Today marks 13 years since my mom passed away. Death anniversaries are hard. For me they are full of painful memories from that July day. Last moments with one of the people that has left the greatest mark on my life.
Historically when this anniversary has rolled around I have allowed myself to remember and taken time alone to grieve. This year however, it snuck up on me.
When I realized that today was the day, something different settled over me. There will always be grief. I will always miss her until I see her face again. This means tears of sadness and sometimes wracking sobs.
But today also marks a celebration. A finish line. A graduation. She is home. She ran the race, she finished well and now – now she sees fully. She gets to spend every moment in the Presence of Perfect Love. She has no wish to come back! She is complete and missing nothing.
Her journey spurs me on. It reminds me of what is true. It’s true that we are living for eternity. This life is but a second and the end is so beautiful!
Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I cling so tight to what I cannot hold on to: this life! Clinging so tight creates fear and anxiety as I can’t actually attain or control earthly-forever-living.
As I thought on this today it became so clear in my heart. My grief is not diminished by this celebration. Rather I feel that it’s just suiting today, to remember the glory. And to remember what lays in front of me. I want to let go more, live harder and love better because the best is yet to come!
“For if you let your life go for My sake and for the sake of the gospel, you will continually experience true life. But if you choose to keep your life for yourself, you will forfeit what you try to keep” Mark 8:35-36 TPT
I sat outside this morning before the house woke up enjoying the quiet and my coffee. I found myself jotting down the thoughts that were rolling around in my head. Longing for justice in this world where injustice abounds. Crying out for healing where so much sickness is present. And as I wrote I felt the Holy Spirit speak to my heart. “See as I see. You will see possibility where only impossibility resided”. And immediately He brought two scriptures to mind. Ezekiel 37 the valley of dry bones. What could be more dead or hopeless then a valley of bones? No life, no hope of life, only dead skeleton bones. And yet God speaks and bones come together, skulls find their vertebrae, muscles grow, skin forms and lastly breath is breathed into these new bodies. Life, hope, and an army is born out of the impossible.
The second passage He brought to mind was 2 Kings 6:14-17 the story of Elisha and his servant waking up one morning to find the city they were staying in surrounded by “troops, horses and chariots everywhere”. Elisha’s servant is understandably panicked:
“Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha.
“Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.
I find so much life in these words and find myself praying that my eyes would be opened and that I would see. To see as He sees and to take heart. To not be afraid. To believe for the impossible.
My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
but wholly trust in Jesus’ name
Christ alone, Cornerstone
Weak made strong, in the Savior’s love
Through the storm
He is Lord, Lord of All
This is the first verse and chorus of the song “Cornerstone” off the new Hillsong album. I listened today while I mopped the floor, enjoying the familiar words of the verses and my heart agreeing as we got to the chorus. There are so many different things to love about worship music, and about worshiping Jesus. One of those things is how when we sing the words we are reminded of what is truly true. We live in such a fallen broken world that sometimes we lose sight of truth. Being reminded increases our faith and I believe actually changes us. I have felt so broken by the unresolved things around me. People that I love hurting, sick, broken. I am drawn today by hope. He is the hope of all the brokeness that I can ever see or feel. Christ alone.
When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil
Then He shall come with trumpets sound
Oh, may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
faultless, stand before the throne
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.