Journal entries, sibling reflections tell faith journey
Deanna Bennett, a member of St. Joseph Parish in Ponca, kept a journal after the June 27, 2016, death of her son, Jacob, reflecting her thoughts and prayers. Some of her journey:
FIRST VERSE IN THE JOURNAL:
“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ.” Phil 4:6-7.
THE NEXT DAY:
“I believe some people, through the witness of their life, through the work they do, the friendships they have, the love they offer people every day and the love they receive, (are reflections) of the people they were here on earth and when they complete the mission God sent them to do, he calls them home. Why my Jacob, at such a young age, and was his mission complete? I have to trust in God’s plan and know Jacob lived each day loving us and serving God through his actions toward others. A beautiful and loving soul taken from me. Help me endure this journey, I am so sad and hurt, God.”
AND THE DAY AFTER:
“The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” Ps 27:1.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do and he will show you the path to take.” Prv 3:5-6.
ABOUT A MONTH AFTER JACOB'S DEATH:
“God, I am not sure I can do this. Life is really hard right now … Please help me. I have my other three beautiful children and two grandchildren but my heart aches for Jacob. I need help so I can live on and not miss out on these blessings right here. Father Andy (Andrew Sohm) has been such a blessing in support. I need to be like Mary in my journey and trust God, help me to walk this journey with faith in you and I know one day we will meet again with Jacob and Mom in heaven. Thank you for the gift of Jacob. Help me to carry my daily cross, leaving my pain, fears, at the foot of the cross.”
Two of Bennett’s sisters, Kristin Dixon of St. Joseph Parish in Anthon, Iowa, and Lisa Thomtson of St. Mary Parish in Laurel, said they have been amazed by her faith.
Dixon said it has been difficult since the death of their mother three years ago, and in January the death of their father. But Jacob’s death was particularly difficult because it was so unexpected.
“Lots of people (might) turn away from God, blame him,” Dixon said. “She (Bennett) never did that. I think she probably turned more to God in this situation. I watch her and I wonder, ‘Would I do that?’ … I think it has made her even stronger in her faith.”
Thomtson said her sister has been an inspiration.
“We were shocked … In my own opinion, I truly think Jacob was here doing God’s work and God called him home,” she said. “Through it all she never questioned any of her faith.”