|  Blog Post   |  He Welcomes Them Home 

He Welcomes Them Home 

I sit scrunched in the church pew by Chad’s cousin in the second row. I have a decent view of Chad’s grandma’s profile but I cannot see Chad at all on the other side of the church in the front pew. He is sitting with his cousins serving as a pallbearer. We have all spent the last seven days together. The first several waiting for Chad’s grandpa to pass after suffering a stroke he never woke up from. The last couple for services.

We were all together as grandpa Biddie took is last breath.

It was the ultimate complicated gray; loss and peace.

The grief of losing a great man of 88 years, a husband of almost 68 years, a kind and faithful father and the quiet and loving grandfather.

The peace of his passing, of no more pain or suffering, and being welcomed into the arms of his savior Jesus Christ.

Sitting in the pew next to Jenny, both of us attempting to sing the right note alongside the organ player for the hymn and holding back sobs, I feel my eyes fill with tears.

Tears of grief and tears of peace.

Pastor Pam closes from the pulpit, “God never watches His children die. He welcomes them home.”

Home to no pain and never not feeling good again.

Home to the glory of eternity.

I glance back over to look at Chad and I can’t help but think, home with our babies.

This brutal and beautiful life is all of it, all at once, and always.

The more I get to know this complicated gray, the discomfort and the permission of the space of holding two truths, the more enamored and grateful I am for it.

Friends, take a breath, look at your loved ones, feel your history, hope for your future and choose to love.

Life is hard. God is good.

And, it’s all amazing.


It felt very fitting that I also discovered Hillary Scott’s new song Thy Will today.


Justine is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 25 years of experience in traditional mental health and personal and professional development. Justine has been certified in the work of Dr. Brené Brown for ten years. Justine is the author of eleven books, including five Amazon bestsellers covering subjects such as infertility, faith, and grief. She has been honored to do two TEDx Talks, The Permission of the And and The Donut Effect. She travels nationally and presents virtually to global audiences delivering keynotes, workshops, retreats, and trainings on topics such as leadership, courage, resilience, mental health, preventing and coping with burnout, and courageous and curious conversation, especially in creating cultures of belonging and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Justine lives in St. Louis with her husband Chad, their three dogs, and for four months of the year hundreds of monarch and swallowtail butterflies.

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