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  • Writer's pictureRyne

Unthinkable Peace

I planned on staying up all night to pray over Anders. Rachel and I had spoken with the doctor and knew that there was a high chance that this would be the last night with our son. How could I sleep anyway?


But that’s not what happened the night before Anders died. Rachel and I were crammed on the hospital couch in Anders’s room, the sound of the ventilator providing the soundtrack for the second consecutive day. We prayed that God would do a miracle and heal our son. We prayed for ourselves, that we would have strength and peace in the midst of the trial.


And then I opened my eyes as sunlight stretched across my face and into the hospital room. As I opened my eyes, I could see Anders in his crib and his stuffed fox tucked under his arm. A now-familiar face was on the other side of Anders, performing her morning nursing duties for our son.


The thought “Wait - I was going to stay up” sprinted across my mind. We couldn’t stay up; we were exhausted. But in the morning sunlight, we both felt refreshed. I would even say that I slept well, especially under those circumstances.


While we got out of bed and approached Anders’s crib again, we knew that this was going to be our last day with him.


That was three years ago. And it seems like just yesterday. But it also seems like 25 years, all at the same time.


I’ve thought a lot about what I would write, and I’ve written and rewritten this from a multitude of angles over the past week. But nothing seemed to make sense.


Until I thought about what I really hope people know, and that is how much peace we felt in the midst of the greatest trial we have faced. A peace that was unexplainable outside of the work of God.

“7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7


For most of my life, I have feared death. Even as a believer in Jesus - knowing that heaven awaits on the other side of this life - I’ve had a fear of death. I didn’t have time three years ago to think about my own mortality, but in the time since, there has been plenty of time for reflection.


I no longer fear death.


As we held Anders for the last time, my heart was being torn in two. But in the midst of Anders’s death, there was an unmistakable peace present when Anders met Jesus.


The same peace that accompanied us when we woke up that morning was still at hand that night.

No one in that room knew how we were going to move forward, but we all knew that we would move forward. But not under our own strength. We could barely hold ourselves up.


28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30


We knew the only way forward was to continually give up this trial to God, to take his yoke and let him lead the way. Many of you are to thank for being the hands and feet of Jesus in our lives. You lightened our burden.


People that prayed and have continued to pray for us, words cannot express our gratitude. Prayer moves and we have felt it.


So many of you have sent us encouraging words, cards, and texts.


People came to our house to sit with us.


People that knew Anders continue to share memories they have of him.


Our physical needs were met by countless people that dropped off stuff. We didn’t need to cook for months as people brought us meals.


Financially, we haven’t had to worry about anything.

Experiencing Anders death has made me want to live more than anything before. Rachel and I experienced God’s goodness and grace in so many ways. My faith was never tested more than it has been over the last three years. At the same time, God has never been closer. Thank you for being His hands and feet. Thanks for continuing to remember Anders.


God is good. He is the Prince of Peace. Even in the darkest nights, He is the Light of the World.


If you have questions or want to know more, there is nothing more important to us than to share the truth of how much Jesus loves you. Please reach out. Send me a message on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Email me. Call. Text. There is nothing more important to me than for all of the nations to hear of the love God has for each and every one of you.

 

* Follow along with my writing journey by following @RyneJungling on Instagram or Mission Anders on Facebook.


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