In remembrance: Helena
Helena first came to The Garden when she was only 12 weeks old, July 2019. A few weeks later she stopped drinking and many medical examinations pointed out that Helena had an autoimmune disease. From The Garden a prayer and help appgroup formed, during her period of time in the hospital. Joost and Hedwig were able to ask for prayer and practical help, like a meal train. In October things went worse quite quickly and at the end of December Helena was really struggling. At January 14th she went home to be with her heavenly father.
Through the grief and sadness of Joost and Hedwig we, as a church, witnessed how pure and rock-solid their faith in God is – which kept them upright. We are so thankful that they want to share their testimony with us:
A short meditation by Joost & Hedwig
Nearly a year ago our little girl went home to be with her heavenly Father. She has ‘passed on from her suffering.’ What a relief for her! Helena had an autoimmune disease which prevented her brain from developing. This caused many epileptic insults. We said goodbye when she was 9,5 months old.
It was a difficult period of time for us to see her suffering daily. But it was in that time of suffering that God was very near. The saying, ‘God is close to the brokenhearted’, became a reality for us.
Another one-liner is, ‘Pain is God’s megaphone’. In all the pain of the suffering and loss, God was so close. So comforting, healing and strengthening. Maybe it sounds strange, but we would rather be sorrowful with God than that our lives would just flow onward with less reason to come to God for every need.
If something precious is taken out of your life it is as if a number of strings that have been holding you to the earth are cut loose. And that is a part of what faith in Jesus entails: laying your own life down everyday and choosing for God instead. This was also printed on Helena’s funeral card: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” from Philippians 1:21. Our goal is not life on this earth, but eternal life with God.
We do not blame God at all and we are thankful that in this difficult period we could see how being a church looks in practice. We were well taken care of!
During the pregnancy I (Hedwig) thought of the text from Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” That text really spoke to me when I was looking forward to Helena’s birth. Now we look further: to the future when we can meet God and see Helena again.