Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Focusing on What Matters

It has been a week since Ben's last earthly breath.

He has barely left my mind for a second.
 
Makes you wonder how heaven experiences time, if at all. Does Ben feel like he's been there forever? Or just one minute? I can't wait to see for myself someday!

We still talk about him a lot. With Andy, with Jack, with complete strangers. But not every sentiment is accompanied with tears. At the end of each one of those utterings, I feel a strange peace come over me. My heart says, "I am a better person because he was born. We all are."

Ben was a gift. Since the beginning. And as much as it pains us to have to give a gift back (especially ones that I felt like I had somehow earned, bought, or paid for,) it humbles me to remember that this gift really was never mine to begin with. My miracle has always belonged to God, Ben's Creator.

Our world is full of pain. Darkness. Sickness. Perversion. You only need to turn on the nightly news to be reminded of that. Sadly, it's all just a part of life since sin entered it. We strive to achieve success, earn a big paycheck, get a big house. We fill our house with stuff, go on big vacations, and rub shoulders with powerful people. But then we hear about another child with cancer. A dad who's fighting for his life. A single mother who doesn't know how she will make ends meet. And we realize: everything in this life is just so meaningless.

Seriously. Nothing else matters.

It's responsible to plan for the future. None of those things I mentioned are bad all on their own. But when you start to put things in perspective, you realize how much we are just spinning our wheels. Planning for things that, in fifty years from now, no one will even care about. The only thing that really matters is how we choose to acknowledge God in our daily existence, knowing that heaven is just a breath away.

The night before Ben's wake, I sat at the computer. I was hoping to copy a few verses to post along with the picture boards. To remind everyone to continually point ourselves back to his Heavenly Father. Except I didn't know where to start. So, I turned to my trusty friend, Google. I typed "verses that comfort" in the search engine and it gave me several appropriate passages that encouraged me in the loss of my own son. One of them has stuck with me. And it has really challenged my perspective on death. Especially in cases like this.

"Good people pass away; the godly
often die before their time. But no one
seems to care or wonder why. No one
seems to understand that God is protecting
them from the evil to come. For those who
follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die."
Isaiah 57:1-2

Ben is not only resting in peace in the loving arms of his Heavenly Father. But his presence there shows us just how much God loved him. God loved him too much to sustain the 'evil to come.' The inevitable pain that he would have continued to feel if God chose to give him the physical miracle many of us were praying for.

Ben entered heaven with nothing. Absolutely nothing. His earthly body was no longer any good, so he gladly left it behind. The funeral home dressed him in a cute 4-piece suit, but that was for our own benefit, not Ben's. His soul was welcomed into heaven the same way he entered this earth: with absolutely nothing.

If I've learned nothing else from this whole ordeal, it's to concentrate on the stuff that matters.

The most beautifully sad conversations I've had over the past week are from other mothers who've had to tell their little ones about Ben's passing. Oh, how I wish they didn't have to think about such things at such a young age. But these kids had been faithfully praying for Ben since his diagnosis. For healing. A physical healing. Those prayers were sincere. Thoughtful. And wonderfully beautiful. God heard every single one. And yet He chose to answer them in a way that we hadn't explicitly asked for. He gave Ben the ultimate healing. It was as if God knew Ben's heart and body wouldn't be able to sustain the pain of the "evil to come." He wanted to take him Home in order to protect him. We mourn our loss, we miss our son. But I do have an overwhelming peace knowing that Ben won't need to experience any more pain here on earth.

If you want to be encouraged, though, talk to a child who has been explained about Ben's homegoing. They believe. They 'get it.' They possess that 'child-like' faith Jesus encouraged us all to have. Conversations with my own kids remind me of that truth.

I took the kids to the zoo today, our first time without Benjamin in tow. As we began to shuffle out of the car, I said to Jack, "You know, I'm really going to miss Ben today. This is the first time we are here without him and I know how much he has always loved coming here. But I guess in heaven, he can see animals whenever he wants and he doesn't need a pass to get in!" I suppose I say these things for my own benefit. In education, we learned that it was valuable to "think aloud" the learning process in order for your students to see how your thinking guided you toward a logical answer. I suppose that's what I do quite a bit with my kids. You can take the girl out of the classroom...
 
But Jack's reaction was so simple. And yet so profound. "But Mom, if Jesus is in our hearts and Ben is with Jesus, then that means Ben is always with us, too!"
 
Oh, my word. What beautiful logic. My son continues to encourage me in my own faith.
 
Andy and I were finishing dinner tonight after the other kids had been excused. Megan was behind me, looking at the photo boards from Ben's wake. Out of nowhere, I heard her say, "Look! Look! Ben's with Jesus! Happy!"
 
It was the urgency behind her statement that caught me off-guard. It was as if she was seeing something for the first time. Ben's picture, in a new light. She knows her brother is in heaven. As much as her two-year-old brain can comprehend such a profound thought. And she believes. Again, my kids' faith encourages my own. And for the second time today, the student became the teacher.

The older I get, the more I learn, the more I am aware of how little I know. But I feel like I'm getting glimpses of the truth, doses of perspective. And it's humbling. And it causes me to constantly reprioritize. What things are really important? I mean really important. Investing in my marriage, teaching my kids about the things of God, cultivating meaningful relationships here on earth.
 
What else is there?
 
Our culture seems to have memorialized our existence. To expect only good things and to shun pain. To mourn for those who die because we somehow feel like they're missing out on the good stuff here on earth. But death is just an extension of life. A natural part of life. As Christ-followers, we know that we are guaranteed heaven. But it can be difficult for even us to remember as we get so easily distracted by all of the (seemingly) good things our world has to offer. We spend a mere hundred years or less on this planet and are then invited to partake in the better part of our lives. Eternal life. With Jesus. In heaven.
 
What more could we ask for? For ourselves? For our children?
 
As I walked around the gravesite the other day, I recognized a few names. But not many. Some of them might have had "Beloved Mother" under their name that gave me a glimpse as to what they meant to the people they left behind. But none of them listed how much money they made or how much success they achieved during their time on earth. Beneath their name, all it had was two dates separated by a dash. May 5, 2009 - May 13, 2014. Makes you wonder: how will we spend our dash?
 
Ben's dash was very well spent. He played hard, loved much, and never questioned where God had allowed him to be. Even for a less-than-five-year-old, that's saying quite a bit. People have been touched by his perseverance, his capacity for love, his selfless ministry. And because he was born, perhaps hundreds of people will be joining us in heaven someday.
 
And I'll tell you, my friends, that is ALL that matters.

It has been a week since Ben entered his forever home. He is missed. But I can't help but be grateful for God's willingness to share him with us for a short time. To get a glimpse of just what is important. And remind us how He always has our best interests at heart, even when it may be difficult to see at the time.

121 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this, again so beautifully written, and you are all in my prayers daily, many blessings, as Ben and all of our loved ones look down on us. Thank you for your strength.

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    1. That was warming..thankyou!! What wisdom Thankyou God!

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    2. I read your blog in the weee hours of the night when everyone is asleep. Your words are very encouraging. And your children.... my god....God bless them to know and love Jesus the way they do, its beautiful. Your family will be in my prayers.

