Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring has Sprung

In chilly Minnesota, winter may well be what we're known for. But this year, after one of the mildest Minnesota winters in history, I am reminded of our glorious springtime and all that Spring in Minnesota means. After hibernating all winter, we get to re-meet our neighbors, grills come out with the first sight of the back patio and adults as well as kids run around in shorts when the thermometer hits 50 for the first time. Spring has sprung a whole month early this year, record high temperatures matched with record low snow falls have made Minnesota gloriously giddy about the arrival of my favorite season.

The best part of spring may well be the hope and message of life out of death. Our perennials are all sprouting, pure green shoots poking their heads out of the ground, promising the early arrival of tulips, daffodils, and day lilies. Last fall I planted winter crocuses, which usually appear while there is still a little snow on the ground, the hope of spring after a long, cold, dark winter. This year, there is no snow, and they have bloomed early, adding brilliant flecks of color to the brown, dead grass around them.

These sweet little flowers are now blooming in the two places I long most to see life. My home, and the grave of my son. Reminding me that Life will return, we have fullness of life now with Jesus, Jairus has fullness of life in his Spirit as he dwells in the very presence of God, and one day too, his body will be sprung from the ground and reunited with his soul to complete fulfillment and the resurrection of life. I don't understand how that works, its a mystery. But I don't have to fully understand it to believe it, to relish the joy it brings me, the hope and excitement that burns deep in my soul, longing for the day when Jesus returns.

My heart has been filled with glorious joy as I see them blooming. As if the Spirit Himself whispers to my heart, "Death is not the end! Resurrection is coming! Death will itself end and all be brought back to Life!!"

 Spring, after Winter. Life, after Death.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Remembering You Too

It's been a long time since I've written, lots of changes are upon us and we're just busy.

Quick update: Our appeal to our insurance company has been officially denied. We have the chance to do another appeal or appeal in a medical court. BUT one of the busy things we are currently experiencing is Mark is actively hunting and interviewing for a new job. A new job may mean new insurance and rather than do every appeal available now AND with new insurance, we're waiting to start over at the beginning of the process. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can read more about our current medical insurance saga HERE.

But today I'm mostly thinking about birthdays and anniversaries. Today, the daughter of some friends from church went to be with Jesus. In 2 more weeks, another friend will mark 1 year since her son left this world to enter eternity. It makes my heart hurt. Each life is so precious and we are caught in a wild, confusing dance of life and death that none of us was made for. There is joy for our children who dance with Jesus. And aching hearts that long to see our children grow, smile, laugh, love. There is hope for the coming day when all things will be made new, when all tears will be wiped away and all wrongs righted, when the "last enemy to be defeated will be death" and all that remains will be Life. And there is the daily concerns and struggles that make God's promises feel so far off that the impact and reality of that future seems out of grasp.

A lot can happen in a year for families who say a final goodbye to a loved one. Some memories become sweeter, hazier. Some remain pungent and painful. Instead of sobs, there may be an ache, sometimes relieved with tears, sometimes leaving altogether, but returning faithfully when remembering resurfaces them.

Those of you who have shared your hearts and your stories with my family, I am so proud of your strength and courage to grieve for your children, so honored that you have shared your heart with us. Your beautiful children are eternally precious. I know that the joy and peace they live in is immeasurably better than anything we have to offer them here.  And yet I wish they were here.

Happy Birthday Kaylee Hope and Justus Cade. You are missed and loved and celebrated. You have taught your parents and so many others the blessed comfort that is found only in Jesus, you remind us to have an eternal perspective and to live fully the lives we are given. You remind us how precious the gift and miracle that is life. And I am so looking forward to the honor of meeting you one day.