Today is Memorial day. We are packing up the house, getting ready to move. It’s been hard to not feel physically pregnant anymore. It is a physical fact that gives way to emotional reminders. I feel a bit empty without her close to me. It’s been a bit strange to see people that I haven’t seen since before May 2nd, when our life forever changed. All this change happened so fast: we found out her diagnosis, a week and a half later her heart stopped beating, a week later we delivered and a few days after we buried her. All in 22 days. So there were a lot of my friends and family that I didn’t see in those 22 days. It’s always hard to know how to approach someone who is grieving, you never quite know what they will want from you… I get that. However, through all we’ve been through this month I think I will always choose to error on the side of asking about how someone is doing, and talking about the elephant in the room instead of ignoring it. It can be hurtful when your pain is ignored. I’ve learned that I am a person who wants to talk about it, however awkward or hard it is, I rather talk about it and be asked about it. But everyone is different.
I had a really good conversation with my good friend and college roommate who tragically lost her mom a few weeks after we graduated from college. She is amazing and I look up to her faith in the midst of the bottom falling out of her life. She was such an encouragement to me as she helped me process what grieving is like. As I hung up the phone I was reminded again of the story of Jesus healing Lazarus.
Right after the people are confused and questioning Jesus, he approaches the tomb, and asks Martha to “take away the stone.” (John 11:39). Jesus invited Martha into the miracle he was about to do. He could of moved the stone away, he could of healed him without even moving the stone, but he wants us to be invited into the miracle process. Martha hesitates. “But Lord, by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been in there for four days.” And here comes the two options: fear or trust. Will we trust Jesus knows what he is doing? Will we trust that he has every detail thought through? Will we trust that he is enough no matter what is behind the stone? Physical healing or not, whatever situation we find ourselves in, the Lord invites us to be apart of it, to trust him. Angie Smith puts it this way, “Jesus isn’t saying that her faith enables Him to perform the miracle but rather that it allows her to see the glory of God.” Right after Martha questions him, Jesus replies, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40). Smith continues, “as we walk through trials, He invites us to trust Him. We aren’t guaranteed anything as Christians as far as the outcome, but we are loved enough to be a part of the greatest story ever written…..what we are called to do is to agree to move the stone, no matter what happens next.”
When we grieve, whether a child we never got to know , or a mother we knew deeply for our entire life like my college roomate, God calls us to put our hands to the stone, and to trust him. We are invited to be apart of the process. We are not expected to sit on the sidelines as if we are a pawn in his hand and he does what he wants with our lives. We are invited in to trusting him at a deeper level than we did before. To see the glory of God as it is revealed throughout our lives and beyond our lives.
So I’m learning to trust. Day by day by day, some days it comes easier than others. But today, I’m choosing to trust him and to move the stone.
“Faith is to believe what we do not see, the reward of faith is to see what we believe” St Augustine
“When you trust in the Lord, through the unfailing love of the Most High, you will not be shaken.” Psalm 21:7