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    3. my son Justin who is 6 loved seeing pics of Ben and hearing about him we were also at the zoo today for his kindergarten field trip oh how i would of liked to meet you your son Ben has touched our hearts so much and you are a amazing mother god bless

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    4. Hi Mindy , I read all your posts at night when my children are in bed, my heart breaks that ben is no longer with you but most of all how you cope and dont blame god in any way , I admire you so much and I pray for you and your family and ben is always in my thoughts always.
      God bless you all

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  2. Amazing, as always. I am so glad you continue to write...

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  3. Beautiful post Mindy! Thank you for this reminder, again, of what really matters. My 4 year old son and I were praying for you guys this evening. Its so true that they get it, they believe. He understands the simple truth that Ben is with Jesus. He's safe, he's healed... he's having fun! So we rejoice with you over that truth, and we continue to ask God to hold you near and remind you in all of this of His great love for you.

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  4. Hugs and kisses to all of you -- especially those brilliant and faithful little ones of yours. I think the wall between Heaven and Earth is very thin for children -- they can see in ways we do not remember because they were so recently there.

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  5. Beautiful. Thank you Mindy.

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  6. I could read your words all day. You have a gift for faith and expressing your faith like none I have seen before. I pray you keep writing and sharing with those of us drawn into your story. My family prays for yours each night. Thank you for opening my eyes in many ways.

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  7. I was just telling my husband that our faith brings us such hope in life, and when I talk to my family members who aren't believers, I wonder how they get through the day without Jesus. Reading your story shows me just how much Jesus helps us even through the most difficult circumstance. Your faith is such an encouragement to me.
    I'm continuing to pray for your family. God bless you and thank you for sharing your story with us.

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    1. Angela, I also wonder how people get through a day without God. I can't even think of my life without Him.

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  8. I don't know how you do it, Mindy. I still cry every time I read your words. So simple. So profound. So REAL. So inspiring. As the mother of 4 little boys, my heart breaks as I can't imagine 1 minute without them. And yet you go thru your new reality with such grace - such insight - and I am in awe of you and Andy. We live in TX and may never meet, but you have my mind turning on this Tuesday night. We are like many families who go they the hamster wheel of life, working harder, trying harder, and doing our best to balance family/work/life. But your post has given me pause - and following Ben's story these last few months has honestly made me stop and "smell the roses" with my family. The truth is we only have 18 summers with our kids - if we are lucky- and we need to make the most of it.

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    1. I just want to comment on your statement of "18 summers". I love the thought that this peaked in my mind. It reminded me of a book written by Billy Crystal (the comedian) called "700 Sundays". It was based on the same concept you stated. It was the number of Sundays he spent with his father. If we ever wish to take stock in what IS important as Mindy says, we might use a marker to remind us that this life IS temporary; with a finite (tho unknown) number of days, hours, min. But eternity..oh ETERNITY! How joyous it will be to see. How shall we spend our finite number of days.... I KNOW where I'll spend eternity, because He promised me and He lives each day of these finite days with me so that I might enjoy His eternity forever. Thank you both for this morning reminder when the days seem heavy on earth... they are temporary.

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  9. One again Mindy- thanks for such wisdom! Thanks for perspective! That eternal perspective that blesses and brings peace. Your writing is an incredible gift that communicates so well. continued prayers for the sauer family.

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  10. He was and still is a miracle himself <3 And his story has very much impacted my life.

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  11. I am so glad you have decided to go ahead and share some of your thoughts on your blog. As I have said so many times already, you inspire me with your faith, profound thoughts, and the grace you are handling all of this. You have such strong faith which surely has brought you where you are today.
    I pray you continue to feel Him blessing and holding you in the palm of His hand.

    God Bless,

    Janet

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  12. My 4 yr old daughter has been faithfully praying for Ben for the past 2 months every night at bedtime She knows he went to heaven last wk and she still continues to pray for him and at the end of the prayer she has started saying I know he is happy in heaven with you Jesus - She really gets it

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  13. Your words speak His truth to the very core. My greatest wish is that I do as much for God's kingdom with my dash as Ben did with his in his few short years. Continued prayers for your family. <3

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  14. I will say that "knowing Ben" (not personally) has not only given me HOPE but has brought me closer to MY GOD...OUR GOD... my gift (my son anthony) was taken back June 2nd 2005.. And I have lived these last 8.5 years with so much anger and hate towards many people ,many things, many many times... but Ben Sauer has shown me that If I continued to live my life "for me " and not for God, that id never see my son again... I wouldnt go to Heaven... At Bens memorial service klast week, I rededicated my life to Christ and I now KNOW that I will see my baby again one day, Ill get to meet the "MIGHTY BEN" and most importantly see Jesus! how can I not be happy about this new life that I live... Mindy, my thoughts and prayers will forever be with you ! your strength and your faith encourage me everyday... stay strong in Jesus as I know you will!

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    1. Oh, the TEARS! I have TEARS streaming down my face!! Tears of gratitude, of celebration, of promise. I am so glad you have the confidence of seeing your son someday. There are fewer things that could give me more joy as well. May God continue to hold you through your dark days. He is there. I am so glad you know how much He loves you... and Anthony. Thanks for sharing. <3

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    2. You inspire me and I will forever be grateful!

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    3. Starr Mccooey, YOU are the hope of so many of us that have shared Mindy's trials. None could know the pain you have been feeling for years. If God, in His great wisdom, used Ben's story and Mindy and family's faith as a path back to Him, I rejoice and rejoice (and I see Mindy does too) that Ben's life has touched even one (tho we KNOW there are many more) person to the depths of their souls, to return to our Lord. Thank you for your testimony on here. You are adding to Ben's legacy by letting other's know that you have been permanently changed. Eternity is yours because you asked and believed. Thank you Benjamin David Sauer for such a big gift from a little fella. Thank you Mindy for giving a place where people can have the opportunity to come back to, or to come into fellowship with others who can encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ when they stumble.
      Praise to our heavenly father, to God be the Glory! Amen

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  15. Mindy, you are the 2nd person in a relatively short time that I heard put emphasis on the "Dash". If only more people focused on the Dash...I'm so glad Ben's was the best this earthly world could have been for him! Thank you for having the strength to continue letting us into your life! Much love to you all!

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    1. It was a concept I heard when I was in high school, I believe. Such a stark reminder. It hasn't left me. Isn't it interesting to see how God seems to be using the same truths to encourage many different people all at once? Just amazing.

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    2. The pastor at our church Zion Lutheran in Clarence Center has often referred to the dash and had a sermon on it once. How will you spend you dash is how he ended it if my memory is correct. It's a great concept to think about. Your tombstone says dob and dod with just a dash in between. How will you choose to spend you life? Will you have Jesus in your heart? Will you love God, love your neighbors because nothing else matters?

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  16. Mindy,

    I have been following Ben's story since March, when I was in Buffalo for a hockey tournament and heard about the community coming together for your son while there for the weekend.

    I have prayed endlessly for your son, and your family, and share my deepest condolences.

    Your beautiful stories of Ben and your faith with The Lord have brought me so much closer to my own faith with The Lord, who I have grown distant from after the unexpected passing of my father, and the recent passing of my Grandmother with breast cancer. I have often questioned why GOD would deal me such difficult cards back to back, and whether or not I was strong enough to get through the grieving pain. Since following your blog, I can't thank you enough for sharing such personal moments with your family, and your love for our Lord at such a difficult time. Your Benjamin has touched the lives of thousands of people, and while you may never read this, your Benjamin has brought me closer to our Lord then I have even been in my life.

