Monday, May 25, 2015

To my Sister, There is enough grace for this....

Knees knocking, and voice cracking, it was a humbling opportunity to share some thoughts at my nephew's funeral....

Rach, Amos, I remember your wedding day well.  I remember the bright pink flowers, the chocolate fountain, and the perfect weather. I remember the photographer kept thinking Amos' brother was Amos, and putting him next to Rachel in the pictures.  I remember you both looked gorgeous, especially you Amos. ;)

And I remember was was written on your wedding invitation, a verse from Psalm 34.

"O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name forever."

That was your verse, at a time that overflowed with joy and anticipation. That was stamped on the front of your invitation, like a brand on your heart, summoning this community to watch you live it out.  I can picture that day at Stonebrook Church.  Two very young, and very pure kids, so ready to play house, to do life together.

So many of us were there that day.

And your God was there too. He was there blessing you, and hearing your prayers.  The prayer that you would partner together and magnify Him. As you exchanged vows and sang songs, you promised that from that day on, you would exalt high the name of Jesus.

And how you have done that, Rachel and Amos.

What faithful servants of God you are.  You are both steady, and consistent. You have been faithful to seek Him, to serve Him. You are generous and trusting.  You both stand humbly upon a godly heritage, your faith runs miles deep and wide.  You have been obedient to share the love of Jesus, your front door is always open.  And then God began blessing you with beautiful babies, and as your family was built you obediently committed this slue of boys to their Maker. 

And these are the things you probably imagined, on that altar, right?  Homes, hospitality, pregnant bellies, babies and adventures.

But at that wedding, when your God was there, and his goodness was easily recognized, He knew that there would also be this.  

This loss, this trauma, this nightmare.  In his foresight, he was already pouring out a grace amazing, to prepare you for this ache. As you prayed on that day to magnify him, only He knew what you were soon to experience.

In the last 5 days, the amount of support has been breathtaking. And specifically, a number of people have reached out to you, who have also lost children.  On Saturday, I kinda felt like you were sitting by the computer, waiting for your long time friend, Anna Mortvedt to say something on Facebook.  Because you knew that she, who lost a baby, would bring words of understanding.  While so many of us want so desperately to offer you words that would lift off the crushing weight of this hurt, I and you both knew that because she had experienced this, her words would be a balm to your wound.
And they were.

Rach, Amos, God too understands what it feels like to lose a son.

The God that you have trusted and loved since childhood, he too lost a son.

So He understands.

The God that formed you in your mothers' wombs, and then weaved your lives together as a couple, he can comprehend the very ache of losing a son.

And let me remind you of what you already know.  He lost his son, Jesus, because of his love for you.

God was separated from Jesus, so that we wouldn't have to be.  
He turned away from Jesus, and his cry, so that He could hear our cries.  
He spared not his son from death, so that we could find living hope within death.

Sister, there is enough grace for this.  

The God who loves you guys, and is near to your broken hearts, he is not asking that you act like the super Christians that you are. He is not asking that you pull yourselves together, or perform. He has not set a date that you have to feel like yourselves again.

As Dad always says, "Preach the gospel to yourself." The gospel, the Bible that you both treasure so dearly, is all about freedom.  A freedom-bearing-grace, that invites us not to try to impress God but to dance to the melody of brokenness. So dance together, Rach and Amos.  Allow each other to be a mess, to be real, to move forward slowly.  Give each other the freedom to cry ugly somedays, and weep gracefully on others. Because the God who understands your pain, has even more of himself to give you, when you are so very broken. 

I think of the story of Ruth. When loss was still fresh in her rear view mirror, knew only to be faithful to Naomi, and move forward step by step, to where she knew God was. 

In the next weeks, months, years, when you guys lay together, and the loss is vast, or the depression is heavy, cling to each other. Whisper through your cries to each other "Come, magnify the Lord with me."  

You will exalt his name together.


  1. Thanks for posting this, Rebekah. It is beautiful, loving words of truth.

  2. I agree with Sharie. Grace & Peace to you all. XO

  3. Once again, you have blessed me with your words, as I am sure you have comforted Rachel and Amos with them as well. Praying comfort for all of those who have been touched by this...

  4. Thank you for reading, His faithfulness will be great to Rachel.