Holy Saturday. It was a day of great silence and stillness over the earth.

Traditionally, this is the official end of the Lenten season. It observes the day of great silence and sadness after the heartbreak of Christ’s crucifixion before the promised dawn of a new resurrection day.

Have you ever experienced sorrow like this? In a deep sense we, as C.S. Lewis reflected, are living in Lenten Lands. These are days we call the already—but not yet.  When your heart is shattered and you find yourself dangling by a thread, clinging to hope for a brighter future.


This year, Christopher’s birthday comes the day after Easter. It is my habit each year to plant fresh flowers at his grave, and it was even more significant to be planting these flowers during Passion Week. In earthly years, this would be his 49th birthday, but we were given only 33 years with him.

Here I am, looking on this grave, thinking how happy and bright the future was sixteen years ago. We had one incredibly bright and beautiful two-year old granddaughter, Stella. That night on April 1st we celebrated his birthday at Fleming’s Steak House. As we waited for the appetizers to arrive, Christopher said he had a surprise for us. He and Brittany looked at each other, grinning ear to ear, and we guessed immediately.

“Are you having another baby? This is the best news ever!”

“Just kidding,” he chuckled. “April Fools!”

My heart went from ebullient joy to instant sadness.  “Aw…no? That’s mean…worst joke ever!”

He instantly replied, “Now that’s the April Fool’s joke—I’m just teasing. We really are having another baby!”

Just three months later, Christopher’s life was suddenly taken on July 24, 2008. He never saw the birth of his second daughter, Lucy Christopher. What followed for us were months and months of tears.



All that anchored me was shaken. Even my house seemed strange. The world seemed unreal. I felt concussed and kept shaking my head as if to awake from a horrible dream. I couldn’t see anything beyond the painful moment I felt trapped in. Christopher was gone and the future looked so scary.

It felt like God was silent, and silence was unbearable. If this—the unthinkable—could happen, what might happen next?

Looking back, I know I was in a state of trauma. I felt lost in flight, untethered except for God’s promises. Dark clouds surrounded me. I looked to the sky, trying to wrap my mind around this new reality.

I tried to envision what I could not see. Where are you, Christopher? Who is holding your face? Where are You, Lord?


His Word

I looked to His Word.

Words I had never found personal were suddenly personal. They came rushing in with hope and help and healing, at every moment from every page of Scripture.

We can read the joyous account of what happened Easter morning, when Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark (John 20:1-10).

But think what it must have been like for her that Saturday after the crucifixion of her Lord. Jesus’ body lay silent in a tomb. It appeared, from what she could see, that His work was over. But so much was happening that she and the others could not see…not yet.

A new chapter was about to begin for Mary and the disciples, but they had to go through that Saturday of sorrow and silence.

I too wait in the silence. But I have learned not to be afraid of the quiet. I’ve learned not to doubt the future because it looks different than the past.


A New Chapter

For our family, a new chapter began. We didn’t see it coming and would never have chosen it.

I still have questions. I no longer ask the unanswerable why, but I still ask, “Lord, what are you doing with this in-between?”

We hope and dream and wonder…but this we know. Sunday is coming!


Are you living in the in-between?

Maybe you have lost a family member. 

Maybe you have cancer.

Maybe you are going through a divorce.

Maybe you have lost a job.

Many of us are fighting different worries and anxious about many concerns. 


In this difficult time, rest in the Lord and His promises. You don’t have to understand it all, but I urge you to put your faith in Jesus.

You may not have a vision for tomorrow, but you can genuinely trust Him for today.

He is praying for you that your faith will not fail. He is transforming you for a future that is beautiful beyond imagining. He is with you and you are not alone.

Don’t let go.


Recently we heard the tragic news of Laken Riley, a lovely young woman who was murdered while jogging around the University of Georgia.

When reporters reached out to her mother shortly after, she answered from a place of unspeakable sorrow and abiding faith in the One who is with us in the in-between.

Alyson Philips said, “My family has faced the most devastating, unimaginable loss…I would like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for being with me and my family in this heartbreaking time. I encourage everyone to have a personal relationship with Jesus. I give Him all the glory for getting us through this. It would be really easy to lose faith in mankind because of this senseless and avoidable tragedy.”

This is a woman who is crushed by yesterday yet still hopeful for tomorrow… because of the resurrection of Jesus.



Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” – John 11:25-26