    Benjamin, Jack & Meg are so blessed to have you as parents, especially to remind us to love Jesus even in the most sorrowing times.

    Always praying for your family,
    Tayler (NJ)

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    1. Oh Tayler, I am so sorry for your losses. These pains are difficult to bear, much less when they happen to such special people to us, so close together. It feels overwhelming. Too much for one person to handle. I have had a taste of what you've gone through. I hate it. Wish I didn't have to. But it does remind us how temporal this world really is, how we are just merely passing through, on our way to a Better Place. Looking forward to you reuniting with your father and grandmother someday. What a beautiful homecoming that will be! <3

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  17. I am so humbled by your words and your faith. I feel, as I'm sure many do, that I know you simply by what you have written during this most trying time. I prayed so often for Ben's healing and your strength to continue traveling such a difficult road. I believe you have an amazing gift in articulating your thoughts and faith in God. Should He ever encourage you to write a devotional or book, I would certainly be blessed by it. Thank you for sharing Ben and your beautiful family with a world that needs to know God is still in control.

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  18. Thank you for sharing this. It is so beautifully stated. Praying for your family.

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  19. I missed cuddling with my 5 year old son Matthew, yet again, tonight because I was...washing my face. He always wants to cuddle Daddy, breaks my heart. Tonight I was so lucky, he was calling me. I decided I could shower afterward; but, just could not bear to cuddle up in bed after a long day with a dirty face. He fell asleep. Tomorrow, I will focus on what matters. You give your heart to inspire others. Thank you.

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  20. Hermoso! Usted es una inspiracion!

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  21. Thank you, once again, for sharing

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  22. Such beautiful words! Thank you for this, I read this with pain still in my heart and tears in my eyes but with the comfort of Jesus in my soul. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

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  23. That was the greatest message I have ever read my heart goes out to you and your family it really got me thinking and me being a single mom it really made me realize how much more to appreciate life and how much more to cherrish my son matthew he is my little angel and matthew is the same age as ben everytime I look at matthew I think of ben I just cant help but to cry I pray for him as well as for my son everyday

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  24. this blog has been an inspiration to me in so many ways. my son went home august 17th 2004. i cherish your sister's words: he is gone, but not lost. God has him now and God has me. He is just holding onto us at different ends of eternity. thank you mindy and your family for your ministry, especially for struggling, heartbroken mothers like me who for so long sought to make any kind of sense of it all. i truly believe my shiloh was my personal saviour; he saved my life in more ways than one. my heart goes out to you and my thoughts and prayers are not far behind.

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  25. I hope you know what your strength and faith has done for me... I spent several nights crying reading your blogs,just wanted to hug you,or let you hit me because I was angry for you. The night I read your blog about Ben's passing my 4 year old daughter was sitting next to me. I was crying without shame...sobbing. Lilly looked at me and said" Mommy, it's ok. He's with my God now. I can't wait to meet my God!" I felt overwhelming peace knowing that Sunday School and church has taught my daughter to be faithful...to appreciate that we aren't in control, it's not our plan. Thank you for sharing your family's story with us all. Thank you for sharing your faith with me, I had lost mine for a while. Thank you.

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  26. Mindy, as always your words are beautiful! Just today I was reflecting on the important things in life, and I remembered Ben. And I came to the same conclusion: the material things come and go, but only God remains constant in our lives. Please keep writing. Greetings from Mexico.Hugs & Kisses.

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  27. I've been thinking a lot about the concept of time in Heaven, too. To them, will our home-coming seem like just a few days since they last saw us? I believe that to be true. Why do I believe that to be true? Because it brings me immense comfort, and He is, after all, our comforter....all good things come from Him. Amen. So I now believe this to be true. Thank you, Mindy. I thank God for bringing your family into my life and the lives of so many others. We are all in a state of healing of some kind, and I have found so much of it within your writings. Again, thank you. God bless you.

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  28. Thought about and prayed for you all throughout today. Thank you Mindy for sharing what has comforted you - I so needed to read that verse as I still mourn Ben's passing, though trying hard to celebrate his joy with Jesus too. I'm going to go mark it in my bible right now. And I'll be thinking about my "dash" daily. :)

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  29. Dear Mindy, Thank you for sharing your heart with us once again. I feel as though we are friends even though we have never met. This morning as I went about my duties as a mum to a 5 year old, 3 year old and 2 year old I was so conscious that it was approaching one week since your Ben went to be with Jesus. And I was praying that you would be given the grace that you needed.

    Mindy, I cannot possibly say how much your words have echoed my thoughts and prayers over the past week. My children and I have been praying for Ben and your family for months and when I told them that Ben has now with Jesus my son Micah's face lit up and he said, "I will see Ben when I go to heaven! I can't wait to play with him!" Micah loves talking to me about what Heaven will be like and I remember daydreaming as a child about how amazing Heaven will be and who I would get to meet, like my grandma who died when I was a baby but I am always told I look like, my baby sibling who my parents lost when I was 4, Hannah from the Bible, King David... So many people and so much daydreaming! I was SO excited.

    Then, as I grew, more and more people I loved passed away... In May 1999 two of my cousins died violent deaths, one from a drug overdose and it took days before his body was found and my other cousin Ben, was a senior in high school, and jumped off a carpark. It is 15 years this May since that time. Then my remaining three grandparents all passed away as well. And friends lost babies. And life kept going and I "grew up" in my faith and I am sad to say that as much as I looked forward to Heaven I also lost a bit of my childlike anticipation and faith.

    I have bought the "Heaven is for Real" book that you spoke of earlier and I could not put it down. In between the tears for you and your family, for the grief at the suffering in this world, I have had the most wonderful experience of becoming once again like a child in my excitement about Heaven. I live in rural Australia and don't get to see family in person, so when they have been skyping with the children and me this past week they have all had to listen to me talk about how excited I am about Heaven and how I am convinced that children have it right when it comes to what Heaven will be like. I have debated over whether I should share this with you Mindy because I know you are being inundated with messages but I want you to know that your son has profoundly impacted my life, and I had the privilege of growing up in a Christian home and always knowing my name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life. Because of your Ben I have such JOY! In spite of the grief and uncertainty that my family is facing at the moment, I have renewed joy in remembering this is not the end. Thank you for sharing your son with us all.

    I have always sung Jesus Loves Me to my children at bedtime as well. Now when I do I am reminded because of you that my children are gifts who belong to Jesus, not to me. May God bless you and your family until the beautiful day when you are all reunited in our forever home. Come, Lord Jesus!

    God bless you, Hannah

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  30. My two year old and I pray for your family together. Your words are so beautiful and put me to tears with each post. Your family is such an inspiration to me and makes me really see what's important to life. Sometimes it seems like our loved ones are taken too early and then I see their impact on other people and how through praying for them we ourselves become closer to God and Jesus. You are helping thousands become closer with God and make us see what is really important in life. I was just Talking with my Mom tonight and we said those very words how do people with no faith get through the day? Thank you for your beautiful messages, in a way they make me a better mother and wife by reminding me that time is so short and to really live life with love <3

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  31. Thank you so much, Mindy. Your words are so truly powerful and I am so thankful for them. God Bless you, Andy, Ben, Jack and Meg.

