These past two months, grief has been my constant companion- awakening me in the middle of the night, shouting at me in the silence and darkness of my room, staring back at me from the scars on my stomach.
It’s been in the sound of hospital alarms and the ringing of my phone that lurched me from my hard fought slumber.
It was in the anesthesia fog that marked the passing of my child. It was in the way the ICU nurses stopped asking what room I was going to visit, and just started saying, “Come on in, honey.” It was in the tears of the people around me. It was in the familiarity of the hospital hallways. It was in the holding of my father’s hand, feeling its warmth, and watching that fade.
I’ve lived a lifetime in the past two days, and even more in the weeks before.
This is hard. So unbelievably hard.
But in the midst of my tears, when everything seems like tatters in my hands, I am reminded of my hope.
I need Christ. Not the meek, quiet Christ of children’s Bible stories. I need the turning over tables, walking on water, weeping at graves Christ. The Christ that hates sin and death more than I do, the one that vows it isn’t forever.
I need the Christ that carried a heavy and bloodied cross through the streets of Jerusalem stumbling, and gasping for breath. I need the Christ that hung on a tree under a sun scorched sky, sipping vinegar, and struggling to breathe, while the blood poured down his face from the crown of thorns on his brow. I need the Christ that endured the absolute judgement of God in heaven – my substitute, my proxy.
I need the one the grave could not hold, the one who conquered death, so that death could not conquer me.
I need Christ.
And I have him. Through my tears and in the depths of my grief, I am not alone. I am never alone. And the peace that passes all understanding gets me through each moment. The joy of the Lord makes it possible to face another day. What freedom there is in Christ, what lovely freedom.
To Christ be all glory, in all things.
One thing have I asked of the LORD,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to inquire in his temple.