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                                              “…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; 
                                                                          
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”  ~ Isaiah 40:29-31 

Overwhelming Sadness & Eternal Treasures (print version)
September 2009


Overwhelming Sadness and Eternal Treasures

By Debe Haller

September 2009

“Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord.” -Psalm 27:14

Hanging on the wall in our Hope library, as a reminder of what is truly important, are these words: Time is an earthly trust, which when invested wisely, yields eternal treasures.

Overwhelmingly sad are the only words I have to describe the past twelve weeks since Trevor, my twenty-five year old nephew, hanged himself in the home he shared with my sister, Tami, and our mother in Washington. 

Tami, a single parent since Trevor was two years old, is a registered nurse.  She, along with our mother, moved to Washington in March.  Tami hoped to pursue an alternate treatment for our mom’s cancer and help her distraught son who continued to go untreated physically and emotionally with manic depression.  The autopsy revealed Trevor had a severe heart defect; the bottom chambers were closed.  Three days after his suicide, he received a letter granting services for his medical needs.  Since it was obviously too late for him, they offered my sister three free counseling sessions because their system failed to help her son. 

As I closed our New Members’ Orientation yesterday by reading the poem Children Won’t Wait, I thought about Trevor and the opportunities God had given me in his early years to influence him for eternity.  I was actively involved in his younger years from his premature birth with a hole in his heart, and was privileged to homeschool him for Kindergarten and first grade. 

Trevor is my example of the melancholy child in The Challenge of Raising Cain, who at the age of three, said to me, “Here, Aunt Debe, you better take this marble because I might put it in my mouth.”   It was a joy as the poem states, “to hold him close and tell him the sweetest story ever told; …to show him God in earth and sky and flower, to teach him to wonder and reverence.”

Never underestimate the opportunity to influence a child’s life.  It could be your own child, a niece or nephew, or a grandchild.  Never pass a chance to do what is right, or to teach what is right, in order to influence his/her life for eternity.  Children are little sinners in need of a Savior and training.  Jesus is the Savior; we are the trainers.  This same Savior, our Savior, will grant us grace to do the right thing.

Trevor’s death magnified all the recent loses, although none as tragic, Danny and I recently experienced.  It has only been in the last week that I stopped crying every day. 

The early years of Hope Country Schoolhouse Homeschool Store are fond good-old-days memories when Brock and I worked together daily and store-schooled the kids.  A back injury forced him onto disability making it impossible for Brock to manage the store. 

Last fall we had to admit, with all the resources available to homeschoolers via the Internet, we were not financially able to keep our little Mom 'n Pop (and son!) store open.  It is a sad death of a vision after working tirelessly for six years to build the store as a family business.  Our hope was for Danny to retire from Boeing and the three of us would work together.  I finally no longer cry each time someone vacuums at the Schoolhouse as I recall the sound that used to signify Brock would soon open the doors for business.

Our grandchildren are sixth generation “Orange [local] Countians.”  We had an unspoken family rule that everyone was to continue with that pattern.  Humorously (not!) Danny and I contemplate that we should have verbalized that family mandate. 

Our youngest daughter, Becky, was married last December and now lives with her beloved in San Francisco where they both attend school. 

Brock decided this was a perfect time to have his children experience life in his wife’s hometown in Sweden.  At LAX on March 17, Brock, Lina and four of our grandchildren (boo-hoo!!) left the arms of their closest friends and family with mutual sobbing farewells.  I still cry at the thought of their leaving. 

Less than two weeks later my mother and sister listed their home in Fountain Valley for sale and packed a moving truck.  They left for Washington to live with Trevor in the home my sister purchased for him two years ago.

Trevor’s premature birth and premature death are our words and perspectives.  God’s ways are not our ways.  For the past five months the words that have permeated my thoughts each day are: God is bigger than any and all of our circumstances.  Romans 11: 33-36 states, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!  For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His Counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things; To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”  Do the words ‘all things’ (from Him, through Him, to Him) mean all things?  If the Word says it, it must be.  All of our circumstances are from Him and through Him and to Him… and for His purposes.

As I often say, each season of life is the most challenging.  Perhaps each new phase is so difficult because it is all new and we still have so much to learn.  As I find myself before my faithful heavenly Father, frequently kicking and screaming with lack of understanding, I am grateful for the lessons He patiently teaches me.  I ask Him to “...teach me to number my days that I may apply my heart to wisdom.” –paraphrased from Psalm 90:12

May you be encouraged as I am with this goal: "That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death." - Philippians 3:10 



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