Today was sydney’s funeral…her party or celebration. And it was beautiful and marvelous and everything Sydney. The visitation last night wasn’t what I had pictured but it was what I needed (not that it's about me) and perfectly Sydney. It was a room full of people she loved and who loved her, sharing stories, comforting, weeping, smiling, laughing, remembering and celebrating her. Adam and I came home re-energized. It was what I think sydney would want and hope for.
Today the funeral was even better. I woke up tired and heavy and sad. This felt more final to last night’s celebration. But I was wrong. It was a wedding celebration at it’s finest. Mark talked a lot about marriage and weddings and all that scripture says about them. About how God’s love for us mirrors that of a husband and wife. About how today is a wedding as Sydney is meeting her bridegroom Jesus in heaven. We sang fun worship songs and heard from her brother and closest friend. Their words made us laugh and cry. One thing that struck me is how consistent Sydney was. She was the same to everyone and throughout all the years. She wasn’t afraid to be bold. And to point others to Jesus.
I am so struck by how she always pointed to Jesus…in words, in actions, in music, in art, in friendships, in marriage, in everything she did. For those who know Jesus, she was part of bringing us closer to Him. For those who didn’t know Jesus she was Jesus to them. I am pretty sure she introduced many people to Jesus. So many of us are forever changed because of her. I know her death is bringing more people to Jesus. It’s glorious. That was evident today. People who were there today saw Jesus. They also saw a church that is real and living out the Gospel. And that gets me pretty jazzed up.
Just hours after saying good-bye to Syd I got the news from Jen that she and Chris got their babies. The first I heard about them was last week. At the time her heart was heavy from what they had just walked through (little Scrappy). They drove to meet the girls yesterday and fell in love. It would be a whole day for them to make the decision. Around 5pm Jen called and said, “we are going to pick up our daughters at 10 tomorrow!” I wept. So much joy was bubbling over. They are 3 and 5. I cannot wait to meet them. And I cannot wait to see Chris and Jen as daddy and mama.
For all this to happen this week is a beautiful picture of the Gospel. Redemption. Restoration. Homecoming. Glory. Rejoicing. Joy. Sadness too. The week started with great sadness for me as I felt this was Syd’s final battle. Then at church Mark preached on our suffering bringing us closer to the resurrection and he used the Hunts’ story as an illustration. It was beautiful and sad. And syd’s parents were there too. That day we knew Syd would probably not make it another day. Jesus took her home on Monday. Her absence is massive. We are ending this week celebrating the homecoming of our sweet Sydney to heaven and 2 little girls into our community. It’s unbelievable. It’s nothing short of a miracle. We prayed for syd to be set free and she is. We’ve prayed for the hunts to have kids and now they have 2. And it hasn’t been without deep suffering and rich joy. I am thankful to be both of their friends. I am thankful to be a daughter of the King. I am thankful God loves me enough to take me through my own suffering. I am thankful to be a part of such a ridiculously amazing community. I am thankful for today. Today is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.
Thank you Jesus for this day. Thank you Jesus for my friend, Sydney. Thank you for these little girls coming home to Jen and Chris. Thank you.