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  32. Every time I read your posts, I learn something. What an inspiration Ben has been in your writing about our Saviour! And you are spot on, HE is ALL that matters! I have been praying for y'all this week, as I know this transition is so difficult. God Bless, Alice Ann Sebring

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  33. Here you are, the truly grieving one, helping me to feel better. Thank you, Mindy. I love your little Ben, though I never met him, and he has been on my mind a thousand times this past week (at least!). Hugs, tears, and love from Moore, OK.

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  34. Wow....a week has gone by. I have followed your blogs, prayed every single day; sometimes, many, many times through the day, for Ben, for you, Andy, the children and your family. I felt my faith growing stronger as you poured your heart out to all of us so openly and shared the love, hope and promise of our heavenly father. And even though I knew Ben was in heaven when he went home with Jesus....my heart hurt, I cried, and I asked "why?"

    When I went to Ben's service, I felt even though I didn't know you personally, I needed to be there. To show support for your amazing family and the deep faith you all have, to celebrate the life of this precious gift that God blessed you and Andy with....and that you so graciously shared with all of us. My heart so heavy, the sobs deep in my throat making me feel as though I couldn't breathe when I first arrived finally released itself in tears....tears of sadness, but also of joy knowing that Ben is in heaven with Jesus. The service was truly a "celebration" of Ben's life, through your words, Jack's words, your Dad's.

    I have lost 3 members of my immediate family...my older brother was murdered on my 21st birthday, my Mom passed away after years of serious illness almost 12 yrs ago and my Dad exactly 1 yr and 1 wk from my Mom. I have been a christian for a long time....but I always struggled with them not being here.

    You being the loving, obedient disciple that you are, shared Ben with us, as well as your pain, & the hope, comfort and perfect love that our savior has for us. It was through your words, scriptures and love that you have for God that gave me the peace I needed after all these years. Thank you Mindy for loving God so much that through your pain, you were able to reach out to so many of us and help us to either re-affirm our faith again or to lead others to know God for the first time.

    And all of this because of a little boy named Ben! God Bless you and your beautiful family!

    And a child shall lead them!

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  35. Oh Mindy . . .your little son Jack is wise beyond his years. And it is wonderful the way he is growing up knowing the Lord.Keep writing & sharing your feelings. It will help the healing process, & open the eyes of many.XO

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  36. I truly admire you for "tackling" the zoo today, knowing how hard it would be without Ben there, but trying your best to get used to your "new normal" without him there. Ben's dash was a short one, but he lived it well and you and Andy taught him well with what truly only matters. At the end of the day, at the end of one's life, all that really truly matters, as you said, as you live, is Jesus. And He is more than enough as you know. Continuing to pray.

    betty

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  37. Mindy ~
    I came to learn about you from our friend Julie.(your friend from college) I feel blessed to have followed your journey along with so many. Thank you for sharing your little man with us, and for opening your hearts and home to all of us as you have. I want to thank you also, for sharing your real and pasionate love and trust in Christ our King, holding firm to His promises. You have shared your pain in the most beautiful way, for with every tear you shed, you gave a praise that lightened the hearts of all as they saw Christ shining through your walk with every step. Many will never know the pain you felt, however, so many have come to know, by following along with you, that there is a perfect peace in following Christ. The pain for all left on this side of heaven is very real, nonetheless, the hope and wonderment of our heavenly home and our reunion, hold a joy that will surpass any we can imagine. Your family and your amazingly beautiful Ben, have given the world a glimpse of this joy during a very clouded storm. You continued to show the light and love of our Savior,during your darkest days, and thus have surely brought many to Christ through Ben's journey home. I look forward to following your story as it continues, and I really look forward to meeting the sweet young boy that turned from blue into sunshine. I will think of Ben and all of you often, as I pray you forward on your beautiful walk. My husband who has followed along, with me and our children, said just last night, " Now that little smile is one I will never forget." and we all look forward to our reunion, soon and very soon. God Bless all of you, we will continue to pray and read your journey as it continues. Mindy as you keep on sharing for Jesus may you feel the sunshine on your face often, knowing in that warmth is the smile of your beautiful Ben. God Bless always

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  38. God bless you and your family love you x

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  39. Oh Mindy, you've become a true inspiration - just by being yourself and sharing your thoughts with the world. I told my 4 year old daughter about Ben a few weeks ago. We've followed his story from almost day one. She loves seeing pictures of him and your family. Last night as I tucked her in, we said our prayers. As I was about to leave her room she said " But daddy! We forgot to talk to Ben!" (I had arrived home late last night from work so I was anxious to say my goodnights, a quick prayer and kiss and then to catch up with my wife on the daily happenings). Needless to say, I went straight back to her bedside and we took all the time she needed to talk to Ben. We told him we hoped he was having fun in Heaven and that he was catching all kinds of snakes and frogs. All of the things that she remembers from the stories we told her about Ben were recognized in the "prayer" to him.
    Thank you, Mindy for bringing perspective and Jesus back into our lives. We'll be eternally grateful for how much you have touched us.

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  40. God Bless you Mindy and your Family, not only has your son Ben inspired us all, your faith has made us all stronger and better people. May God continue to bless you and your family

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  41. Beautiful post. I could read your posts all day. They are so heart warming. Prayers for your family. ♡♡♡

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  42. I also have a 5 year old son who has been praying for Bens healing. Like your children, it amazes me how God works to teach us through them. When I shared with Sam that Ben was in heaven he just smiled and said, "you mean he gets to be with Jesus already? I wish I could go to heaven now too!" And that evening his prayers changed from "please heal Ben" to "please help his family to be happy that Ben is in heaven." Simple. He believes heaven is the best place anyone could ever be and to him Ben is lucky to be there. As I was crying for your hurt, Sam was happy for Ben and he reminded me once again to look towards Jesus. Always look towards Jesus. Thank you Mindy for sharing your journey... You and your family are pointing others to Jesus.

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  43. I have never suffered any such loss as yours, but I found this prayer in a very old book, and it has comforted me as I miss my mother. It's unattributed in the book, so I'm going to leave it that way: "We seem to give him back to Thee, dear God, who gavest him to us. Yet as Thou didst not lose him in giving, so we have not lost him by his return. Not as the world giveth, givest Thou, O Lover of souls. What Thou givest, Thou takest not away. For what is Thine is ours always, if we are Thine. And life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon, and a horizon is nothing but the limit of our sight. Lift us up, strong Son of God, that we may see further; cleanse our eyes that we may see more clearly; draw us closer to Thyself that we may know ourselves nearer to our beloved who are with Thee. And while Thou dost prepare a place for us, prepare us also for that happy place, that where they are and Thou art, we too may be." Your words remind me so much of this prayer, which I now pray so often. I love the image it gives me of asking Jesus to lift us up, like a child raises his arms for his parent to pick him up. "And life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon...nothing but the limit of our sight." I will continue to pray for you and yours when I pray this prayer. Thank you ever so much for your witness, which continues to encourage me and countless others in our own lives.

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  44. So exquisite are your words. Thank you for sharing.

