We gathered at the gravesite with candles and singing on the anniversary of her death. All the darkness of the night did not dim the light of her memory or the truth of the singing.

And since then, my soul has been so quiet.

I don’t wrestle so much with all of the questions. After one year of her being gone, I know the truth of peace like a river. Sometimes turbulent, sometimes still, but always flowing. Doubts and fears and sadness soothed by its cool waters.

Some days it feels very strong in me, this thought of having finished. That I have opened the full gift of grief and looked at it from every angle, held it gently and let it do its work. That I am changed in so many hidden places–scarred and healed, now tender and just a little strong.

Almost as if I have done the thing I was called to do, and now can rest.

But I know there is more. Grief lives in me, but it is not my only calling. There is this work being done in me that is not finished. Even in my weariness, I know to keep walking.

Morning is not here yet.

Did you know that birds start singing about an hour before the sun comes up? I suspect it is another lesson from God about waiting for the joy that comes in the morning.

Waiting, patient and filled with song. Longing. Believing that morning is almost here.

I’ve been reading about the crucifixion. I read with dread–death so close to me now and the pain of it, inescapable. I cry when I read of Jesus telling John to be a son to Mary. He knew her broken mother’s heart. He knew the long, dark night ahead.

I love His quiet power. How without any drama, He simply loved us enough to do the complete work of dying for us. Pain and blood and tears, all willingly given. His humble sacrifice of obedience stuns me. Makes me willing to love Him.

And even that willingness, a gift from Him.

This weekend we celebrate Easter. We celebrate an empty grave and a resurrected Savior. We believe in a victory that swallows up death because of the God-man who conquered it. We believe in eternal life with our King and the lover of our souls. We believe He is the Way and the Truth and the Life. The Living Water and the Vine and the Door. The Bread and the Light and the Resurrection.

Yes, we believe in the resurrection.

We are the morning people.

We are singing. Singing and waiting for morning.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? John 11:25-26








One year: things unseen

Marissa Alice BundyOctober 2, 1990March 6, 2017

One year ago, we stopped running, stopped fighting, stopped hoping. We gathered around a deathbed. We sang songs and we prayed and we wept.

We walked with Marissa through her darkest valley, and then we watched her go.

One year ago, my beautiful, funny, feisty girl lay on a rented hospital bed in the middle of our living room. She died in the same place she had celebrated birthdays and Christmas, in the same room where she had played with dolls and won at Clue and got lost in stories.

She died in the same room where she had lived. Had laughed and hoped and loved.

She breathed her last measured breath, and she did not come back to us.

It has been spring-like and warm here, but this storm of remembrance hits me like a gust of winter wind.

One year ago.

I can visualize this scene and all of its heartache. In my mind’s eye, I can see the remnants of a great battle–pain pump, oxygen tank, and wheelchair. A father’s head bowed low. Sorrow etched on a mother’s profile. Falling tears on young faces.

The shadows of suffering. The heavy gray of grief.

But there are so many things happening in that scene that we cannot see. Those things are just as real. Just as certain.

Eternal and unbroken.

The presence of God, behind and before and surrounding. Always there in the midst of even this thick darkness.

The providence of God, orchestrating every detail with eternal and loving design.

The purposes of God, each one being fulfilled with kind intent.

Peace with God in the heart of the dying one. A soul washed clean in the blood of Christ. Steadfast hope in His saving power.

Faith strumming steadily in hurting hearts. Belief in a loving God.

God, parenting with loving wisdom. Keeping all of His promises to His children. Holding fast to His covenant.

Moving silently. Securely holding the dying one. Counting her final breath lovingly, and joyfully beckoning His sweet child home. Welcoming her and unveiling the wonders of the place He has prepared for her.

His hand catching the tears of the ones left behind. Gently storing them up in a bottle.

We can’t see submission to the Father’s will. Faith blossoming in a brother’s heart. The strengthening of weary souls.

We can’t see death swallowed up in victory. Heaven and its certain hope for those who are in Christ. The comfort of the Holy Spirit.

We cannot see the end of the story. We cannot see eternity with God. We cannot see the healing or the saving or the keeping.

We cannot see the redeeming.

We are waiting for it. For the unveiling of all this truth. We are longing.

But Marissa now knows fully and is fully known.

Her eyes are opened.

She sees her Savior. She sees her God.

She sees the panoramic beauty of all the valleys, all the mountains.

She sees it all.

For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18