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AVERYday: Jesus Wept - Part 5

The cry is what I'll always remember. Animalistic. Primal. Filled with more pain than any one person should ever have to feel.


My beautiful, precious daughter's hands flew to cover her face. I didn't want to take another step. I wanted to run away. Turn around and leave this emergency room, run from the hospital and never, ever look back. I can't do this. Do you hear me, God? I cannot do this.

And yet my legs kept walking purposefully to that bed.


I grabbed her hands and and pulled them down so I could see her face. Her eyes were squeezed shut, tears streaked her cheeks. I could tell her eye was swollen and shut. There was bruising. There was a large bump on the side of her head.

"Look at me. You look at me!" She kept her eyes shut. God help me. "Look at me. I love you. Do you hear me? I LOVE YOU! And I DO NOT blame you! I DO. NOT. BLAME. YOU. Look at me!"

Her arms were trembling. I held on tighter.

"Look at me!" Her eyes barely opened but I could see all her pain. It almost knocked me over.  "You can feel grief. And you can feel sorrow, And you can feel angry. But you are NOT allowed to feel responsible, do you hear me? You are NOT allowed to blame yourself! You are a child and you did NOT want this to happen and I DO NOT BLAME YOU!"

She opened her eyes. "SHE'S MY SISTER AND SHE'S GONE!!!!"

"Honey, look at me. You knew your sister and you knew her love for Jesus. You know right now she is sitting with God praying for you. For YOU."

I honestly don't know what else I said. I know the words didn't come from me... I would never have been able to choose the right ones, say them the right way; and yet somehow, it was exactly what she needed to hear.

After a while a nurse came in to review what tests were done, what the results were, what the treatment plan was.... all I could think of was somewhere in this building lays the body of my other daughter. I had two daughters and now I have one.

A nurse came up to me and asked me for my insurance card. I hadn't thought to bring it. I told her what company my insurance was; she told me this hospital didn't accept that coverage. I didn't care. Charge me a million dollars; I used to have two daughters and now I have just one, and she is broken. Broken to the core of her soul. As she stood and talked insurance I prayed to God to give me the strength to take another breath.

Last year, Avery's Sunday School teacher would hand out a candy bar to those kids who came with a memorized bible verse. One week, Avery was not prepared. She had completely forgotten and didn't want to go to class because she was embarrassed that she would have to admit to having nothing memorized. And yet, after class, there she was, walking towards me with a Hershey's Bar. "How'd you get that?" I asked. "For my memory verse." "Which one did you do?" "John 11 verse 35," she smirked, "Jesus wept."

Jesus wept.

That's the shortest verse in the bible. I laughed and shook my head. Oh, Avery! Anything for chocolate.

The story goes that Jesus was friends with a guy named Lazarus, who got sick and died. Jesus showed up four days later and saw how upset everyone was. He wept, and then brought Lazarus back from the dead.

I grew up believing that the reason Jesus wept was because he was mourning the loss of his friend. If Jesus was that upset, how on earth would us mere mortals ever be able to handle the death of someone we loved?

This morning I went to my friend Josh's funeral. His grandfather was the officiant of the service. He talked about this same verse... but maybe, he said, maybe Jesus wept because he knew Lazarus was in heaven; glorious and good and surrounded by love and all things perfect and right... and bringing him back would mean taking him from that glorious, beautiful, perfect heaven and making him live in an imperfect, sorrow filled world.

I had two daughters; one is in heaven, and the other is broken. But together we'll try to find our way through this imperfect, sorrow-filled world, into the arms of Jesus.


Anonymous said…
Hey Bridget its Madi I love all your blogs! Please tell jai I'm always here for her. And thanks for bringing Avery into our world. Love you guys so much. :)
angie said…
The sorrow is too much to imagine. I pray Jadrian can feel all the prayers lifting her up. So grateful that you're able to hear words like those the pastor spoke, and find some truth. Some clarity. Some recognition that though things will never be the same again, they will be happy again. Blessings on you all.
Tina, said…
I hope your blogging about this is helping you through this. I pray that Jadrian is lifted up by all the prayers coming her way. I read your blogs with tears in my eyes and prayer in my heart for you and Jadrian.
Claudia said…
You don't know me, but I know you through your blog. You are amazing and you are so strong. Your faith is inspiring. And I know that Avery is up in heaven looking down at you all and sending blessings to you each and every day. I am praying for you all even if you don't know me, as I am sure a lot of people are. He will hold you in the palm of His hand. And always remember Phillipians 4:13 - I can do anything through Christ who gives me strength.
Mellie said…
What a beautiful post. But I have to admit I am disgusted that a nurse in a hospital, seeing what you are going through, would pepper you with insurance questions, and bring up something about your insurance not being accepted. Please know that in a circumstance like that, the insurance company WILL pay, because you didn't have a choice with where your daughters were taken and it was clearly a medical emergency. Call me Bridget if you have any issues, any issues at all with your health insurance. I deal with insurance issues (obviously an occupational hazard) and I want to help you make sure it gets taken care of properly, without the stress. This is the last thing you need right now. Please please please call me if you need any help at all with that; it's the least I can do to help you in time in your life where you are dealing with enough pain and you guys. Melissa
Ellen said…
Hugs sent to you Bridget and your sweet daughter, to your family...hugs of comfort...

I never ever will understand how a hospital employee can come up and ask for insurance...they should be required to understand what has happened before they approach...and to even say your insurance isn't covered there...oh...that is just awful.

Your post(s) of sorrow but full of love and healing.
Brenna said…
There's no one better than you who will do this for her.

I love what Josh's father said. I've had a hard time with the death of friends recently and how God could allow these things to happen. I love the thought that Jesus wept because he was bringing Lazarus back, not because he was gone.

I hope that writing this helps. Your words are so powerful and honest and beautiful. Thank you for sharing them with us.

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