What does anyone expect to hear from us after just losing our baby? There are many things to process, but the first few are things like this:
- Lifestyle being stopped and changed like hitting a brick wall going 100 MPH
- Having to take every moment, one breath at a time
- Choosing to be ok with not being able to fully process and blindly trust God with what we can’t even handle with our brain yet
- Forcing ourselves to stay in this moment and not look ahead
Grieving is strange. But I think as Christians it makes our life very, very simple. We are stripped down to complete dependence (perhaps as it should be). Life becomes moment to moment and thinking too far ahead becomes a pitfall to being completely overwhelmed. We become babes in the hands of a gentle shepherd who knows how to lead us in the valley. It is exactly like being blindfolded by a good father, taking his hand as tight as your fingers can grip and stepping forward where he directs. This first week I have had to let Him lead me many different places I don’t know how to go. Places I never wanted to go.
The first blind holding of His hand was while I was in bed at 3:30 AM on November 13. The pain was now timed and I didn’t want to tell Alex that it actually felt like contractions. It took us down a path I never wanted to go. Another time was after knowing she would be born. The emotional pain of bringing our second daughter into the world made us choose to get an epidural and fully embrace the few moments we had with her while she was alive. This choice forced me to let go of the joy of the pain to bring life into the world. When you know your baby is supposed to come those pains are normal and good. But when those pains only proved that the end is coming quickly, we chose to forego that physical pain and it was a surrender. But also an incredible blessing.
One of the biggest times of holding His hand was when we had to call the nurse to take Anna away from us. I couldn’t stop looking at her. I couldn’t stop holding her and touching her perfect features. To think that she could be this beautiful at 24 weeks made me so long to see her at 40 weeks and at 1 year and at 10 years! How could I say goodbye only having just met this beautiful little girl? My soul had to cling to Jesus like I never had before when we handed her over for the last time. And she left us. And we clung to Jesus. The comfort I had was that she had already left us and her physical body was not really her. One day I will go to her and that is my joy.
Her memorial was another time of clinging to His hand, and tomorrow is her burial which will be yet again one more tight grasp. These of course are the big events – but I also know that as the year ends and we step into another year, I will be in greater need of His leading than ever before. You might wonder how we will and have been getting through this without anger or doubt or the endless questions of “why?” The answer is simple and steadfast.
I know Jesus. I know He loves me. I know He has made me His daughter and gives ALL of the best of Himself to me. I am not insecure in being His. I know He gives me what is best. Even my broken bleeding heart is resting in assurance of His love. He is a gentle shepherd and knows me better than anyone alive. I trust Him. And when I do question His ways, I know He is gracious with me. It’s not because I am mature and “such a good Christian.” Not at all. It’s because HE is such a good Savior, Father, Lover, Keeper, and Comforter. He is good. I know that clinging to His hand is a safe place when I don’t understand.
When you KNOW Jesus deeply – all you can do is run to Him. Not away from Him. I pray that those of you who read along this journey sees His exceeding goodness. All else fails. But He never does.
This is where we are. Moment by moment, clinging to the one safe place we know. Dear fellow human… He can be your safe place too. Just run to Him!