I want to say first how grateful I am to the first responders and the neighbors who stopped to help us at the accident scene. I also want to say thank you to our church body who has loved us like we’ve been with them for six generations instead of just six months.
I would like to talk just a minute about being Ella’s earthly Daddy, and then I want to tell you about her Heavenly Father…
As her earthly Daddy, I did everything in my power to protect her…
Like the time last summer she came running in the back door screaming that the rooster had attacked her. When I examined her legs she was bleeding. I calmly walked to my room and grabbed my 12 gauge shotgun, stepped out back to find her attacker. When I asked Ella to show me which rooster had done this terrible deed she said, “That one Daddy” (pointing) and I aimed and shot him. It was at that moment I felt a tug on my shirt and she said, “Wrong one Daddy, you shot the wrong one!”
As her earthly Daddy, I tried to teach her about God and His beautiful creation, which included not only the flowers that she loved, but also the trees, sun, wind, moon, and stars. Our Story - A Daddys EulogyFor several weeks prior to her death we would lie under the stars and talk about how God had not only created the stars but named everyone of them. I would say to her, “Ella, have you ever just stopped to imagine just how 'big and powerful' our God is?” She would just stare up into the Heavens as she snuggled up to Julie and me in the large blanket we were under and reply, “No, Daddy tell me!”
The Holy Scriptures tell us, “He [God] counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:4-5)
I continued to explain that some people attempt to sell stars to the public but, “the stars belong to God, and He has already named them.” Then I would tell her that God is very real, even though we can’t see Him, just like the wind is very real even though we can’t see the wind. Like when the wind comes in the form of a tornado, in all it’s power, and blows a house to the ground: although we can’t see it, it’s very real, and very powerful. "Ella, do you understand?” “Yes, Daddy” she replied. I had no idea that she would go to her kindergarten class the next day and tell her classmates that they had better believe in God, or He would blow their house down with a tornado. I could just imagine a classmate saying, “I believe Ella, I believe!”
Now, to some, Ella’s death feels like a tragedy, and the earthly events are tragic no doubt. But, God knew giving someone free will would result in the events that led to our daughter’s death. And He moved in eternity-past to counter that free will choice TO GAIN HIS GREAT VICTORY FOR HIMSELF AND FOR HIS KINGDOM. So yes, this feels like a tragedy; but Julie and I have never practiced a faith in our Great God based on feelings. Feelings can easily deceive us, and so we cling to our faith based on God’s WORD AND HIS PROMISES.
God promises He will SUSTAIN us, and ,so far, He has. We believe this promise for tomorrow also. He promises He will EMPOWER us and that He is a VERY PRESENT HELP in time of trouble. He has promised everything we need for LIFE and GODLINESS, REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCES. He has promised ETERNAL LIFE for those of us who place our trust in the salvation of Jesus Christ. Up until now, I thought I understood that sacrifice. But now I understand that sacrifice even more: the loss, BUT ONLY FOR A TIME, of a most precious, beloved only child, Ella Marie Formby.
My prayer is that everyone within my hearing will embrace our Lord’s sacrifice and enjoy the real life that’s to come. Now I know we are tempted to ask WHY? Why did this have to happen? There are many things about our great God that we don’t understand; He tells us His ways are mysterious. But we will not focus on what we don’t know about our God. No, instead we will focus on what we DO KNOW. And what we know is that if God could have glorified Himself by healing Ella this side of glory, He would have done exactly that, and He would have done it with the same ease as when He created her the first time. But, since in His great love and wisdom He did not choose to do that, we know that He will glorify Himself more and draw more people to Himself for eternity in taking her home to be with Him.
Yes, for Julie and I, our family, and others who loved Ella, there is immense pain. But from that pain will come huge, magnificent, supernatural gain! Yes, there is sorrow tonight, but there will be joy in the morning.
Ella means “light” or “torch” in the Greek and Hebrew, and Julie and I know unequivocally that our commission as long as we have breath is to stand up daily, reach down, pick up Ella’s torch, march out ahead and not waste a single opportunity to further our Lord’s Kingdom.
We covet your prayers for us; there are many hard days to come (we DO know this). However, we will persevere! WE WILL FINISH THIS RACE, EYES FIXED ON JESUS, UNTIL OUR EYES SEE OUR ELLA AGAIN IN GLORY!
Ella Formby lives in Heaven now, and we know she has lots of friends there. That's why we created "Ella's Friends." This is a memorial page on Facebook dedicated to children under the age of 21 who lost their lives. Parents can upload a picture and share a brief message about their child in celebration and memory of their life. We hope you will visit and read all about Ella and her friends in Heaven.
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