Husband and I have been away for the past two months. To keep it brief, we've been raising support to remain in ministry. Being support based is, most of the time, about as fun as it sounds, so writing was slow and painful and mostly things that should be kept to my journal versus the online world.
We're back now. Today in fact. So you see - within hours of returning to normal life I return to you, and do so with a heavy heart.
Last week, family on my husband's side lost their first child. A week after his due date, Jackson Brave passed away and the family he won't meet this side of eternity was brought to our knees. "Sudden," seems too nice and soft a word to describe moments like this.
Wrenching is slightly closer ... slightly.
Yesterday I woke up with Brave's parents on my heart, wondering what (if any) words could be said. Really only wanting to wrap them in a poultice-hug and draw out some of the pain at least, to come alongside and help carry something they didn't ask for, something unfair and appalling and not. right.
Striving to put myself in their shoes only felt hopeless, as it often does when you realize someone is feeling a level of pain that you cannot understand. I realize that maybe this is God's way of making things somehow keep going when life stops. Maybe the role of those who can't understand the pain is to be in the background supporting and praying; and those who have walked the ugly trench before, they are the ones who come alongside and breathe hope into the wound that mirrors their own scars.
The story of the Israelites' battle against the Amalekites, in Exodus 17, came to mind. Moses, watching the battle from above, would hold up his hands - many believe in prayer - and the Israelites would take the upper hand in battle. His arms became tired and whenever he'd put them down, the Israelites would begin to fall back. Aaron & Hur, who were with Moses, eventually held up his hands for him & the Israelites won.
Brave's parents have always struck me as people who are holding up their hands for others, whether in prayer or counsel. They serve, they help, they love, and give of themselves. My prayer involves lifting up my own hands for them, but also I'm praying for their community - from the closest to the most distant - that we would be equipped to comfort, mourn, build up, protect, encourage, and be channels of grace in a way that we wouldn't be able to do on our own.
That we would come alongside and help them lift their own hands, once again.
They chose to set up a scholarship fund in remembrance of their son. If you would like to donate please follow the link below, and choose the "Jackson Brave" scholarship fund in the Programs Description drop down menu: