But what about Quinton's eternal life? Did he know Jesus as his Savior? We were distraught as we asked the Lord this. Within a few days that question was answered. One of the ladies whose husband worked in the sound booth at the church we pastored sought us out. She wanted us to know that on Father's Day (just TWO weeks prior to Quinton's death) Dw had been preaching. He shared a salvation message. He had given an invitation offering people the opportunity to ask Jesus to come into their heart. He had then asked people if they had just prayed to ask Jesus into their heart, if they would raise their hand? Several hands went up, but he hadn't seen Quinton's. But the woman up in the sound booth had. She had taken note.
When the woman came and told us, we cried and cried, I even cry as I tell the story. THEN about one week later we found that Quinton had gone one step further. After asking Jesus into his heart that Father's Day, he had taken the time (so unusual for a teenage boy) to write a letter to the girl, Stephanie, who had originally invited him to church. In the letter he had told her that he had asked Jesus into his heart and that he wanted to thank her for inviting him to church because his personal relationship with Jesus Christ had already made such a difference in his life. We were beside ourselves with joy that Quinton had confirmed his decision in such a powerful way - his written words.
Although the heartache of losing Quinton has been enormous, we have been so comforted knowing that Quinton is in Heaven with Jesus. We will see him again one day!!
Our Memorial Box is slowly being refilled (since the fire) with all the symbols of things that Almighty God has done for us in our 31 years of marriage. Some things represent His protection. Some things represent His provision. Some things represent special surprises from the Lord. Some things represent His divine healing. Each symbol just triggers the memory and then we tell the story. One the sidebar you can find the category "Memorial Box" and if your faith is weak, each story you find under that category will boost your faith, encourage your heart and bless your day. It is remembering these stories that continually enable us to refer to the God of this Universe as our Miracle-working, Mountain-moving, Awe-inspiring, Gasp-giving God.
Some have written to me and asked if it's okay not to use a box. Dear friends, you can use whatever you have. A journal even works. The whole idea is not what you put it in, it's that you do it - tell the stories of God's work in your lives!!
Some have written and said they don't know what kind of symbols to use. Really, anything that you can find that triggers the memory. One of the stories I tell is about God's miraculous provision through a baggie (you know, the ziploc kind)....so in our Memorial Box we have a baggie. When we see that baggie, we remember what God did. We have a lego shark in it. That shark represents how God protected me after being knocked off my feet along the shoreline by a shark. So whenever we see that little shark we say, "Ahhh, yes, Lord, your protection!" And then we tell that story to our kids. Again, what little items you put in your "box" will be indicative to you of what God has done.
The reason we even have a Memorial Box is because once-upon-a-time the Lord told the Isrealites this:
Joshua 4: When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, "Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight."So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, and said to them, "Go over before the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever."So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the LORD had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.......... On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, "In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them, 'Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.' For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God."
Dw's and my prayer is that our children will not only remember the stories, but will have Memorial Boxes with their families. Abi & Ryan have one. Ty & Sarah are starting one. Emma already has one too. I cannot impress on you sweet bloggy friends enough the need to have tangible reminders of God's complete faithfulness. When I became paralyzed with fear and uncertainty, as Dw lay in the hospital in Iowa in July, immediately the Lord said, "Linny, what is in your Memorial Box?" And truly, there was a flash of the little tangible objects: the rooster, the shark, the Tiger, a rock, a broken watch, a little Radio Flyer wagon, etc....and instantly peace came over me. Ahhh yes, Lord. You have been sooooooooo faithful. No matter what the circumstances look like, you have been faithful, you are faithful and I can completely trust you at this moment.
So on that note....I am having another Memorial Box giveaway. I found several sweet ones on our trip East. This contest will be for one of them. I can't give them all away in one swoop - that would be so ummm - predictable!!
If you are interested in starting a Memorial Box for yourself or your family, please enter with a comment below. EXCEPT this time, to add a little variety, I am asking you to tell me something that you would put in your Memorial Box and why. Tell me a story of God's faithfulness in your life. As the comments are published bloggy friends will be encouraged by your story. If you can't think of what item to put in but know the story, then just tell the story, bloggy friends can help you think of what would be a good symbol to represent the story. This is going to be stinkin' fun!!! So go girls (and gents)....go!!! If you can't think of a story (yet) then you can enter by just leaving a comment BUT those who tell me a story will receive TWO entries!! =)
Okay, maybe that all sounds way too confusing so to simplify things:
1. Enter the contest by leaving a comment.
2. Get two entry credits by telling a story along with your comment. A story of God's faithfulness, provision, protection, surprises in your life.
Lastly, maybe when I mention Quinton being in Heaven because he asked Jesus into his heart you are wondering what that all means. Can one really know - for sure - that they will be in Heaven one day? (Yes, they can!) Anyway, I would be happy to discuss it further, if you want. Just email me at: APlaceCalledSimplicity@yahoo.com