I haven't written anything in awhile. I've been pressing on as best I can, figuring out how to deal with my new reality as best I can. There are many times I think, "Oh, this would make a good writing topic." But taking care of my beautiful boys usually wins out. So instead, I sit down and make a LEGO creation or snuggle a grumpy boy or try to conquer the pile of laundry while clearing the clutter of the day's many other activities... or try to recover from those tasks while this new little boy grows inside me!
Lately, thoughts have been coming together more cohesively. The holiday season has brought a wave of fresh pain to the surface. Days of extreme grief make me dig deep for answers.
The other day, Gavin and I were sitting on my bed singing songs and talking after his nap time. He is able to communicate with me more all the time. During this one conversation, he asked me to sing "He's Got The Whole World" song and motioned with arms cradling an imaginary baby. So as I began singing, "He's got the itty-bitty babies in his hands," this darling big brother held his arms to tenderly rock an imaginary baby.
All I could imagine was the baby that he held back in April, May, and June. Heartache pierced me again, and the feeling of having her near mixed with the reality that she isn't here came rushing back. About an hour later, I was sitting on the couch staring out the window. All I could do was sit still with my arms weighing a thousand pounds. My heart searched the sky for answers, unable to tell God how I was feeling.
Noah sensed my mood and asked me, "Mom, what are you going to be doing?"
So I answered him honestly, "Nothing. I'm feeling sad, Noah."
"Are you sad about Mia?"- a question he's asked many times.
"Yes, I am," and I couldn't stop tears from falling.
Later that evening, he seemed very angry. His heart was all twisted up with anger towards his family, the floor, the house... just everything. So I took him to his room and asked him what he was feeling.
"I'm feeling sad. You shouldn't have your daughter die."
So there it was, and I'm glad he said it. That's how I was feeling. Except, I wouldn't say that I feel just sad. I feel mad. I feel mad at the way things are.
I prayed with him after Noah and I talked. And instead of thanking God that He will one day destroy death, I said, "And thank You that one day You'll give death a great, big punch in the nose." Noah laughed from his belly, his whole body curled up as he held his stomach. And I couldn't help laughing, too. I think it was a relief for us to remember that God was going to get His revenge.
I'm angry. I could say that I'm just angry at how things are. That I hate death. That I hate not having my Mia with her Mommy. But the final authority and the responsibility for her death is God's. He authorized her death. For many good reasons, He allowed her to die. He is using this pain for very good things.
So, do I bend to His molding me? Or do I grow distant from Him? Distant from my only true source of comfort... My dad reminded this morning that Aslan in The Chronicles of Narnia, who C.S. Lewis meant to represent God, is described this way: "He isn't safe... But he is good."
A verse from the hymn "Have Thine Own Way, Lord" comes to mind:
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.
I've sung those words before without much experience. This is what is being asked of me right now- being yielded and still. I am constantly being reminded of the absence of my beloved Mia. Grief grips my heart and brings me deeper pain then I had ever imagined. And God approved and ordained Mia's death. He did it, in part, to shape me as His clay.
At times I have allowed my anger and pain to bring distance between us. Without saying it outright, my subtle attitude of rebelling builds... until grief and deeper pain drive me back to a place of searching Him for answers.
I searched for the word "clay" in the Bible and came up with these verses. I'll let these words speak for themselves. I'm sure that, like many people today, the writers of these words felt molded in many painful ways:
"But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this? Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?" Romans 9: 20-21
"For this light momentary affliction(and Paul knew pain!) is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
"Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work." 2 Timothy 2:21
Something that tipped-off this series of my thoughts about yielding my desires to become God's desires was a speech by trusted author and speaker Nancy Guthrie. I spotted a series of three blog entries on the Girltalk blog this week, which is really worth checking out here. If you have time and want to be greatly enriched, listen to her 58 minute speech: "Pain That Can't Be Prayed Away".
Nancy and David Guthrie are having another Respite Retreat this weekend, as I write these words. Please pray for the parents who will be attending- that, like us, they will find Comfort and Truth.
Oh, and pray for us during this Christmas season. That as we are reminded of precious Mia in many ways, we will yield before our Maker.