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  45. I am that struggling single mom you referred to. I hang on your every word. I hope you realize that the things you say are an inspiration to me. If you can survive what you have survived, and do it with such grace and elegance, I can too. I have MS and every day is a struggle but nothing is harder than the loss of a child. You are a strong faith filled woman and I love you. I dont know you at all, but we have one major thing in common, we both believe in God and heaven. :)
    Keep writing, expressing, talking, I need you too. I think many people do....

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  46. Mindy and family, the other night outside me and my family were siting around our fire pit. I have 2 boys Cameron who on Sunday just turned 4, and Jaxon who is 5. All long we have been praying for your family. They looked up at the sky and saw a beautiful bright glowing star. They looked at me and said Mommy that is Ben looking down on everyone. He is in Heaven, with Jesus. It was the only bright star in the sky that night, but shinned threw the clouds. It filled my heart up with Joy that they know Jesus is taking good care of Ben. That they believe. Every night during prayers they say a prayer to Ben and your family. You will always be in our hearts.

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  47. Mindy, thank you for continuing to share His glory with us. Your blog continues to put things into perspective for me. May God bless you and your family.

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  48. Dear Andy, Mindy and Sauer Family,

    Our family thoughts and prayers have been with you since we heard the sad news, and will continue as you walk this difficult path. Thank you for sharing your journey, as you and Ben have touched the hearts and lives of our family and countless others, and have pointed many towards comfort in the arms of Jesus. You have shown light in the darkness, and have lived and shared love with a world that desperately needs it. As the sun beams through the window this morning I think of Ben, as he basks in the love of Jesus, and is completely healed, awaiting his family and friends to join him. He is in our hearts, and we will always be blue for Ben. God bless you all, and thank you for sharing Isaiah 57:1-2!

    “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:12-13

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  49. Continuing to be so very thankful to God for you and your family. Throughout my day, I am going to try my best to monitor myself, thinking, "How will I spend my dash?" It's a quick meaningful reminder that I can recall easily - something to reground me in moments when I want to act in a way other than what God wants. Thank - as ever, Mindy.

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  50. May God bless and comfort your family. Thank you for sharing.

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  51. I thought you might appreciate this poem referring to the "Dash" you mentioned.

    The Dash
    by Linda Ellis

    I read of a man who stood to speak
    At the funeral of a friend

    He referred to the dates on her tombstone
    From the beginning to the end

    He noted that first came her date of her birth
    And spoke the following date with tears,

    But he said what mattered most of all
    Was the dash between those years

    For that dash represents all the time
    That she spent alive on earth.

    And now only those who loved her
    Know what that little line is worth.

    For it matters not how much we own;
    The cars, the house, the cash,

    What matters is how we live and love
    And how we spend our dash.

    So think about this long and hard.
    Are there things you’d like to change?

    For you never know how much time is left,
    That can still be rearranged.

    If we could just slow down enough
    To consider what’s true and real

    And always try to understand
    The way other people feel.

    And be less quick to anger,
    And show appreciation more

    And love the people in our lives
    Like we’ve never loved before.

    If we treat each other with respect,
    And more often wear a smile

    Remembering that this special dash
    Might only last a little while.

    So, when your eulogy is being read
    With your life’s actions to rehash

    Would you be proud of the things they say
    About how you spent your dash?

    Ben's dash was very special and your dash is very special and you and your family is making it count every single second of every day! You are an inspiration to me and so many others. God shines in every single word you speak and write here. Always in my thoughts and prayers.

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  52. It's mind boggling how many people have lived, walked on this earth, and died. Something I read once from a book called "Tuesdays with Morrie" really struck me, as he said "Everybody knows they're going to die, but nobody really believes it"(speaking to the masses on the earth). What he was getting at, is that if everyone really believed they were going to die one day, then they would live their days so differently. It's so easy to get swept up in the cares of the world, which in the end are pointless and just don't matter at all. God, His ways, His words, they are what matter. Thank you for reminding me so beautifully of what the point of life is all about. Particularly in the midst of what you've been enduring. May God bless you for the perseverance you continue to have and share with everyone who is reading this blog.

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  53. You have such a talent for writing. Ben has touched many people, but so have you. God has used you in a huge way. Your faith Is amazing. It is a beautiful thing. As you know, not all mom's and families handle these things with giving thanks to God through all things. I pray for you and your family every night ! Don't stop blogging, your words are changing people every day.

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  54. Dear Mindy and family,
    I would have attended Ben's celebration of his new life at the Chapel if I had not been attending the celebration of Natalie Lewis's new life. She is the young woman that died in the hot air balloon accident. Her family like yours has a depth of faith that inspires us all. I have a picture in my mind of Natalie and Ben walking hand in hand enjoying the glory of God. Blessings to you all. Thank you for sharing Ben and your family with us.

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  55. God bless and be with you and your family. I pray for the heart ache to lessen every day <3

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  56. So true!! "The Dash" if only people would realize that it's (life) not about what you have or how much you have, how much MORE you have than others... I only wish that people would focus on all the greatness in each other than all the bad or what one has that another doesn't.. Materialistic or in laymans terms "keeping up with the jones'". As I've grown up, and trust me at the age of 36, I'm still growing up, learning something every day and I owe that credit to my children ( my greatest learning comes from them) and other adults who I see.. It's been a long time and I may get this wrong and may be putting it into a different context (maybe combining 2 stories also) but the story of the silos but mainly greed and raking up for yourself and holding back for others doesn't get you anywhere because what you have doesn't get you anywhere closer to where you have to be.. I indeed need to brush up but I've always held close these parables that I've been told throughout my years kind of makes me a little bit of a better person and how I look at others no matter what their situation.. And they've kept me focused at my lower points and even my higher points of life.. <3

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  57. Thank you Mindy! The strength and wisdom God grants you are truly a gift to us. I know Ben is going to be helping me focus on getting Home to Heaven!

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  58. Natalie Grant said it best...you are 'Held' Blessing to all of you.

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  59. Thank you Mindy! You are such a blessing. I cannot fathom the loss, and explaining to my 7 year old wasnt easy as we watched the funeral and I answered her questions. The expectancy of heaven that our children have is simply amazing. Jada (my daughter) and I sat and spoke about how Ben is catching a whole bunch of cool thinks in heaven now, and she was the most excited about his "blue wings". In your sorrow and grief - you STILL encourage and I appreciate this. I almost lost my husband a few months ago due to an illness and was scared to death at the thought of being left as a single mom of 2 little girls, but somehow reading about and finding you all made me realize that I didnt have the worse of circumstances and I needed to trust and lean on HIM and not myself.

    A family all the way in Lubbock texas has been blessed and encouraged by sweet Ben's life. I cannot wait to see what else God does in your family!

    Many Hugs!

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  60. Mindy, you continue to amaze and encourage me daily with your unfailing faith!!! My kids and I talk quite frequently about the Church Militant, those of us still on this earth who are fighting the good fight, and the Church Triumphant, those who are now in heaven praying for us!!! I can't help but see your sweet Ben up there with his superhero cape:) He fought the good fight and has triumphed! Oh how much hope we have in Jesus!!!! My family and I pray daily for you and your family!!! May God continue to give you strength and peace each and EVERY day!

