Cindy Garner remembers the day she understood the phrase “Lamb of God.”
“I was listening to Adrian Rogers on my way to work as I did every morning. Pastor Rogers wasn’t speaking on Christmas, but something he said grabbed my mind like God really wanted me to pay attention and study it. He said, ‘sacrificial lambs were raised in Bethlehem’. Wow! I may have heard that before, but it knocked me back a minute. I ran to my computer and began a study that completely changed my view of Christmas.
“The TRUE story is so much better and connects the Old and New Testaments perfectly. The story we’ve been told and have retold to our children strips Jesus of His Jewishness. He is our sacrificial lamb and the whole Old Testament points to His birth. I really fell in love with lambs after this. It reminded me of what He did for us every time I saw one.”
Cindy would need to hold onto that picture of love and redemption through one of the greatest trials in her life and in the lives of her husband, Al, her son, Griffin, and her daughter-in-law Khristin.
When Griffin and Khristin were expecting a child in 2018, Cindy said, “Abe’s mom let me go with her to see him in 4D before he was born. We arrived really early, so we went to the Hobby Lobby behind the facility. There was a painting that I saw that I had to have! (Michael Belk, photograph, Gone Astray) Jesus with the lambs in this painting was so beautiful. I bought it and placed it in one of my favorite rooms.”
In August of 2018, little Abraham Garner was born. But all was not as expected. “Abe was the most beautiful baby boy, but his muscles wouldn’t work and he struggled to eat. He never raised his hand, made eye contact, or held his head up. He had a rare condition called Congenital Myasthenia Gravis.”
Coupled with the congenital condition, Abe’s body also reacted severely to immunizations. He was plagued with fever and seizures doctors called infantile spasms. “Every time he had a seizure, his brain would reset to what it was at birth,” Cindy said. “Struck by lightning twice with these two conditions, Abe’s mom and my son would not give up. They tried steroids to get the seizures under control.” Nothing worked.
Little Abe’s muscles wore out; he went to Heaven in July of 2019.
After this great loss, Cindy said, “I looked at my painting. Instead of the lambs, all I see now is that boy!” Little Abe, holding the hand of the Good Shepherd who is also the Lamb of God.
Today, Cindy has a beautiful granddaughter whose name, Graham, is a combination of Griffin and Abraham. The Garners have moved forward in their lives without moving on from their beautiful memories. “Abe had the sweetest spirit about him, and he would talk so loud with his precious voice you couldn’t help but love him,” Cindy said. “We miss him, but he has changed us for the better. We see things no one who has not been through this could understand, and we can now help others.”