Thursday, April 10, 2014

Conversations with Jack

The weather was just beautiful today. I really enjoyed being able to get outside with Jack for some alone time this afternoon while the rest of our house was napping.

He brought my camera so he could take pictures of things in our "jungle" (which is actually just the small spread of trees behind our house.) You should see the random photos on my camera: rabbit poop, a crow, a fallen tree, a few squirrels, some robins, and some dead leaves from last autumn. But as a picture-lover myself, I just loved to see a desire in him to capture life as he sees it.

While it's not unusual for me to be outside with my kids, it is odd that I am one of the active players. Normally, Jack and Ben take the lead, finding the most unusual things to peek their interest. I just follow them with a camera or to supervise their little sister tagging along and trying to do what they are. But today, Jack was grateful for me as his companion. Ever since Ben has slowed down, Jack seems to have forgotten how to play by himself. It's not as if he and Ben always did the same thing at the same time. But they have always had each other. I feel like Jack will need to relearn - or actually, learn for the first time - how to find fun on his own.

As we walked around, Jack would point out some things to me. "This is where Ben and I used to play... Here's the dead tree Ben found... There's the tree that Ben and I used to be scared of." He could have had no idea how much his comments were breaking his mother's heart.

We both got tired after walking around a while and so we sat together on the deck. I thought I'd use the quiet opportunity to see what he was thinking. How he was processing things with Ben. How he was handling this huge transition. But he never seemed to need to go down that road. I'd ask a leading question, he would answer it, and then move on.

"Mom, I can see really far away. Even to those trees," he said as we rocked in the plastic green rocking chair. "What if I had a super power where I could see inside things? Wouldn't that be cool?"

"That'd be awesome! You could see the bugs inside that tree. Or you could use it to help people. Like when Ben was having the headaches, you could see inside his head and say, 'Oh, there's a bump in there! We need to take it out!'"

"Yeah," he laughed. "I wish." But instead of going on about Ben, he talked about having super sight, super hearing and super smelling. I just tried to roll with it. As he pointed to a bird flying high, he said, "I wish I could fly. Like in heaven! Do you think that bird can reach heaven?" We chatted a bit about a bunch of random things, and then he just moved on. I do love talking to that boy. What a mind he's got.
 
 
We came inside and as he picked up a Where's Waldo book for us to read together, he randomly asked, "Mom, will we be able to watch movies in heaven?" Not knowing exactly how to answer, he quickly said, "Let's pray and ask God!" So we folded our hands, closed our eyes, and he prayed. "God, please tell us what we will do when we're in heaven. Thank you. Amen."

I wasn't sure how long Jack was going to wait to hear a response from God. Was he expecting an audible response? Then I remembered a book that a good friend had gifted to us a few weeks ago, but we hadn't read it yet. "You know, Jack, we have a book that talks about that. It's about a four-year-old boy who Jesus let visit heaven, but didn't let him stay. He came back to earth and then wrote a book about what he saw." Jack hopped up on my lap and I read "Heaven is For Real... for kids," by Colton Burpo.

I kept it together for most of it until I came to the part that talked about there being no sickness in heaven:

"One of the most wonderful things about heaven is that no one ever gets sick or hurt there. No one ever has bumps or bruises or skinned knees. No one needs glasses or wheelchairs. In heaven, no one is old; everyone is young and healthy. And no one died in heaven. In heaven, you live forever with God!"
 
I had a hard time not crying through those promises. Jack could obviously tell that I was crying and he locked his green eyes onto mine. Part of the reason finishing that paragraph was so difficult for me. "Happy tears or sad tears?" he asked, tilting his head. Oh, this kid.
 
"Sad tears. It makes me sad to think of the people that we can't see anymore because they're in heaven. Like Grandma and Grandpa Sauer, and Uncle Tommy. We're happy they're with Jesus, but we also miss them here on earth."
 
"But Mom," he said with his bright eyes and dimples, shifting his weight so he could look at me face-to-face. "I'm going to be in heaven, too! So you don't have to be sad! You won't be alone!" And just as easy as that, he was trying to make me feel better. My four-year-old was encouraging ME.
 
Talking with my kids makes me realize just how much God adores children. The innocence, faith, and optimism is so encouraging. Even to a person who's followed Christ for as long as I can remember. No wonder He tells us to be like them.
 
I had been surprised that Jack didn't need to talk. At least in the ways I had expected him to. But perhaps God allowed this opportunity for me, rather than Jack. To know that he really is okay with things right now. About the future. He has peace. So perhaps God wanted to encourage me to have peace as well.
 
God not only has this situation in the palm of His hand. But He's also got Ben, Jack, Megan, and their unborn sister safely in His care.
 
And someday, He will be the very first one to welcome us into our forever home, wrap His big arms around us and say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."
 
Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.

42 comments:

  1. Your'e a beautiful Mommy...with an amazing strength, sweet heart, and incredible family.

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    1. I cannot go into detail, but its refreshing to read your blog with forward progression. As Jesus has me on a journey I feel connected in this journey with you and Ben. Many uncertainties right now, but when I get answers maybe I can share and be a support from a different perspective. Blessings to your family.