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  61. I love the 'forever home' reference, God knew us before we were born, the journey here, the dash, is all about learning before we return to our 'forever home'. I have lost a lot of people in my life, coming from two rather large families (mom and dad both had many brother and sisters) and in turn their siblings had between 3 to 8 children. I had 99 first cousins. My parents were the youngest of their families, so we have lost much of the Aunts and Uncles, and sadly some cousins. I learned early on to make sense of death, I was raised in a Christian home. I have lost a second cousin in a fire, a first cousin in a motorcycle accident, my best friend and cousin came to me (he was in Florida, I was in Upstate NY then) via his wife when he lost one of his twin boys in a pool accident at 3 years old. I also was there when he lost his mom at 17, then a few years later his dad.
    I grew up very close to my cousins Jennifer - who was a few years younger than me, and her sister Franny - who was 5 years older, and both had cystic fibrosis and new they weren't going to live a long time, Franny passed at 28 and Jenny (who was studying to become a respiratory nurse) died at 18 (and wrote her own funeral). There are others, and they are not demeaned in anyway, but along the way I had to come to grips with death early on and in a very personal way.
    I think I can sum this up with my father, the last of his brothers, who have all passed from a generational heart disease, their fathers and uncles before them, dad has had 5 by-pass, heart attacks regularly since he was in his 30s, he has diabetes to the degree that he does insulin twice a day through a needle in the stomach, he has had a stroke that robbed him of his ability to read (which bothers him the most - but interestingly can read almost all bible verses because his bible is so well-read) the bottom half of his heart no longer works, he had a massive ear issue that left him deaf in one ear when he was a child and his eyes sight is considered legally blind from the diabetes, and suffers double vision most of the day from the stroke, he has hardening of the arteries and a few years ago survived prostate cancer and more recently colon cancer, but with an operation and radical chemotherapy (which weakened his bones and he broke his femur in three places when he fell one day) he survived. We can't help why he keeps surviving, all these events, when usually one of these have taken many from this earth but my daddy - who is 77 now, had a follow up after his colon cancer 7 years ago. He invited me along so I can help understand what the doctor had to say. The Doctor politely pointed out to my dad, who is still doing as much as possible - mowing for money, working in the cemetery, on committees at the church, playing horseshoes, etc.; that my dad was in remission but that the cancer that had invaded his body was going to return. That this was terminal cancer.
    My dad sat still a minute and the Doctor, thinking my dad wasn't dealing with the situation, turns to me and says, "Does he understand what I just said?"
    My dad then stands, takes the Doctor's hand in a hand shake and says, "Yes I do Sir, Do you understand you are terminal too? We are all going to die. I know where I am going, are you assured of that?"
    And that...all those deaths, all the prognosis, all the heart aches, that is what it is all about isn't it?
    Lastly, My cousin who has a child in heaven still says they have 4 children when asked. One is just home already. :)
    I love you with a shared spirit, I am sad for your family and yet thrilled to know- you are all traveling the right journey, you are headed home.
    God Bless.

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  62. "But it does remind us how temporal this world really is, how we are just merely passing through, on our way to a Better Place. " you say it perfectly well. I always think about the moment I'll enter heaven. It's like getting ready to embark to a beautiful private island, for vacation, where I will see things I have never seen before on this planet of the living, streets of gold, crystal ocean, gardens with all kinds of animals... I told God not take me until He prepares me and show me a little of His kingdom each day. I live each day with hope, joyful with the confidence The Lord show me each day, that He went to prepare a place for me... I live each day like if it is the last one. Then I imagine me looking down from heaven thinking if I did what God wanted me to do while I was here, or I if I did what Jesus asked us to do, "go and preach The Good News to every creature." I may not go far away to do that command, but every time I see someone with a terrible situation I ask myself, "what would Jesus do...? And I always get what to do or to say.

    Thank you for sharing... You are an inspiration for all of us! God bless you and your beautiful family.

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  63. In your darkest hour yet you encourage all of us! Thank you! We will continue praying for His peace to carry you and your family through this!!!

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  64. Everytime I read another one of your post, the song from Casting Crowns keeps popping in my head. Maybe it's the Lord's way of reminding us that no matter what we go through, His will be there for us.
    And I'll praise You in this storm and I will lift my hands
    For You are who You are no matter where I am
    And every tear I've cried You hold in Your hand
    You never left my side and though my heart is torn
    I will praise You in this storm

    I have been praying for you and your family and will continue to do so.

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  65. Your words, your faith and your belief speak straight to me and makes me open my eyes to places I have never before. A pain I have held onto for almost 16 years has been lifted a little bit more. I to lost a child, but not to the extent of you. I never have forgiven God for the hurt, pain and selfishness of taking something that belonged with me. After reading your words and outlook, I to have re assessed what I went through and why God hurt me. I have finally looked at all sides because of your words and feel that God took my son to help him grow in Heaven and no longer hurt on earth. Thank you Mindy for helping me see that God never sent out to hurt or cause pain to me as he reached out to save my son.

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  66. Laying here at our final day at "give kids the world" in Florida for my daughters wish trip. Surrounded by terminally Ill children, seeing smiles from parents but knowing the pain that lies under that smile. I was talking to a mom and I looked up to the sky and noticed a plane writing something. He was writing Jesus loves you in the sky! What deep love that God has for us to write a message in the sky during deep heartache. A love like no other.

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  67. Dear Mindy,

    Every time I read your words, every time I visit your website, every time I see a picture of beautiful Ben....and Jack and Megan, my spirits are lifted...my heart is warmed.

    I lost my brother in 2005, in a spontaneous accident. I was living a few hours away going to university, and I woke up one Saturday morning to a phone call explaining that my brother was "missing". He couldn't be found. A few hours later, I received the dreaded phone call that no one ever, ever wants to answer.
    It was my grandfather.
    They had found my brother.
    My sweet, sweet big brother, David.
    My only brother.

    My only sibling connection.

    Gone.

    This was the hardest thing I have ever struggled through.

    I always struggled to find understanding...understanding of why the BEST people, it seems, leave this world too early.

    Until I came upon your story, which was last Monday...the day before Mighty Ben entered Heaven, I was still struggling.

    Your story, and your words, have helped me understand.

    I thought I had accepted my brother's death, but over the past week, I have realized that I hadn't.

    You have helped welcome acceptance into my life.

    My brother's anniversary of his passing...is today.

    May 21st, 2005 is when he departed this Earth.

    And so today, I think of him, I remember him, I love him. Oh, do I ever love him. I miss him every single minute of this life I live.
    But, I also live this life...for him.
    Everything I do, is for him.

    Everything I do...is with him. I am confident that he lives on, in me...through me. He follows me, watches over me, and he protects me.

    I now have two small children, Calla who is 3 and Mica who is 1. Neither of these beautiful souls had the opportunity to meet their Uncle.

    But they ARE him. I see my brother in my children, and it gives me hope.

    It makes me feel hopeful that when it is our time to leave this Earth, we will in fact depart for a better place.

    I know that Jack and Megan will carry Ben through the life they live. He will always be there, peeking over their shoulders, giggling with them, pushing them, challenging them.

    Protecting them. :)

    Mindy, you have single handedly given me the inspiration I have needed to accept and move on. Your gentle and wise words have lifted me, have raised my spirits, have given me what I have needed to believe that my brother, David, is in a better place.

    Saying thank you doesn't seem like enough.

