Four Weeks.

First of all, I would like to say thank you again, to everyone who has been so encouraging. The comments I have received have been just wonderful.

This week has been good. Yet, today was hard. I am not really sure why. Nothing happened or didn’t happen to make it a hard day. It just was. Such is mourning, I suppose.  I took the kids to the pool, we played and ate Sonic. In the car I looked at them all hot and sweaty and happy. It made my heart swell with love. I am so proud of my kids. I am so thankful for them.  I talked to them about how happy I am that we are so close as a family. That in the history of families, we will be one of the top contenders of “Closest Family” Which made them chuckle. I meant it.

Each night I have one of the kids sleep in the bed with me. Before they fall asleep, we whisper, cuddle, and laugh. I have started to love these quiet moments in the night. I find out little pieces about them and their thoughts. So happy to have that time.

Tonight it was Luke’s turn. As we snuggled up, he said he had something really neat to tell me. With wide eyes, he told me that he just knows something big is coming. He said that he feels like his life will be something big. I said, “what do you think it is?”  His reply, “I don’t know but God sure does. And it will be huge. I can feel it in my heart.”  I went on to tell him that Daddy’s story is his too. That there is purpose in all of this. That I pray for him to be a mighty man of God, that will tell others about Jesus. Every time I said something new, his smile got bigger and bigger.  We ended our conversation by Luke telling me that he is excited.  I am too, Luke. I am too.

Funny how God takes our hard and difficult days and uses them to soften our hearts. Almost molding them for great purpose. Today at the end of it all, I am thankful for the tough days. Almost as much as the wonderful ones He brings. Without rain, how would the fields get watered. Without water for the fields, nothing could grow.

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45 Responses to “Four Weeks.”

  1. kelly says:

    what an amazing woman you are!! Praise be to God for the strength he gives to you! I am in awe of your ability to continue to uplift your children and show them the LOVE the father has given unto us. You are covered in prayer, Mandy……………

    • zac says:

      Thanks for your prayers and encouragement. He alone does me strength but He also uses people like you, through encouraging words and prayer!

  2. Zsera says:

    Your kids are lucky to have you for their mama!

  3. Sarah K says:

    I wanted to let you know that your perspective is inspiring. I am praying for continued strength and comfort for you and your family as God continues to reveal his will for your new life. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • zac says:

      Thank you Sarah. I am looking forward to what God is revealing. I have some thoughts on that very thing that I hope to share soon!

  4. Elloree says:

    I wanted to write to encourage you today. I read your story on Kelly’s Korner and I am in awe of your strength and courage. I want you to know that you are thought of and prayed for by Christians that you do not know and will likely never know. The Lord is with you. Kind regards,

    Elloree Ganes

    • zac says:

      So grateful for your encouragement! Thank you for thinking and praying for me. It is amazing how many people start off by saying, I have never met you or Zac but….. and then they say something wonderful. Our God is so big!

  5. Rachel says:

    What a sweet little boy you have there! My gracious that is just too precious!

  6. Jenifer says:

    Your amazing I got your link of Kelly’s Korner …god is amazing and I cant wait to here What God has showon Luke with

  7. Crazy that I’ve never met you or your husband, but I’ve been so deeply touched by your lives and story. Awesome how you are carrying your husband’s legacy on in such a beautiful way…here on this blog and in the lives of your children. Praying God’s best for you all!

    • zac says:

      Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement. My prayer, hope and desire is all about carrying on the obedience that Zac had for sharing Jesus with others.

  8. Colleen says:

    Hi Mandy. My name is Colleen and I have never met you or Zac. I heard about your blog through another blog. I was able to follow Zac’s progress for awhile now. He touched my heart and through his words and wisdom strengthened my personal relationship with the Lord. I am so sorry for your loss. I admire your strength and faith in the Lord. Thank you for sharing your story and love for our Father!
    Sisters in Christ!

    • zac says:

      Thanks so much Collen. I am so glad you were able to follow with all of us on Zac’s journey. He felt so loved and supported in this way. I am so happy to hear his story had a positive impact in your life! God has a plan and purpose in all things.

  9. jennibell says:

    I admire your strength and I admire the legacy your husband left his family.

  10. L2L says:

    Mandy, you are in our prayers. My heart rests in seeing that you have learned one of the most important lessons we, as wives can, giving up control to God is what gets us through. As a military wife, I came to grips with this truth, this comfort, this promise so early in our marriage as he was shipped off to Iraq when I had a 2 year old and one on the way. As I prayed God’s only answer was that he would bring my husband home but I needed to remember that my husband had two homes, one with me and one waiting in heaven. Most did not understand but I drew great strength and peace in knowing that which ever home he went with he would be alright!!!! And also knowing that God was with both of us at the same time would mean I would always have my husband with me at all times. And as I have been apart of and witnessed the great grief that goes along with losing a spouse, and very blessed not to walk that path as of now, I do know that it gets so much harder but those who are grounded in Christ and have him to draw on make it through and continue to live life in Christ’s fullness and let him fill that void that is created when our beloved spouse makes that home going. We will pray for you, knowing that God already has much in store for you and your children.

