working out our faith.

December 23, 2011

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I mentioned on Monday that Christopher's grandmother passed away the end of last week. I have been to funerals and even one open casket before but it had been awhile. We went to the funeral (open casket) and the burial (which that was a first for me) and I just came home sick to my stomach.


I know all of the truths...I know she is in heaven with God/ in perfection, but I just couldn't shake the pit in my stomach. Everything felt really fast to me.


At the funeral when everyone was walking by her for the last time...I kept thinking "what if that was Chris or the babies or a close friend"...and I just had to hurry and say bye to them in front of all these people and then the body be buried forever. (I need to remember back to my tiny shells post).


We got home and Christopher and I were pretty quiet all night...then after the babies were asleep and we were sitting in the stillness....I uttered the sentence I was nervous to even say outloud-


"Christopher, did today make you think...even for a moment- I hope we are right about all of this?"


He's always so sweet...he said...you know God talks about in the bible that it is good for us to work out our faith.


It is good to ask questions and work through it in your mind.


So for about an hour we talked about Jesus' life and what the bible says of heaven.


After my miscarriage so so many people said I should read "Heaven is for real"....I really really wanted to, I just hadn't made it a priority to go get and start! So the next day Chris surprised me and bought the book. I am only 2 chapters in but so excited to finally be reading it!


 Have any of you read it?!


I am grateful that I have the grace to work out my faith and the hope in heaven.


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54 comments:

  1. It is so natural to have those feelings especially around a time when you have to actually face the facts that someone has passed away and that they ARE in heaven with our sweet Savior...
    I have read that book and it is AH-MAZING! You will love it!

    I love this verse::My soul praises the Lord; my heart rejoices in God my Savior. Luke 1:46-47

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  2. I really really enjoyed Heaven is For Real. I started and finished it in the same night... I just couldn't put it down. While there's a lot of controversy about its theological accuracy, I think it's a strong tool to have in your box when you are the sort of person that finds yourself reminded again and again about loss. You don't expect it, and you don't know what to say. You just know it's as unavoidable as your own shadow. I actually wrote a post about that book on my blog not long ago.

    From me, it comes highly highly recommended to your gentle spirit.

    I love the little pieces of your heart that you've shown us, Casey. And even though I don't know you, I pray for you and your sweet family all the time.

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  3. Thank you for bringing this up. I have the same feelings and I worry so much about those in my life that have no faith. When it comes to my children? I can't even venture there...thank you for mentioning this book. I am going to look for it today!

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  4. This topic has really been on my mind lately and I'm so glad you are sharing your own struggles with it. I often wish God would tell us more about what heaven is like.

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  5. Awesome thoughts Case. It is sooooo important to question and think about what we believe and bring it back to what Jesus taught. So often the church has gotten off course because they've believed a pastor or a book or just something that claims to be Christ's message of love, hope, joy and peace but isn't. Sometimes I wonder what you were wondering too. What if when we die we find out that none of it is true. That we've been living this way, trying to follow this Jesus guy, and live out his teachings. But at some point I realized (with the help of many friends) that if we do in fact get there and none of this is true or real, that I would still be okay with that because I had lived a life that was good, full of light and love and grace and peace towards others. And this in itself is a wonderful thing. All that to say, I wholeheartedly believe that there is too much detail, too much creativity going on around us and in us for it not to be an incredible story woven together for us by Love, but just a thought to help you in your processing. Hope you guys have a great Christmas! xo

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  6. it does seem so fast, however, with my cousns passing we waited a couple extra days, and the dread of having to go through the funeral, was awful, knowing what was ahead of us. The emotional toll it takes on you. Either way I think it is a lose-lose. :(

    I have really been wanting to read that book! I can't wait to hear what you think of it!

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  7. I'm so excited that you are reading that book. A friend of mine loaned it to me. She is "not a reader" ( her words) and she read it in one sitting. I loved it. Hope you enjoy it!
    xo
    Andee

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  8. I read the book and probably need to read it again. It did give me great comfort in knowing that my babies will be there waiting for me. I probably will try to read it again in January since my mom recently died. Beautiful book though.

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  9. You are spot on, God wants us to dig deeper and ask questions because if we don't, are we learning? Are we growing??

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  10. We are born to die, but it is while we live that we prepare ourselves for heaven.

    Casey, Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family. Take in every Christmas moment and make it a memory in your heart. Focus on the life, not the death, of a person's time here on Earth.

