Death and Victory.
I would really appreciate your prayers today, for my sweet cousin, Hillary, and her family. She gave birth to her beautiful little baby boy yesterday morning, but unfortunately, it was very early, and he didn't make it. I can't perfectly understand her pain, but I know it must be so unimaginably heartbreaking.
Do you know that verse in 1 Corinthians that says "Oh death, where is your sting?"
I used to think I understood that verse. In fact, it was one of my favorites. I thought: "I can't wait for heaven, why on earth would I fear death??" What I never really considered was the bitter sting of death, when the it is the death of a person you dearly love. When you can no longer experience, physically, the exchange of love and affection with a soul that you are closely connected to. It's more than a sting. It's a bitter, choking, cold, hard, suffocating, desperate pain. A hurt that you could never explain or imagine until it's there, all over you and inside you, and you can't make it go away no matter what you do. It can make your legs fail, your appetite leave, your face change, make your heart feel like it's frozen, a miniature iceberg in your chest. It can even make your hair fall out. (I'm hoping that is temporary? Please??) It's beautiful that humans need each other so much. But excruciating when we're ripped apart.
One thing I am thankful for: experiencing the sting of death makes me more completely understand what was written in Corinthians just before the above quote. Which is that "Death is swallowed up in victory." Death is not the end. Even though it sometimes feels like it.
A long time ago, a man named Paul wrote these words to his Christian family: "Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord, your labor is not in vain." And I hope those words will encourage my dear cousin when the time is right.
Thank you so much for the prayers for their family. Also, due to some other health issues earlier this year, I know their finances are hurting a bit. Hillary's sister has set up a page to donate to help with some of those medical bills if any of you feel inclined. You can find it here. Thank you. :)