By His wounds we are healed.
Today is Good Friday and the depths of what this Holy weekend means to me is more than I can put into words. Jesus' love for you and I is incomprehensible. Even when we turn away. Even if we don't believe.
He still loves us and the cross signifies how much. His unconditional, steadfast love and ultimate sacrifice set us FREE. His AMAZING GRACE wiped our slate clean. This is such a sacred, heavy month and I have to share how beautifully a sister in Christ and fellow angel mom articulated what many heartbroken parents feel as we walk the tightrope of grief + gratitude.
“For those of us who grieve, entering Jesus’ hardest days can be extra hard for us. We know what it is to weep and mourn through the dark of night. To feel alone and forgotten by God. To be neglected by our closest friends. We may know trauma or PTSD or have been mocked in our grief. We have stumbled and fallen under the weight of our cross. Some of us have even known what it is to stand by as our child slowly slips away. We know the silent despair of Holy Saturday. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. However you feel, wherever you are on your journey of grief, bring your heart to Jesus. Your grief is not too much for him. Your faith consoles him. Your tears matter to him.”
In the midst of this Holy Week, all I can think about is how Jesus wept in the Garden of Gethsemane on his last night before his crucifixion. HE WEPT ON THE GROUND. He knew what was to come and agonized the pain within but God sent an angel from Heaven to strengthen Him. (Luke 22:43) That’s how faithful are Father is. He gives us the strength when we call out to Him and surrender to Him.
Next week somehow Mazie’s little sister, Gabrielle Faith, is already turning a YEAR OLD. This year has been filled with highs and lows, grief and gratitude, fear and surrender, joy and sorrow.
Leading up to Gabby being born, we already had a mix of emotions. Adam and I knew in our hearts that we had an overflow of love left to give and anxiously waited for her arrival.
I have shared some about our birth story before and as we come up on a year, I can’t help but recall the trauma of my post-birth experience and be overcome with indebtedness for God watching over me through the scariest of days. During delivery and without anesthesia, I literally pushed through the pain to welcome our baby girl into our arms. Little did I know in that moment the extreme pain I would later feel that turned into fighting for my life.
I lost so much blood in a short amount of time and spending the first 48 hours after having a baby in ICU is not what my vulnerable heart needed. I so longed to have that time bonding with our newborn and we should have gone home the day after to be with our boys. They also experienced trauma seeing me cry out in pain. Instead, I had emergency surgery and had no idea if I would see my family again. Once again, I felt totally helpless. In that ICU room, our pastor prayed with me and I felt the presence of Jesus ever so close.
I was and still am so utterly grateful for Adam and my mom being there. He was an absolute rockstar as he had to stay in the mother baby room dealing with the nurses coming in and out. Together, we championed for Gabby to continue to be nursed and he brought her to me in ICU every 3 hours so she could be. Thank goodness she still latched and I could feed her with so many wires attached to me. My mom took care of the boys and everything for us at home while being worried sick over us. She stayed with us at least a month to prepare for Gabby's arrival. Not knowing just how much we would need her, we thank God for orchestrating her being there.
It was an absolute miracle I got to go home 2 days later, even after yet another blood transfusion. Would I go through all of that pain again if it meant us having our rainbow baby? Without a doubt. That's the love of us as parents have for our children. Gabby is an absolute miracle and she reminds us daily of our Heavenly Father's love for us.
This year has flown by to say the least but Mazie has taught us the importance of slowing down and savoring each moment. That's not to say there haven't been times that fear has stolen my joy from me. Unfortunately, bereaved parents have too many 'what could happen' thoughts. We can't think much about the future because we know that isn't promised. This sounds crazy to admit but I have worried about things like tripping and dropping Gabby or something happening to her in her sleep. Thank you God for not letting me dwell on those thoughts. With my PTSD therappy and inner healing, I know how to combat those deceptions of the enemy by going straight to HIM.
At the cross we can lay down every fear, worry, our sorrow, dysfunctional behavior (what we resort to so that we numb or escape pain) and wound. Jesus sacrificed HIS VERY OWN LIFE so we have an eternal reward waiting on us - PARADISE! We WILL see our Mazie again.
Asbury UMC - Good Friday service
In the meantime, He weeps with us and rejoices with us. April gives us so much to rejoice. This weekend, that starts with the resurrection of our risen Savior. Over the last 2 years, He has saved me when I nearly gave up (multiple times) and I am eternally grateful. For His mercy. For His love. For the presence of the Holy Spirit. For His healing.
Thank you Father for helping me push through the pain to live a life that honors YOU. This pain certainly wasn't isolated to birth but through my healing journey and encounters with Jesus were the only way to breakTHROUGH. He so longs to help YOU push through any pain that has a hold on you - grief, an illness (physical or mental), betrayal, anxiety, relationships, trauma, nothing is too big or far for Him.