This new experience has been awful, but the evident hand of the Lord at work has brought a lot of comfort, and at times, even joy.
How He knew we would need a bubbling, smiling, cooing almost-five-month-old baby girl to brighten all our spirits.
Or How He provided more food than we ever thought could be consumed in a weekend, but actually ended up being eaten because of all the extended family that came to surround us, and especially Daniel's mom.
How when everything was over we realized *hundreds* of Christians were praying for the spiritual and physical health of Daniel's father. What a witness!
Or how we thought the visitation and funeral were going to be difficult (they still were), but they ended up being even more of a blessing because of the overwhelming amount of people that came full of stories and comments about Ralph, his life, and all he meant to them. Wonderful, precious comments, hilarious stories, touching memories. Everything you could think of.
How He kept the weekend interesting with Granddaddy's infamous trip up from Panama City, complete with running out of gas, getting a speeding ticket, and arriving with white fuzz because he had packed the wrong razor!
How He reminded us of His love through Daniel's cousin Brian's unabashed, honest expression of love to his Aunt Janet, and his sweet good-bye to Uncle Ralph at the visitation, complete with a pat on Ralph's chest and a kiss on his forehead.
Even the obvious fact that Daniel is in seminary has been a blessing. He's been able to take off of classes and work with ease, and little after-effect, which in turn has allowed him to visit his father in the hospital, and now spend time with his mom (and sister), while cleaning around the house.
I am sure there were many other things I simply can't think of now, or didn't notice, but as I sit here in bed, alone, and reflect on the weekend's events I am overwhelmed by God's provision and goodness.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ."
2 Corinthians 1:3-5