In March of 2005, God gave us a beautiful gift: our daughter Audrey. She was a delight to our hearts and the youngest of a blond-haired stair-step of three happy sisters. In November of 2007, she was killed in a tragic accident. Though we had believed in Jesus prior to her death, never before had we been required to stand on the promise of eternal life or hang onto Christ’s victory over the grave in quite that way. For our family, that is when the proverbial rubber met the road. It was make or break time. Was Jesus enough? Was it all true?
We discovered that the answer to both questions is an emphatic YES! God, in His faithfulness, would not let us go. And, contrary to the world’s logic, walking through the process of grief and coming to terms with the reality of this life has given us an unexpected blessing: eternal perspective and a new passion for sharing it with others.
Our God is the author of redemption, restoration, and hope. One of His amazing qualities is that, if we will submit to His leading, He will use great tragedy to bring about great good—even while we still live in this fallen world. That is where Audrey’s Harvest comes into play.
Very shortly after Audrey’s death, I was reading again the story of Joseph from Genesis. I was reminded that God sometimes allows pain, but He always has a plan to redeem it and use it to accomplish His sovereign purposes.
Joseph unjustly endured the consequences of others’ jealousy, betrayal, and lies. He was sold into slavery by his own brothers and later spent many years in prison because he would not compromise his values. When he was finally freed, he became the second in command under pharaoh in Egypt. God gave him favor among his contemporaries and great wisdom that he used to lead them.
When the people who hurt him needed help, Joseph chose to forgive and used what he had to bless instead of curse them. As a result of Joseph’s trust in God and obedience to Him, many were saved from a great famine.
In Genesis 50:20, Joseph responded to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
When I read that verse, I felt as if God was giving me a personal message: I will not waste your suffering. Audrey’s life matters. I will use it for eternal good and for the saving of many lives.
Psalm 126:5 says, “Those who sow in tears will reap with shouts of joy.” And, that is what is happening! Our prayer is that as God gives us opportunity to share His love and truth, many more people can experience peace and joy in the here and now and hope for eternity.
Lord, do what you promised! Use our pain for the saving of many lives. May it make an eternal difference. Let us see Audrey’s harvest! Amen!
To glorify God and advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ through evangelism, discipleship, teaching, and the ministry of encouragement.
Right now, Audrey’s Harvest funds and directs the operation of Tween Time, a neighborhood Bible study for girls in the 4th-8th grades. Our name also graces two wells in Uganda because of the generous donation of family and friends.
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