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Joy




(This is not a pretty entry, but I felt it was time to finally share it. For a long time after my Edy died, I felt ashamed of the relief I felt. I felt ashamed that I didn't want to kiss her head because she was no longer alive. I felt like a complete failure as a mother, that I didn't deserve her and losing her was my punishment for being such a failure. God has walked Dustin and I through so much healing since then, He has amazed me with His faithfulness to restore, encourage, and heal all that has felt so very, very broken since losing our baby girl. There is still not a day that goes by that I don't think about her or miss her, but the grief no longer haunts me. I see how, in the hands of our very loving Father, the shadows of grief are dispelled and grief no longer becomes a fearful thing. Not quite friend, but no longer an enemy. Only God can turn our sorrow into joy, and that joy is so deep it becomes a cornerstone. It is no fleeting feeling, but a river of strength flowing from the source of His strength. Don't let the fear of grief overtake you, I pray that you will be encouraged by the joy of our Father today. The video posted shares the story of a couple who were also suffering, but God gave them a new hope. It has been a story that has blessed Dustin and I so immensely.)




"I don't want you to go," he said, the tears dropping from his
eyes, slowly at first, then spilling like a river.
"I know, my love," his mother said in her heavy voice.
"I know."
He could feel the monster, holding him up and letting him stand there.
"I don't want you to go," he said again.
And that was all he needed to say.

- A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness


Who stood outside my bedroom window and called to me in the darkness? It felt like a monster. A darkness that grew and pummeled me. Wounds un-recoverable. I saw that darkness as my enemy and I fought it with all my strength, all my cries to the Lord, every prayer that was spoken and unspoken was sent forth into that forever void. Was I being heard? Was God looking at me and seeing my gaping wounds? Was He caring for Dustin and I? If He was, then why did we feel so alone, fighting a nameless enemy? Why had we felt so set apart from the life moving and flowing around us?
I didn't want her to go.
But I was so tired. So tired of fighting, of praying, of hoping and feeling that hope challenged every minute of every day.
I would look down at my belly, harboring my little girl and willed her to grow, to be healthy, to live because I needed her to live. 
I would sing to her the songs that moved me, prayers sung to a melody.
I would speak to her about the love I had for her and I would hope that my love would reach her, in that place that only God sees.
I would tell myself that if she died it would be a mercy, because God would know what needed to happen. 
But deep inside I felt that if she died, it would be my fault for not loving her enough. 
The day she was born and I knew my little girl was not alive anymore, I felt relief. Relief that the waiting was over. We had our answer.
The darkness stayed away for awhile. Dustin and I were bathed in love and prayer by family and friends, by the Lord himself. I didn't know that the darkness was His to use too. I didn't know that the void wasn't actually a void. I was afraid of it for so long. Afraid to look into the face of the monster and see myself. My shame.
I was afraid to kiss her face, afraid to touch her, afraid to see the tiny limbs that might bear the wounds of her journey in my womb. I feel so guilty for that. Like I let my brave girl down. That I wasn't mommy enough to cherish her.
How do we let the darkness become light? How do we face that which we are most afraid to face and accept a Grace that we don't deserve, we cannot earn, and will never understand? 

The story doesn't end here. It doesn't end with one foot hovering over a cliff and the other foot on solid ground. I am not somewhere in the middle of this life, living yet holding my breath. The darkness? Though I would never call it friend, I see how God gave me eyes to look into my greatest fears and see Him. Bigger, wider, more vast and more creative than any fear. I saw the fears and said that they are not mine to carry anymore, and I opened my hands wide and asked my Daddy to take them for me and He did. He does.
He taught me to see my Edyth as my seed of hope, not my source of guilt and punishment. A hope that didn't die with her little body. A hope so full of joy and life that has spread and spread and touched not only her father and I, but those around us. 
My Edyth. My joy.

I share this story not to wallow in sorrow, but to rejoice that I am free. My Edy is free. My Dustin is free. 
I have learned that you can't force the hand of darkness, you can't tell grief to go away and come back when you're ready. But I've also learned of the Lord's immeasurable peace that makes no sense, and shapes the grief into something solid, something that throws off the cloak of mourning and bares it's face to the light of Glory and is called by a new name. Joy.

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Nehemiah 8:10

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13



Comments

  1. I love your heart so much! It's a delight to see Christ being formed in you ❤️

    ReplyDelete

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