On this day, your due date when I thought I would surely be holding you, I instead find myself holding a cross. A cross of pain and sadness to be sure, but also, I’ve come to realize, a cross of great joy. A cross of surrender, a cross made lighter by the wondrous promises it holds.
My children (your siblings) teach me new things every day, and you are no exception. Through you, I’ve come to a greater understanding of the Exaltation of the Cross, the feast we celebrate today. Yes, the cross, that splintered device of torture and agony is something to be celebrated! For out of the death it represents arose the reality of new life that will never end. It is through the cross that we find our way to heaven.
And if we exalt the holy cross upon which Christ hung, should we not also exalt the daily crosses which come into our lives? Not always a joyful exaltation perhaps (even Jesus had His moment in the Garden of Gethsemane), but a submissive one–one which allows Christ’s strength to pour into our weaknesses–one which recognizes that, without Him, we are nothing. It’s you, Julian, who has taught me that the knowledge of what I could gain is the only thing that can fill the emptiness of my loss. It’s you who has taught me to let go of my desire to control, to worry, to try so hard, and allow God to be my strength.
I am so grateful for you, Julian. I am grateful to have a member of our family who keeps our eyes and hearts looking ever toward heaven–who helps us long, not for the things of this world, but for a seat of purity and glory next to our Father for eternity. It is only by losing you that our true longings could be revealed. It is only by losing you that this bittersweet love could fill my heart and expand my faith.
Thank you, Julian, my gem, my jewel in the crown of glory that I hope to someday be worthy of wearing. I’ll always love you and can’t wait to meet you!