Lately (well, since Ellie's death, but also heightened now because of Elsie) I have struggled with a part of the grieving process that carries on over time in losing a child. The grief comes when I remember missed milestones and when we pass through holidays without Ellie here, or when I dream of days like her wedding day or graduation only to remember that I won't experience them with her. This grief is biting and harsh, and no matter how much healing and restoration we have experienced, the moments come unexpectedly and jolt me into the reality that I have lost my sweet child. It doesn't disable me, but rather makes me wildly aware of how precious the lives of children are, how precious our lives are, and how fleeting time really is. My heart aches but then I become immediately aware of the forever-ness of the eternity that Ellie is already a part of.

Although an emotional struggle, this type of grief is a kind that I am okay with because it also forces me to remember that this is a battle the enemy did not win. The last breath that Ellie took on this earth surely had him thinking he had won...until Jesus met Ellie with open arms and we became intensely aware of the shalom of heaven that certainly passes all understanding. When the grief hits, we are brought once again to the reality that this earth is not our home. What is a mere 80 or 90 years on this earth in light of eternity (assuming we even live that long!) This life is brief and full of brokenness, but so full of God's hand and his goodness that is only amplified in the face of great pain.

And so here we are with Elsie-unsure if she will stay with us or leave to meet her maker and her sister, and we are well aware that no matter what happens, God will rescue our hearts as he has done many times before. We are so aware of our job for these next teeny tiny years until forever--and that is to love God and love others, to take in orphans and to heal the sick, to deliver people from oppression and best of all to introduce people to their Father who has loved them since the beginning.


There is an amazing (and hilarious) Bethel sermon that just popped into my head in writing this, and is well worth your time called "Expectancy" by Danny Silk, found here. I think you may have to pay a small fee to watch it if you don't have a subscription, or you can listen to it for free via podcast if you download the Bethel app to your iphone. (You can watch a 10 minute preview for free, which I recommend doing if nothing else-- but I promise it's worth your time to listen to the whole thing!)

2 Corinthians 4:7-18
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.