Marissa Alice Bundy – October 2, 1990 – March 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