It's also the location of one of my favorite wall arrangements:
Yes, I enjoy how it came together...but all the items here have special qualities to them. Brad made the shelf for me. I framed some of my girls' artwork. The Coke bottle is from my church's retired pastor's collection. Not to mention some favorite photographs.
But I also have this print, designed by my friend Amy, in memory of the two babies Brad and I lost to miscarriage:
Second Corinthians 1:3-5, taken from the NLT, is one of my favorite verses, and a reminder to me to give the same comfort God has given me.
I've been heartsick this week for people in my life who are grieving. For parents who lost a child. For a friend who's been orphaned...at my age...31.
It's in those moments, when I'm burdened to tears for others, that I know I've been given a gift. My road to this place hasn't been easy. None of the trials I've been through are a gift on their own.
But this? This desire to give the same comfort that I've been given? Well, that's a gift!
And really, that's something that only comes through our very own ashes.
I want to take grieving seriously...to shave my head and tear my clothes...by lifting them up in prayer, and by reaching out in comfort through the only source of that kind of strength: Christ.
God is near to the brokenhearted. May I be, too.
"All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too." (2 Corinthians 1:3-5 MSG)