From the Father of Lights -

I'm flying home tonight, a night flight from Colorado to Florida. I chose the flight partly because it leaves in the early evening, which is good for the Pattersons, and not really caring that I get in at 10:45pm, with the 2hr. adjustment, and partly I chose it because I love to fly at night. From the sunset to watching the wingtips change colors in the sun rays to watching the lights come on over America, and thousands of winking yellow and white lights over dark land turn something that seems big into something so tiny. 

I love being reminded that God is big and I am small. He is fully capable, and I am fully reliant. 

Last night Mr.P and Mrs. P. and I had dinner together and watched a movie, then we went outside and toasted marshmallows by the fire and sat on the swing and watched the stars come out. Everything seems so much closer here in Colorado. It might be the altitude, and it might be the larger expanse of sky, or as Mr. P says, it might be because there is no sea haze. Whatever the case may be, it was stunning. We laid out on our backs on their deck and watched the Space Station soar overhead. There is nothing like that joy, except maybe what we saw next. Mrs. Patterson saw 5 shooting stars! I had to wait to see mine. 

And then I saw it. A large shooting star, bright and glowing, with a trail of glittering, sparkling dust in its wake. It shone brilliantly, and soared through the sky, before disappearing behind the pines. 

How like Avery's life, I thought. A glorious light of life, glowing and brilliant, and then soaring into the next World. How precious is God's heart for His people that He does not leave us where we are, but gives us glowing gifts of Grace and Life, and then promises a far better Home than this one!! 

From one world to the next world, we are beloved by the Father of Lights, the Giver of Every Good Gift.
Tomorrow is the day we buried Avery's shell, while awaiting the day we too would enter our new Home. It is a day of painful memories, heartbreaking cries, shattered looks and stunning loss. It was a very hard day. Yet it was proclaimed over and over by Avery's Daddy and Grandaddies that the Gospel changes everything, and the Gospel gives us hope. We are not left alone, neither are we left to wonder, for God loves Avery, and God loves us. It was proclaimed from the pulpit, it was proclaimed by the graveside, it was proclaimed with every song we sang, our desperate hearts holding onto God's Truth .... We are His. He never lets go. He brings us to GLORY.

I always think of Heaven when I see shooting stars, and I always think of glory. And there are few more glorious things than looking at Avery, daily wondering in awe, the design of God's hands of glory in a child. I am glad I knew him. I am even more glad that I loved him so deeply, and I am most glad of all that Jesus loves Avery so highly, and cares for him so deeply. One day we shall also rise to our Heavenly Home. 

Our Redeemer is faithful and true, and will fulfill all He has promised!

For - 
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of Lights, 
with Whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." ~ James 1:17

Today I am thankful. 
For grace, for life, for love ... for shooting stars that remind me how brilliantly our Savior must shine. 
How His beloved also all must shine in His presence, with His name on their foreheads, and their faces radiant.
How Avery will always be in my memories marked with bright joy and glory. 
How glorious my Lord is and always shall be! How because of Christ, the grave and death will one day be no more.

"Oh, death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where thy victory?"

Please continue to keep Audra and John in your prayers,
and thank you for all the prayers you have lifted up to the Father on their behalf over this year.

With much love always,
~ Jean Marie ~