Turning Milestones into Ebenezers*

by | Joy in the Trenches | 0 comments

*Stone of Help I Samuel 7:12

January 17, 2022

Today, my daughter would have turned thirty-nine.

There was a World War I documentary called, “They Shall Not Grow Old.” It came out five months before she died, and I’ve always thought of it in connection to Kiki. She looked much younger than her years and now, she’ll always be thirty-six. A magic age. Old enough and wise enough to see the world as it is and face it, but young enough to still look good in a bathing suit and rise from a chair without grunting. Unfortunately, Kiki had her health issues. She wasn’t in the same shape I enjoyed at thirty-six.

It’s a comfort to know she is no longer in pain. I had a dream the other night. We were together in a room, talking and watching television. Although I’m sixty-eight, somehow I appeared in my twenties. You should have seen my legs! Kiki looked great, not thin or pale. Is this how it will be in the new heavens and earth? I love those dreams. It’s as if God gives me get a taste of the future. It makes me long for the New Age.

I miss her. No mother losses a child and ever “gets over it.” Move on? That’s a good question. It’s so easy to get stuck. As Kurt Vonnegut Jr. in his book Slaughterhouse-Five said, trauma and loss can transform us into pillars of salt. All we have to do is get stuck looking back, like Lot’s wife did when Sodom was destroyed. Trauma does that to you. Loss does it too. Vonnegut never got over the bombing of Dresden. He wasn’t one of the bombers. He was on the ground as a prisoner-of-war.

Am I a pillar of salt?


I’m tempted at times. It’d be so easy. But I am a part of the Bride of Christ, also known as the Church. My center is not my husband, or my children. It’s not even myself. It’s Christ and His glory.

Now, let me be perfectly honest. I can lose that center easily. Like a comet seeking its own orbit, I sometimes streak through my life, smashing and tripping over everything and everybody. It’s hard to remain with Christ at the center of my heart, my life, my day. So I pray. I think on His love, His grace, His incarnation, His sacrifice, His resurrection, His beauty, His power, His glory.

Joy. Joy walks in the door and wraps me in a bear-hug. And beauty. Oh, how my Lord and Savior is beautiful. And gratitude. For all God has given me, and especially for His grace and forgiveness.

Move on? Naw. I haven’t moved on. I move around . . . around my Savior and Lord. I am a part of the Great Dance, the Deep Magic with Christ in the center of my life just as much as He is still the center of Kiki’s Life. We are both part of the Great Dance, I just can’t see her at this moment.

I will soon enough. In the meantime, I keep dancing.

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