  11. Karen says:

    Welcome to widowhood. It’s an elite club. I have 4 kids too. My husband was killed in a car accident when the youngest were 3 and 5, and the oldest were 26 and 23. I had no forewarning, but we are believers so that is our comfort.

    May I say, you will find the Lord Jesus to be all you need? I simply cannot begin to tell you all the ways the Lord has been for me a husband, and a father to my children. I was in a far less mentally and emotionally stable place then ( 2002) than you seem to be today; yet. God has led me, protected me, provided for me, and comforted me. I am content, I do not feel alone or lonely and my children are ( so far) doing well.

    I do have a rich prayer life and fill my days with the word of God and prayer. If ever anything starts going south, I know it’s because I am not praying enough or have let His word take a back burner.

    I encourage you to keep those night time prayers and talks with your children. We cried every night for a year, but I kept telling them the promises, and turning their sweet faces to their heavenly father. How many times when they cried that the other kids had daddy’s and they didn’t, did I tell them, “yes, but! But their very own father is the Lord God- the most powerful, loving, kindest, richest and smartest father you can have.”

    I tell them, just think, the other kids go to an earthly father for help, and you get to just pray and God promises as your father to be ALL YOU NEED! It’s special, and it’s His promise to them. He said I will be a father to the fatherless. A FATHER!

    This comforts a mother, so much! Sometimes, in the past I would have a pang in my heart, and say ,Lord Jesus, here I am at another PTA meeting, the only widow, the only single Mom ( so it seemed to me in a sea of couples) sighing…

    I heard the Lord say to me so clearly, ” Karen, I AM RIGHT HERE” He chided me! He said it hurt Him when I felt alone, when He was right there! I apologized, and believed in my heart that He was enough, and now I am content.

    My prayers are with you my sister. It gets better, you get stronger. It is a special wonderful thing to have the Lord as husband. You and Christ, can do all things, and I mean ALL. Just take to him anything you would have asked your husband to do, remind him of his promise to you, and He will do it. We have fixed machinery, built trampolines, gotten safely home when lost, prayed away illness so I could take care of everyone, …you get my point. God is very near to us. Be encouraged!

    Lynchburg, VA

    • Jillian B says:

      Dear Karen; We lost my father two weeks ago to cancer, and just two days ago my Mom fell and broke her ankle. As an adult daughter with two kids of her own, I found myself in a sad place this morning. I turned to Mandy’s blog so that I could turn my focus back to God’s goodness and purposefully rest in His strength. (Mandy, you are a ministry!). I also found that your message spoke to me today. I hear God’s voice chiding me that He is my Father! I am not alone. He is now a husband to my Mom. She is not alone! He WILL take care of all of us. What a refreshing perspective. Thank you so much for your kind words to Mandy, and to me :)

      • zac says:

        Thank you so much for sharing your story as well. God is our father and for that I am so thankful. When we knew that Zac would most likely die because of cancer, we had many talks with the kids about this very thing. Zac used to tell them. ” I am your father and so is God, but when I am gone, God will still be your father, always. Death cannot take that away.” What wonderful truth we have to know that nothing can separate us from the Father. Who loves us more then we can possible imagine. I am so sorry to hear of your father’s passing. I hate that live in the world where this disease is rampant. BUT I love that we will someday live where cancer and death and sadness has no authority. Only God.

    • zac says:

      Thank you Karen for sharing your story. I love the end of your comment about going to him for things to do…just had a similar experience trying to move a fallen tree branch! God is so good to us. Thank you for giving me a idea of the future… God has such a sustaining grace, doesn’t he?

  12. Tiago Pereira Lima says:

    Hello my name is Tiago i live in Manhuaçu -mg Brasil and i see Zac story is amazing, Despite i dont know your family i pray for all. I am so sorry for your loss. God know and do the best for everyone. Sorry for my ingles i dont know much.

    • zac says:

      Your English is great! Wish I could write back in Spanish! Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. It is so nice to hear from you.

  13. Beth B. says:

    I am thinking of you today.

  14. Deborah says:

    What a blessing to see the hope and joy God is giving you in the midst of this extreme testing.
    I hope you will continue to post about your experience and all that God is showing you for many months/years to come,
    deborah in Canada

  15. Patty says:

    Mandy, what a burden you shoulder and what a privilege you have gi ven us to let us have a peek. I love to read this blog and see just how far reaching your ministry is. I love you and those precious kids so much, I love your perspective so much. You and the children remain in our prayers. Can’t wait to see the big things coming for you all!!

  16. Chris says:

    Dear Mandy,

    This is one of your friends from Idaho. You all have been in my heart and prayers these past few weeks. I am continually praying for you and your family and cherish the time that I was able to be around you all even though brief. I wanted to let you know that yesterday I returned from Montreal after meeting my wife for her visa interview. She was granted her visa after 9 longs months and will finally be coming home in a few short weeks. Thank you for your prayers and support. I have special memories of our lunch at Bucky’s. Talk to you soon.


