Experiencing Deep Loss as a Christian
So here it is, my alabaster heart / I’m keeping nothing back from who You are / No hidden treasure veiled by key or lock / You’re a lifetime worth of worship / And that’s only just the start (Alabaster Heart - Kalley Heiligenthal)
It’s 5:34am in the morning and I should be in bed (jetlag...have been up since 3am) but I can’t stop singing Alabaster Heart in my … heart.
The Olive Heiligenthal story hit me hard this week. ICYMI, Bethel Worship singer Kalley Heiligenthal’s two year old daughter, Olive, simply didn’t wake up last Saturday morning. And in the days since, Kalley’s captivated me, and millions around the world, with her bold, unwavering faith in Jesus and his ability to resurrect Olive. It was absolutely incredible to see her prasing, worshiping, believing God so boldly in the midst of trial as well as how so many in the global Christian community petitioned with her. What a way to shine light on spiritual warfare matters and how Christians can fight. And all week I prayed and believed alongside the Heiligenthal family that indeed Olive has resurrection power in her because of Jesus who was and is more than capable of resurrecting her; I agree with Bethel’s official message that there is precedence in the Bible and in life. But this time, Olive went to be with Jesus for good which is of course the best thing ever. But still, heartbreak on Earth exists.
I think the reason I was so captivated by the situation is because I dealt with sudden loss this year. Definitely not comparing, I don’t think there’s anything like losing a child. But I think many of us have experienced the deep pain of sudden loss during a hope-filled season and left reeling, wondering why. While I’ve come out of my ‘valley of the shadow of death’ season, in many ways I look back on it with fondness. It was absolutely the season where I was most intimate with God. He was my everything and in understanding and experiencing his love, nothing else came close. I don’t think we’ll ever understand all the reasons he gives and takes away / allows things to be taken away … but my faith remains in God’s goodness. The more I understood God’s character, the more I truly understood that God wastes nothing and that everything will be used for good in his perfect way and timing.
So God I pray for your love to overwhelm the Heiligenthal’s and their Bethel family, as well as anyone else who has been following their situation and relating because of their own past or current season with loss. You promise to be close to the brokenhearted and we can trust that we are safe in you. May we all just surrender our alabaster hearts because you are worthy of a lifetime of worship and that’s only just the start. Lord, help the Heiligenthal’s continue to showcase their faith in what a mighty God you are. And thank you for the gift of this song that allows us to sing out our brokenhearted yet faith-filled adoration of you, our perfect Father. May the world see that we love you not because you make our lives easy or because you always give us what we want. Help us shine your light and showcase that we love you because you are our Savior and we need you more than anything.