relatively short.

No idea at all.  When he had open heart surgery at the age of one, 
we thought all would be well from that day forward.
We thought he would live a long, long life here on this earth.

However, our plans were not God's plans.

Austin lived in our home for just over eighteen years.
And then, the Lord called him Home to Heaven.
He will be forever eighteen ~ never nineteen or beyond.
This was the plan for his life before time even began.

Every single day was ordained by our 

Great God before it came to pass.

"My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret,

and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect;
and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance 
were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them."  Psalm 139:15-16

What a comforting, precious thought.  Truly, a balm for the soul.

What a great blessing it is to have the Scriptures to turn to.
To fill our hearts and minds with truth is so very powerful.
It really is the only way forward in this life.  The only way.

~ Our Austin (above and below) in Summer of 1996 ~

~ With his little brother Calvin in 1997 ~

~ In Spring of 1999 ~

~ Kindergarten graduation 2001 ~

~ Austin's humour being displayed on his seventh birthday in 2002 ~

~ L to R: Fraser, Calvin, and Austin in 2005 ~
(Our last year at the little local Christian School)

~ L to R: Austin, Calvin, and Fraser in 2006 ~
(Our first year of home education)

~ L to R: Austin, Fraser, and Calvin in 2007 ~

~ Clockwise from front: Emma, Fraser, Calvin and Austin in 2007 ~

~ L to R: Emma, Austin, (a neighbour's dog), Calvin and Fraser in 2008 ~
(The children often would take a moment to
play with Frasier (the dog) while delivering papers)

~ Trying his hand at golf while on holiday in 2008 ~

~ Jet skiing excursion as a family in 2008 ~
(L to R: Emma, Fraser, Calvin and Austin with Howie and Camille in back)

~ L to R: Howie, Emma and Austin ~

~ One of our last family photos from Christmas 2012 ~
(L to R: Calvin, Fraser, Camille, Emma, Howie and Austin)

~ Austin's 18th Birthday in 2013 ~

~ The last birthday card we ever gave to our precious son ~

Life here, even at its longest, is short in light of eternity.
Even one hundred years is considered a vapour in God's economy.
Eternity is what really matters.  Life is forever there.
Our Austin didn't know that he would be called into eternity at eighteen.

However, he was ready.  

We are so incredibly thankful that he was.

Are you ready?  That's the question we pray that all those who 

learn of our precious son's passing from this life to the next will consider.
Though he lived a relatively short time here, he was prepared.  Are you?
The only way to be prepared for eternity is to face the reality that
none of us is good enough to enter Heaven.  Not one of us.

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."  Romans 3:23

It's sin that separates us from the Living God of heaven and earth.
Just one sin is enough to cause this separation.  A chasm is fixed.
"...all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags..."  Isaiah 64:6b

We cannot earn our way to Heaven.  We cannot please God on our own.

We must relinquish all our own works.  We must abandon ourselves to another.
Each one of us requires a sinless substitute.  A perfect sacrifice.
By God's great grace and mercy ~ One has been provided.

"Jesus saith unto him, I am that way, the truth, and the life;

no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."  John 14:6

The Lord Jesus Christ came to live perfectly in our place.

He took the sins of His people on Himself in order to pay the penalty required.
On the cross, He suffered and died.  He laid down His life for those He came to save. 
He absorbed and satisfied the wrath of God for all the sin laid upon Him.

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin;
that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."  2 Corinthians 5:21

In that act, justice was served.  Mercy and grace were extended.

Those who come to the Lord in repentance and faith will be accepted.
They will be clothed in His righteousness.

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;

and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."  John 6:37

We bring nothing ~ He gives everything.

It is important to note that the Lord Jesus Christ did not stay dead.

He rose up from the tomb ~ forever conquering death and the evil one.
He returned to His Father in Heaven, where He intercedes for His people.
When the last of His children come to Him in repentance and faith,
He will return to take His people Home to Heaven to be with Him for all eternity.
He also will come to judge every one who has ever lived.  All of us.

The time to deal with these things is now.

Where do you stand?  What is the state of your never-dying soul?

Will you spend all of eternity with the Lord, or separated from Him?
On that final judgement day, will you hear these dreaded words? ~
"...I never knew you; depart from me..."  Matthew 7:23b

It truly is a frightening thought.  But, it is not too late.

As long as there is breath in your lungs, there is hope for your heart.
"...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."  Acts 16:31

If we cast ourselves on Him in repentance and faith, He will receive us.

If we trade our wretchedness for His righteousness, we will be saved.
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become 
the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name."  John 1:12

It is the most amazing, wonderful news of all!

May we all be found to be in Christ when 

He calls us out of this world, and into the next.  For all eternity.
By His grace and for His glory.  Alone.
Nothing else matters more than this.  Truly, nothing.

Many Blessings,

P.S.  Please feel free to email me at flowersinhisgarden@gmail.com

if you are interested to discuss these things further,
or, if you just would like someone to pray with you.  
God is forever Good.  Look to Him and live.


You Can Call Me Jane said...

Oh, Camille. What precious memories and photos...thinking of your family on this extra special day of remembering. May God bless you richly for your faithfulness and obedience. Praise Him!!

OurCrazyFarm said...

Praying for you today, Camille!

Pam said...

It is so precious to see your pictures of Austin, and all of your happy years together. I can't imagine how hard it must be, and how you must miss him so very much. I don't think there could be anything more difficult than loosing a child. One of our sons went away from us and the Lord for many years. It was the hardest thing of our life. But he is on the path of return now, and this is our greatest desire. We had many years of grieving, hoping, praying and believing he would come back. As Mothers, we cannot separate our children from our hearts. Our life centers around the longing to be with them, and to see them loving Jesus. I have read more and more about heaven of late, and I love the thought of how much more real it feels than ever before. Perhaps as I get older, I have a greater sense of how much closer it is than I did when I was young. I am thankful that we, as Christians can look forward to eternity with Jesus and our loved ones. It is truly the heart of all of our hope.
Thank you for the precious post.