    You and your family have forever earned a place in my heart. I think about your beautiful family every single day. I think of Ben and I smile. I think of David and I smile.

    We are so lucky to have such strong, amazing people watching over us.

    Thank you so much for being such an inspiration.

    You are a wonderful person, and wonderful mother.

    All the way from British Columbia, I am sending love from my family to yours, from our hearts to yours, and wishing you a wonderful future with your beautiful family.

    Miche

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  68. Thank you. Thank you for updating us. Thank you for sharing your most private thoughts and emotions. Thank you for sharing your family with us. Thank you for helping me realize how important it is to have faith and God in my life.

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  69. Thank you for the scripture you shared from Isaiah. I have read it before, in the King James version and it really didn't speak to me. It is only now, reading the New Living Version, that I discover my often-stated beliefs about early death are scriptural based...what a relief to me!
    You & your family remain in my prayers. God bless you for your faithfulness to spread Jesus throughout the world.

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  70. Thank you, for sharing your story. I have been following your blog for the last couple of months. My parents came from a country that when you loose a spouse or young child that you are to wear black for a year and no visiting or leaving your house. Then they came here to CA took a long time for them to get use to changes. When my brother took his life at the age of 24 I was going to cancel my vacation due that I don't want relatives saying I have no respect for him. My dad pulled me aside and said "what would that do, he would not want you to stop living. you need to go have fun and remember him. life goes on, one day at a time" He surprise since he was brought up a different way and he told the priest before the service "their is nothing anyone can say that would make me stop loving him" So I have kept his words with me and it has helped me when he passed away. To honor him and remember them with laughter and smiles on our faces. So thank you for your stories of strength even when their are days you want to just scream

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  71. Dear Mindy, your words too are profound. I especially like your comment regarding "the dash" in this post. It literally gave me goosebumps --I had never thought of it that way before! So many years of my own life have come and gone...I am in my 50's now and I have some regrets about certain times when I've not used my "dash" wisely. Time lost trying to heal from years of sexual abuse as well as times I gave in to the despair and sought to end this beautiful life. I regret lost opportunities--things that never came my way b/c of the abuse I suffered. But your blog has reinforced the lesson that time is precious and we can ALL make a difference--especially in telling people about what TRULY matters: salvation! Your Jack has a wisdom beyond his years. I pray for you all, for your continued comfort, strength and healing. And although I had prayed that Ben would be healed upon this earth and remain with his family who loves him, I KNOW you will all hold him again one day and that now, he IS healed and with Jesus!

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  72. "And because he was born, perhaps hundreds of people will be joining us in heaven someday." This is *exactly* right. Because of not just Ben, but indeed, you and your family using this tragedy to glorify God, who knows how many people will come to Christ? Looking on "life", as you have, from an eternal perspective, even the longest of lives is a mere blip on the radar; temporary and fleeting. What matters is how we spend eternity: with our Creator or forever separated from him. In the short amount of time your son spent on this planet, he quite probably did more to glorify Christ than I ever will, even if I live to 100 years old. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, God uses moments of pain and loss to "Rouse a deaf world". Well, Ben's journey has surely roused this world.

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  73. I first read your blog a few weeks ago and my heart broke for you. As I read your words now, my heart aches for you. I am so sorry. I have to tell you that I am like many others and Ben's story has affected me. I think about him and your family all the time. It has changed the way I look at my own (4) boys and has helped me put life in perspective. Your words are incredibly inspiring and I know you don't mean to be. Your unwavering faith in a time of such despair, can only be one thing, our God. Thank you for sharing Ben with the rest of the world and thank you for sharing your heart still.

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  74. I feel like I am reading a book when I read your blogs, at first it was a heart wrenching book that I questioned how can I continue to read this. But, the more I read the more I learn. Having one child a little 2 year old boy I look at him with joy every day and every day I hope and pray that he will to understand the true meaning of life.

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  75. Mindy, Thanks for sharing that verse - it really helps me! I was give a prophetic word recently when doing head for the cure race for my nephew Kai who passed away - and it read:

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    You do not have to keep the memory of Kai alive in your own strength. The Lord promises to be with us every where we go and so Kai will always be with you because he is hidden in Christ.

    "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." -Matthew 28:20

    You can move forward in the race tomorrow with full assurance that God will be faithful to remind you of Kai at just the right time in just the right way to show you new facets of His love and His glorious plan for you.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    This is similar to what Jack said - Ben is alive because he is in Christ and Christ is in us!!! What a sweet way to put it~

    www.in-due-time.com

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  76. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us. I have a twin sister and lost her 12 years ago. I had surgery a few weeks ago and the strange thing is the nurse kept on calling me Gail , that was my twins name, my husband caught it first. I believe that she was watching over me when I had the surgery. All of your children are blessed to have Andy and you as parents. More of us should have the courage and God in our hearts.Praying for all of you and my light id still burning blue outside

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  77. Praying for your family. Ben has changed my life. Your family's strength and courage are inspiring! Your writing is so eloquint. I check your blog daily and look forward to your words, as they inspire me in ways I've never before been. Thank you.

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  78. Thank you for continuing to share. My 1st grade class has been praying for Ben and a twin baby girl who both went to heaven the same day. It has been neat to hear their thoughts and have them talk about them being with Jeses. I was talking with another teacher about both of them passing, and she'd said almost exactly what was in the verse you shared: "Makes you wonder what is to come that God is protecting them from."

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  79. You inspire me to delve deeper into the Word. I want my "dash" to be spent doing His work. Thank you for your profound observations.

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  80. My dearest Mindy,
    I can't thank you enough for filling my cup, as well as many others, with God's love!
    I love reading your every word!
    Somehow God has given you words to heal and strengthen people!
    Ben must be one of God's brightest Angels......
    Because of you and Andy and Jack and Megan!
    I always told my husband, when the world seems off,
    Dive into a child.... Their words are so simplistic and oh so soothing!
    God bless you all!
    With much love,
    Donna Stewart

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  81. I have always felt that my faith is a gift, and you obviously feel the same way. Thank you for sharing your gift during such a trying time in your life. Through your writings, you are helping SO many people think about their lives and their relationship with God. I am sorry that Ben is no longer with your family, but I think it is obvious that his life has had an incredible impact on the world. I hope that thought brings you some peace. You are in my prayers daily.

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  82. Dear Sauer family,

    I want to share a true story I read from "One Month To Live" by Pastor Chris & Kerry Shook and some scriptures I looked up. This true story can soothe other families too just like you and Ben and your family has. Yvonne Richerson


    Jess Moody was a young pastor in Owensborough, Kentucky, when he became good friends with a young couple in his church. One day the husband came to pastor Moody’s office clearly distraught and said, “Jess, I’ve just heard the most awful news. My wife has terminal cancer, and it has spread all over her body. The doctors have just told us she has only weeks, not even months, and Jess, she’s at the hospital and she’s asking for you. We don’t know how to handle it. We don’t know what to do.

