I stood there in the balcony, promising myself that I wouldn't trip or fall on the way to take communion. I took a step out of the pew - was I doing this right? Were we allowed to talk or sing? Should we keep our heads down and not look at each other?
I lived afraid of messing up for a long time. Not anymore! Well, there is still a part of my heart that pursues the appearance of perfection at the drop of a hat, but the Lord is dealing with it in the most grace-filled way. It shows up when my son throws a fit in public and I start wondering what other people must be thinking of me. He calms my heart and reminds me to simply ask Him for wisdom. It shows up when people show up at our door when I have no makeup on. I want to run to the back and hide, but the Lord says "welcome and invite" to me.
Soon, pursuing the appearance of perfection won't be a natural response for me. Soon, my confidence will rest in Him and Him alone.
There's no perfect way to take communion. Jesus simply says to eat the bread and drink. It wasn't until recently (like... 1 week ago) that I realized communion is an act of worship. Jesus meets us as we take communion! He heals, restores, turns ashes to beauty, and gives grace in abundance. We can view communion with the same importance we give to singing praises, reading the Bible, and listening to someone preach the gospel.
We can ask the Lord for forgiveness, wait on Him, dance in front of Him, ask of Him, or just be still in front of Him when we take communion.
We'll probably read the verses above as a family, turn on the songs so we can listen to the words, and take communion as we feel led while we sit together.
"My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me." Matthew 26: 38
What do we do when our souls are crushed with grief? Where do we turn? When we are crushed with grief, we are vulnerable - and we should be. But grief was never designed to make us vulnerable to sin or to walking away from Jesus. In grief, we see Jesus be vulnerable with God. He's honest when He says, "If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine."
I could not say those words when we were losing our baby. I could not say "I want your will, not mine." I wanted our baby to live and I begged the Lord for our child's life day and night. I wanted the cup of suffering to be taken away and I wanted to see Him give her life. And even though it doesn't look like I had wanted, He will raise her to life one day. Because of Jesus.
Because when Jesus was on His way to death, He wanted God's way more than His own. Because when He was in the wilderness being tempted by the enemy (Matthew 4:1-11), He did not give in. I'll see her again because Jesus was willing to pick up a cross He did not deserve and lay His life down and give me a life I could never have earned. For a life our baby could never have earned. He gave His life so we could walk with Him in this life and so that He could one day raise us up from the dead, defeating death forever.
Death isn't caught up in the "and the Lord saw that it was good." Death is singing sin's song and we don't have to like it. We weren't created to enjoy death - it's unnatural and something Jesus will permanently defeat one day.
We don't have to see death as good. We get to hate death.
Jesus modeled for us how to respond in grief (John 11). He spoke truth. He wept. He called on God. And He rose Lazarus from the dead.
Where was God when our baby was dying? I cried out to Him and begged Him to save her and I heard nothing from Him. So this question - Where was God when our baby was dying - is the first question I asked when He met me hours after she died. Where were you?
Immediately, I saw myself from 100 yards away. I was sitting on this bench, hunched over and crying. And there, sitting next to me, was a man who seemed to be twice my height - weeping with me.
I'll be back tomorrow on the blog with day 4! I would love to hear how He meets you and speaks to you this week. Let me know in the comments below or hop over to Instagram and let me know there. Praying for you, friend.