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






8 thoughts on “One year: things unseen

  1. I have prayed for you all this morning!
    You do an awesome job of expressing your heart! Wish I could do as well. So looking forward to our Lord’s coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Colleen and family,
    You have been in my thoughts and prayers as you approached this day. I pray for you again to day and upcoming days. We know there is HOPE, and God is near, but that doesn’t mean there is no pain. We are here in the cloud of grief. Trusting, and leaning on Him to continue to carry us on each day.

    I know we haven’t met but your story strikes home so closely, to our own and you writing inspires me. We care and lift you up to the Great Comforter.

    Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side;
    bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
    leave to thy God to order and provide;
    in ev’ry change He faithful will remain.
    Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
    thro’ thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

    Be still, my soul: the hour is hast’ning on
    when we shall be forever with the Lord,
    when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
    sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
    Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
    all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

    Diane and family

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have thought of you all and prayed for you numerous times in the past few weeks as you approached the anniversary day of Marissa’s home going “Death swallowed up in victory” has come to mind each time as I think of your goodbye and ours in 2018. We are so thankful for the testimony of grace that God allowed you to share with all of us in such a beautiful way. And we continue to thank God for His amazing grace and love displayed through it all. It served as a reminder to us of our glorious delivery and reunion yet to come with all of our loved ones who knew Him as their personal Savior.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Praying for you all as you remember and grieve so dear a loss. And rejoicing with sweet Marissa that she gets to see all those things we hope for.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your words touch me deeply. Thank you for opening up the windows of your heart and letting me witness the amazing grace of God in my own time.


  6. Our hearts hurt with you on this day. We’re so grateful that you all are in God’s tender care and keeping, and that there can be rejoicing in the midst of pain. Thank you, Colleen, for sharing your heart with us!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Following on | Tracing His Goodness

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