The morning after Kristen went to be fully with her Savior, I had awakened early. I couldn’t sleep and was extremely sad. I went to my tent of meeting chair (Kristen’s favorite place). My heart was full of so much pain, grief, and sorrow…….I just couldn’t stop the tears. The thought of me never waking up next to her ever again, never making a morning cup of coffee for her which was our routine for years, never reading Streams in the Desert together, never again to kiss her good morning and tell her I love her…..and the list goes on and on of the joys that I will never again get to do with my favorite person in the world.
For the past 22 years, we would constantly tell each other, “You’re my favorite!” She never tired of me saying to her, ” I love you and I am crazy about you”. So this is why I couldn’t stop crying. The only help that seemed to bring a pinch of relief was 2 phone calls from 2 dear brothers who prayed and cried with me. But as soon as I hung up, the floodgate of torrential tears opened once again.
The rest of the day was filled with texts, calls, visits from family and friends, preparations for the funeral, and many more tears. I am so glad the Bible tells us that Jesus wept and that its his way of helping us let out deep emotion. As night fell, I was ready for some semblance of sleep. Suddenly, Olivia’s future husband Matt, comes in to the living room holding my 20-year-old guitar with a big smile on his face. Matt Mitchell, my future son-in-law, had gone out and fixed my broken guitar that I hadn’t played in over a year.(I think I am really going to like this guy)
I was truly overjoyed as I strummed a few chords and the kids quickly said, “Dad, lets sing, Let er rip Dad”. So we sat together singing a bunch of old hymns that Kristen loved. Nothing but the blood of Jesus, Sweet hour of Prayer, There is power in the name of Jesus. We sang and sang. Ellie said, ” sing another one”. Finally, it was bedtime but a wonderful thing happened in those moments. My heart was lifted. Some small bit of healing began deep within me in those few minutes of singing. As I sang, the Almighty was anointing my head with oil and His gracious joy took me to bed and sleep. I know the days ahead will be full of tears. But I was reminded today of the power of praise and the energy and strength that we receive when we sing and worship the King of Kings.
So in that spirit of praise, would you join me and my family on saturday January 25 at 11am for a time of celebrating and praising our Great God for my precious wife and mother of our kids. There is power in the name of Jesus. Turning towards and praising him will help move us all to healing and to ” the new normal”, a world without Kristen Sauder.( She would quote that phrase often) If you are too far away or can’t make it, there will be another celebration of Kristen’s life in Tremont, Il at Northfield Christian Fellowship at 1pm on Monday January 27. Visitation will be at 11am before the service. Kristen would want us to come to the One who can heal, restore, and strengthen our hurting hearts. Let’s worship together as Kristen is right now. Thank you for all of your care during this time.
Kurt for the family