A Thousand Pieces of Hope
Death was not what Jon and Lindsay hoped and worked for, but it became a part of their story. On October 7, 2016, Tyler died at the age of six. After almost a year of praying and ghting for healing and life to be the answer, Tyler left to nish his journey in heaven.
Tyler has been gone for months now. The cadence of their family will never be the same, but Jon, Lindsay and Natalie’s eyes are still xed on Jesus as they experience what it means to totally rely on Him for their strength and courage. It is hard. It is heartbreaking. Though they trust God for their journey, the pain and longing are very real and very close.
This June, the day after her 39th birthday, Lindsay re ected, “This year, Tyler is healed. It’s a powerful reality. Would I have loved to have held him yesterday? Without a doubt. Would I have loved a card from him? Absolutely. Do I miss him? My heart aches with how much.”
“Yet our road constantly asks us to see with God’s eyes; to trust in His sovereign plan. So we reorient our vision to His each and every day. In light of eternity, there is comfort and hope that trumps our earthly pains and longings. Some day, every longing is redeemed and satis ed in Jesus.”
“Grief has its own timetable,” Lindsay adds. “Some days are hard and some are unexpectedly broken.”
“The loss of Tyler’s physical presence has tangible impact to each of us. He’s in our hearts, yet the loss of his physical presence is real and palpable. Natalie feels it. I feel it and Jon feels it.”
Jon says he feels like his heart got trampled and is now being glued back together. But you can still see it is glued. It will never go back to “normal.” He feels like he has been blinded and can’t see the road ahead. His purpose feels uncertain.
He shares, “When Tyler was alive, we prayed and hoped for his physical healing. As hard as it was when he was here, at the end of the day you could give him a hug, hold his hand, pray with him. But now that he’s gone it’s immeasurably harder. The hope of seeing him healed here is shattered into a thousand pieces. There’s nothing left to ght for now. As a dad I want to be able to ght for my kids. There’s still the promise of seeing him in heaven. But some days that feels so far away.”
In the midst of hard days, Lindsay wrestles with hope: “God asks us to place our hope in Him alone. But as humans we naturally attach our hope to earthly solutions, to an earthly outcome we’re praying for. But right now our hope has no other landing place than in God — in the nal restoration that He promises.”
Jon and Lindsay are both creative, and have made the difficult choice to share their gifts with the Woodmen community even as they grieve. This spring, Lindsay returned to singing in weekend services on Woodmen’s worship team. Jon serves through photographing Woodmen Kids events. He and his collection of vintage Coleman lanterns played a huge part in the church’s 2016 Christmas Eve video, featuring scriptures about God’s light being proclaimed on a forest path in the dark of night.