  17. Jenn C says:

    My family and I live in Flagstaff and go to Grace. I just wanted to say that I was praying for you and your family today – a month since Zac went to heaven, right? Yesterday was an anniversary of sorts for us, 2 months since our baby Noah went to heaven.

    I pray that God continues to give you His peace and strength. Thank you for sharing Zac and your lives.

  18. Monica says:

    Hi Mandy…
    I am a young widow as well – I lost my husband almost six years ago. We were both 33. Tears rolled down my face for you and your sweet children tonight as I read your blog. I remember, oh so well, those first few days, weeks, months and even years. If you ever want to talk, please feel free to email me. I am on Facebook and have several friends on there who are young widows as well – I would love to introduce you to them, if you are a Facebooker:).

    You and your children are being lifted up at this very moment. While I remember the early days so very well, I would never presume to know exactly what you’re feeling, but our Heavenly Father does and He will take care of you perfectly!

    Sending hugs,

  19. Claire says:

    Such a wonderful post, full of beauty and grace. I’m praying for you!


  20. Stacy says:

    Zac’s story and your family’s continues to inspire me. Thank you for continuing to share.

  21. Jennifer D says:

    Mandy, I just wanted to say that I was thinking of you and those beautiful (& amazing) children on this Father’s Day Eve. I hope and pray that you find comfort in each other as you remember such a truly remarkable man. Thank you for the honor of being able to follow through his journey and now yours. May God continue to walk along with you all.

  22. Jillian says:

    Your family is in my prayers today. May you all get a big hug from your Heavenly Father today.

  23. Fernando y Verónica Páez says:

    Mandy, thank you for this blog. We are thinking of you today, Father’s Day. How are you and the kids today? We are praying for you.
    Fernando y Verónica Páez

  24. Colleen says:

    I just wanted to let you know that you and your children were in thoughts yesterday. I am sure it was a difficult day. What a glorious day it was for Zac. Sharing Father’s Day with the Father of us all!
    Lifting you up in prayer,

  25. Melinda says:

    Someone emailed me the video that Zac was in sharing about his story – that God is good whether he healed him of cancer or allowed him to die. What a testimony. My beloved brother, Rocky, was taken tragically in an ATV accident on May 20th, only four days after Zac died. He was only 42 with a beautiful wife and two children. I certainly understand the pain of great loss but also the conviction that God is good not matter what, and in all things to God be the glory. God will continue to use you and your children in dramatic fashion with the days that He has given to you on this earth. Be blessed!

  26. Todd says:

    I just recently saw the amazing video that was put together about Zac’s life. I can’t tell you how inspiring I found his words to be. I have a friend from school who is 34 years old. I was devastated to hear that he has been diagnosed with terminal colon cancer. Sadly, he has not accepted Jesus into his life. I’ve been witnessing to him as opportunities arise. Today, I sent him a link to the video. I know that this will have more power than anything I’ve shared with him to date. I wanted you to know that Zac’s video is witnessing and planting seeds in many lives.

  27. Leidya says:

    Hello Mandy,

    My name is Leidya and I am from Egypt.. Over the past hour, the Lord has taken me through your story, from Zac’s video on youtube describing how cancer is the best thing that happened to him, to his comments in his twitter account, then here to Zac and you.

    In the past hour there have been tears and there have been smiles. There has been frustration, and there has been faith… It was an eventful hour for me… I cannot imagine what the past months have been like for you…

    I am writing to tell you that across the globe, I am overwhelmed by the power of God’s work in your life through faith.. As a sister in the body of Christ, I want to tell you how proud I feel at your firm decision and faithfulness to glorify the Lord above all else.. but I know this does not come at any easy or simple cost… Which is the second reason I write.. Though we have never met in person, I want you to know that you have a prayer friend across the globe, till we meet on this earth on in glory…


  28. Cari says:

    I just want to say that tonight my church played Zac’s youtube video and as a cancer patient it really hit home. He truly had the same mind frame that I have as I go thru this challenge. I immediately came home to share that video with every one on facebook. God bless you and your family! You will forever and always be in my thoughts and prayers!

  29. Aaron says:

    My dad has been fighting cancer, and recently he was told that he had 6 months at best to live. I’ve been trying my best to be ok, as well as my dad. then i when to tangle and the first thing i saw was Zac’s video, and it was very touching to his life in my dad, and it encourages me. God bless

  30. Debbie says:

    I just heard Zac’s story tonight at Willamette Christian Church – West Linn, OR. I was so moved! Life can be hard and Zac has left behind a wonderful message of hope and FAITH! Thank you so much and PRAISE to ZAC for being the man he is!
    Thank you for the website.
    I am so happy I could come here and let you know how much his life meant to me even though I have yet to meet him!
    Best to you. Glad you have those wonderful children to snuggle and cuddle with.

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