    Jess immediately went to the hospital. There the young wife and mother said to him, “I remember in one of your sermons you said a thousand years is like a day to God and a day is unto a thousand years. Is that true? Is a thousand years like a day to God?” The pastor said, “Yes, it’s in the Bible.” She said, “Good because I’ve been doing the math and I figure if a thousand years is like a day, then forty years is like one hour. I’ll be leaving my husband and the children soon. He may live another forty years, but that will be just like an hour to me in heaven. When he gets to heaven, I’ll greet him and say, ‘Where have you been for an hour? Did you just go to the office, or were you running errands? I’ve missed you.’ My children may live another seventy or eighty years, but that will be like two hours to me. When they get to heaven, I’ll greet them and say, ‘How was school today? Mom misses you when you’re gone for a couple of hours. I wonder how you were doing, because mommies don’t like to be away from their children long.’"

    Jess Moody said two weeks later she went to be with the Lord, and the last thing she said to her husband was, “I love you. Take care of our children. I’ll see you in an hour.” Now that’s an eternal perspective.

    - -One Month To Live - Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life by Kerry and Chris Shook


    Philippians 3:20-21 (NIV)
    20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.


    Psalm 34:18 (NIV)
    The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.


    Matthew 5:4 (NLT)
    God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

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  83. Mindy you are an amazing women and puller of strength. I have always been a women of faith but since reading your blog and the death of your son I see I've been talking the talk but your showing me how to walk the walk. Thank you every time something comes up I now ask what would Mindy do I stop I think and I thank The Lord for my life. I pray for your family everyday we all want Jesus to bring you peace and yet your bringing endless peace to so many around the world. You have changed me and my relationship with my creator thank you you will be forever in my prayers

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  84. Your faith inspires me. I read in "The Fault in Our Stars" the quote, "Grief doesn't change us, it reveals us." After reading this post I feel that it is so, so true.

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  85. You are an inspiration, I am humbled at your strength. I have twin grandsons, cannot imagine one of them without the other present. Your faith is amazing, and your words so very true. God Bless

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  86. Thank you for continuing to write. You bring me to tears...beautiful, holy, joyful, sincere tears with each post. Thank you for bearing your maternal & faithful soul. It is a witness that as a mom I am really treasuring right now. Thank you!

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  87. I so look forward to reading your latest posts. I get excited whenever I see that you've posted a new one. I can't tell you how much I wish I had something to give to you because you have given so much of yourself and your family to so many. It's funny how things work out. It was my intention to offer words of comfort and encouragement to you but after bearing witness to your unshakable faith I'm the one who ended up being comforted and encouraged to renew my relationship with God. Thank you

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  88. Mindy, I read this and then waited another day to sit and read through it again. I find my self every day as I go through my morning routine, babbling to my 3 yr old about God. I have not been to church in some time, but I know he is always with us. Because I have been following right from the beginning, when I mention God, my lil richie says "God make Ben better" cause we would say a pray every morning, and some times in the car as I took him to the sitters. I also have 3 older boys, which I know they all love God. My 20 year old came with me to Bens services, in his heart I know he appreciates every day he has been givin here to spend on earth by God. I have sat together and with them one on one just have conversation about anything and nothing at all. I do know that Ben and your family have touched my whole family in so many ways. Little Richie is my husband first child, and it is my fourth. I know God has givin us a beautiful gift, especially because of our age. But the gift of God did not come with out some saddness in our life also. Exactly one week after we found out we were having a baby, richs mom was diagonesed with cancer. Two months later she passed. My husband was devostated, all his sister had children, when Gramma was still there. He finally was goning to have a child and his mom was called to heaven. The only thing I say to him, your mom will see richie being born, and every day after that. She is here in our hearts. And we tell richie of her beautiy, love and kindness. And he will see her some day. Anyways, your family is my heart and prayers. Thank you for giving me more faith, love and understanding in our God.
    God Bless your family.

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  89. Mindy, Please keep posting! I have learned how to talk to my 3 young children about Jesus from reading your posts! We talked just last night about what it means to have Jesus in their hearts and Heaven. I wasnt brought up with any sort of faith or spirituality, but now am searching for the right church for my family to join, am praying daily, and know that i have accepted Jesus Christ into my heart. This is alot to do with you and Ben. Through your words, i have learned that God is good and Heaven is real. Thank you so much. Myself and my family are one of the people who will go to heaven because of what Ben accomplished in his short time on earth. God bless you.

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  90. Mindy, your unwavering faith means you see the meaning behind the words your children say, and you see the beauty in life and death like no other person can. I know you still feel Ben so you know he is still there. You always said he's the one who waited for you and he is still waiting for you.
    Crystal

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  91. It gets easier and it doesn't. The first year is very hard. Eventually grief becomes a part of you as familiar as your arm. My mother still counts the weeks since my brother passed (3 years ago). She wears tye-dye in his honor every Monday. On holidays and other family events she has candles we light and words we say in his memory. She also puts out a photo of him. Almost like setting a place for him at the table. I named my daughter after him since I was pregnant with her when he passed. Anything you do is right. What really helped my mom was a bereavement group for parents. They do a lot of activities and prayer circles together. It helped me to write and write and write. Your words are a blessing. I wish I could meet your eyes across a room and nod my head. It hurts, you celebrate what you have and find joy, but that sadness is okay and a part of you.

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  92. It sounds as though the God's holy wondrous spirit was truly with Jack and Megan, sharing the truth of Jesus presence among you, who's face looks upon your Ben's smiling face with great delight I am only to sure. God continues to do a mighty work in and through your beautiful family.......my family continues to keep you all in our prayers

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  93. You are an incredible woman and mother. Your strength is so inspiring.

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  94. You are wise beyond your years. I'm 50 with an 8th grade daughter. Most of my friends have children who are several years older. As we were together one evening and they were fretting about their children getting into the "right" colleges, I said, "I've walked around many cemeteries and I've never seen one that said what college the deceased attended." I'm not sure it's what they wanted to hear, but as I enter this phase I'm trying to keep prospective. God is good, even in the midst of pain. Keep writing! You have a gift.

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  95. Mindy....Please keep writing. I don't think you can conceive of how far reaching your blog is. I have a friend that has never gone to church or even heard of the good things of God. She stumbled upon your blog through Facebook and anxiously awaits each post. The Holy Spirit is literally drawing her to your words. We now are having so many conversations about Jesus, who He is...what faith, grace and mercy are all about. It is truly a miracle. Ben has drawn her to Jesus. If her salvation were to be the only thing that came out of your blog, it would all be worth it. However, I'm sure many, many lives are being touched.

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  96. I am blessed by your blog. inspirational! Are you familiar with the poem "the dash"?

    http://www.linda-ellis.com/the-dash-the-dash-poem-by-linda-ellis-.html

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  97. Thank you for sharing Ben's story, your family, the faith, love...I know and believe God does what is best for all of us... God bless you and yours.

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  101. And so we continue to learn from you, how to deal with our losses in life, how to keep trusting...

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  102. Three previous comments deleted because they were on the wrong thread....

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  103. I have been reading a few of your blog posts, and while I must admit, I am not a religious person, so some of your posts don't speak to me in that sense, this particular post really resonated with me. The concept of how will we spend our dash? I know your goal was not to be profound or philosophical. Just a grieving mother, but I wanted you to know that it spoke to me, and you have no idea who I am, but you have made a difference in how I want to spend my time with my baby boy. He just turned three. I am so sorry for your loss, and I have shed quite a few tears for Ben.

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  104. i Still think of Ben and still have my blue light lite. I have a 5 year old grandson and hold him tighter each time I see him. You are my inspiration to help me through the people I have lost

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