I’ll never forget the Easter we stumbled into a church in Capitol Hill in Seattle. We jammed our family into a pew and heaved a sigh. Our hearts were carrying so much that was heavy. Family complexities. Health concerns. Life questions. We needed some hope.
We sat, exhausted. Then, a single cellist broke the silence, playing this familiar melody. I glanced across the kids to Rob. Our eyes met, and he grabbed my hand. He felt it too. I closed my eyes, tears running down my cheeks. The piano joined in, the guitar and violin too, and the music swelled.
The sun will rise.The Brilliance, “The Sun Will Rise”
The sun will rise.
Won’t you dry all your tears.
Lay your burden down.
This coming Sunday will mark six months since Rob died. Six months of carrying the heaviest burden I have ever been asked to bear. Some days, the weight feels lighter, and I can look to the horizon with hope. Other days, my shoulders are so bent with grief that I feel I can barely stand.
While other month marks have borne sorrow with them, this six month mark carries a unique sadness. Half a year is a long time to grieve. Grief has changed the kids; it has changed me. Each month that passes inscribes this reality more deeply on our hearts: Rob isn’t coming back. We are called to carry on without him, even as we carry him with us in our hearts.
My body senses the month marks approaching before I even notice them consciously. Everything starts to feels harder. When I remember why life feels heavier than usual, I am learning to cling evermore closely to Jesus — to release my burden, recall His truth, and take up His lighter yoke.
The writer of Lamentations writes, “This I call to mind and therefore I have hope.” Sometimes hope is just a whisper. But as this Sunday approaches, I choose to sing with the defiant hope I felt in those early days after Rob died. In the face of that last enemy, death, I call to mind these truths and claim them as my own:
He’ll bind up the brokenhearted …Ellie Holcomb, “He Will”
He’ll set captives free from darkness …
He’ll breathe hope into the hopeless …
He’ll give beauty for our ashes …
He’ll restore the oil of gladness …
Grave, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?
When the pain is deepest, our hope must be fiercest. When the burden feels heaviest, His promises remain steady and true. I choose to believe the sun will rise. The Son will rise. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus.