Closing the Casket

Ten months ago today we closed the lid of Macy’s tiny casket; we laid our eyes on her tiny, precious frame for the last time. As I think back on that day, I’m really not sure how we had the strength or the ability to do it. It is astonishing. Really, I think back on April 11th through April 18th, 2014 and all I can see is a God who carried us- in every sense. The conversations, decisions, and actions that took place during that week were otherworldly. They were Him. I mean how could I have handed my baby’s body to a funeral director and still have the strength to walk out of the hospital empty handed? Don’t get me wrong, I was torn apart to have to do those things…but I did them. How? How could I have walked back into my home without her? How could I have labored and delivered her body knowing, KNOWING she would never cry, never open her eyes? How? How could I have picked out her casket? How could I have greeted the multitude of family and friends that attended her funeral? How could I have put her in the ground…and then walked away? How?

As I sat in that hospital bed with labor progressing painfully slow, a verse came to mind. It was a verse that one of my older kids had practiced just a few weeks earlier for Awana.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

In that moment, the Lord spoke to my soul and assured me that He had this, that I was in His hands and He was capable. He told me that He knew how scared I was, how unprepared I was, and how terribly weak I was. It was the first of many, many times He would speak His promises to me over the next 10 months but it is the promise that I have come back to time and time again. Friends, this is the hardest thing I have ever done. I wrestle with God. I cry myself to sleep from time to time. I scream in anger. I have gotten so many things so wrong…but…His grace is sufficient for me- His power is made perfect in my weakness. It is only by His grace that I have endured a million pain-filled moments and made it to this day. His power doesn’t take away my pain. His power gives me strength to face my pain head on. His power brings me peace in the midst of my storm.

I don’t know what you have had to close the casket on or who have had to say goodbye to. I don’t know what kind of pain fills your moments or the thoughts that haunt your mind. But I do know that His grace is sufficient for you. He’s there and He’s waiting with outstretched arms, to perfect His power in your weakness. Be encouraged. Be loved. You are worthy despite your weakness.IMG_3300


  • Shana

    Lovin’ and missin’ ME some YOU!!

    • Julie

      Shana! You are the best! Love and miss you too, my dear friend!!!!

  • Vicki

    so beautifully spoken Julie…His grace is sufficient…and you and Andy allowed him to work through you…you have navigated this journey with eloquence and grace…you have taught your other 3 children to grieve…with open hearts and honesty. I love you guys…