I went to a funeral today. It was hard. I went to honor a former student. He was 32. He has three sweet children. He has a sister in heaven and a sister on earth. He has a mama who has now laid two of her most precious gifts to rest. I can’t even bring myself to use the word “had” in reference to his life. It doesn’t seem real. Friends and family spoke about his love, his trials, his humor and his dedication to his family. He lived a hard, broken, big, beautiful life. He made mistakes and made amends. He knew Jesus.

Last year in July, I went to a funeral as well. It was the first public event I had attended since London Joy’s passing. I didn’t think I had the strength to do it, but a dear friend met me there and was courage for me. I went to honor his life, a life I had never been directly acquainted with, but a life that mattered to so many who mattered to me. This man had a wife of almost 24 years. He had four beautiful children. He had a sister and a sweet mama who outlived him. He lived a life of service and duty. He loved fiercely and called others to greatness. He also made mistakes and made amends. He too knew Jesus.

For it was only through this wonderful grace that we believed in him. Nothing we did could ever earn this salvation, for it was the gracious gift from God that brought us to Christ! So no one will ever be able to boast, for salvation is never a reward for good works or human striving.
–Ephesians 2:8-9 (The Passion Translation)

I’ve been thinking a lot about eternity over this last year. Will London Joy grow in heaven? Do our souls grow? Will she know me? Will she know how much we loved her and missed her here on earth? What is she doing? Can she see us from up there? What will we do there? Will it be like an eternal youth camp? Games all day and worship all night? These are the things I wonder about.

Even so, the one thing I don’t wonder about is, whether or not I will see her again. I have trusted in Jesus Christ for my salvation. His grace, His unmerited favor, rests upon my life in the sweet times and the tumultuous ones. His great sacrifice has changed my eternity. His grace means I can walk this earth knowing one day I will walk hand in hand with my daughter in heaven. His grace means that Dan and Ryan’s families, though heartbroken and weary, will see their loved ones again.

When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be. When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory.

For the month of May, I am choosing to take part in a project called “May We All Heal.” This project is a way to share your grief through sharing your story. For more information visit: http://grievingparents.net/may-we-all-heal/mwah2018/

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