She sent me a text in the afternoon and asked me to pray. I was at the commissary so I pulled the cart to the side and texted back a prayer. When I got home I checked back in to see how she was doing. Not good. I asked her if she wanted me to come pray with her. She said, "yes."
I had been to her house a few times the week before the funeral to drop off clothes for the kiddos. I didn't go inside and I didn't see her either time, which was fine. I just did an exchange in the driveway.
So, that afternoon, I knew where I was going, but I had no idea what I was doing. I remember praying out loud almost all the way, mostly begging God for wisdom as to what to say. I also asked him to help me be strong, because I was a full-on mess.
We were just weeks out from when Josh died. It was all raw and horrific and impossible. What do you even say to a young widow with six kiddos?
Nobody answered the door, unless you count the dogs. I think one of the older kids told me she was on the couch. I went to her and all I knew to say was, "Jesus." So I held her hands and I said His name. Over and over. Through tears mingled together. There was a clingy baby climbing up into the prayers and a three-year-old that didn't mind getting a little attention either. A sister-in-law walked through and swept them up and we just sat and prayed some more. Begging for His presence to be evident. Pleading for protection from the enemy.
I can think of nothing more brave or more beautiful than turning your face to Jesus in the middle of the unimaginable. It did not feel particularly strong or powerful that afternoon on the couch. We didn't end our prayer with a victorious fist bump. The sorrow was heavy and the weight of grief was overwhelming. I drove home with as many tears as I had before. I continued to beg Him for wisdom.
Even so, the defiant act of seeking Him amid this horror is stubborn hope in action. Whether it feels like it or not, just saying His name is enough to allow Hope's root to grow deeper and further. I have seen it with my own eyes through tears.