August 3, 2008

The service

I just wanted to share with you a few pictures from Jonathan's funeral service. What an amazing (earthly) goodbye to our little boy. I just want to say how much I appreciate all those who came to support us on Saturday morning. Thank you also to those of you who were praying for us and were there in your hearts. Justin and I felt everyone's love and it is helping us more than you know.

The section of the cemetery that Jonathan is buried in is called Babyland, in the Garden of Peace. An absolutely fitting name--there is peace there for us. It is set back far off any main roads, and is surrounded by trees. The picture below shows how many precious babies are already there. I know that we will enjoy the peacefulness of the location when we go out to visit him.
View of Babyland

Jonathan's little casket. The yellow blanket draped over was the blanket they wrapped him up with in the hospital. One of my most treasured possessions now.

I honestly couldn't believe how many people came out to be with us. There were over 60 people there. The funeral director said he had never seen so many people out for a graveside service for such a young baby. We are so incredibly blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives. Thank you for coming. We had beautiful flowers at the service from friends and family, and are still receiving more. Thank you so very much.

The service was beautiful. Our worship pastor and close friend, Aubrey, led us in two amazing songs. The second, Pure by Kari Jobe, again reminded me to run to Jesus, because he is our strength when our heart is weak. He has to be all I seek, especially right now. Our pastor John then shared some verses that were so powerful, including Proverbs 3:5-6 and Philippians 4: 6-7. He spoke about God and about His plans. His words were so encouraging to me and hopefully to those who were there. I'm so thankful for our wonderful church--Justin and I have both grown so much there spiritually, and we have been so blessed by the support of our pastors and church during this time.

The last thing we did during the service was release two balloons up to Jonathan in heaven. Justin and I had both written a note to him and attached them to the balloons.

Last few moments...

Our pastor's words were so encouraging to me, just reminding me that it is okay to question and grieve. God knows and understands my thoughts and my pain even more than I do, and isn't offended by me wondering why, or even why me. I don't understand why this happened, why my baby still isn't growing inside of me, what I'm supposed to do now, when all I had planned revolved around my baby. He knows that there are, and will be, times that I will be angry, numb, sad, and confused, and that is okay and He will carry me through. One thing I do know is that my little boy's purpose in life was so much more that I could have ever imagined. My good friend Amy, my college roomate, lost her little boy at 26 weeks along last year. We talked the night before Jonathan's funeral, and she told me that our little boys' purpose in life was an eternal one. God had bigger plans for them--more that we, as their mothers, will ever even know. I really do thank God for that, and pray that through my little boy's short life, people will realize what is truly important in life--living for Him.
Thank you for your continued prayers--I know we will need them in the days ahead.


Amy (Metz) Walker said...

I'm sitting here crying, wondering at how you have so much strength! I don't know if I could be near as strong! I love you, girl, and you know I am here for you!

Jake Matthew said...

We are continuing to pray for you daily. We pray that God grants you peace during this time. Just know that there are so many out there thinking of you constantly.

Jenn Gaddis

Tena said...

Still praying. Let us know if there's anything we can do - even just come by for a quick hug.
Love you

Shana said...

Alyson & Justin...
I don't know you personally, yet am a friend of Connie Borden. She passed along to me your story weeks ago for covering & agreement in prayer. I'm overwhelmed and moved by your faith! You've positively impacted lives unknown to you...mine only being one of those! I've been given a more intimate glimpse of my God through knowing your story and I thank you for that. May He envelope you with His love, peace, and comfort!
In His Love...~Shana Martin

Janelle said...

Y'all are in my thoughts and prayers. I can only imagine what you must be going through. I pray God would continue you to comfort you and give you a peace that only he can.

I had to comment after I saw that everything happened in Abilene. I have lived here for 3 yrs now. Both hospitals are very good, and I love that the Dr. prayed with her; that's the kind of people in West Texas.

Ryan and Joy said...

Just sending you guys more love today....We continue to uplift you in prayer! God's grace is sufficient... HUGS and HUGS!!!!

Tina Miller said...

That was beautiful. We are praying for you!

jmh7796 said...

Alyson & Justin:

I worked with Joy at ORU and met you both all those years ago. Just wanted to let you know that our church prayer team in Tulsa(Family Church of the Nazarene) is praying for you.

We pray for peace and rest that passes all understanding...

In Christ's love,
Jessica Hill

Ally said...

You two are such an amazing witness to God's love grace, and peace. I am sorry I was not able to attend the funeral but you are in my prayers. I can't wait to meet your little boy in heaven one day.

Love you!

Robyn Kitchings said...

Thank you for sharing pictures of the service. I wish I could have been there. I know it must have been hard. I pray that God brings you and Justin peace. Stay strong!
Love you!

Jenny Brannan said...

How I wish I could've been there to support you in person! The service looked beautiful. As I sit here and type through tears, I am reminded of God's infinite love and mercy in the fact that he carries us in times when we don't have the strength. I wish I could just give you a hug and cry with you! Just know that I am doing that over here and am constantly praying for you and Justin. I love you both.

3 Forever.

Lionel said...

I just recently heard about the situation you guys are in. I just want you to know that I will be praying for you guys. I hope the Lord will grant you with more support than you could possibly fathom.