Friday, January 24, 2014

Helping Fill Erica's Legacy

The closure to finding Erica that we prayed for has also brought finality. Erica will not be coming to our home on this earth, but we will go to her new home one day. It’s been 2 weeks since our Tribute service and the Lord is walking us through this continuing portion of our journey. One day at a time: enduring = one day more than I thought I could yesterday, but peace and confidence are now replacing the confusion which threatened to engulf us for so long.
What was before an emptying tiredness has turned into filling; my family + I now sense His healing Presence and  growing strength in + through us.
Thank you so much for your continuing love, prayers and support in so many ways: the meals you have provided for us have given us much needed time together and we’re starting to transition to a ‘new normal’. Ricardo’s Pizza even sent us 3 large pizzas last week + we were able to celebrate a couple birthdays that got missed in the midst of our searching.
Thank you for your notes, phone calls, cards – cards were always Erica’s love-language and she would be amazed at the pile still growing in our family room. We’ve heard from people that we’ve not heard from in many years and this brings us a lot of  joy to connect with them again.
We sent over $2000 with Pastor Larry to Uganda this week + he is using these donations to fund Special Projects with the Uganda Jesus Village Kids Camp + other activities his team is leading over the next 3 weeks.
Also, our family wants to thank so many who have contributed toward the funeral costs – we invested our time, money and energy over the years  in raising our family + supporting missions; we had not planned for a funeral at this time of our lives and so this help is greatly appreciated!
And I also want to encourage you to embrace Erica’s legacy in whatever way her memory speaks to you. As was so clearly revealed in her Tribute, investment in the kingdom of God and His people will never run dry. Her inheritance is so rich, varied and vibrant, and freely bestowed upon us here who are yet running our laps in this kingdom marathon.  There are so many areas that have been stirred in individual lives, our community and throughout the world: the needs for genuinely loving one another, forgiving and giving, caring for orphans, supporting and healing those who battle depression, answering the call to intercession.
The need is great, but God’s provision is even greater.
And so I’d like to share the following letter I received last week that really ministered to my heart.
I’ve shared it with family + friends, but now I’d like to share it with you who have stood with us through this valley because I believe it witnesses the purpose and heart of intercession: to come alongside and show us God’s perspective on things we don’t otherwise understand. This is what this intercessor wrote about the last 3 months’ events:

“The very moment I heard via FaceBook of Erica’s sudden disappearance, I began to intercede for her to be found alive and well. I was gripped by the insurmountable pain you and your family were forced to endure through this agonizing time. It was only a few days after Erica’s disappearance that I had a very sudden, unexpected visitation from the Lord. Erica was far from my thoughts at that time. Suddenly Father God spoke. His voice was richly deep, loving and had exuberance to it. Heavenly Father said, ‘Erica is with Me!’ I knew immediately He meant she was in His immediate presence. This is hard to explain, but it was as if Erica was His best present He’d ever received in His entire life. He just revelled in her.
Also at that very moment, the Lord allowed me to experience what Erica had gone through as she transitioned from life here on earth into her heavenly home. I deeply felt the crushing clutches of a heart laden with unbearable depression. It was a yoke Erica could not bear. It was not a God-given yoke, but one her enemy put on her. From mid-chest upwards, this heaviness totally lifted off Erica and she was indescribably free and nothing at all was holding her newfound spirit of joy down! The smile on Erica’s face and the rejoicing coming from her heart as she was released into such amazing freedom were beyond words. Erica was indeed free at last and wrapped in her heavenly Father’s loving arms. I didn’t know how I would tell you this as there was still so much hope she would be found alive. I continued to intercede for the ground search of Erica’s body.
One night as I lay in bed, again I received a powerful Word from the Lord. He told me to command the darkness to give us its secrets. I felt such a powerful anointing. I knew I could never come up with that thought on my own! From that moment on, the command went forth on behalf of Erica’s earthly remains. I commanded, ‘Light be!’ Within 48 hours she was found!  I felt such a relief because at least there now was closure and dear Erica could be laid to rest. It was tearful joyful time!
I trust that these words bring a measure of comfort to both you and your family in this time of deep loss. Thank God for the hope we have in Jesus Christ! We’ll see each other again, and every tear shall be wiped away from our eyes.”

 And I pray this will bring comfort to all of you at this time: you’ve shared our sorrow, now let us also share His joy together. Thank you!