This past March I wrote a blog post and then never shared it. I felt like a lot of my posts around that time had gotten really heavy and I needed something a little lighter. So instead I shared my post on Dayenu again (originally posted here from last summer). But this past weekend Christopher and I got a call from the doctor’s office that had us on a roller coaster of emotions. Good news, then bad news… then confusion. Then a call to the lab to recheck their facts. And it turns out that we had been given someone else’s results so none of this applied to us anyway. It was a pretty intense 15 minutes and we came out of it emotionally exhausted. We talked a lot about it later that night and we landed in a place where we realized how grateful we are to have each other to journey through this life together. Days like these are when the wedding vows get real. To laugh together, to grieve together, to gently care for each other, to encourage each other. Which reminded me of this blog post. So I decided to share it after all.
March 23, 2015
Nearly two years ago I read a book that really challenged me. Scarred Faith by Josh Ross. The book tackles several big topics (in a short 160 pages), but one of my favorite things about the book is that it talks about how it’s not only okay to mourn during sad times, but important. And valid. We brush over grief so often because it’s uncomfortable. And so many of us grieve differently and over different things. But I love this book for the reminder that God is standing with us through every moment of our suffering. And best of all, this book reminds us that the tomb was empty and death doesn’t win. Jesus wins. And that reminder fills me with such hope for the brokenness in the world.
I picked up Scarred Faith again this weekend and found myself flipping back through the pages where I had underlined paragraph after paragraph. These are two of my favorites:
“Even when it seems like death has won, the story of Easter echoes from the empty tomb that death couldn’t hold Jesus, and death still can’t hold us. Death doesn’t get the last word. Jesus wins!” (page 36)
“One day, God will make all things new, and heaven will come crashing into earth as the groans of creation are redeemed. Tears will be wiped away, death will be defeated, and sin will be no more. But until the new heaven and new earth invade our current reality of suffering, tears will continue to flow. So, when towers fall, tornadoes destroy, pregnant women miscarry, husbands break wedding vows, and the innocent die because wars are fueled by a hunger for control and power, the first tear to roll of a cheek is a tear from God.” (page 59)
I love the reminder that God loves us and is there with us during the difficult times. Recently I was driving down the street, praying for someone in the midst of grief, with my songs on shuffle and an old song from the 2000’s came on (I love shuffle for that very reason). Mark Shultz, “I have been there”. There’s a lyric in that song that is God speaking to us and it says, “I have been there. I know what sorrow’s all about. Yes, I have been there and I’m standing with you now!” You guys, the God of the universe understands what we’re going through. And He stands with us in our grief.
I have so many favorite songs and scriptures that I turn to during hard times. And I love that most of them have a theme of hope. Of redemption. Gentle reminders that we are not alone. I am thankful to have a relationship with the God Who is willing to stand with me. Who holds my hand through every storm. I am thankful for the man I get to live life with, for his strength and faith and gentleness. For the days of laughter, the days of tears, and the days where we are on our knees together in prayer. I am thankful for friends and family and Christian community who wrap us up in love and support through every high and low. I am so thankful for this amazing life I get to live. And today especially I am thankful for hope.