Matthew left for an almost-week-long business trip yesterday, which means Fumanchu and I are flying solo this week.
In the year+ we've been married, it's usually me who does the going away. To Texas, to youth camp, to work conventions. I don't think he's been away like this since before we got married. So, I mean, we're accustomed to being separated sometimes, but I'm definitely not used to being the one left home without him. Which made last night super weird.
My grief over losing Kasie ebbs and flows these days. I'll go a week without thinking much about the whole situation, and then the next day I'll be in crying fits the whole day long.
Last night, with Matthew gone and Fu sleeping in Matthew's spot on the bed, I was struck with grief much like the sorrow I felt when we first found out Kasie had been taken from us. It was awful.
I usually think about her most at night anyway, and it's usually accompanied with tears. But Matthew is always in the bed next to me, his presence alone offering a sort of solace.
And with him gone last night, I was just overwhelmed with the emptiness around me, making the loss of Kasie that much heavier.
When we first lost her, I was very, very angry with the person(s) who took her from us. And I still am. But last night, as I lay there weeping out of deep sorrow, I felt so much hatred for the people responsible. As a Christ-follower, I know I'm called to love and not hate, but sometimes it's so so so hard. There are certainly people I dislike, but never have I so disliked someone to the point of absolute hatred.
Last night, though, was different.
I just wanted the person(s) who did this to Kasie to have to hear and see and feel every sob and tear and ache and pain that has filled my life in the last 4ish months. And not just my suffering but additionally the suffering of every other person who has been affected by her death.
And in the midst of feeling all of this hate and anger, the Lord, in his beautifully divine way, reminded me that Jesus allowed himself to be hung on the cross for the person(s) who killed Kasie.
Jesus died for Kasie's killer, too.
His love extends not just to me, but to the ugliest of hearts, including ones who do hateful things like murder. Ouch.
And I have to admit, that made me so much angrier. Angrier because my precious Jesus suffered and bled and died for the person who killed Kasie. It just weighed so heavy on my soul, that his beautiful, life-giving sacrifice extends to someone so vile and malicious.
But immediately following all of those emotions, I felt convicted over my hatred. Because the point of the cross is redemption and forgiveness. That Christ's blood covers the horrendous-ness of what was done to Kasie.
Admittedly, that's a very hard pill to swallow. I want to hate the person who killed Kasie. And I want him to suffer for what he did. But I know that's wrong. And I know Christ calls me to love and forgive. So I expect this road will be a long one, but I feel Christ working on me, showing me more and more of who he is so I can love like he does and understand his sacrifice.
Besides, I'm a sinner, too.