I remember clearly some of my early emotions of anguish and despair. Grief is so strange in itself in that it is one word which encompasses so many emotions, adjectives, nouns.....How could you possibly ever define it? Fear, sadness, pain, confusion, longing, despair, depression --- where does this word, this thing, ever end? Still as I write this I realize the complexity of all of the random thoughts racing through my mind, competing with each other, and their strange connection --- my grief.
I am mostly aware of the spiritual growth that has taken place inside of me. I remember three months ago, quite vividly, asking the question --- how do you know you have given it to God? How do you know? I asked in desperation. Now, today, I realize you just do. And I realize I haven't yet emptied my plate yet either. Nope. I won't be leaving this table anytime soon. I am still holding onto too many things.
I am essentially chasing rainbows.
These things, these questions, they are intangible. They have no answers for my human mind. I will never catch them. I will never hold them in my hands and say, "Ok. I get it now". These dreams were my dreams. But like that rainbow in the sky, they are gone. They simply cannot be. So instead of chasing them, I just need to stop and appreciate them. Appreciate the beauty each holds. These are, after all, the promises of God. God cannot work if I am running.
He cannot work if I am constantly moving. If my mind is constantly moving.
He says "Be still and know that I am God..." -Psalms 46:10
Be still. Quiet down. Sit.
I am sending out a dove in hopes it will return now with the peace belonging to the olive branch. I am waiting patiently for her in hopes one day she will return no more. For this pain to return no more in its current form but to change into the promise of the rainbow after the greatest storm on earth. After my greatest storm.
I am not done growing.
Last week in church we had the Wesleyan Covenant Service, essentially a service which renews your covenant with God at the beginning of the New Year. There was a place in the service for Testimonies of Grace. When our pastor asked if anyone could testify of God's grace the church fell silent --- and not the kind of silence that comes from honor, but one born from fear.
Finally a hand raises. A woman stands and speaks of the birth of her first grandchild. Wonderful, but truly is this not a blessing rather than grace?
Aren't our children, though not here, blessings too? Isn't it we who are the testimonies of his grace?
"Anyone else?" she asks.
Yes. I am! I am a perfect testimony of the grace of God working in and through the life of one of His children. Without Him I would not still be standing. Without Him I might not have breath left for the day. Or the strength to get up each day with the rising of the sun. Or the will to even live. The will to even live without my daughter.
So what about the birth and death of my daughter? What about her and the grace He has given me to live through this loss?
But I am a coward.
I am a coward and sat in the silence with the rest of the congregation instead of giving Him the glory and praise He deserves. I feel ashamed and unworthy of the grace He gives me and I truly am. I truly am unworthy of the mercy he showers upon me each day as He renews my soul.
Let us hold firmly to the hope we claim to have. The One who promised is faithful. -Hebrews 10:23
I have been doing a lot of crying. I have felt so much like a lost sheep searching. I realize He is the way. The only way. I know this. I know I cannot understand. I know He cries with me and has not left my side. That is my comfort. He is my comfort.
Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. -Proverbs 3:6 (NLT)
That is my answer. Seek His will. Quiet myself. Allow Him to lead me. Allow these tears, this pain, this angst and longing for Hannah.
Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. -Lamentations 3:32 (NIV)
Now I just need to breathe for a second. For those following I am sure you can feel, sense and see the chaos my mind has been --- full of so many things and thoughts but ultimately leading back to faith and trust in God.
One more thing. A quote from my Bible Study book I would like to share. It had such a profound impact on me and I'm finally getting around to putting it up.....
"I offered her up to Him and He took her. The ram never appeared..." and then a revelation, "...or maybe He did, 2000 years ago. He took her place and mine, too. He was someone's only child. He was a first-born son. I'm sure His mother cried". -Gwen Kik
This quote refers to the test of Abraham and the sacraficing of his only son, Isaac. And as Abraham was about to kill him, an Angel of the Lord appeared and stopped him. And a ram appeared with its horns caught in the thicket. God had provided the sacrafice for his faithfulness. God has provided our sacrafice, too, His son, who died for our sins.