It was an exhausting trip, but good, and I'm glad I went.

Painful as this time is, somehow I've come back more invigorated than drained. It has been such a blessing to see the way their church has gathered around them, and is holding them up through this ordeal. I've never seen a church that size with such a close-knit community. The size of the congregation didn't prevent them from having an intimate circle around them, but rather provided ever widening circles underneath, all supporting one another. There was very little for us to do, besides be with Uncle Jim and the kids, sharing memories, crying and laughing together. Every few hours more food would quietly appear on the table, and the fridge would fill with more drinks. The bathrooms were cleaned, the carpet vacuumed, the lawn mowed... it was a beautiful thing to see the Body of Christ in action, and it was a great privilege to be a part of it.

Aunt Cindy lived her life in such a way as to make mourning her a thing of beauty. All the memories and sharing... by the end, I felt like surely I must have just attended a really superb seminar on godly womanhood. Only better. Thinking about her life was a good thing.

The memorial service was deeply painful. This is not how it's supposed to be. Death itself is not how it's supposed to be, but even in a world of death, this isn't when it's supposed to happen. Gone, right in the middle of everything, and her absence forms a stark and sharply defined silhouette.

In the midst of it all, though, the hope of the resurrection was never far behind. Aunt Cindy had selected the music before she died, and we sang and we sang and we sang. We stared tragedy straight in the face and sang in triumph

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt of life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
‘til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand


Ashley said...

I'm glad you made it safely home.

Cindy isn't the only one who loves that song. Check out Emily's moms' site: http://sandysrecovery.blogspot.com/

MirCat said...

thank you for sharing your experience, Elena...

lovepuppy said...

Hi. Glad you are alive! Miss ya both. Go to luvepuppy.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...


I read your blog, because you are a godly mom, who writes of her life experiences with warmth and humor.

I am sorry for your family's loss.

I love the worship song you quoted/sang. One of my all time favorites!

Blessing you and your wuggies,

(from Iowa)

Elena said...

Thank you.