Thanks for the Memories

Makenzie AngelThis past Sunday we celebrated ‘All Saints Day’ in the Church calendar. The day holds deep meaning and reverence as Christians everywhere remember those who have “gone before us” (as we gently say); those who, by God’s Grace, have been brought into His arms and whose lives while on earth, serve as examples to those of us still here. It is a festival, if you will; a festival that praises God’s Grace and the memory of the people we love.

Makenzie’s name is now added to the remembrance list of this day. And while it is nice to corporately remember her once a year in the church, yesterday, I wanted more.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had anyone in your life die without warning. I pray you haven’t. Everyday I want to rewind and have Makenzie back. Sometimes, in those “Makenzie Moments,” my mind desperately tries to personify her memories. In other words, I miss her so much that I look for any evidence that she is still alive and still here; that her memory can break the barrier between Heaven and earth in a real way. “That breeze! It’s Makenzie gently blowing.” “That shadow! It must be Makenzie’s spirit showing me a how beautiful and precise her dancing is since studying under the Master Performer!” “That sense of peace! It must be Makenzie gently touching my heart to let me know that she is ok.”

Now, no offense to those who believe that what I just wrote can happen or who believe the antithesis of what I’m about to say, but Makenzie is not looking down on us. Why would she want to? She lives in a mansion on prime real estate (John 14).  She is not guiding our weather or answering our prayers in some Bruce Almighty fashion. She is not an angel that gives me a warm feeling every time I remember and learn from her example. It is God’s Holy Spirit that does that.

God gives me memories of Makenzie but not Makenzie herself. God gives me emotions that connect with songs that she loved, foods that she adored, and dances she performed … but He doesn’t give me Makenzie.

Makenzie is right where God wants her; enjoying what is promised to her because she believed that Jesus forgave the guilt of every sin she carried. My little girl is “in the hands of her real daddy” (as she wrote) and I don’t have to worry if she’ll be safe, OK or happy.

Yes, I’d like to think that Makenzie is still with me physically, but I know that she is in the presence of her King. And as her dad, that’s enough for me.



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6 thoughts on “Thanks for the Memories

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  1. Wow. Just wow. I had never thought of it that way, but it makes perfect sense, and the thought of our loved ones in God’s presence is much more comforting and beautiful than the idea of them looking down on us or sending us a breeze.

  2. Pastor Todd, thank you for this perfectly worded post. I lose a friend in December to cancer, and I have had so many people tell me those things, which usually makes me “smile and nod” and as much as I want or try to make Amy still be here, I know she is not.
    I also wanted to say, thank you for sharing your thoughts here. Reading your posts has brought me some healing in my own journey through grief.
    Please know that I continue to pray for all of you.

  3. Todd, I can’t imagine how hard ALL SAINTS DAY was for you. You never thought you would see one of your children listed on this day, this year. The Starfeldt’s continue to pray for you. Chad

  4. I like this one. Some reason it bothers me when people write that stuff. It’s a nice thought and it’s what i always thought until Mak passed away. Emilie explained it to me during that first week.

  5. This explains perfectly the answer to all those people who say “Makenzie is an angel looking down on our every move…”. She is not. God didn’t create us to “become angels”. As much as that is a nice thought, Makenzie is in God’s presence. Thanks honey for posting this today. Love you.

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