There aren’t words. All I can say is that prayer is appreciated.
What are the odds of taping a Focus on the Family broadcast about your parenting book in March, and then having the segment that talks about raising a challenging child air on the day of that now 29 year-old child’s memorial?
As many of you know, Dave and Debbie Hitchcock, both involved with our ministry, suddenly lost their daughter last week.
The outpouring of support and encouragement in the form of notes, emails, letters, prayers, etc., has been so comforting – and I need to ask a favor of you.
Last night was the memorial.
This weekend everyone goes back to their normal lives.
Except the Hitchcocks have a new normal, one that is missing a bright light that will not shine this side of heaven again.
No parent should have to walk through the death of their child. That’s not how this is supposed to work.
I can’t tell you how many tears our team has cried over this. Right now, my own throat clenches shut, my eyes are welling again, and I can barely see the screen to type this. I’ve had a cry-hangover-headache since this happened. And it isn’t even my daughter.
But as a mother, I can imagine losing my own beautiful girl. And it tears at my heart.
As a friend, I can’t even imagine the searing pain that Dave and Debbie and their sons and the extended family feel – I have no idea how they even breathe right now. We have all done our best to support, encourage, pray – but mostly we just feel helpless because nothing we can do brings her back.
But I do know they all know Jesus. And while there are no words to change anything or make any of this better, I do know the memorial was a chance to say, “See you later,” instead of “goodbye,” to their beautiful daughter, sister, niece, cousin, grandchild.
And now they have a new normal.
While everyone around them goes back to their normal lives, their world is still shaken. Three weeks from now, they will still feel loss. Five and thirty years from now, they will still miss her.
Can we all just acknowledge that while we adjust to a new normal in grief’s aftermath, we never fully stop missing someone we love when they leave us?
So I’m asking a favor.
Don’t forget them.
Stay in touch with Debbie, maybe by signing up for the parenting tips on the side, and if you already know her, send her a card in a month to let her know you remember and know it still hurts.
Hear me out if the enemy’s voice is tempting you to think ill of me for asking. There IS purpose. in. this. Now. There has to be. We don’t want to give him an inch.
I want you to listen to the Focus on the Family interviews, too. We are all determined to keep the enemy from gaining one. single. inch. from this tragedy, and so we are focused on sharing God’s glory with everyone around us that we can. Knowing what has happened paints what Debbie says in the interviews in a totally different light, too. Listen through that lens.
And understand one more thing – Focus gave us the option to reschedule. Dave and Debbie prayed about this and did what they felt God led them to do. We’re all volunteers, btw, so it’s not like anyone is in this for the money. We all are sold out for Jesus, and fully believe in what He’s given us to do. Many of you know how The Respect Dare radically changes marriages and deepens a woman’s relationship with God. We have seen this same effect with moms and kids for With All Due Respect.
We will not be silent in this Now. We will not give the enemy even one inch.
Through broken hearts and tear blurred eyes, we boldly, confidently, determinedly proclaim God’s glory, even if it’s hard to see at the moment.
We’re struggling to keep doing the next thing this week, and may be for a while, but we will. not. give. the enemy. a single. foothold.
Please keep praying for us as we try to figure out how to do the next things. Understand when we are slow to respond to email. We’re getting to things and I apologize for the delays.
Here’s the broadcasts if you missed them:
I dare you to join us in confidently declaring God’s glory in the midst of our pain.
Maybe even share a broadcast or DO SOMETHING with what He reveals to you through them.
Thank you again.
Love to you,