It could have been a birthday weekend. Happy 24th to our middle girl.
Instead, we went to the cemetery.
If Kali had lived her first day, 24 years ago today, and the day after, and the day after, I would have been more eager to live those days, too.
But instead, when she died on Day 1, November 13, born several weeks premature and with severe problems, part of me wanted to die, too.
Don’t we all die a thousand little deaths throughout our lives? Don’t we all collect bruises on our souls?
The author of Psalm 118 certainly had his own little deaths. He knew about prisons and enemies and destruction. He (and the Hebrew people collectively) had been pushed hard.
But at this point he had not been handed all the way over to death (Psalm 118:18).
Others had died. Why not him? Why not me? Why not you? Why not yet?
It took me awhile to understand why I was still living without my baby to care for.
Resurrection is sometimes instantaneous. But sometimes resurrection only comes one slow Spirit-breath at a time.
For me, it was one small thing at a time—a friend making dinner after my C-section, a sympathy card in the mailbox, a flower left on Kali’s grave.
And one person at a time—a gentle hug, a conversation mentioning Kali by name, an empathetic ear.
Each thing reminded me I had a reason to still be here.
- I had a husband who loved me (and was grieving too),
- a 4-yr-old daughter (Morgan)who needed her mommy, and
- a God determined for me to know joy again.
(And unknown at the time, another reason to still be here: in another year, another daughter, Jenna, would be conceived and enter our world.)
It is for the living we stay. For the loving. For the Lord.
If you are here reading this—as I am still here writing it—the Lord still has purpose here for you, too.
Even if you’ve come to the very rim of death, or are in crisis of a little death even today, know that God kept you from falling over the edge for now, for a reason.
You still have . . .
- living to do
- love to give
- praise to proclaim
God can empower a thousand little resurrections over your thousand little deaths.
So even though I am sad today (for me) that Kali is not here in the flesh, I can proclaim with confidence along with the psalmist in Psalm 118: “The Lord is powerful!” (Psalm 118:15 CEV)
Even when I don’t understand death, I can trust in resurrection.
I have lived to tell what the Lord has done.
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Do you know why you are still here? You are here to love somebody this week. Someone is here to love you. Please share in the comments.
Revised from the archives at Do Not Depart
- Want to Publish a Book? Review of “Independent Publishing for Christian Authors”
- The Ordinary Day I Met an Extraordinary Story