Anonymous said...

So enjoyed your pictures. Thank you for sharing them . Life is but a vapor...until we meet again. :)

Tami said...

Dearest Camille,

Peeking into your corner of the world especially today, and wanted to say here how beautifully you honor your precious boy. The pictures are priceless, the memories are precious, and the gospel call that you so faithfully impart to all who will hear is the most loving thing you could give to your readers. How you honor your boy and how you honor the Lord! And I love that Austin's favorite verse is part of your call. What assurance! Friend, I pray that the Lord blesses you abundantly with comfort today and each day.

So Much Love from TX,

Nadine said...

Keeping you in my thoughts & prayers Camille! Hugs!


Anonymous said...

Camille, this is truly amazing. Your undying faith inspires me. Happy Birthday Austin!

Angela said...

Camille, Howie, Fraser, Calvin and Emma, may God continue to strengthen and comfort you. Thank you for sharing those precious pictures. Your words and call to faith are an inspiration to me. God bless you.

Sandy said...

Dear Camille,
What precious memories!! Indeed, God is good. How it comforts my heart to know Austin is in Heaven now, worshiping and praising God. Thinking of you and your family this day. Praying for you, my friend!
In Christ's grace,

Cinnamon said...

Camille, It was so sweet to look on Austin and his life with you. How good that you celebrate his life!
It is a gift to be able to think on him and know you will see him once again. A priceless gift.

Thank you for sharing him here.

~hugs~ Cinnamon

Oregon-Mama said...

Your blog (and heart) sweet sister is so beautiful. Hugs to you.

Lady Farmer said...

I did so want to comment yesterday as I was thinking about your precious Austin. My computer is not working and the wireless connection was down and is only limping along today until the tech guy comes tomorrow. I remember that his birthday was/is the day before mine. What an admirable young man he was and such a sweet, precious child. Just wanted you to know you and all of your family have been on my heart and in my prayers.
Be blessed, my dear friend.

Jennifer Jo said...

What a beautiful child.

Grandmabeckyl.blogspot said...

I read your post a couple days ago in the a.m. before work. Decided to wait to comment since it holds me up time wise. But I prayed for you all that day, on what would have been Austin's 19th birthday. Thanks for sharing the good memories of your son. I enjoyed seeing all the photos thru the years. Special for you as well. Hugs and blessings, my friend!

Debbie Harris said...

Dearest Camille,
This was a beautiful tribute to your son. You have many wonderful memories in your heart, what a blessing.
May God's grace fall abundnntly on you and your family.

Have a beautiful and blessed week end.

Camille said...

Dear Jane ~ You bless my heart. Thank you for your faithful friendship. Hugs to you! :)

Dear Terri ~ Your prayers are a blessing...thank you SO much! Hugs, my friend. :)

Dear Pam ~ Thank you for sharing your testimony of God's goodness to you here regarding your son. I am sure many will be encouraged as they read what you have written. As long as there is breath, there is hope! Thank you also for your kind friendship. Blessings to you! :)

Dear Nikki ~ It surely is! How precious these moments are...but, how much more precious the moments will be there!! Heaven is our Home! Hugs. :)

Dear Tami ~ I always love to *see* you here...thank you for stopping by and for leaving such a sweet comment. You bless my heart. Hugs to you! :)

Dear Nadine ~ Thank you so much my sweet friend. :)

Dear Anonymous ~ Faith is a wonderful gift from God...it's all of Him. Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement. Blessings to you! :)

Dear Angela ~ Thank you my friend...may the Lord bless you richly in the coming days. He is eternally Good. Hugs. :)

Dear Sandy ~ Yes, truly, filling our minds with the truth of where our boy is now is such a comfort to our hearts. We miss him so much, but, we know we will see him again. How precious it is to belong to the Lord! Hugs to you my sweet friend! :)

Dear Cinnamon ~ Thank you for your kind and encouraging words my friend. Hugs to you! :)

Dear Oregon Mama ~ You bless my heart. Thank you for your sweet encouragement. Hugs. :)

Dear Raeann ~ How lovely to hear from you here my sweet friend!! Your words make me smile. Happy belated birthday to YOU! Hugs from me to you! :)

Dear Jennifer Jo ~ Thank you so much. We miss him terribly, but, we are confident we will be together once again in eternity. God is so very, very Good. Hugs. :)

Dear Becky ~ Yes, I am so thankful we have all the photos to look back through...however, this was a difficult post to put together. It stirs up so many emotions to browse through the old photo albums. The Lord is Good in the midst of it all...He carries His people along. We are so thankful to belong to Him. Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave a sweet comment. :)

Dear Debbie ~ Thank you for your kind words and for reminding me of God's goodness to us in all the memories. He is eternally Good! Hugs to you! :)

Many Blessings,

PippaDavies said...

Dear Camille
On reading your story and tribute to your wonderful Austin I smiled and shed a tear at the same time. Thinking and praying God's blessings for you today! I have to tell you that Matt's choice of food to give up for Lent was aptly hamburgers. When I asked him why hamburgers he told me that he was doing it for Austin, as he remembered the struggle and resolute of your young man! How great is our God! Bless you and keep you and may the Lord smile His face upon you today and always.

Unknown said...

I love you.

Camille said...

Dear Pippa ~ Your words made me smile. Thank you for being such a sweet encouragement to my heart. Please give Matt a hug from me. :)

With love,

Camille said...

Dearest Cousin ~ You show up as *Unknown*...we will have to remedy that!! :) I love you SO!! XOXO