Grief: 3 Years Later.

I’ve been wanting to write this post ever since we celebrated Asher’s 3rd birthday this August. I just haven’t had the time…. or really the words. But one of God’s precious gifts to me through the past 3 years has been being an expectant mommy to 4 babies and each time the closer they got to coming into my life the more emotional I became…. and tears are easy to shed… emotions are near the surface and easily accessible.  It’s SO refreshing. Because after Asher died… it’s become hard to just cry at the drop of a hat like I was used to before. Sad movies aren’t near as sad when you’ve lived your own heart wrenching tale. And your heart tends to bury the pain and raw emotions deeper and deeper over the years.  With it being just weeks away from meeting my new daughter and new son…. I’m a crying mess. It’s made worship so much sweeter. It’s given me an outlet valve to all this crazy change happening. It’s helped me grieve.

Every year I think to myself, I’m going to have a little get together to celebrate that day and every year that day comes and I find myself just wanting to be with the closest of family and at home. It’s comforting. It’s home.

When I lost Asher. I lost a part of me. But, as a Believer I know I didn’t loose Asher… I didn’t loose a part of me, They are both in a very real existing place. They are in heaven. And I long for that new reality often. I don’t weep for my son anymore. I rejoice at his wholeness and his fullness of joy.  I see too clearly all the goodness of God in bringing that little guy into my life and then taking him into eternity early. Yes, as his mommy I miss what could have been. But it’s hard because so much of what happened with him is directly linked to all the happiness I have with my babies now. So, in many ways I’m grateful that God allowed me to be his mommy because without him I wouldn’t have Zoe, Jack and probably not have Evie and Ezra. And I don’t feel guilty for feeling that way. Because he is experiencing and living a life that is the highest desire of my heart for ALL of my children. Losing a baby from the earth is  heart wrenching, but seeing your child grow up and then turn away and reject God and walk down a path of destruction has to be heartbreaking in a very way I hope I never have to experience. (although, I know God sustains a parents heart through that and empowers them to pray constantly for their salvation)  And it compels me to pray daily for my children’s hearts right now and plead with God to save them.

So, there is a very real part of me that is ready to leave this fallen world and to say goodbye to pain, suffering, sorrow for all time. Heaven doesn’t feel like it’s millions of miles away….. it’s just on the other side of this life. And I know that I’m blessed to have been given such a gift as to vividly feel the longing for eternity in my heart.

Another blessing I’ve been given is that because I know that life is just a vapor…. each day I am able to get up, kiss my husband and hold my babies and feel their love and all the blessings they brings, I am often intoxicated with joy and gratitude that is there because I know that all this has been given to me and how precious it is.  I feel like I live life MUCH fuller now. I appreciate things more, I cherish moments deeper, I love more fully.

However,  it is this blessing that has another side to it that I will say is hard to carry.

Because I know how short life can be. Because I know that our good God allows things into our life that we never would have chosen for ourselves. Because I know what the pain of hoping and then loosing feels like. I often find myself trying to prepare my heart for more sorrow. I find myself trying to not hold on as tightly to my loved ones… or myself… or the life I live right now. And while you might say, that’s a good thing. It’s often not. Because I think what my heart is trying to do is protect itself from ever feeling that raw pain that I felt 3 year ago.  What is on one side a blessing of perspective…. on the other side is a stolen innocence.  I unlike most parents don’t live in the bliss of dreaming about 15-20-30 years of what is to come for my children and family. It’s hard to let myself run too far down the future because I know that we can’t any more control the future than the man in the moon. I had my years of hopes and dreams… only to have them crumble at my feet and break my heart.  Yes. Christ has sustained me and made my life so much fuller. But I still remember the pain. I still don’t ever want to feel that way again.  Because it’s not just the child I lost that I have had to grieve over. It’s the carefree and relatively painless life I once lived. It is the easy and beautiful path of sanctification that I walked on the first 30 years of my life. It’s the excitement of life without the vividness of fear close by.  It’s hoping and truly expecting the miracle. I miss those things. would I ever go back…. no.  But is it hard and lonely to carry now…. yes.

Sometimes just the memory of the pain I felt makes me sob. The fear of feeling it again makes me guard my heart…. not against the loss, because I realize I’m not in control of that, but against the crushing of my hopes and dreams and against losing something that my heart treasures more than it ever thought it could.  And while I don’t want to make idols out of things/people…. I also want to be at peace with what God’s put in my life for me to love and care for. I want to spend more time thanking God for all He’s given me instead of pleading with Him to not take them from me.  Often I see God’s comfort and healing in the faith He gives me day by day… with each year He has brought more joy into my life, allowed me to think on the coming years, calming my heart and giving me rest in what lay ahead.

Christ is enough. He is big enough to continue to heal my soul. He is strong enough to hold me and sustain me whatever His kind and good hands may bring into my life in years to come. He is powerful enough to defeat the fears in my heart. And He is the giver of faith that I so desperately need to look to the future with hope and joy of what’s to come.

He’s held me the past 3 years….. He will hold me the coming 30 years.  I will rejoice in that.  So that in 300 years…. 3,000 years I can say truly He is the same yesterday, today and forever!

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

 

 

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