Today marks what would have been our precious Sarah Elizabeth’s 10th birthday.
It’s hard to believe that a decade has gone by since we had to say goodbye to her on the same day we welcomed her into the world.
It has certainly made the day after Christmas one of bitter-sweetness over the years. We miss her so much.
The holidays can be a particularly difficult time to experience the ache of the loss of a loved one. You long to have them here with you, experiencing your favorite parts of the holidays together. Instead, there is an empty chair at the dinner table; a silence where there would have been laughter; and a few less gifts under the Christmas tree.
They say “time heals all wounds.”
I think it hopefully changes our perspective.
The longer time goes by, the more I am able to see how God has used the death of our daughter for our good and His glory.
Death is painful.
It’s a reminder of what happened at the Garden of Eden…the consequence of Adam and Eve’s sin. “…because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man…” (Romans 5:17).
We experience those consequences still today. “For the wages of sin is death;” (Romans 6:23)
Death is a reminder of how awful sin is.
But sin and death and the Devil do not have the final say.
Look at the second half of each of these verses – “…much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17); “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
As difficult and painful as death is, the believer can get through it with hope in the One who took its sting away.
“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:54-57)
This glorious truth from God’s Word helps to give us an eternal perspective, that we “may not grieve as others do who have no hope.” (1 Thess. 4:13)
Your loss may feel unbearably great and you may feel all alone. But remember His promise – “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5) Whether your loss is recent or it’s been several years, God’s Word can be a healing balm to your aching heart. Look to the one who swallowed up death in His victory at the cross and the empty tomb. Our conquering Lamb is also our gentle Shepherd, which is why we chose Isaiah 40:11 for little Sarah Elizabeth’s headstone – “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” He is our Shepherd who gathers us in His arms and carries us in His bosom.
Our precious Savior will lead you, guide you, and comfort you. Look to him to heal your heart. He is the only one who can.