Archive for March 3rd, 2008

One Year Later – Linda Allard

I had a thought a few weeks ago that I would ask Linda & Abbie Allard to be guest bloggers today and tomorrow. For many of you familiar with this family you will know that March 3, 2007 Andrew Allard went home to be with Jesus at the age of 13. It has been very encouraging to see this family go through something as horrific as losing a son and a brother. One year later I still miss the kid like crazy but I know that he is having one heck of a time asking Jesus some of the craziest questions imaginable (since he can’t hang out in my office and ask me any more…)

Without writing anything more, here is Linda.

It was one year ago today (wow—it only seems like one very loooooong day) when the doctors came to us after reading the results of yet another test, to let us know that we had to “let go” of Andrew. We had spent 3 days and nights praying for Andrew’s healing and on March 3, at 3:33 p.m., I looked up at the clock on the wall in his room and knew it was time to “let go”. Although it would not be until the following morning that the doctors would declare him legally dead (their terms—we know that Andrew is more alive than us), we knew that the time had come.

Yet how do we “let go”? We have spent the last year trying to figure that out and here it is, one year later, and I think we might be getting it! There is a song by David Crowder that has recently really ministered to us….it is called “Never Let Go” and the part of the words go something like this…

andrew_allard.jpgWhen clouds brought rain
And disaster came
Oh my soul, oh my soul

When waters rose
And hope had flown
Oh my soul, oh my soul

Ever faithful, ever true,
You are known, You never let go.
You never let go, You never let go
You never let go, You never let go.

Oh my soul overflows
Oh what love, oh what love
Oh my soul fills with hope
Perfect love that never lets go.

In joy and pain
In sun and rain
You’re the same
You never let go.

I remember shortly after Andrew’s service, somebody had said something to the effect “just wait—-it doesn’t get any better—in fact, it will get worse” and I thought to myself “WHAT? You mean that the Lord Who has been lovingly carrying me through the worse nightmare of my life during the past several weeks is all of a sudden going to just drop me flat and let me go?” I knew that there was NO WAY that the Lord would ever do this to me.

Why? Because as a Mom, I know that I would never do this to one of my children. I would never faithfully pour out my love and affection to my children over and over and then all of a sudden one day just “let go of them” and walk away. As the song says, the Lord never lets go; Our Heavenly Father is ever faithful and ever true.

When it comes to “letting go”, we will never be able to “let go” of Andrew and I don’t think the Lord expects that of us. Andrew is and always will be a huge part of us and our very DNA is in Andrew. In the realm of the Spirit, a part of us is sitting in Heavenly places with Andrew, hanging out with his family and friends who have gone before him and of course, the very One Who died so that Andrew could live—-our Lord Jesus Christ. We will never let go of the wonderful memories, the amazing love and the overwhelming joy that Andrew brought to us as a family. We will never let go of the funny and goofy stories as well as the incredible stories to come of how this 13 year old came to impact our lives as well as the lives of so many others.

We will, however, continue to “let go” of anything that keeps us from remaining in the realm of the Spirit—the place that Andrew dwells presently—and that is the pain, the sorrow, the hurt feelings, the disappointments, the lost dreams.

As I was singing this song “Never Let Go” just the other day, I spoke the words “Andrew, I will never let go of you” in my heart and just as I finished, I looked up into the sky where I saw many strands of light coming through the clouds. Together they formed what looked like the neck of a guitar. And I had to smile and cry at the same time—-because I felt like the Lord was showing me how totally limited my mind is—-I picture Andrew playing some fancy expensive guitar in Heaven (the kind of guitar he would drool over and could never afford) and yet I sense that Andrew’s guitar is made of “strands of glory” and is not from this earth. It is far better than my mind can conceive.

I don’t think there will ever be a day when I don’t think about Andrew a lot (he truly made an impression on everyone he met). However, as a Mom, I know that the greatest joy the Lord can bring is the assurance that your child is faithfully serving the Lord—-and there is no question that today Andrew is now fulfilling my heart’s desire.

Happy “One Year” Birthday, Andrew, as you celebrate your new life with your Father. We love you and will never let go of you as we long for the day when we can see your huge smile once again face to face. Thank you for bringing to our family a JOY that we will never let go of—-YOU.

Always, Your Mom
Tomorrow Andrew’s sister, Abbie, will share.

A View From the Ride

I’m borrowing this idea from Brian Eberly.  I know it was a little unorthodox to stop in the middle of preaching yesterday but I wanted to capture that moment.  Yesterday wasn’t about moving chairs around.  It was about relationships, unity, and restoration.  I am so full of joy this morning as I recount all of the conversations that I had with people and think back on the flow of the Holy Spirit through our time of worship after the message.

GCC, you are amazing!  I can only imagine what God will be doing through us as He brings us to a point where not one of us can have something held against us.  Prepare for impact Central NH!

Laura, Jake, Jeremy & Jenn – awesome job yesterday.  You didn’t perform, you led us in worship like never before.  If you would like to listen in to the message and worship you can do that here.

So, here’s my “view from the ride”