    I say there must be a heaven, Casey, from where else did our children come?

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  11. I've read that book, awesome!! The things in it are amazing. It might sound a little weird, but it makes you excited to go to heaven and not worry so much:)

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  12. Have you read The Shack by William Paul Young? In the story, something happens to his child and he's struggling with his faith, trying to make sense of it all. It's a really good book.

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  13. So funny, I am actually reading it RIGHT now. I am on chapter 18. I bet I'll finish it soon because I can't put it down.. what a faith encourager. You will love it :)

    One day we will meet Jesus!! I keep reminding myself of that reality. Keep pursuing deeper faith, Casey. He will guide you :)

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  14. I'm sorry to hear Chris lost his grandmother.
    I read Heaven is for Real after my Dad passed this summer. It gave me such a sense of peace thinking about heaven and those that we have lost. I loved the emphasis on how much God loves the children.
    Hope y'all have a wonderful Christmas!

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  15. Casey, I remember leaving a comment on your blog after you lost baby Addison about heaven is for real. It is such a great book and I'm so glad you're reading it!! I really believe it will give you peace in your heart.
    Lindsey

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  16. its really encouraging to hear you talk about your faith. I've often asked that same question to my husband, 'what if we're wrong?' I had to say goodbye to my dad when I was in my early years of college, saying goodbye to him quickly then walking away from the casket, feeling sorta awkward with all eyes on my family and me. it was weird, it was sad, it was almost unbearable. Since then I've had to ask Jesus daily to author more and more faith in me, to remind me that my earthly father was a Believer and that he is with Heavenly Father. In that He's given me a wonderful husband who encourages my faith and two awesome babies who resemble their granddad (my dad) in so many ways. I still ask that question though, but my husband always says, "He (Yeshua) either IS or ISN'T, He means everything He said or He doesn't, we have to take it all or none of it".... then I feel HIS peace, and faith, and take on another day only through the strength and faith He provides. Thanks for this, it was really encouraging:)

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  17. love you friend. and weve gine through a lot of the same thoughts/working out our faith...we lost Parker's dad when i was 7 months pregnant with Abigail, and then our miscarriage last Fall, which we've talked about before. both so unexpected. and it caused me to have to question and work out faith too. but Parker always took me back to where scripture says that as believers, we do not grieve like those who have no hope. (1 Thess 4:13) - it brought us much comfort. we DO have the opportunity to grieve with HOPE, as weird as that sounds...but its just our Truth as believers.

    Alot of people recommended that book to me too...I was very touched by the chapter that addresses the miscarriage, and it remains in my mind as a reminder that the little life I had inside was for real and still lives with his or her Lord in Heaven now. such a comfort.

    Love you friend. I think God loves it when we seek further understanding about stuff like this. prayers to yall - and Merry Christmas!

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  18. Yes! I've read that book and I love it. I had downloaded it to my kindle and I was having surgery and my husband picked it up and read the whole book while I was in surgery. While I was recovering he sat and read it to me and it has really helped encourage us with the issues we've been through. I'd recommend it a million times over!

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  19. The book is fabulous! Hearing the heavenly truths from a child who is simply telling it like he saw it is so incredible. To him, he isn't saying anything divine or amazing. He is just beig honest an truthful. You will love it. I know you will. I think we all have times of doubt. It is only natural because we are imperfect sinners but we have God's salvation holdin is strong. The book will help I think. Let us know what you think. Merry Christmas!
    --Nancy

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  20. I'm very sorry to hear about your loss. I really love reading your blog and hearing about your faith. While you are reading the bible, if I can suggest a couple of verses: Ecclesiastes 9:5, which states that "the dead know nothing" and the hope from that in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (awesome verse!), which gives hope of those being raised at the second coming of Christ.
    Hope those help you during this time. Hope I don't sound preachy or anything, I just found clarity myself in them, while studying the bible! Happy Holidays! Your family is adorable :)

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  21. I love that the Bible tells us that it's okay to question and work out our faith...God is strong enough to deal with it all.

    I haven't read the book. I've heard it's pretty amazing, but I'll admit I'm not even sure what it's all about. Maybe I'll check it out soon.