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  2. Oh little Jack...I pray for you as hard as I pray for your brother.

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    1. Mindy, thank you for writing each of these posts. I am currently living in Peru as a missionary and tonight my Peruvian family prayed for you and Ben. Daddy God loves you so much.

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  3. I cannot tell you the roller coaster that I have been on since I saw a picture on someone's Facebook page of your three children in the tub. All I read was was that Ben was happy to be home from Roswell and enjoying the simple things such as a bath with his siblings again. I had no idea of who you were or what that meant, but as I jogged that evening I prayed for that little boy. I soon learned who and what I was praying for and I was paralyzed! I have wrestled with God, questioned why He, who can, chooses not to. Begged Him to show the world again that He is not dead and to use Ben to baffle those who
    Reject Him! I have selfishly pleaded that He help me with such little faith believe that the prayers of those who are broken still have power! I have praised Him along with you for the Ben moments that must feel so excruciatingly bitter sweet and for every second that Ben feels no pain! I have prayed and weeped for your family every single day since I read your first blog asking for the time that I often wish away, hoping for Friday to come, to stop for you! I have prayed for Ben's healing and refuse to stop, but then God reminded me that He has already healed Ben. He has healed us all. His timing is not our timing and so we cannot understand, but we can rest in the promise that though we may not see the physical healing in this life, we are saved! Ben is, I am, you are! I am so broken for your family as I am for so much that we must suffer in this life! But I praise God that He holds us in His merciful hands and will never let us go! Ben, Jack, Megan, and baby girl Sauer, are so blessed to have been be borrowed by two God fearing, examples of Jesus' love like you Mindy and you Andy Sauer! I will probably never stop holding you up to Him, and I am hopeful in the beauty this will all one day become!!

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    1. Beautiful perspective ..... brought tears to my eyes as much as reading these blogs

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    2. Yes we are saved and free! I often wonder how people get through things, their life, without God. But I am glad that I don't need to worry about that. God is good. All the time.

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    3. Beautiful Words Carrie, I Feel Very Much The Same But You Expressed It So Much Better Than I Could. Thank You.

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    4. Well said Carrie... you spoke what a lot of us feel... God bless you and may God bless the Sauer family...

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  4. Timing is perfect. I love you Ben. I love you Sauer family.

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  5. When I was coming home from church today I asked my mom if she thought we could watch movies in heaven and she thinks you can just see them in your head! I also think there will be trains. I'm praying for your family, have courage and faith!

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  6. "....my good and faithful servant." The words we all long to hear.

    Praying without ceasing for your family.

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  7. God isn't finished writing Ben's story. It will have a super ending for heaven is our real home - we are just passing through with God's purpose and plan.
    Worship and praise with lots of JOY are promised. And God keeps all His promises as He says...let the little child come

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  8. This post touched me in such a profound way. That little 4 year old boy is wise beyond his years. How simply he explains everything. If only we could have views on such thing the way that he does. When I'm reading these I'm often reminded of a quote from my favorite Nicolas Sparks book/movie, "I do not need a reason to be angry with God." I feel that while these posts help you, they help more of us as well. I feel like I'm finding new ways to deal with loss and missing loved ones. My heart breaks for you all. I wanted to let you know that you've inspired me in such a huge way I decided I needed to do something in not only Bens honor but for yours as well. I signed up to volunteer at the St Baldricks Shave for Children's Cancer Fundraiser on April 27th in Victor, NY. It's a small way for me to do something. I will most certainly be wearing my Blue 4 Ben that day!!!!

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  9. As I wear my Blue 4 Ben wrist band, your family is never far from my prayers and thoughts. While reading tonight's entry my eyes fill with tears of sadness but also wonder at the innocence of children at how much we really do learn from them. Our continued prayers and lifting your family up to God.

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  10. As I read your blog today, I cried with and for you. I can not imagine the pain you are going through. However, I agree with you that God does tell us to be like little children for exactly the reason you experienced today. My love and prayers are with you everyday, though I don't even know you. You are an extraordinary parent!

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  11. Oh, sweet Jack. You have not only encouraged your momma but also all of us. May God fill you and your whole family with peace, especially our Ben. He is all of ours now, and so are you. Still praying, still crying, still praising.

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  12. i write to ben everyday .. but i have no response to you mindy sauer except that what an amazing mother you are and how lucky u all are to have each other through this terrible time..and nice that you can still have a sweet moment in your life as what jack and you had today .. god bless the sauers..

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  13. God gave you today with Jack. It was a gift for eternity. Bless you Mindy and your family.

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  14. What a precious boy and how good he is for you! Just today we buried my mother-in-law and at the end of mass, during a prayer, the priest said a prayer: "Well done, my good and faithful servant." Peace be with you all. Rosemarie xxoo

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  15. Mindy, you and your family are a blessing to us. I agree with you. I think your time with Jack today was more for you than for Jack. You are all in my prayers.
    "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him."

