The message I have to relay to the caller on the other end is the kind you push to the corners of your consciousness on most days and really don’t ever want to be called upon to explain. To share the message of untimely death can make the mouth suddenly go dry and lose all wit of polished tongue. My daily life as mama is filled with trying hard to serve, train, feed, and clothe the lives I get to hold close. I try so hard to love. In the bloody moment of loss, in those early hours of the next morning when the thoughts spill untidy – I cannot deny the feelings of uncertainty and finality. And how my heart wonders and the earthly reality taunts me – despite all my trying, this sudden loss can make it all seem to be spinning so far out of control. The early hours are honest, showing the raw shards of my subconscious. As the grey morning unveils, a weight of sure sadness and profound anguish steal in.
Fully awake, I am tempted to rush past the taunts or to escape into numbness – to keep on existing without any thought reaching my consciousness. Instead I lean into the ground of my soul and survey the roots that God has so mercifully established. I ready the lens of his Word to renew truth in my inward being: Hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever (Hebrews 6:19). With the words of Hebrews, the light of hope filters in, cutting through the melancholy.
I let the Holy Spirit speak to my soul. What terrifies me most? In the face of the greatest of earthly fears, untimely death, what way does Jesus lead me? Jesus came to personally reclaim me for the eternal purposes of the kingdom. He leads me to trust in him, to trust in his perfect love. Even and especially in the face of death, he wants me to see the wide framework of the outworking of his loving hand in the story. God is the one keeping the world on axis, despite my feeling that all has spun awry this January morning.
Yes, I have a Jolly role to play, but in truth, God’s loving plan is beautifully beyond my finite knowledge of what I face today. He is ever-provident – artistically and masterfully crafting the fullness of my eternal narrative. He is intimately at work in real-time. So I do not have to go numb, I do not have to rush into doing, nor do I have to to grasp at the broken pieces and try hard for it to make even a little sense. Instead, I can let go. I can run toward the free-fall of faith, because the fall turns out be into his merciful arms. He is using precisely all these pieces to build my eternal narrative – out of love he is at a great work. My continual and willing act of trusting surrender is the doorway to freedom from sinking grief – the pathway of peace.