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  22. i am reading HEAVEN by Randy Alcorn. I have never been more interested in what heaven is like, and what my children are doing up there. When my triplets died this past summer, I dove into any and every book there was that described heaven, or why children have to die. It helps that my toddler is a fantastic sleeper, or I wouldn't have time for all these books. I want to read Heaven is for Real, I'm just nervous that it will make me even sadder. Let me know how it goes!

    heather
    no longer reticent
    hmsd.blogspot.com

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  23. Casey, I believe that a faith unquestioned isn't real faith. We all must revisit our beliefs time and again. And afterwards, we still see the truth in Jesus Christ as our Savior. It's natural that we ask ourselves about Him from time to time. And He built us in such a way that we are always seeking Him. Asking questions is a part of our seeking. God bless you.
    Merry Christmas!

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  24. I thought a lot about this when I went through the death of one of my closest friends this past May. It is so hard not to ask these questions. I had just read Heaven Is For Real a few weeks before the accident that took my friend's life....and it truly helped me through this experience in my life. I recommend reading it. :)

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  25. It's natural for you to feel that way and to think the thoughts you had and even to question what is happening around you and what your future holds. But I know that just by reading your posts you are a loving wife and fierce mother and even though we don't know what will happen tomorrow - as long as you are content with being where you are in the "right now" - you should be ok Casey. Chris will be ok too. It's hard to go to funerals, period. I don't care what anyone else says - they are creepy, eerie, and make me very uneasy - such a black cloud on what I view as an ending. That is normal. I am not the only one. You are not the only one.

    I hope you and your family have a beautiful Christmas despite this great loss, and focus on the new year ahead and what exciting things will come your way. Just be you, that's all you are supposed to be :) Wishing you and Chris Peace ~ xo

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  26. I think we have all had moments where we wonder "is this all really real?" Thank God we have such a compassionate and loving God that sends us reassurance and comfort when we have these moments. Thank you for sharing your heart. You totally are an encouragement, even in the moments that are hard for you. God bless you and your family and may He bring you guys from glory to glory :)

    Brooke

    thebebebirds.blogspot.com

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  27. Heaven is for Real is a great book! It really made me excited about heaven, instead of fearful of it. I know that anyone I've lost in my life that was a believer is really in a better place. People always mention that phrase "in a better place," but this book really brings it to life in a REAL way that you can imagine. Happy reading and Merry Christmas!

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  28. I encourage you to read Heaven by Randy Alcorn. It is scripture based & really goes into depth about what Heaven is going to be like. I'm working my way through it now & I'm loving it.
    For once I can say that I am truly looking forward to going home. Without saying well I want my little man to grow up & play ball in the yard. I am finally at a place where I would be thrilled if the rapture happened right now! My little man will be with me in Glory & we can throw a ball in the yard with our Savior! Now that is an experience I'm looking forward to!

    Prayers to your family during this difficult time. Its good to remember you morn for yourself & not the precious lady who is enjoying her time with Jesus. :)

    Have a Merry Christmas Casey & family!

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  29. I love that book! I recommended it to my cousin who has a miscarriage last week too.

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  30. bravo to you for voicing the question that many of us have pondered at one time or another. in your case, sounds like you searched for the answers in the Bible and learned oh so much. i love that.
    Heaven is For Real is amazing...you won't be sorry.

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  31. After losing my Daddy last September, I was recommended this book, and actually a sweet blog friend sent it to me. It really made me see clearly that what I believe is real. I think it is completely healthy to questions from time to time, and death always brings up those shakey questions. Great read. They make a children's book too (that I am giving my nephews and niece this year for Christmas). I found it at Walmart, but here is a link.

    http://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Real-Kids-Little-Astounding/dp/140031870X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1324664229&sr=8-2

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  32. i love that book. i finished it in a day!

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  33. Heaven Is For Real is one of the best books I have ever read. I have two siblings waiting for me to meet in heaven. I lost three close family member's in a short span of six months and I was devistated. This book helped me to realize that when we pass on it's not goodbye,it's just a see you later.

    -Lucy

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  34. Keeping you in prayer♥LG

    p.s. Check out my giveaway: http://lilygaray.blogspot.com/2011/12/its-second-giveaway.html

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  35. that is well said by your husband, God wants us to chew on things, and keep moving forward and grow...
    Just when we always think we've arrived, God shows us something else to dig into..
    god bless you all on this Christmas and always...
    xoxo

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  36. From someone who has tottered back and forth on the faith and religion fence, I can honestly say that book was eye opening an inspiring [and I read it while I was more on the non-believing side]. It helped open my mind and open my heart. Although I still struggle almost daily with what I believe, what I want to believe, and what I'll probably always question, those pages [like your own entire blog], offered so much wisdom.

