There is a song by Mercy Me by this title that has gotten a hold of me in the last couple of weeks. The words of the second verse quite succinctly describe where I am at:
Sometimes I feel it’s all that I can do
Pain so deep that I can hardly move
Just keep my eyes completely fixed on You
Lord take hold and pull me through
I have been really, really struggling, missing Naomi so very much. Some days I’m able to function and talk and go about life alright. But other days it takes everything I have just to keep breathing. And the odd thing is that I never know when I wake up what kind of day it is going to be. Its messy and painful, not only for me but for all those around me. I see how my hurt and pain is reflected in the eyes of my husband, in my sweet boys, in the hearts of those who also held Naomi in their hearts. But as the momma who loved her before anyone else in this world even knew she existed as I sat in a Starbucks in the Wisconsin Dells studying for my professional geology exam having just taken “the test”, who carried her in my womb for eight short months, who pumped over 800 ounces of milk for her in eight weeks, there is a pain that I know only I can carry. I see now what people mean when they say that unless you’ve walked through something like this it is so hard to truly convey how much it hurts.
One of the things I’ve found myself doing a lot, though, is trying to minimize what I am feeling. I’ll hear of other tragedy that someone is walking through and I think, well, that would be worse. I don’t know why I do that. Its like I’m trying to convince myself that what I’m feeling isn’t the most awful thing in the world because if it was then I don’t know if I could go through it. Part of me is still trying to deny how much this hurts.
Yet even as I grieve and wonder how I’ll “move on” or heal from this (I really don’t know that I’ll ever heal completely this side of heaven) I hear the quiet whisper in my soul of a Voice that Knows. He knows what it is to watch your child die. He knows what it is to see your precious child in pain and suffering. He knows how it feels to be separated from one that your heart loves so completely. And His heart is broken by Love. One amazing, astounding difference though, He chose to be broken. And His Son chose the suffering. He decided to allow His Son to suffer, to bleed, to die. He watched and ultimately had to turn away as not only physical death overtook this Precious Son but spiritual death, the wretchedness and ugliness of all the evil the world, hid Him from the Father’s sight. This is the suffering I will never have to endure because my Creator did. For Love, for me so that I could be called His daughter and so could Naomi. You see I was given the gift of loving and watching Naomi, though she suffered and died, be carried away in the arms of Jesus. And I was given the incredible gift of love for her that I carry still with me each day. Because of the Love of the Father that was stronger even than death, because after He watched His Beloved Son die a horrible death Jesus came back from the dead and I, we, no longer grieve without hope.
Many days I wait for hope to spring up in my heart. Nancy Guthrie, who has written a book called “The Book of Hope” talks about how important it is in these difficult times that we ask God to help us grieve with hope. And just a little at a time I’m finding hope to hold on to…as I think of heaven and Naomi there with Jesus…where I too will be one day, when I see a butterfly, when my baby boy (who is no longer a baby!) snuggles close and kisses me, when I pick up my knitting needles and start to create something new, when I talk to another momma who has also endured the loss of their child and is clinging to hope, when I hear the whispers of the One who Loves me from the beginning of time, who died for me.
So I keep breathing. And keep waiting for hope and for the One who brings it with His Presence.
Here is the Mercy Me song. I hope you take a few minutes to listen…
p.s. Would you pray for us as we prepare to attend a Respite Retreat over Labor Day weekend. We’ll be with 11 other couples who have also lost a child. The retreat will be led by Nancy and David Guthrie, who themselves lost two children. Also, please pray for our boys as they will spend three days away from us, something they’ve not done since we were at the hospital. Thank you so very much!