We sang New Wine by Hillsong Worship the other day at church and during the song I just started to God. I prayed that He would actually make me a vessel, just like the song says, that He would put me through the fire, that He would test my faith. After service I almost regretted praying that because I knew I was just asking for hard things to come my way. As if we haven’t already had our fair share of hardship.
I think as Christians we should welcome hardship, and yes, even pray for it. Because it’s in the crushing and pressing that we are made new. Just like how steel has to go through fire to become strong, we too need trials to help us grow.
Even before Amelia was born we’d already had our fair share of struggles in life that I wrote about in these blog posts. We were used to having our faith tested and coming out stronger on the other side but nothing could prepare us for the loss of a child.
To this day nothing has prepared us, or helped us quite like the faithfulness of God. It’s been two years since Amelia died and our faith has grown tenfold. Our encounters with God have in turn strengthened our love for Him. Throughout the last two years we’ve never questioned God about why our daughter had to die. All we know is that God is in control, that He has a plan for us and that one day, one glorious day, Amelia and us will be reunited in the arms of our Abba Father.
I’ve been reading Simply Christian by NT Wright over the last few weeks and in the book he discusses his idea of “living by the Spirit”, letting the Holy Spirit have reign in our hearts and minds. NT Wright says that as Christians we will suffer in this life but:
“It is precisely when we are suffering that we can most confidently expect the
Spirit to be with us.”
If in suffering we are brought closer to the Spirit, or more realistically, we are more aware of the presence of the Spirit, then we should welcome suffering in our life. It’s not that we’re brought closer to the Spirit, He is already there with us, but because of tragedy we become more aware that He is with us and always been with us and that He loves us.
I’ve never felt like a victim in this tragedy but I hadn’t always felt like a conqueror either. It’s definitely worn me down at times, both physically and emotionally. However, it’s made me stronger spiritually and, in the long run, emotionally.
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us”
The beauty of that verse is the word through.
It’s only through God that we’ve made it through two years without Amelia. It’s only through God that we’ll make it through the rest of our time here on Earth without her. It’s only through God that we will use our story to help other parents through their bereavement process.
The second part I love from that verse is loved.
Through Him who loved us.
It’s because He loved us that we are conquerors. It’s because He loved us that we can face tomorrow. It’s because He loved us that I have a peace about my daughter.
As of tomorrow, we are TWO years closer to being with Amelia. We are two years stronger. I still think about Amelia every waking day and I hope I do for the rest of my time on Earth. For the rest of our lives Amelia will be a part of our family. It will be impossible to talk about our family without talking about Amelia and of course it will be impossible to talk about Amelia without talking about our family. When we have more kids we’ll tell them about their big sister. Their big sister that they won’t ever know. Even though they won’t ever know her in this life, I want them to be expectant of meeting her in the next life in heaven. On that day, our family will be complete.
I’ll never tire of talking about Amelia. I’ll always bring her up. Even when it’s awkward. And folks, it’s awkward almost every time. But that’s okay. I won’t stop talking about her.
Happy two-years-closer to Heaven, Amelia!