Looking back a year ago when we began a journey that has forever changed our lives. A journey where unimaginable sorrow is turned to unexplainable joy, where our own broken pieces fed more than we could dream. A journey where Jesus and life and eternity became more real than ever before. A journey where death came knocking, seeking to destroy but LIFE… LIFE that can only be found in Jesus… WON.
We sat in eager anticipation to see our first child on the big, ultra techie ultrasound screen, only to be told that they couldn’t find a skull, it wasn’t good and we’re sending you to a high-risk doctor immediately. We held each other, we cried, we prayed and then we drove the longest 30 minute drive of our lives to find out what was going on with our firstborn.
I’m sure you’ve not heard that phrase posted on many a Facebook status. No, we are great (I am great) at declaring God’s goodness when He does something for us, when he shows up in the way we had prayed and hoped. When He provides, when He heals. I heard a story of a man who was reading his Bible on a train when it crashed and killed many. He told a reporter “ I don’t know why I didn’t die, why I’m still alive… God is so good.” While I do not disagree with his statement, nor do I think we shouldn’t declare God’s goodness when He spares our life, heals, provides. I just couldn’t help but think of the questions that may appear on the hearts of all the families who did lose someone on that train, the families who know God and those who didn’t “Was God then not being good to them, to us?” I felt this question stirring in my heart as I listened to a story of a family whose son was all but declared dead and as they prayed over his lifeless body… he began to breath, his life had been restored. And they sat and spoke with deep power and conviction of God’s healing power, His goodness. Part of me wished they would have added “But He is our healer, He is powerful, He is good regardless of whether He had given life to our son.” Observing their faith as they spoke, I’m confident they would have said that, though through tear stained eyes if the outcome would’ve been different.
Our precious daughter Sophie was born a month and two weeks ago now. We miss her so much. Some days I’ll have moments of great sadness as I long to hold her again and hear her heart-warming little breaths, followed by feelings of delight when I think of how beautiful her chubby little face and body are, followed by life feeling very normal, followed by life feeling very much not normal and out of place but with no words to describe what that feels like. This is the place of grieving. I used to describe grieving as a process, but lately I see it more as a place. A place you find yourself in for an extended period of time. There’s different areas of the place of grieving that I experience at various moments, but it’s not a journey or process I’m traveling through. It’s just a place I’m living in.