Friday, March 29, 2013

His Hell day.

As I cleaned my house this morning, I began to dust over the things that I dust each week. Every time I do this, I feel sickened as I continue to dust over those same photos of my daughter. The photos that are frozen in time. They will never be replaced with new ones of her as she grows older. The darkness of this reality began to sink it's way deep into my soul. It felt like a Saturday today, until I realized that it was only Friday. Friday. Good Friday. He died today. Today is the day that God's son died. My Ashley died on a Friday too. I wondered what God wanted me to know about this day. As a parent of a child who died, I desired to see this day as such...the day God's son died. I wanted to respect this sacred day for God.

The first thing I realized that was different about the day that Ashley died and the day that Jesus died was that on that day, God gave his son willingly. God knew he was going to die, actually, he sent Jesus here for that reason. He created his son to die. Jesus, being God in human form knew this too. Yet in his human likeness, he desired to escape the snare of death. He agonized over the very thing he came to do, but because he was God and a man, he could indeed choose to die for the sake of the ones he came to save. I could not do this. I could not have chosen to give my child. I would choose to keep her. I wouldn't send my child willingly to die for someone else. But, God knew how much he loved me, how much he loved his children. He knew how imperfect we were.....He knew that our sins could not go unpunished, so he took them. He covered himself in my sin. His perfect, flawless self became all that I am. God looked at his son dressed in my sin and cast the fullness of His wrath on him. He scorned him and turned his face from him. Jesus died alone. I loved my little girl to the very end. Never once did I have to turn my face in disgust. She died that day, and I was left in the agony of earthly pain and suffering, yet rested in the assurance that Ashley did not die alone. She was met by God, and he carried her home.

Each year that Ashley's day comes around marking the passage of yet another year, we have begun to call that day her "Heaven day." The sound of "death day" was so horrifying, I couldn't bear to call it that. Pondering this day as God's son's "heaven day" as I know it, I realized that today all those many years ago, Jesus didn't just die alone in shame. He was ushered into Hell. This was the day Jesus went to hell. How can such a perfect man go there? He didn't deserve it. I did. I deserve hell. But, he LOVED I loved my Ashley. I still love her and my only comfort in her death is knowing the life with her that awaits.

I am selfish. But, God in his selflessness....placed my sin upon his perfect son, because he loved me, then went to hell in my place. He did this so that I wouldn't have to suffer for my sin, but also because He couldn't bear to be apart from me forever. He paid for my sin. It didn't stop there. He wanted to give me more. He wanted me to have all that was his. So, on the third day....he conquered death and hell. He became alive again erasing my sins, dressed me in His righteousness and presented me with the gift of heaven. It is because of him that I will see Ashley again. It is because of him that I will never die alone.

This day, was the day that Jesus went to Hell. In MY place.

Monday, March 25, 2013

When I Don't Feel Like Being Mommy

It's the week before Easter. Today we have finally gotten snow after a long winter of no snow. After I have planted pansies, hung sheets on the wash line two days ago, and have put away all of the winter snow clothes, it snows. The kids have no school today. It's a snow day. They are thrilled and are currently playing together outside. There are mounds of snow, little foot prints, shovels and sleds everywhere outside.

I am glad they can't see me inside crying. Why does today hurt so bad? Why does a snow in March hurt so bad? Maybe it's just the day....maybe it's just one of those days that come and go. Maybe it has nothing to do with the snow. I want to see four kids outside today. I want to make four cups of hot chocolate. I want to have the energy I used to don my hat and boots and go play with my kids in the snow. For some reason, today, I just can't do it. My tears would turn to snow today. How can it be that four years later, it can hurt like it was yesterday?

Do my kids know that they aren't getting what they used to get from Mommy? Do they know that I used to be fun and full of child-like energy? Do they know that I desperately wish I could be who I used to be? Will they ever understand the windows and walls that trap me inside? I pray not. I do not wish for them to ever understand because the only way they can is by losing a child themselves, and that, I do not wish for anyone!

I guess I need to find things to be thankful for today. Things like a day off from school, and that my kids are actually playing nicely together. (something that doesn't happen all that often anymore) I should be thankful that they got a snow day this year, even if it came late. I am thankful for my tears, even though they place me in a room of windows. I am thankful that my tears have not gone....they are proof that my child will always hold such a place in my soul that will never be taken by time.

As Grace pops inside to let mommy know she is going sledding, I only stand amazed by her name, which continues to remind me of "God's Riches At Christ's Expense" Grace is what keeps me going each day. God's grace, as represented by my little bundle of riches dressed in snow pants today, reminding me she is there, and urging me onward. Pushing my next foot forward. Despite the things I'm thankful for today, I'm still stuck in my room of windows.....I suppose that's where I'm supposed to be today. Tears are my snow day.