I wake up every morning trying to decide how I can help Stephen and Joy. What can I say that would be encouraging? What can I do that would carry some of their load? I’d imagine everyone that has posted on this wall has chosen their words carefully and prayerfully. While I prayerfully consider what to say and share and keep to myself, I keep coming back to the joy Maggie has brought to my life. I cried when my own children were born. The day Stephen took me to meet Maggie, my heart was full and I cried because she was here, she was breathing and she was so beautiful. Today I want to thank God for a little girl named Maggie.
Maggie, your weeks with us here have not been in vain. God is using you in the lives of His people. I’d like to list a few of the great works I’ve seen:
-I have watched my brother grow from a man to a devoted father.
-My sister-in-law has grown into this beautiful, willing, trusting mom.
- I watched your grandparents hug each other and cry together, Maggie. I’ve never seen that before. They cried because God sustained you and they were witnessing a miracle. They love you deeply and love our Savior deeply.
- My children entertained mourning friends and family and brought light to a truly difficult and long day.
- I see my sisters and their husbands being compassionate and encouraging and fiercely prayerful, states away, unable to come be near.
-I listen to the beautiful prayers of my children and husband on Maggie’s behalf. They teach the kids that we need to ask the Father for His will to be done, and sometimes that hurts.
- I watched a friend, take the reins on a financial burden not related to hospital costs. And then I kept hearing stories of the same kind happening over and over and over again.
-Meals by the pound prepared and delivered to the hospital, to Stephen and Joy’s house, to the house of my parents.
-I watched a hotel room across the street from the hospital purchased in my brother’s name so he and Joy could be close to Maggie.
-I stood in a circle with hands held during prayers prayed through tears, out loud in the hospital waiting room.
-I’ve seen Stephen and Joy’s friends…kids in their 20’s…travel hundreds of miles and alter budgets to make room for a trip to Austin to meet Maggie and hug Stephen and Joy.
- I’ve sat in Bible classes full of people that don’t even know the Colwells, beg the Father for miracles and for peace to accept His answers and plan in her life.
- I spoke with a nurse that acknowledged miracles. That’s acknowledging the Lord.
- I hear thankful hearts instead of bitter hearts.
-I see old family friends stick with our family, constantly praying and encouraging. They don’t just reach out to Stephen and Joy either. Christi and Vanessa and I have all been encouraged, and I’m confident that Joel and Jacob and Jaci have been uplifted too.
-I’ve watched new friends texting and calling and sending notes and some even just sitting in the waiting room at the hospital. They knew they couldn’t do anything to help, but they sat and waited and were there.
We all know the “right” things to say. God has a plan. Keep the faith. Don’t give up hope. Pray for miracles. Stay in the scriptures. Glorify God through this process…we all keep saying the things we know are true…and then something amazing happens. We can look back and see that the Lord is good. He orchestrated each hug, each prayer, each declaration of praise, each tear. God remains faithful even when we don’t understand what we’re praying or saying or asking for. Our faith is grown. Our faith is strengthened. Our faith goes from, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1), to seeing clearly, the works of the Lord through His church.
I have seen these things that have served to strengthen my faith. I may not see my Father in heaven yet, but I watch His goodness around me. I see His compassion and His faithfulness when I see pictures of Stephen and Joy holding Maggie. I heard His whisper in Maggie’s little snore and I know He hurts with us. I love my Lord. I give Him glory for His plan. God has grown my faith through you, sweet girl, precious niece, Maggie May.
This is my prayer: “Father, you are good. You are mighty. You are in control. You are compassionate. You are love. You are sovereign. Lord, I don’t understand Your plan sometimes. I don’t want to lose Maggie. I don’t want my brother and Joy to hurt and I don’t want to be out of control. Father, I don’t trust you as I should and I repent of my lack of faith. Lord, please help me to trust you more. Please help me to remember that you formed Maggie and You know exactly the number of her days. Give Stephen and Joy rest and comfort and healing from their sorrow. Lord, teach us to trust you. Thank you for giving your own Son for me and my sin. Allow me to remember your sacrifice daily. Convict me to live for you that I may be with You in glory soon. “