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  37. that book is on my list for sure! i remember just feeling so unsure about everything in my life after my first miscarriage - then after our second miscarriage i was certain that the world was upside down. God works with us through it all and never leaves our side. :) Thanks for sharing your heart!

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  38. I haven't heard of this book. But I honestly plan on adding this to my list of books and find it real soon. This sounds like a good book.

    Funerals are hard.I've never been to an open casket funeral before. I've only been to burials and memorials of life. Any kind of funeral is a sad one for me. I feel like an old soul...a very sensitive one...when it comes to funerals I always find them very hard to digest.

    Keeping peoples memories alive and thinking about people in heaven brings such solitude and joy to my heart and mind.

    I'm sorry for your families loss. Find strength in the happy times, your Family and Friends. :)

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  39. i'm praying for you guys!! i know how hard it is to lose a loved one. you and chris are amazing... i love your deep convos!!!! love you case! xox

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  40. Casey, I wanted to share one of my favorite scriptures : "

    For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 tim 1:7.

    ...Just remember that Satan is at work just as God is...this scripture tells us that Fear is not of God...when we let fear creep in is steals our peace. This is something (especially as a mama) that I struggled with for a long time...anytime I feel fear set in I just repeat this scripture until I feel peace...it took a lot of work but the fear that Satan tries to place in my life is cast out by the promises of an awesome God ;)

    Hope you have a lovely Christmas~!

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  41. Casey I sent you a private message on your facebook. Please know I am warning, not reprimanding.

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  42. Casey, thanks for sharing your doubt with us. Makes me feel normal! Working out ones faith gets hard sometimes, but I am glad God is there to work it out with us!

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  43. Yes I have read that book. It restored a lot of hope for me since losing Jenna. I hope it brings your heart so much comfort. Funerals are hard, hard hard.

    sending lots of love your way Casey, thank you for always sharing so openly. you're my hero ;)

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  44. read the book. it had a profound impact on my life. spoken from the mouth of a babe so you can't deny its validity. sorry i texted you during the viewing. oh that's awful!

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  45. We lost my cousin unexpectedly this summer she was young and it hurt bad. It made me both question my faith and grow closer to god. As for thinking about losing one of your babies that thought crossed my mind and my husbands minds a lot because it was a freak accident. I once read something that said 'don't morn a loss before it happens because it just makes things harder.'. I'm always keeping that in mind.

    Let us know how the book is bc I've been thinking about reading it

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  46. I'm a few chapters in myself :) love it so far. Can't imagine how empty it must feel to not have the assurance of heaven that we have!

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  47. Again, I am so sorry for ya'll's loss. :( It's refreshing to know that there are other people that work things out about their faith. I haven't read that book yet, but i've been told many times to read it. I'm afraid it will break my heart and inspire me all at the same time.

    I hope you and the babies are feeling much better and I hope ya'll have a wonderful Christmas!

    xoxo

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  48. heaven is for real is truly and inspiring and incredible book!! I can't wait to read your thoughts on it!! enjoy!!!!!

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  49. Casey, I just have to say what an encouragement your blog is to me...I dream about being a wife and mama one day, and in today's culture sometimes even family members make me feel like I'm lacking some sort of ambition or drive because my biggest dreams are centered on relationships and not the corporate ladder. you give me courage, you make me feel like I'm not alone. thank you for that.

    your children are absolutely beautiful, and the way you talk about your parenting decisions is so real and honest and brave. I so admire that!

    also, you are going to LOVE Heaven Is For Real :) :)

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  50. This is such a beautiful post, and I'm thinking I may need to read that book....

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  51. I've read Heaven is for Real. What a great book--enjoy!

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  52. Yes, so so many people told you to read the book, and I am one of them! It helped me tremendously dealing with my miscarriage.

    I too, had been told by so many to read that book and never got around to it until it was just put in front of my face. I'm so glad Christopher got it for you, it's incredible.

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  53. My husband and I lost our 18-month-old girl, Ryann Serena, very suddenly in May. I have also struggled with our faith in the aftermath of this and while losing Ryann hasn't affected any specific beliefs or ideas I now have absolutely no doubt that I will see her again. Simply because I have to. I have no choice but to believe now. I will hold her, I will see her grow, I will be with her again. If it weren't true, what would be the point? I'm so sorry for your loss. I can imagine how loved he was and what a hole there is now.

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