The Little Comforts


Our Grace was saved at a very young age. It was never something she questioned much. Jesus died for her sins and that was it. No doubts about Him ever really weighed on her. It actually bothered her that people didn’t see the simplicity of salvation. We taught her that the Bible is the inherent Word of God. We might not understand all that it says, but all the it says, is true. Because of her faith, questions about where she went to be that moment in January, are non-existent. Grace is where she knew her true home was, with her Savior.

God has given us comforts, tiny buds of life on this winter tree of grief. No one can ever hurt her where she is at, a tiny bud. We have no more worries about her future, a tiny bud. We have seen how many lives she had touched, how many people she reached out to in her 17 years, a whole branch of buds. God deposits these comforts periodically, I think it helps in the “binding the brokenhearted” process He talks about.

Repairing anything broken is never easy. Binding something takes a lot of work. Right now, I think He is gathering the right utensils, prepping the area and getting us ready for the long process of healing. A process that could take years and years. And once He is done, a scar will still be there, hopefully visible to the world, a reminder of what we came through, a reminder of His goodness and faithfulness and love.

A scar that will become a testimony…

The Little Comforts

How Could You?


Right before the accident, the girls and I began a really annoying, but funny to us, habit of answering every question with a question. It really only worked between the three of us, because other people would quickly find no humor in what we considered hilarious. One of those things you do as a family, that only works with your family, because they are your family.

We all have them. When I was young it was family Bible reading time. My sister Lisa is slow, but every time we sat down to read our Bibles (usually in Ezekiel, my dad’s favorite book), Lisa would finish her reading in less than 3 minutes. She would close her Bible, zip it up, and then begin to watch each of our faces until one of us (usually me) got annoyed. I remember, on more than one occasion, getting mad at her because there was no way she read her chapter faster than the rest of us, and “seriously Mom, why is she staring at me again!”

Be it family meetings that are supposed to be serious, but end in laughter, family game nights, that you all find absurdly entertaining, but outsiders seem confused, or the nighttime Conga line to your bedroom (another family tradition in the Pochodaj home). We, our families, our personal, small units of tied together yarn, balled up in the same home, share secrets, joys, failures, fun and jokes that other people maybe don’t understand or maybe just don’t care about. It’s what makes each of our families distinctive.

So answering a question with a question goes something like this…

“How was your day today?”

“How do you think my day was?”

 “Can’t imagine it was better than my day. Want to hear about it?

“If I wanted to hear about your day, don’t you think I would have asked?

You can see how this could irritate people, right? But we had fun with it.

I mention all of this because, the most common question that I have heard in the past month, can really only be answered with a question.

“How can you endure a hardship like this?

“How can I not?”

As believers in Jesus, our ever present help in time of need, what other option do we have but to endure. And not only endure, but eventually thrive again. John 16:33, which I have clung to this past month, has been a scripture of healing to me for years. I have quoted it countless times. I have a beautiful plaque of it hanging above a doorpost in my home (like the Israelites were instructed to do). I have broken it down, memorized it, digested it and lived in its promise for as far back as I can remember. I actually think that my friend and I made a song to go with it when we were just kids.

“These things, I have spoken unto you, that you might have peace, in this world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome this world.”

What this verse does not say is that life will be easy, free of harm, disease, chaos, fear or worry. It won’t be void of tragedy, war, anger or injustice. Tribulation, according to Webster, can be defined in a sand storm of awful ways…suffering, distress, trouble, misery, heartache, woe, anxiety, agony and even grief.

But so often, when Jesus spoke, it was a bad news first, good news is coming, approach.

“Be of good cheer,” (or take heart, or like the Amplified Bible says, be courageous, confident, undaunted and filled with joy). “I have overcome the world.”

What is here, what is now, is suffering, no doubt, for my family, for other families, and for countless people, in countless situations, around the world. We need to remind ourselves daily (sometimes hourly or minute by minute) that Jesus overcame death, and in turn, overcame this world. The job began at the cross, but was completed with an empty tomb.

Our hope can not be in our prayers. Our hope can not be in our worship. Our hope can not be in how good we are or who we help. Our hope can only be in the finished work of Jesus Christ, who challenges us daily to live victoriously in what seems like defeat, to live joy-filled lives, in our saddest and darkest moments and to live courageous in the face of tribulation.

How can you endure this kind of hardship?

With Jesus, how can I not?

How Could You?

Senior Will


At Grace’s school, in the final week of being a senior, the kids do something called Senior Will. I don’t know how familiar this tradition is to people, and I don’t know if it’s a normal thing that other schools do, but it doesn’t matter, we do it.

What the seniors do, if they want to, is dedicate or pass something on to the underclassmen. It can be anything from a sports survival kit (which Grace got one year) to a favorite pair of basketball shoes (which she also received from a good friend).

Grace had been working on her senior will stuff since she was a sophomore. It was so important to her that some of her young friends knew what they meant to her and had something to remember her by. I recall asking her, on more than one occasion, why it was so important, why she was preparing so far in advance, but she would just reply that she wanted to leave a legacy that wouldn’t soon be forgotten.

One of the items that she had been working on was a notebook for a friend of hers in the 8th grade. A young lady that she really loved, and really wanted to impart some wisdom to. We only found this notebook after the accident, but it is filled with one-page, one-paragraph, snippets of wisdom concerning life topics like peer pressure, love, boys, God, trials and growing up.

Because today is an important day in basketball and because basketball was one of the most important things to Grace, I thought I would share one of her entry’s.

Entry #11 – Passion   9/27/15

Having a passion is the most amazing thing in the world. One of my passions is basketball. When I go out on the court I feel unstoppable. That is how a passion should feel. Like no matter what, nothing could dull your love for what you are doing. I write sometimes, purely for myself. I know that I would never get published, but that doesn’t stop me from trying! I would never stop something because someone said it wasn’t “cool.” Who are they to say what’s cool or not?! Don’t quit on something you love. Pursue it.

Love, Gracie

(-let passion be your drive)

I found her list of senior will items, tucked under her bed, just the other day. I am going to try fulfilling each of them, because she worked so long and hard on them. She wrote a saying on her notebooks, her chalkboard and pretty much anywhere else she could

“Dream Without Fear, Love Without Limits”

This was her life motto, and she lived it, to its fullest.

Senior Will

Sighs and Goodbyes

IMG_2023I feel like I sigh all the time. I guess maybe trying to catch my breath fully or fill my lungs up all the way, is a task I’m unable to accomplish right now. My mom says that God hears all our sighs and knows the unspoken words hidden in them. I suppose my unspoken words are goodbyes. Too many to count really. Goodbye to 2016 being a graduation year filled with a party of pink and gold. Goodbye to the college bound princess who still wouldn’t clean her room. Goodbye to the early morning snuggles or my crazy dance partner. Goodbye to the little forehead birthmark, that recently began to fade. Goodbye to our oldest child, who held all our first hopes, dreams, fears, worries and tears.

There’s another big sigh, and now the heaviness in my chest reappears, a building up of so many more sighs.

Sighs and Goodbyes