This post was written on Monday, April 21, 2014 but I haven't been able to put it in here until now (as I wrote it in my journal while we were driving to Minneapolis).
Yesterday (Sunday, April 20, 2014) was Easter Sunday - the day we celebrate Christ's resurrection. Church was wonderful! Again our pastor lived up to his promise to preach the gospel. We heard about the hope we have because of Christ's death and resurrection. After the sermon, the pastor had us sing In Christ Alone - a hymn which also speaks of that gospel, that hope. Darran says this hymn has sort of become our family anthem. And he's right! We sang it at our wedding ceremony and again at the baptisms of each of our girls. Since Emilie's baptism (well, a few weeks after), this song really gets to me, affects me in a way it hadn't before. And yesterday was no different. Singing it I seriously got choked up - sorrowful, but also filled with joy! The whole song does this - because of that amazing, hope-filled, gospel message. But those words "from life's first cry to final breath". Those powerful, meaningful words. They make me cry and smile. You see, on October 24, 2012, our second daughter was born. we named her Emilie Arentina, after my mom - Arentina Jacoba Hoogerdijk. A month and a half after she was born, my mom passed away. Finished her earthly sojourn to be with her Lord. And there were have it: "life's first cry" shortly followed by "final breath". And God is faithful through it all! And we have hope through it all! My mom passed away, yes. It was sad, but it is also incredibly wonderful! She is currently living that which we confidently hope for! Oh, that glorious hope! And do you know what? Because of this hope, we don't need to fear death! Death is the gateway to eternal life! This is why we can feel sorrow because we miss someone we love and at the same time we can feel joy because they have eternal life with God! And it reminds us of that glorious hope we have.
My mom had a difficult life of much pain and suffering but that is taken away. She is made new and she's living in a glorious body with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! And her legacy of faith lives on in her children and grandchildren. We also embrace that same hope and faith that she had in her life. And we know that she is now part of that great cloud of witnesses cheering us on!