As I leaned into the wall by the patio door, I was only looking for a moment to breathe between breakfast and the day. My daughter, Eden, was born with Down syndrome a year earlier. As difficult as Down syndrome had seemed in the hospital, the reality of Eden’s medical needs was more overwhelming than I had imagined. I was weary in soul and body—weary of waiting rooms and surgeries, weary of loneliness and busyness, weary of well-intentioned but insensitive words from others. And I was deeply sad.

That day, as I watched the stillness of the bushes on the hill outside my window, I sensed something else come alongside my sadness. I sensed that Jesus was experiencing exactly what I was experiencing. I had heard the sentiment before. But in that moment I understood it for the first time. God felt my grief as I did. He was going through it with me. For one moment, hope rose. For one moment, that was enough.

Resurrection moments cannot be conjured, only received. Yet now, over six years later, I often return to the spiritual altar I built around that brief understanding. I see Jesus’s rising joy every day in Eden’s smile, her energy, her love. I see the pain, too, as I live in the breath before new life begins forever. And I hold to the memory of one morning when I realized that resurrection is still possible.

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Picture Jesus standing beside you today. What feelings do you imagine he would be having as he shares your day with you?

Elisa Fryling Stanford:
    Elisa Fryling Stanford is a writer and editor in Colorado. She is the author of Ordinary Losses: Naming the Graces That Shape Us. Elisa and her husband have two daughters.  
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