Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Where Oh Death, Is Thy Victory?

“I think we’re losing the baby, girls. I’m so sorry.”

We all still. The pin drops and you hear it all the way down. It crashes across the floor. Time must have stopped because no one breathed. Like the floodgates falling open the tears began to plummet. In silence at first. Littlest eyes fan into mine and it all burns. It took a whole thirty seconds for us to find a spot on the bed and hold on to something—someone’s arm or leg or foot. Heads buried and words non-existant. Touch felt safe in these moments where the sting settled in. 

I heard her words and I knew it in my heart hours earlier but I wanted to avoid it like the plague. I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to cry. I didn’t want it to hurt me. I needed to study and clean and sleep. I needed to keep going. And I tried for awhile. But it ate away until I sought out her words and the pain and now here we are and the truth is setting us free, even as we weep over life lost too soon.

It lands hard like Niagara across the still waters and I just let it fall because sometimes we just can't heal without the pain, without being washed and sometimes the washing just stings like death.

For He wounds but he also binds up.

But she a lioness and she speaks out loud that we trust Him right now and we all hold on tighter and I hear her roar through the prayers whispered from her spot on that pillow from which she can't quite lift her head.  It hurts and she prays grace like ointment that heals.

She is courage when fear shackles us and I feel them loosen. 

Two mammas very close to me have lost babies this month and I hate it so much. Eloquence of words aside, I just don't count it joy in this flesh. I count it...anger, doubt, depression, pain. But not joy. Not in the moments so raw. And yet I know God allows it, ordains it really, even though the whys and whats still float out of my grasp. They both love the Lord and they testify to His glory amidst their pain.

 "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain." -1 Corinthians 15:56-58

It seems, for these mammas, the sting of death echoes praises to the giver of life—and the taker too. Crowned in victory, they choose praise and trust and hope secure even when the washing of the Word stings and life doesn't turn out how they had hoped.

But hope they do because hope doesn't belong to the world but to the God who spoke it to existence and called it good.

They teach me to hope here too. To wear the victory like a crown. Mostly because even after Eve disobeyed, God made a way for us to hope in the promise of His Son, the one He himself crowned in victory on the third day.

He gave us a way out, a promise who was, who is and is coming. So we have hope. 

Even as we grieve the loss of these precious lives, we have hope in the one who conquered death and is coming back to crown us with life eternal, the one promised to those who love Him.

Rise, And Christ’s light will shine on you.

These women RISE. You and me—we can rise too. It all starts with hoping in Christ, hoping in the promise yet to be and still fully alive. Struck down but not destroyed.

Today, I must remember to hope in Christ. 

"Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and werejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly." -Romans 5:2-6

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