Deb’s Journey…

July 31, 2009

Thanks for still praying…

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:43 am

Some of you follow our caring bridge along with our blogs…for that we thank you!

On the bridge I recently posted about a young family in our extended church body that is walking this path of pain and will bury their little son Levi on Sunday. He drown in a swimming pool last Saturday. Please remember Jake & Libby in prayer. For additional information on how to pray for them, please visit our caring bridge site at

This has re-surfaced alot of feelings for Tom and I this week.  Our hearts break for Jake and Libby as we’ve walked in the shadow of similar grief. 

I put up a list of suggestions on how to help immediately following the death of a loved one along with suggestions on what to say and what not to say to the grieving parents…this has sparked a sweet handful of folks to ask how they can continue to pray for us now that we are 5+ months into our grief…

Since Ian passed I’ve been exhausted - in all ways.  It’s strange, the past year was like running a million miles an hour and then he passed and suddenly everything stopped.  All of the intense care giving, communications with others, my “role”…everything…came to a screeching halt and I collapsed in exhaustion and indescribable pain.

I’m starting to “breathe” more evenly again.  I’m tired of intensely hurting and the temptation is so huge to run away from my grief by finding lots of ways to spend my time and limited energy.  I feel the need to wait on the Lord’s timing and walk only where He calls me.

Arranging the Feed My Starving Children outing was a mercy and a huge gift from God…not only because it honored Ian’s memory and helped us emotionally get through his birthday, but because it gave a worthwhile focus, a reason to gather friends and a way to serve others in a “life-giving way” - not only life-giving to the 38 children fed for a year, but “life-giving” to me also if that makes sense. 

I’ve been filling in administratively at church just a few hours a week while our admin. assistant has been on vacation.  Even a few hours a week has helped and I really enjoyed the time at the conference last week, (my attitude and behavior thankfully improved as the conference went on)- it helped to be around others who walk graciously with us and laughter is so healing.  :)

…I am praying about ongoing healing in the deep places of my heart that only God can touch…I’m also praying about meaningful service opportunities that God will call me to when He feels I’m ready and also authentic relationships, genuine and deep to walk in…

Tom will put up some prayer requests on his blog also.

Thanks for continuing to pray with us and for us. Thanks for taking the time to remind us that even though Ian passed…life hasn’t stopped and people still care about us moving forward…we need to be reminded of that often.

Love & Hugs,

July 23, 2009

Looking in the mirror…

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 4:56 am

I said something really stupid and wrong last night - in public - about my dear sweet husband. The minute it was out of my mouth I regretted it, but couldn’t get it back…

I’ve apologized to Tom and he’s forgiven me, but wow I’m having a hard time forgiving myself for this one…

Oh sure the rationalizations start in my head…I’m tired, I’m stressed, I’m needy, wah…wah…wah…

The thing is, there’s no excuse, there’s no reason for it, I didn’t even mean it and yet it is there…ugly and rotten making me feel “ugly” and “rotten”.

Funny thing is we were at this Christian conference at the time…ever just look in the mirror and see someone you don’t even recognize staring back at you? Ever wonder when those changes occurred without your notice?
Not even surface changes…but heart changes?

Lately as I think about it I’ve said many things that were ugly…angry…or hurting…it’s time for a good heart check up…

“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”- Luke 6:45

Lord create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. I’m empty and aching and no matter how much makeup I put on or how much I spend on new haircuts, it’s spilling out of me and becoming obvious to all…even me. Help me Lord - reach into those deep corners that I can’t reach and clean up the junk. I can’t do it on my own no matter how hard I try…I need your help. Thanks Lord!

July 19, 2009

What helps me make it through the night…

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 3:28 pm

Laying in bed last night, reflecting on the day, desperately missing Ian, weeping and praying…God brought to mind a definition of His wisdom that helped me through this last year…

“The wisdom of God tells us that God will bring about the best possible results, by the best possible means, for the most possible people, for the longest possible time.” - Dr. Charles Ryrie.

God gave Tom the idea for last night’s Feed My Starving Children outing…
God brought the 46 people there to work…
God blessed the work of their hands to produce 14,400 meals for the hungry in Haiti…
God will use this food to save the lives of 38 children for the next year.

Christ is still in control. He is all about redeeming things. Even though my heart aches in missing Ian and even though my arms ache to hold him…I know that for all eternity Ian is safely home, being held close in loving arms and having a royal blast until we get there.

Tom and I most likely wouldn’t have taken a group to FMSC last night if Ian were still here. The participants most likely wouldn’t have gone last night if Ian were still here. Therefore we wouldn’t have worked with God in that specific way to help save those specific children…

I don’t know, maybe none of that makes any sense…but somehow that shift in perspective comforted my heart, gave purpose to my pain and helped me sleep.

July 18, 2009

Labor Day…

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:53 am

Eight years ago today “labor” began…I just didn’t feel quite right…I went to work, had lunch with a sweet friend and when I explained how I was feeling, she said “You’re in labor.”

