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Is there Hope in Death?

Is there Hope in Death?

This past Sunday was Easter, and I have always loved celebrating this holiday! Growing up, we went to the Sunrise Service in our brand new Easter dresses, and we would have the most wonderful, uplifting, happy service celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus. After church, my family would make a huge Easter lunch and we would have a family egg hunt at my grandma’s house. It always felt like the happiest day of the year, even better than Christmas! I have heard countless Easter sermons, and many of them have focused on the truth of the Resurrection. Did Jesus really rise from the dead? How can we be sure? How can we answer the people who say it’s not true? Since the Resurrection is true, how can we live differently? In the past, these sermons would cause me to turn inward, asking myself if I truly believed in the Resurrection and if I had doubts about its validity. If I felt like I had any doubts, I would pray for God to give me stronger faith and help me to firmly believe in His Word.

Since the death of my daughter, Easter has become so much more beautiful to me. Easter is the holiday that gives me hope about my daughter’s existence and new life. Easter is everything to me! Now when I hear those sermons, and the preacher asks, “Do you really believe this?”, I can answer a resounding YES! That question is no longer cerebral, something I can mull over and contemplate the rest of the week. That question is personal; it is the question that decides how you will deal with grief. When you have faced death head-on, the truth of the Resurrection is the only question that matters. If the Resurrection didn’t happen, and Jesus didn’t defeat death, then we have no hope at all. There is no reason to believe I will see my daughter again, and ultimately, there is no reason to keep living.

But if the Resurrection did happen (and I firmly believe that it did), then death has lost. Death is not the end! We can have hope that our children are in eternity because Jesus proved that He is more powerful than death. In our stories, DEATH DID NOT WIN. I know that it feels like it did, but please believe me when I say that the story isn’t over. Jesus rose again, and there is hope for new life. Our children are already enjoying new life with Jesus, and if we accept His grace and His sacrifice for us, we will not be defeated by death either. Jesus will take us home to be with Him! He will introduce us to the children we have missed and longed for, and we will all worship Jesus for eternity.

1 Corinthians 15:16-20 says, “For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” Later on in the same chapter, Paul writes, “When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’” (vs. 54-55).

I love that picture; death is swallowed up in victory! It is consumed completely. It is gone forever. The battle is over. Without that hope, I don’t know how people get through the death of a child. Without that hope, I would not be able to get out of bed each morning. But with that hope, I can live with joy and hope for the future because I know that Jesus is King. I know the ending of the story, and guess what? Jesus wins.

Lauren Young is a wife to Will and mom to two beautiful boys on earth (Matti and Sammy) and three precious babies in heaven (Hope, Jonah, and January).  She is a stay-at-home mom who enjoys writing, reading good books, cooking new recipes, and playing piano.  She lives in central Texas now but was born and raised in Georgia.  She and her husband are now in the adoption process and can't wait to see what God has in store for their family.

Lauren is also a Doula serving in the San Antonio area, supporting women before, during and after birth. Click here for more info  

Catherine Hartel

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