These past days have been so busy that I’ve scarcely had time to gather my thoughts down and blog.  There is constantly a “to do” list that doesn’t seem to ever get fully completed.  Yet, the most important thing is that ‘God’s will be done, as it is in heaven’.  Yesterday morning as I started to tackle my list and organized some of Josh’s stuff, I just ended up laying on the floor in tears.  I think it was in his plan–for me to spend some time mourning and crying out to him.  Thankfully I did finish homeschooling for the year and got all Noah’s grading done!! On top of that, Noah did great–he got straight A’s and scored well on his Stanford test. It amazes me because these past couples of months I’ve really hardly been able to teach Noah.  The only reason he was able to finish strong was because of a good degree of his own self-discipline and Katelynn teaching! She was such a wonderful blessing and would faithfull to help Noah with schoolwork–even Math! Thank you God for Katelynn!

I also thank God that I’ve been surrounded with loving church family and friends—whether in person, in cyberspace, or over the phone.  Thank you to those who have taken us out or delivered a meal!  Thank you all for your love, prayers and support!

One of the things I miss the most is having Josh here to talk to every day. We would share almost everything with each other.  Now, that he’s gone there’s a void in my heart.  It’s like being sick and on an empty stomach…I’m left feeling weak and empty.  At times like this, the Lord calls and equips us to come to him all the more in order to have Him fill our cup and even overflow to others around us.

However, it’s so easy at times like this to almost have a cloud come over us where all we can see is what’s directly in front of us—it may tempt us to despair and be self-focused.  I was graciously reminded by a friend that the trials we face are not about us! It just really hit me… all of this is about God and His purposes.  It’s hard when trials knock on our door to understand God’s ways and accept them as gifts to grow and stretch us. Yet, Scripture tells us to count them all joy.  His ways are not our own. We are not our own; we were bought with a price–the blood of Jesus.  I’ve resigned myself to trusting Him and resting in the not knowing.  In our weakness, he is shown strong.  Even though we may not know exactly what God is going to accomplish thru our trials, we can run to the arms of my Father who does know.  Plus, he loves us as his children with a ferocious love that did not let the cross stop him from perusing an intimate relationship with us forever.  He loves us with such a deep love that it’s truly incomprehensible.  It’s a love that is not based on anything we have to offer; a love that doesn’t even make much sense, as angles can’t even fathom it. It’s a love that is purely a part of who God is in his essence and being.  Even in our frailty and sinfulness, we can’t lose God’s love.  We may forfeit the blessing of being used by Him, but we will never lose His love nor be outside of His grasp.

The days pass quickly, yet the nights can go so slow as I may lay awake sometimes for hours trying to sleep. There are times, just as I’m about to fall asleep, I hear loud noises coming from the kitchen or unknown part of the house.  We are renting an old house in the country and we have some furry little mice and rat friends that make a racket at night.   Josh used to hunt them down with his pellet gun. It can be frightening to be a woman alone at night.  I’ve noticed that my hard days usually translate into difficult nights and I wonder how much of my anxiety is related to grief.  I read quote by C.S. Lewis that says, “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”   So with God’s help,  I’ll continue to strive to overcome my fear.  The truth is God is my protector and sends his angels to watch over us at night!! As a grace to us, we also have neighbors and friends close by ready to come help at any time, and that there’s security that patrols this area every night.

The kids have their ups and downs too.  The other day as we were driving in the car and listening to Chris Tomlin’s new song  called “Home” on the local Christian radio station, the following words echoed through our ears and penetrated our hearts:

“Every tear will be wiped away
Every sorrow and sin erased
We’ll dance on seas of amazing grace
In Heaven
In Heaven

I’m goin’ home
Where the streets are golden
Every chain is broken
Oh I wanna go
Oh I wanna go
Where every fear is gone
I’m in your open arms
Where I belong

As these words rang in our ears, Nathan exclaimed, “That’s where Daddy is!”

Praise God Nathan is excited about knowing Daddy is in heaven! Yet, last night he woke up at midnight crying out for Daddy.  It saddens me to not be able to do anything other than comfort him and hold him.  Even though Nathan understands Daddy is in heaven he is grieving in his toddler way.  Noah is also grieving in his own “big boy” way too. I’m thankful for moments where he opens up to me and we’ve mourned together.  I realize how much the kids need me there.

God has been leading me as far as where to go from here.  Although, I don’t know much of the details yet; some things have been made clear.  First, that Lord wants me to stay home with the boys (1Tim5).  Secondly, my desire to return to LA to be close to family, friends/mentors and a strong church.

We anticipate a good turn out for Josh’s memorial service June 24th. The service will be held at 10AM at Church of the Canyons. The address is 28050 Sand Canyon Rd. Canyon Country, CA 91387.

Prayer Requests;

(1) For our little family to grieve in healthy ways, be protected from all kinds of harm, and sleep well at night.

(2) For Josh’s memorial service June 24th to point other’s to Christ.

(3)  For provision for our family to relocate to LA (preferably, before fall/winter!).  We are looking for an affordable 2 bedroom apartment or guest home.

(4) For our Merlin Church family to be blessed with a new pastor and shepherd that will lead where Josh left off.




One thought on “Anticipation

  1. Erika, thank you for continuing to keep your cyber friends posted. Actually, I receive this from Pam Greenwood, a neighbor who is also a member of Merlin Church. She and her husband Dick are good friends of ours and we appreciate them so much. Your trust in the Lord is encouraging and inspiring to me! His love and faithfulness will always guide us — no matter where we are — and no matter how we feel about it. How wonderful to know that we have a Savior and Shepherd whose love is undying and whose commitment to us is unfailing. My husband recently underwent open-heart surgery and he is now home recovering. Early in his days home, he needed more of my help and it was exhausting. It still is tiring, but I see his progress daily,and see his recovery coming along. How different from the hope and optimism we all had along with you for Josh that he would be restored and be back in the pulpit. When he went home to be with the Lord, we felt deeply grieved and so disappointed; even knowing God’s goodness and love, we were wondering. Yet, we know He does all things well and that He is looking after you, Noah and Nathan. We also have the privilege of remembering you all in our prayers and getting glimpses of God’s grace in your life as you keep us posted. We love you, Erika, and thank you standing strong in these difficult times. God bless you. Love, Armida Snyder (for Norm and Armida)


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