We got a new chair for our den, and it is one of those glider things that move around and can go in any direction. It was a huge step for me to pick this chair out. Silly I know, but preparing for little W has been a challenge. It’s like we started running a race, and we can taste the finish line, but yet each step our muscles cramp and ache, and we keep wondering how we will make it there. If any of you have ever ran a race, this is how it feels towards the end.
I was sitting in the chair this morning, and finally decided to read and reflect a little, which I have been avoiding. Don’t worry, I have been checking my daily devotional off lately, but my heart has been far from in it. I have sat in the pews at church, but my heart has been hard, and I want to just crouch under the ropes and stop running this wretched race.
As our pastor began reading about Jesus’ death yesterday, he asked the question: “Why did Jesus HAVE to die?”. It’s the same one I ask every single day, and I mean it… every. single. day.
Why did my Mary Anna HAVE to die?
Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Jesus had to die for me or else I could not live.
During our meeting last week where D and I processed our feelings about our sweet girl and the mixed emotions about our little man making his debut, our pastor told us that when Jesus asked us to give Mary Anna back to him that we obeyed. And that after her baptism as we held her, sang over her, told her about important things and people to us, and read scriptures that we were slowly standing at the gates of heaven and literally handing our baby girl over to Jesus.
It was a visual that helped me. Although, I do not quite view myself as obedient as so many days I want to run away from this whole race that I did not sign up for.
Yet I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
O my God, do not delay.
As the sermon wrapped up yesterday, he said that Jesus walked into the face of death with JOY, so that we could do the same. That is when I knew that embracing death as joy is my task at hand. This can be done, which defies my inner nature, but it can be done, because death has NO power over me, Dan, or even Mary Anna.
I have to keep telling my doubtful self that. Part of believing all of this is that I need to continue to deny what comes naturally and start acknowledging His mercies. His life. His death. His grace. Mary Anna’s life. And death too.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.“
And part of denying myself is denying the wishes of my heart, and trusting that I can surrender all things to Him who is able. Even my baby girl. My heart wants to hold onto her life so bad, but slowly I know that I must release it ALL to the King of Kings.
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.
Keep Walking into death without fear. Keep Walking because Jesus walked that long road to death with confidence and victory. He has already won this race for me. Amen. Thanks be to God.
So I sit in my glider with my kicking little boy and my heart has a little joy this morning in Mary Anna’s life and in anticipating his life. What a gift my babies are to me.