After George Mason died I was really dreading going back to church. I mean, really, really dreading it. I think I cried through every service for almost 6 months after my mom died and I just assumed that it would be the same or worse after saying see you in heaven to our son. I was wrong. That first Sunday back was really hard to convince myself to get to, but I left feeling glad we had gone and with a basically unmemorable experience; not in a bad way, but more so in a good way. In fact, every Sunday since that first Sunday has been pretty easy to get through. Until today. I woke up this morning and it felt like any other day. There was the obvious hole in our home/family but there was the typical coffee drinking, book reading, Audrey eat your eggs, morning activities that fill our house almost every morning. We watched monkeys in the jungle, whales in the shallow sea, and sang loud to one of the worship albums that I cycle through in preparation for Sunday morning service. It was so normal.
Except normal is what hurts the most. Its Palm Sunday today so the service was full of the anticipatory shouts of Hosanna! that come with the kick off to Holy Week. It felt so hard to be singing Hosanna. It was hard to face the reality of what we are celebrating next Sunday. Death. And then more importantly the miraculous Resurrection. But still, we are about to go through the story of the ultimate sacrifice; the death of Jesus on the cross and his separation from God for 3 days before conquering death and rising to live again. That’s a huge thing. A wonderful thing. A celebratory thing! It’s such a critical part of the Christianity story, that Jesus died but his death wasn’t final. Except that my son’s death was final. Not in the sense that he’s not in eternity, but he’s not going to be alive tomorrow when I wake up. He’s never going to be alive on this earth again but he’s very much alive in heaven with his savior. Death f***ing sucks and Holy Week talks a lot about death because without the death, we couldn’t have the resurrection. Without the death, we couldn’t have the celebration knowing that we get to leave this earth and join Jesus in Heaven.
One of the songs we sang is what triggered the tears… it triggered the fog that I’m now sitting in. What peace the Spirit of Jesus brings, Through the trials, He will carry me, One day in Heaven, our eyes will meet, Filled with Wonder, all the saints will sing. I can’t even type that without wiping the tears from my eyes. I know I have felt the peace to which those words are referring. I know that I have felt Him carry me over these last months and weeks. I know that one day I will be in Heaven and see Jesus face to face. All the saints will sing… my precious son is already singing and that’s so incredibly wonderful and so incredibly heartbreaking.
Last night as I sat in bed, wide awake for no good reason, I stumbled upon a verse in Colossians. This morning, I was so thankful for that verse.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” - Colossians 1:15-17
This morning I couldn’t hold myself together and I was reminded that I don’t have to. That I have the freedom to weep at the feet of Jesus. That I have the freedom to praise His name as loud as I’m able or to whisper it through tears. I have the freedom to live my life knowing that Heaven is waiting when He calls me home. I have the freedom to know that even though my son never stood before a church and publicly confessed his love to Jesus and his assurance of his salvation through Him, my son is filled with wonder and singing along with the saints. My God is pretty awesome. Today my heart hurts, but even in the midst of that sorrow, I can sing Hosanna! for I know that He rose from the dead. This week might be hard or it might be unremarkable, but no matter what it is, He, my Savior, is before it all.