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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Our Only Hope

                                              Happy Easter!

     Today we celebrate our risen Savior! Hallelujah! This year Easter held more meaning to me than ever before. I am missing Caroline more than ever. It is so hard when I think about how she was with us at this time last year. I remember my growing belly, and feeling such joy as she was moving around inside. Although we knew that she had an awful diagnosis, and that there was a very real reality that her time here on earth was going to be short, everything appeared to be fine, it just felt so right. Today I wish so badly that she was here to dress up in a beautiful spring Easter dress. I wish that we were taking pictures of her sweet little face, and watching her enjoy each moment of the day. Yet today, I found that I was filled with only praise to God! I praise Him because of the sacrifice of His Son. A sacrifice that offers us hope, promise, love, and a beautiful future!
     The ultimate sacrifice. God sent His only Son, the Son that he loved. He sent him to this earth, knowing that it was going to be a long and painful journey to the cross. Yet He willingly sent Him, for us. He gave His Son, His only Son, for me. He gave His Son for you. He gave His Son for Caroline. It was the greatest sacrifice. What a gift.
  I think of the pain that must have entered the heart of our Father, as He watched His Son being led to the cross. I think of the anguish He must have felt, as His Son was painfully nailed to that tree. I think of the sorrow He must have felt, as He knew His Son was taking His final breath. But that was not the end. Even though it seemed hopeless, devastating, and final, it was not the end. Today we celebrate the beginning, the beginning of the hope that we have because our Lord defeated death itself! He conquered the grave, and He rose from the dead. What a victory! What a glorious day! 
     Because of His sacrifice, by willingly laying down His life for us, and because He was able to defeat death by rising again, we know for sure that we can cling to the assurance of eternal life with Him forever! There is the beautiful hope that one day, we will enter the gates of heaven for eternity.
     When we said goodbye to Caroline in June, it seemed so final. As we kissed her face for the last time, and tried to etch every memory of her in our hearts and minds, it truly felt like the end. But today as we brought flowers to her grave, it hit me that it is not the end. It is not the last time we will see her. We may never hold her earthly body in our arms again. We may never watch her grow up here in our home, but we will see her again. I will hold my daughter in my arms once again! One day, I will be able to dance with her in heaven. One day I will be able to hug her tightly, and never let her go. I look forward to that day with all of my heart, and I cannot wait for that joyful celebration in heaven!
     My daughter is alive, truly alive through Christ today and forever! What a beautiful promise. What an amazing reality. I know that my sweet little girl is experiencing what it means to be fully alive in heaven, because of the sacrifice of our Lord. Today Caroline is celebrating Easter in the loving presence of Jesus.
     Today we celebrate our risen Savior, and we celebrate the promise of the hope to come! Throughout the day this verse has replayed over and over in my head, "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” This is such an incredible promise for all of us who have walked down a painful journey. We all know that there is so much sin, pain, heartbreak, and fear in this world. It is impossible to avoid. Sometimes the truth is that life just stinks. But today and everyday, we can praise God for the hope and the promise that comes through the resurrection. Although we must walk through this life knowing that there is sin and pain in the world. And although sometimes it seems like more than we can ever bear, we have the promise of a day when tears, mourning, pain, and especially death will be completely gone. They will be no more. We will instead be standing face to face with our Lord, and praising and worshiping Him forever!
     Although so often it feels like death has the final word, and that there is no end to the pain and suffering we are experiencing each day on this earth, we have the promise of being alive forever through Christ. I know that I will see my precious Caroline again in heaven one day!
     Thank you Lord for your immeasurably great sacrifice. Thank you for your amazing love for me, and for Caroline. Thank you for the hope that we have only through you. Thank you for the promise of eternal life in heaven. Hallelujah! He is Risen!

 Come as you are

 There’s hope for the hopeless
And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t cure

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
Fall in his arms
Come as you are
There’s joy for the morning
Oh sinner be still
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

                                       Happy Easter in heaven to our precious little girl.
Easter Lily given in loving memory
 of Caroline Joy Mulder. Forever in our hearts,
always on our mind. Until we meet again sweet girl...

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