Today our friends will live the holiest hardest day of their life thus far. I’ve relived our experiences 14 months ago this week over and over thinking about the days that lead up to today. Praying for them and also knowing that God’s grace is enough to get you to and through the next thing. I took some time to journal this week and even ventured back to the most beautiful pictures Karen has ever taken for our family of Joshua’s service.
The overwhelming things you live through are hard to understand in the moment. We cannot just absorb everything at once and the weight of some experiences overpower many little ones. It takes time to decompress, sort it out, and then address them all separately. We’re very much so still IN this process.
My mom and I talked this week and I loved that she said something I remembered best that day too – our people. She and my dad will be attending the service today because she said she wants to make sure they know what it is for have people show up for them and honor their person. That is still the most powerful part of my experience with Josh’s loss. Her’s too.
Community / Spiritual Family cannot meet all of the needs and brokenness that comes from loss and in the grief process, but they are an undeniable part of how we are positioned to live it through. They help surround us with protection, care, and support all things that allowed us to float to a place of landing where we had to then start the real hard road of relearning and building our life.
I’m sure these pictures might seem to hard to look at, but I could not love them more deeply. It’s easy and fun to share pictures that are our best, but the valley is where we experience depth and we find our roots. We experience unconditional love and restoration we don’t deserve. The valley is where our brokenness is on display for all the see and Jesus scoots right on in with his holy spirit and through his kids to hold, love, carry, mend, supply, and support us. Our brokenness doesn’t separate us rather it connects us. It’s forges our heart forever together, because when someone has lived your valley they are lifers.
Our pastors around us holding us – literally. Our family, our friends, our people (you guys) that stood with love, gentleness, kindness, care, and faithfulness in our holy hard with us as we took a moment to ask heaven to be with us as we closed his casket. Truly something I did not know if we’d survive. You climbed right on in and lived that day and that moment with us by your presence and your prayers.
As my dad and brother walked Josh out with all the extra Hall brothers behind and friends that are family, we knew on his last walk he was surrounded and protected and so deeply loved.
As we said goodbye, one final touch and moment before ending the day, exhausted and drained in ways we had never been acquainted ( I went to bed as soon as we got home that afternoon and slept til the next day), we knew we made it. The grace of God, the presence of our people, and our closeness to heaven allowed us to live a very beautiful day. We have said over and over his service was perfect and we wouldn’t change one thing about it.
I do not know how people live without a relationship with Jesus, the hope of heaven, and people surrounding them who are willing to fight heavenly battles for them. It’s surely no way to live or survive. Life and loss are a part of Earth. We are not protected from hardship, pain, and calamity. The promise is we have access to the supernatural to live through these things. To find the other side and carry grace with our deepest heartache. To not only survive, but to discover purpose, provision, and the peace of heaven. To really know, it is well with my soul.
We all carry pain differently and it comes from different places. We don’t have to have the same pain to understand pain. I wouldn’t want anyone to know OUR pain. I don’t think I could handle understanding everyone’s pain. But I do want everyone to know what to do WITH their pain. There is a place for pain, healing for pain, and purpose from pain. That’s a different post or this is going to become a book though.
Every person is worth the fight that is attached to their pain and heartache. Nothing is wasted in the kingdom. Everything can be redeemed. When your holiest, hardest day arrives, I pray you are surrounded by the best. I know today our friends will be. They will experience the supernatural power of Jesus in them and through the people praying and standing with them today. It will forever be inscribed on their hearts. Thank you Jesus THAT experience is available to all of us.
Thank you guys, again and again, for your place in our holy hard.