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John and Jinny Henson
One Year Later

John and Jinny Henson reflected one year later on the tragic loss
of their daughter Maggie Lee for SB magazine. Here are some excerpts below:

I’ve often reflected on the constant, abiding presence of God during my grief. This reflection has been less cognitive and more intuitive.  Many years ago, I found a quote from a devotional book when my mother was suffering with cancer. It helped me at the time with the question of why my mother, the most devout and selfless of souls, had to go through such pain and suffering.

I was a seminary student at the time and lofty postulations about the theodicy of God were very much a part of my daily life. But, the philosophy and responses found in the ivory towers were of no real help. This little quote helped me then, and it has stayed with me even in this crisis: “Jesus did not come to explain suffering nor to take it away; he came to fill it with his presence.” (Paul Claudel)…..

I was surprised by the grip of grief. Unlike other things in my life, it has proven to be something I cannot control, shut-off, compartmentalize, justify or even explain..….like waves of the ocean that roll in unexpectedly, varying in shape and intensity…..the waves are still rolling in though not quite as frequently as in the first days.  Inside each wave is a reminder of loss…..What we have left of her – the sweet memories, the volumes of pictures and video, her dog Ellie, her friends, and her continuing impact on people’s lives, are constant reminders of her and provisions of comfort, but the startling reality that always comes at the end of them is that she is not here.  She is gone.  I know I will see her again one day, but she is no longer here……

A huge take-away for me from the experience of losing my daughter is the utter lack of control I actually have over my life and the lives of those I love…….What I have learned from the wisest of grieving parents, some who lost children 20 or 30 years ago, is that life will never be the same. But it still can be good, to trust that there will be relief from the pain you feel and that it is better to be thankful for what you had than bitter about what you lost. From the most inspirational, I have learned to trust in the goodness of a loving God even when my circumstances tell me otherwise…….

One of the greatest displays of people’s goodness came on Maggie Lee for Good Day, Oct. 29, 2009, the day that would have been her 13th birthday. As I look back on the year, people’s desire to bring good out of the situation has been inspiring……As anyone who has suffered profound loss – and that will be all of us at some point – will tell you one does not go around grief but through it. John, Jack and I have been immeasurably  blessed this past year to have a loving Heavenly Father and remarkable earthly friends and family to lean on…….the reflections continue…….While they remind us of the greatest loss we’ve ever experienced or could have imagined, they accompany a sure and certain faith that we will one day be together again.

To learn about or contribute to the Maggie Lee Henson 
Scholarship for Women in Ministry click here. 

Jinny Henson
Jinny Henson has returned to the comedy stage.
See recent article in the Texas Baptist Standard which includes a video:

For more information: http://www.jinnyhenson.com/