On Funerals, Friendship, Feminism, and Washing the Floor

I only wish that as I start penning these words, a quelling would occur of the emotions flooding my soul. So many emotions within twenty-four hours: anger, disappointment, sorrow, grief, encouragement, hope, sheer joy. Like the hot and cold air currently swirling over Florida tonight, these polar ends of emotions have ignited a number of little tornados taking formation in my heart. It’s just too much.

Jesus, we need You.

I learned this morning that a young mother in our church died unexpectedly just before our morning worship service began. She was only 36 years old. She leaves behind a husband, a 2 year old daughter, and a 2 month old daughter. Two little girls who will never remember their mommy. I didn’t know Jen as well as many of my friends knew her. She was the MOPS leader at our church and ironically, I had just spoken about friendship at their last meeting, at her request. I spoke about the different types of friendships. I talked about how real friends are the ones that go through the hard stuff with you. The good and the bad. The easy and the difficult. The tough stuff. She kept her eyes on me the entire time I talked, smiling and nodding with encouragement. How could we have possibly known that the next weekend we’d be walking through this hard stuff… without her? How could we have known that this week we would be helping her husband plan her funeral? It’s just too much.

Jesus, we need You.

When I went to bed last night I had no idea that today I’d be mourning the loss of  a beautiful soul. No, last night when I went to bed, I was mourning the loss of morals and values in our country. I mourned the loss of 57 million aborted babies who have been killed by abortion since 1973. I was angry at the pictures I saw of women taking part in the Women’s March on Washington yesterday. I was embarrassed that the rest of the world might think these women represented me in any way. I was disappointed that women could be so misguided and uninformed about their own worth that they would degrade themselves in their quest for equality. It’s just too much.

Jesus, we need You.

Tonight, with hot and cold swirling… with north and south repelling….with light and dark colliding, I began to see things for what they are. There is a difference between the women I wept with today and the women that crammed my social media news feed.

At church this morning I huddled with four dear friends and we prayed for our friend’s husband and baby girls. We prayed for her parents and her sister. We prayed for our other friends who will be ministering to this family in the coming weeks. We prayed for strength for ourselves. And as we prayed, the tears fell gently and puddled at our feet. I’ve heard a lot of disputing over what a woman’s role is this week, but I assure you that each of us praying today considered it an honor and a privilege to wash the floor with our tears. We weren’t seeking to have our voices heard by the mainstream media. We were simply crying out to our Savior and He heard our cries. It’s just too much.

Jesus, help us do this.

floor-tears

Women have the ability to give life. That alone makes us SO unable to be equal to men. Men will never know that power. I sat with women tonight who cried as they talked about how little baby A is going to wake up tomorrow and ask for her mommy. We talked about how our own children are asking who is going to be A and H’s mommy now. The answer? We are. We are going to be her mommy. All of us. Collectively. The mommies of our church will love A and H. Because we are her family. We are her friends. We are mommies and we give life. We will give these precious babies life in the midst of her death. We will give life to her memory. We will give life to her unconditional love. It’s not too much.

Jesus, help us do this.

Another friend recently gave birth to a baby that is not her own. She carried this child for 32 weeks for a friend who had lost her own daughter tragically and could not carry another child of her own. Last week this friend brought a new baby into the world and laid it gently into the awaiting arms of his parents. She gave life. To this baby. To this broken family. She. Gave. Life. It wasn’t too much.

Jesus helped her do this.

This afternoon, my eight year old daughter had many questions about Miss Jen’s passing. Jen was her kids’ choir director. She was the VBS director. She wore many other hats as well and my little girl could not make any more sense of this loss than I could. Her questions of heaven and hell sparked a new understanding inside of her and together, we prayed the prayer of salvation and my baby asked Jesus into her heart. For all of eternity. Because He is the giver of life. Joy unspeakable!!  Jen’s legacy of love and Kingdom service lives on, even in her death. It wasn’t too much.

Jesus helped her do this.

As I continue to sort out these emotions and feelings, a lot of confusion remains. How could women take the life of their own child? How could women possibly think that they’re the same as men? How could they degrade themselves and humiliate themselves in the name of feminism the way they did?

How are we going to help Jen’s family get through the tough stuff? How do we say goodbye to our friend? How do I guide my daughter in her new faith? There are so many questions. But, it’s not too much.

Jesus will help us do this.

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “On Funerals, Friendship, Feminism, and Washing the Floor

  1. Cindy Coffman says:

    Heather, this is so elequently written– not because you are a wordsmith (although you really are) but because the rawness of your heart emits a genuine love, a truth of who you are and who Jesus called you to be. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for being His tool.

  2. Melissa Vontress says:

    Ty, Heather for your beautiful words, your faith, your friendship, & your love. God shines in you & we are blessed by you & the work you do for Christ Jesus in his Kingdom for the love & kindness of others. Jennifer is sadly missed. And we are desperately sorrowful for Todd & the girls. But the blessing of eternity in heaven is so Devine. We love you Jennifer until we meet again. ❤

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