Tom got home from work and asked how far apart the contractions were…they didn’t hurt, so I wasn’t taking them very seriously and hadn’t timed them, Tom on the other hand got out his “stopwatch” and when he discovered they were three minutes apart he started packing my bag and made me call the doctor. :)

The doctor said, “Come on over, but you’re early, so be prepared that you may not deliver tonight.”  Tom’s sister, Eileen and her husband were going to come for dinner and as he is an electrician he was going to put a dimmer switch in the nursery - we called them to say we were heading to the hospital.  They came too.  When they arrived, Eileen came in to see me and gave me a hug…her purse slipped off her shoulder and onto my swelled belly and broke my water.  Ever notice I don’t carry a purse?   :)

Just a short time later my mom arrived and then… Ian arrived.  He came into the world waving at 1:19 am on Thursday, July 19th 2001.  He was 6 pounds 9 ounces and 18 and 3/4 inches long - perfect and precious.

July 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:26 pm

It’s Ian’s birthday week.  He would have been 8 this coming Sunday - July 19th.If Ian were here we’d be planning a party and getting ready to celebrate his life.

It feels like a mercy therefore to be planning a party and getting ready to celebrate life…

I’ve never been to Feed My Starving Children without Ian…he and I went there together twice - we both loved it!  So for this “first” it will be good to go with so many dear friends.

When Tom first suggested going there to honor Ian’s courage and kindness, I thought we would be pushing it to ask for 25 spaces - especially in the summertime, but today we topped 50 that have volunteered to come with us… God is indeed able to do abundantly more than we ask or imagine!

Thanks to all who are registered to come with us - what a blessing!

Thanks to those who are contributing financially… with 50 people going on Saturday night the food we pack that evening will cost approximately $1250.00.

All donations made directly to the facility are tax deductible.  If you wish to contribute, please mail your donations to:

Feed My Starving Children
6750 West Broadway
Brooklyn Park, MN 55428

We would be honored if you mark your check “In memory of Ian Henderson”.

Thanks so much!

deb & tom

July 8, 2009

Sweet surrender…

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:52 pm

Today I sat weeping in the middle of Ian’s room where his bed once sat…my cries echoed in the stark emptiness and I poured out my heart afresh to the Lord…

It dawned on me that my heart’s surrender of Ian must continue even though my precious treasure is safely Home. The process of giving Ian to God daily, sometimes hourly was so constant last year. In my grief my focus sometimes changes …but once I willingly surrendered Ian to God again and could embrace the wonder of Ian’s perfected body and current joy, peace fell on me.

I’m boggled to realize that the daily surrender of my dear child to the Lord didn’t just last through Ian’s lifetime…it must continue as long as this earth is my home - somehow with God it always comes back to surrender doesn’t it?

I’ve wrestled lately with the idea that God is a warrior- mighty to save …I needed that during this last year of battle and it has brought me much comfort. Yet in these days of grief and sorrow, I have needed a God who comforts in a gentle and loving way, a God who will hold me close to His heart and dry my tears.

“Behold, the Lord GOD will come with might, with His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him and His recompense before Him. Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, in His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.” - Isaiah 40:10-11

I’m rejoicing today that my Lord has two arms…one mighty and one gentle. Indeed, I can trust this One who loved me enough to die for me and I can surrender to Him my precious child’s life and my own because in His world… death is not the end, it’s only the beginning…

July 2, 2009

For what it’s worth…

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:42 am

UPDATE 7/7 - I posted this last week and yet many have said they were unable to read it, so after investigating, hopefully I have corrected the problem…let me know…thanks!

I’ve never been good at “small talk”.  Everyone means well and they care, no one knows what to say or do - which makes them uncomfortable  - me too. The truth of the matter is there is no “special formula” or “perfect words” when dealing with aching hearts…there is only tenderness.

For all of my anxiety in crowds, one of my favorite things to do is have a one on one, heart to heart with a dear friend…so in an effort to help ease people’s tension around me, I’m going to offer some suggestions for what it’s worth…


- Be gentle and sincere…
- Tell us we look good - but remember…be sincere :)
- Give warm hugs and smiles
- Make us laugh
- Allow us to share our hearts if we want to

Let your words be few…

-Tell your memories of Ian
-Tell how much you care
-Tell how you have prayed and will continue to pray
-Ask about our health
-Ask how we spend our days
-Ask about our support system
-Allow us to ask you questions


- Throw “shoulds” - they feel like rocks to a wounded heart…keep your “shoulds”, “ought tos” and all “well meaning advice” to yourself unless you are specifically asked for your opinion.

-Tell “sob stories” - these add to the pain that is already present and dishonor the griever’s personal pain

-Give us what Tom calls the “pity face” - a tilted head, pained expression and puppy dog eyes…

-Ask “How ARE you?”

-Ask if we are going to have other children…

I wonder how many times over the years and even recently I’ve been a well intentioned “bull in a china shop” with other people’s hearts?  Far too many I’m sure…

So I go back to my prayer…”Lord, please let me do no harm.”

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