Tuesday, December 5, 2017

December 2017

Just recently someone reached out to me, prompted by a friend's loss of their 16 year old son.  Since that message came through I've been praying for them, knowing all too well the nightmare they are living.  Loss of a child has no human words, it is beyond comprehension, until it happens.  And even when it happens, it takes years to understand, accept.  My heart wants to wrap around this family and promise ....yes! promise ....that light will break through, that life will one day be okay!
For anyone reading here after having lost a child ...I know...and I am so deeply sorry for your loss.  I know it hurts beyond pain you ever believed possible.  I know.  I know you go over and over the last moments, the last words, everything, and look for the clue, the minute you could have said something different, done something else, gone a different route, made a better dinner ...that would have changed the outcome.  I know.  I still ask those questions, consider the possibility, take on the blame and shame of what's happened.  How could this child slip through my fingers?  I know.  Believe you are the perfect parent for your child, and you were handpicked just for them.  We don't know the mystery of God or of His plan ...His ways elude us.
I've done my share of screaming at God, letting Him know exactly how I felt, that He didn't actually know what He was doing ...or worse ...intentionally inflicting the agony of snatching my precious girl from me for some kind of punishment, some kind 'get back at me'!  And still, there are moments I find myself there.  The old me would have felt guilty or bad, the new me understands that God knows and understands me far more than I know myself.  He can take my rantings.
Our children are with God.  Why there and not here?  Only God knows.
It is over seven years since Phoebe died.  I'm sitting by our Christmas tree, it's lighted but not decorated.  The kids want to wait until they are all together, at least as many as can be, before the decorations are placed.  I love that!  Last night, I sat with one of our girls, just ten when our lives exploded, and talked about how far we've come, how bonded our kids our to each other.  They were always close, but there is something different now.  Phoebe remains part of them; she's here too.  It takes time, but life reinvents and reworks its way into a new normal, a new beautiful!  The sadness always lingers, but the joy emerges in small ways.
Hold on, with every ounce you have.  Breathe, cry, breathe, cry, breathe ....and trust, as contrary as that sounds.  Trust God with this!  I know, believe me I do, how hard it is to trust God now.  I chose to on a purely intellectual level.  There wasn't a shred of emotion in me that felt trusting towards God.
Trust too I'll be praying for you, for all of you ... I was where you are, I know.
And trust, that one day, the sun will shine again.  Trust that life will be good again!
It will, I promise!

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