A Weeping Christian: When Faith and Grief Collide

A blog by Kimberly Crumby

It is Well



Almost 4 1/2 years ago, I sat in a pew with my husband’s arm locked tightly around me. I still could not quite believe I was looking at a child-sized casket… and stranger still the knowledge that it held my precious child. The memories of that day are somewhat hazy, but I know I tried to choke out the words to a hymn I have come to love even more since that day.

When sorrows like sea billows roll… it is well with my soul.

Mother’s Day is one of those occasions where I am bittersweet-ness personified. I never want my children to grow up with the idea that their momma is so sad about their sister that she cannot enjoy life with them. As much as I want our home to be filled with Hannah, I don’t want everyone else to live in her shadow. So, I let the sorrow roll over me when it has to, but I have learned to live well in the sadness (Lisa Jo Baker wrote beautifully about this just today). I beg Jesus to help me smile and laugh with the children I still have in my earthly sight even while the pain of missing my first-born almost overwhelms. Bittersweet.

I have to choose to live well so my sweet baby grows up knowing that she is part of our family because her sister was. So she will one day understand she is my beauty from ashes. So she can see with her own eyes what it means to live well even when the worst thing you can imagine happens right before your eyes.

I don’t live well perfectly, and the times I can honestly say my soul is well only come from the Holy Spirit’s soothing balm on my heart. But I have learned that it is possible for joy and pain to coexist it’s not about always choosing one over the other. God, please help me to keep living well in the sadness. Help those other mommas out there who desperately want to live well even when the sea billows roll. Help us to remember that the trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend. It is well.

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