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  16. Believing with you! Praying for your continued strength and a miracle in your precious boy!

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  17. Crying with you Mindy. I've found my kids so much more resilient than I thought they'd be. Praying for you and your family...in fact, all of Williamsville United Methodist is. Every time I choose a blue shirt to wear, I think of Ben & your family. And *my* Ben likes to say prayers for your Ben at night before bed. God is good and may he always shine his light on you and your family.

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  18. I've never met you, but I have friends that know you and I have been keeping up with your blog and praying for your family. I have a son that just turned 5 last month. A few days I was reading your blog and my son, Owen, saw Ben's picture. He asked about it and I explained who Ben is and the battle that he's fighting. He didn't really say much more than, "Oh", but I could tell that he was processing it. Then, yesterday morning we had just finished our breakfast and he came out with, "Hey Momma. We need to remember to pray for that boy on the computer. I remember his name, it's Ben. He's four just like I was. Can we pray for him?" So, with a full heart I started to bow my head to start to pray -- but Owen started to pray instead. He prayed the most sincere and heartfelt prayer -- and it brought me to tears. This was his prayer: "Dear God. I pray for Ben. He has something really bad in his head and it hurts him a lot. Please help him play outside and have fun in the sunshine like me. Make him not hurt. Make him not cry. Maybe you can hug him. I like hugs. In Jesus' Name, Amen."

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  19. You've got my prayers, sister. XO

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  20. "But perhaps God allowed this opportunity for me, rather than Jack. To know that he really is okay with things right now. About the future. He has peace. So perhaps God wanted to encourage me to have peace as well."

    God was speaking to you through Jack. Just as you have been speaking to all of us!

    You family is amazing and you continue to touch so many hearts. My prayers will never stop!

    -Amy in Tonawanda, NY

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  21. Praying and believing always! Such an encouraging word

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  22. In the mind of a child, how different the world is to them. So very thankful that GOD loves each one of us, and how jack knows that is wonderful! My prayers to all of you, especially Ben.

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  23. Please dear Lord spare this little boy's life. He has so many that love and want him. Give his parents a blessing that they are not prepared for. Cure his body and make him healthy,

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  24. Sending you lots of Hugs, Love and Prayers Sauer family! <3

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  26. Beautiful. Such faithfulness. Thank you for sharing these precious momenta with us. Hug!

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  27. Wow! So powerful and beautiful! Thank you for sharing...Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

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  28. Dear Mindy - 10 years ago you were my daughters 6th grade teacher. She was quiet and shy around people. She was in your classroom 3 periods a day plus she would eat lunch with you. YOU gave her a sense of belonging and comfort and ease during a difficult time - she always said you were her absolute favorite teacher. She still has a note you wrote her with all of the students pictures you drew hanging in her room. From one mom to another, thank you for helping my girl (she is a beautiful, confident young woman now) She wouldn't be the person she is today without your support and guidance. Reading what you wrote today reminds me you are not only an amazing mother but also continue to be an amazing teacher - helping Jack with your conversations, not forcing anything, guiding and supporting him with your words and actions are what reminded me of what a terrific teacher you are - I will pray for you and your beautiful family every day.

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  29. Out of the mouths of babes....what wonderful insight Jack has regarding all of this. I, for one, wish I could be more like that. You are such a wonderful mommy, and I'm sure, helped Jack in ways today that you didn't see. Just being with him in this time of uncertainty probably meant so much to him.
    I continue to pray for your family each day. May you continue to feel His presence blessing you with peace, comfort, strength,and healing.

    God Bless,

    Janet
    COLE's Prayer Team

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  30. Mindy,
    I am so sorry you all are going through this. I constantly hold you all in my heart and in my mind and in my prayers. I know these words are so inadequate, but I fear tat they, along with my prayers, are all I can give. I feel so helpless!

    I have no doubt that God is using you to help, inspire, and re-instill faith in so many thousands of people. I have never had the honor of meeting you or your amazing family, but I can honestly say that you are helping me with my own daily health challenges...this amazes me to no end! Your family is going through such an indescribably, unimaginably trying time, yet you are choosing to educate us, to remind us about how so very important it is to believe in, and to hold on to, God (or anything for that matter). You are so freely offering your beliefs, and faith, and hope to all of us.

    You are my miracle Mindy, and I have no doubt that you are that miracle to so many others as well. May God give you daily comfort, and peace, and strength, and may he continue to keep you all wrapped up in his loving arms. God bless you all! <3

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  31. the movie based on the book comes out either this Wednesday or on Easter, depending on what source you believe. ;-) either way, perhaps this would be a good outing for the family, or even just for Jack and one of the parents. good conversation-starter, even more than the book, because it's visual.

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  32. You are truly an inspiration and show us God's truth through your life. Thank you for blessing us with your unending faith and love.
    Laurie

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  33. You completely bless me. Thank you.

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