Welcome to a place where we can share ideas about grandparenting, especially ways to pass spiritual values and family stories to the next generation.

Mary is the co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild's Heart.
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Co-author of The Grandparent Connection: 365 Ways to Connect With Your Grandchild's Heart

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Trusting God in Times of Darkness

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Friday's Grand Connection Fun
Mary May Larmoyeux

What were you doing on the morning of September 11, 2001? I was preparing to leave the house—a beloved foster child's mother had died and we were going to the funeral home. It was a tough morning ... that was going to get much tougher.

Lt. Col. Brian D. Birdwell will never forget September 11; nor will his family.

Birdwell was standing in the Pentagon, about 20 yards from where American Airlines Flight 77 slammed through its outer walls. Engulfed in flames, he was burned over 60% of his body—nearly half of those burns were third degree.

"One minute I'm standing in a very clear corridor and I know what direction I'm walking," he remembers, "and the next moment it's fire, and smoke, and darkness around me."

He spent three long months in the hospital and endured more than 30 excruciating surgeries. His life was changed forever. And not only his life, but also the lives of countless burn survivors and wounded servicemen and women.

You see, Mel and Brian Birdwell turned their tragedy into triumph and began Face the Fire, a ministry to help burn and combat victims. Today they are giving hope as ones who know firsthand what burn victims and their families are going through.

The Birdwells have experienced the meaning of Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (NIV).

The Bible paraphrase The Message says it this way. " ... we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good."


Sometimes it's really hard for me to look at a situation and believe in my mind that anything good could come out of it. I imagine that Brian and Mel Birdwell would not only agree, but would also recall times of suffocating doubt.

They may have felt like Job's despairing wife who watched her once honored husband become afflicted with painful sores, scraping himself with a piece of broken pottery as he sat among the ashes (Job 2:7).

"Curse God and be done with it!" she said.

"You are talking like a foolish woman." Job replied. "Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?"

Job chose to trust God in his heart when he could not humanly imagine anything good coming out of his seemingly dismal fate.

The Lord heard Job's cries of anguish. He heard the Birdwells' cries. And he hears ours.

Almighty God is walking with you, and me, and our grandchildren—even when darkness seems to blur our paths.

For me, the message of September 11 includes Romans 8:28. Yes, I can be sure that every single detail of my life, and my loved ones' lives, is eventually worked into something good when I place yesterday, today, and tomorrow into the hands of a loving God.

He is able,

(If you'd like to watch a video of the Birdwells, or read more information about their ministry, go to Remembering September 11, 2001, and Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell.)

© 2009 by Mary May Larmoyeux. All rights reserved.

Photograph: Firefighters work to put out the flames moments after a hijacked jetliner crashed into the Pentagon at approximately 0930 on September 11, 2001. Photographer: CPL Jason Ingersoll, USMC

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen, Mary. Blessings, Rita