We haven’t been the same since you left us to fly to Jesus.
One year ago.
This day will always be covered in deep black on my calendar. It may have been your very best day, the day you were born into heaven, but it took me to hell and back. I didn’t think I could survive the agony, and sometimes I didn’t want to.
We spent today at Black Rock creek. We weren’t at home with tragic old memories, we were out in one idyllic corner of God’s world making pleasant new memories. You would have loved every minute of it.
From that traumatic instant when I realized you were really gone, our loving heavenly Father has taken me through the painful wrenching away of my grip on all transient hopes, all that He has not firmly promised us in His word. Any giddiness that used to be part of me has turned sober.
I have lost the ability to be excited about possibilities that may or may not come to pass. My constant awareness is that only He can see beyond the solid wall of the Now into the Future. And that He may have incredible suffering stored up for my next moment.
Our Father used it, and is still using it, to wrench me away from attaching significance to my own emotions. They jump up and down like yapping little puppy dogs and have no bearing on the reality of His plans for my life.
He used it to wrench me away from attaching significance to the vacillating opinions of others about whom I am. He calls me to look into His face alone, to worship Him. When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.”
No longer am I a forward-looking person, always on to the next thing, expectant that He will give me good gifts. Now I savor the gift of every joy He gives me Now, in this moment.
And this moment.
Sometimes it seems that I now insist that our family walk by sight and not by faith. But He keeps on taking me past my NO signs to the exact places I said I would never go, the exact places He intends for me to go. Ever the next lesson in, “It’s not all about me and how I feel.” Ever the next need to trust Him.
How can I be sorry you are there rather than here? I, more than any other person, know how painfully restricted you were inside your hurt mind and body, unable to enjoy what most of us take for granted. But those things He created for us to enjoy are dim shadows of our Creator, and now you are enjoying Him! Living and worshiping Him freely in a place that defies description.
I’m not sorry that He had mercy on you and took you home. But I miss your no-holds-barred smile, your delighted giggle, and the sweetness of your innocent spirit.
There is so much more I want to say, but it will have to wait for the next time. Maybe for the next time I stop to visit your grave.
In this past year, our Father has kindly given us small, brief glimpses of how He has already used something so horrendous as your death to bring about great good in the family you left behind. And the faith to know that the reality is so much greater than what we are glimpsing. When I am looking into His face, I am thankful that He chose us to be your family, in spite of the suffering.
Being your mother has been the most traumatic, the most stretching, the most horrifying, the most tender, the most excruciating, the most revealing, the most life-changing experience He has granted to me thus far. It has shown me more about who our Father really is and what His grace looks like. Maybe someday I will come to understand it all as you do now.
I love you,