“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
Dear Page Turner
Motherhood did not turn out as I imagined.
It has been full of pain, laughter, surprises, mistakes, and successes. But what no one prepares you for when they place that new wiggly crying baby in your arms–loss.
Why would they? How could they? Amid the balloons, gifts, cards, and celebration, life breathes fresh, expectant, and new. Hopes are not tainted by the darkness of health problems or overwhelming trauma. How do we live beyond the life imagined?
As hard as losing a child is, there is life beyond the grave. It is possible to draw the first breath, then another and another. Jesus prepared his disciples for such a new life. But they had to walk through his death first. And even though Jesus tried to prepare them, the disciples scattered in the crushing betrayal of dreams. The death of Jesus spiraled them into confusion, abruptly stopped all they planned, all they imagined. Why didn’t he fight, why did he not defend himself or call his heavenly army? Was he really the Son of God? Jesus rerouted the disciples’ lives from an earthly kingdom to a cross on Calvary. From royal court to servitude. Victory over the Romans to disgraceful defeat. There would not be a single one who sat beside Jesus’ throne.
Yet, Jesus raises all things from the dead and makes a new life out of the confusion of the grave. Here how he is making things clear to me:
- He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5
- So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Luke 7:22
- We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace.
I am learning to live vibrant beyond the grave because I know that what I experience in this life is not all there is. Jesus’ will is that none perish. The gospel is my heartbeat. I find joy and delight in the unexpected breath I now breathe more deeply because Christ is not limited by the grave my son is in.
I would not trade the joys of motherhood for an untroubled reality. I came to Christ through a child’s heartbeat, and I now breathe life into others because Jonathan, Daniel, and Natalie are a part–not the whole of my story.