Picking up the Pieces

We have been so blessed with prayers, love, compassion, and support from the church body! The Lord has answered many prayers for peace and strength for our family.   Many have sent flowers, loving messages and cards.  We’ve even had several send meals. One of Josh’s best friend’s growing up–another Josh (Simpson) brought the kids over some snacks and cards for us.  Our friends Linda and Doug came over yesterday evening and brought us dinner.  We’ve enjoyed fellowship with loved ones and sharing memories of Josh.  Pastor Ken took Noah on a hike today to site Noah’s been eager to see!

Although, this has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever been called to bear, God’s grace and mercy are carrying us through. Yesterday I picked up Josh’s ashes and death certificates and it was a sobering reminder of our great loss.  Yet, I also sensed not only God’s presence, but in some way Josh’s as well. It was an difficult day–bitter-sweet.  Nathan and Noah woke up in the middle of the night.  Nathan was so sad and scared that I might not be there.  I came in his room to assure him I was there.  I held him and prayed with him. He went back to sleep joyful remembering being outside our Grants Pass home with the BBQ grilling hamburgers with daddy. He kept saying, “I loved that!”  We miss him immensely! I have dreams of seeing him again. Please continue to pray for the boys and I as we mourn the loss of such a godly father who was so committed to the lives of his children, family and church flock.  Josh did not go without a fight.  Till the last day, he fought with all his might for his life, because of his great love for us.  The BMT was his only chance at saving his life. However, he knew the risk of complications involved. The last way he would have chose to go is at a hospital.  Yet, he risked it all and endured suffering and lay down his will before God.  This reminds me of so much of Christ and his great love for us that drove him to the cross. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13.  I rest in God’s sovereignty over the length of Josh’s life.  Psalm 139 is a continual comfort to me when I’m tempted with doubts.  God knew every single day Josh would live, before he was even born!  Most people with FA only love to age 33, so we were blessed with the four sweet years we did get to be with Josh! Our comfort comes from knowing that God is good and loves us and knows the answers to our “why’s?”  God is all-knowing, always good, and always faithful; and he is with us till the end through Jesus and his spirit that indwells believers.  It is the Holy Spirit that moves the church to respond with such love as it has with us.  It is a wonderful testament to the authenticity of our faith through Christ.

We are looking forward to going home to Grants Pass with our church family there to cherish sweet memories and mourn together. They have so kind and faithful to pray for our little family practically without ceasing! Thank you Merlin Church! However, we will miss our new friends and family in Christ here. Thank you Clackamas Bible Church for all you’ve done for us!! Noah will get to go out skating with the T&T boys before we head out.  Also, we will get to attend church one last time here.  Please pray for travel mercies.

We are also preparing for Josh’s memorial services,  The first will be on May 20th at 10AM at Merlin Community Baptist Church in Merlin, OR. Thank you Merlin Church for all your support! A second memorial service will be held in Santa Clarita, CA on June 24th at 10AM at Church of the Canyons. Thank you to COC for all your support too!

“O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.

13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a]
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.”

Psalm 139:1-16

4 thoughts on “Picking up the Pieces

  1. Erika, your faithfulness is such an example to all of us who stand by and watch in amazement at your calm and trust. Thank you for blessing us with your sincere love for the Lord and your complete trust in Him. It is an example I hold dear. Love to you and the boys. Jan

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      1. I tried to send this earlier but it seems to have disappeared… During worship today I had tears, and love and prayers for you and your beloved husband and best friend, our Pastor Josh , Noah , Nathan, Katelynn and all your family. Your trust in our Lord is beautiful! Pastor Mike led us to Psalm 46 verses 10,11. Be still and know that I am God I will be exalted among the Nations, I will be exalted in the Earth! The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge. 💝

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  2. Loving daughter Erika,
    Thanks so much for this post on your Blog today. It is truly a blessing to see how your trust in our Lord and Savior keeps you strong. God has planned out the number of our days for each of us as He knows best. I love the picture with the rainbow as it is a reminder that He always keeps the amazing promises He has given us. He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. He comforts us and takes care of all our needs. All praise, glory and honor to our Lord Jesus Christ.

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