I’m reflecting on the recent death of a beloved sister in Christ, in awe of the beautifully hopeful brokenness in this unexpected event. All I saw during the weeks following this loss was a body of believers coming together to carry the burden, to pour truth into one another, and rejoice in the victory of a Father united with a daughter. A sister, wife, mother, and mentor no longer in pain—and, I imagine, dancing in the light of God’s presence.
But, how do we handle the weight? How is it possible that both pain and joy reside in the same instant?
“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4). This is our anthem. We have inherited victory through the cross. The destruction of death on Calvary did not rest there but manifested itself in our born-again souls. The moment we are saved we are declaring the good news of Jesus Christ. And that means our faith frees us from the binding of this world—from everlasting death and the weight of what that means for those who do not have a living hope (1 Peter 1).
That’s something this unexpected event has reminded me: the sorrow of going through this without a living hope. To battle the pain of loss knowing a loved one’s soul did not have Jesus. To walk through the emptiness of death without a church body ready to carry, push, and love you.
My heart breaks for my wandering brothers and sisters—which is why victory in Christ must be our anthem; the thing we cry out and sing; the truth we display and declare; the promise we reveal and share. In order for us to be obedient witnesses, we must learn to proclaim it and live it out.
We do that through a faithful walk—a daily pursuit of the cross. Diving into Scripture and asking God to reveal His will and heart to us.
Through those revelations, we are slowly built up, so that when the weight feels heavy we lay it down at Jesus’ feet. When death feels like destruction we remember the inheritance of an eternal and living hope. When the pain is unbearable we fall into the arms of the church, allowing her serving heart to guide us in healing. When we see loved ones walking in darkness, we pray for their salvation and speak the gospel truth in love.
Victory In Battle
My dear sweet sister did not lose a battle—she won. And that is the difference between grief with a living hope and grief without. We are not living for this earthly, material life but for the never-ending one with God. That makes our job here simple: to be His vessels.
To know that the love we have for our friends and family comes from the soul and not a shell is an intimate example of God’s love for us. The physical body is nothing without the spiritual one.
Pursuing the depths of God, surrendering our hearts and minds to Him, learning desperately how to ground ourselves in the better things of Christ. Doing this—every day, every night, and in between—shatters the weight of a perishable world.
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. We are invited into an immeasurable joy that includes the brokenness, the pain, the loss, and the unknown because what we do know is that He’s already won. Because of His sacrifice, we can take part in the celebration.
So, when you lose someone—whether by death, abandonment, trust, or belief—know that the load has already been carried. Live simply as a vessel of God declaring and displaying the good news because we truly have nothing to fear if we are His.
Your Sister, Amy
Amy Hornbuckle is a writer full-time, wife to Dillon, Children’s Director and Operations Manager at her church, and is passionately pursuing the Word and walk of God. Her website hosts a blog as well as her 4-session coaching program, The Faithful Walk, where she coaches believers in daily living out their faith. Outside of ministry, she is desperately seeking out hills in the flat state of Florida with her 4-breed mutt. Find her here on Instagram.