Sunday, May 13, 2012

Touchable Grace..............

The day I dreaded is almost over and I can honestly say, "God is good!"  I am so grateful I did not stay in my bed balled up with tears.  I actually contemplated it this morning.  As I started getting ready for church I was already tearing up and knew church was going to be difficult.  I thought it just might be easier to let my family go to church and  stay home with my emotions.  I am so glad I didn't.  I would have missed an incredible day of watching the Lord comfort me through others.

I am so grateful I have chosen not to stay on an island with my emotions.  My relationships with family and friends have become stronger and richer because of this choice.  My first Mother's Day weekend without Ryan actually had much more joy than sadness.  I had gifts, flowers and meals dropped off, my house cleaned from top to bottom, numerous text messages from all over wishing me a Happy Mother's Day and expressed extra prayer, and so much more.  So many touches from the Lord. 

I read somewhere that as Jesus walked the earth He out-touched his talk. He did more than talk the talk, He lived the talk; He loved, touched, blessed and comforted the broken and needy. He modeled touchable grace. Touchable grace is unmerited favor that meets a person right in the area of need. Through others God has been showing my family touchable grace as we walk this difficult road of grief.  Today alone His touch through others was so evident.

I was stopped by friends as we walked into church and when I finally found my family I saw that we were sitting surrounded by friends on all sides.  I felt so enveloped in love.  Worship was bitter sweet.   The first song was "Blessed Be Your Name".  I whispered to Tom, "Oh shoot!  I don't want to sing this!"  There is a line in the song that says, "He gives and takes away...."  I knew it was going to be rough.  Tom asked if I wanted to leave but I felt I needed to stay. Tom and I ended up clinging to each other in tears, yet offered our lives up together in surrender.  Loving hands touched my weeping shoulders from behind and beside; touchable grace.

Amazingly the sermon at church today was, "Why does God allow suffering?"  Talk about God's timing.  It was as if Matt Heard, our pastor, was speaking directly to us. I sensed he could feel our pain. His words affirmed what I've known:  I am being refined, fine tuned and strengthened.  God's words are my promise for healing.

Habakkuk 3:19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.

John 16:33  I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Revelation 21:3-5  I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: "Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They're his people, he's their God. He'll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone." The Enthroned continued, "Look! I'm making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate.

I was right, Matt Heard knew we were there....he sought Tom and I out in the last worship song and hugged each of us tightly and spoke God's promises in our ears; touchable grace.

After church we went to lunch with a couple wonderful families and then off to Luke's basketball tournament in Denver with our dear friend Isaiah, one of Ryan's close friends.  It was an afternoon of laughter, sweet conversation and some awesome yelling at the refs (one of my favorite ways to blow off steam)....although today I was quite subdued as I just didn't have much fight in me.  Luke did awesome and his team came in 2nd.  It was a beautiful day.

Thank you to all of our friends who touched us in such a special way today through your touch, your smile, your prayers, your words, your acts, your love; touchable grace.  You out-touched your talk.  We love and appreciate each one of you.


  1. I've never heard that term before, "Touchable Grace"...Beautiful!

  2. Gail, thank you for out-reaching through your talk; there is so much of God's beauty and strength in it. I am relieved to know that you not only got through this "first" Mother's Day, you even had joy in it. God will show up every day and every night.

  3. Hey Gail! My name is Will Lee and I am one of Nick Reich's friends from Bethel University. Nick is one of my close friends, so I've been following your story from the very beginning, reading every blog post, and getting updates from Nick when I can.

    I thought you should know that I have been praying from the moment I first heard about this situation. Even though I don't know you, your family, or Ryan, I feel so connected to you by the blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Your words have touched and encouraged me, and it is so evident that God is getting all the glory in everything that you do!

    When people I know are going through some suffering in my mind I honestly think, "If only everbody could be like Gail Wahl." I say that because your complete and utter surrender to God in this situation is making the suffering worth it, and you are able to see that God's riches pale in comparison to what happens on earth.

    You are such a great example for countless people and I praise God for you! I'm going into ministry in the future, and I know that if I'm ever to talk about suffering that your experience will definitely have shaped how I view it and how I preach it. Heck, I may even use your story.

    Maybe someday we will meet on this earth, maybe not. But I do know that when the kingdom finally comes, I REALLY wanna meet you and Ryan.

    "Sing to him, sing praise to him;
    tell of all his wonderful acts.
    Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
    Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always." - 1 Chronicles 16:10-11
    (I recommend reading all of chapter 16, I think you'll enjoy it)

    In Christ,
    Will Lee