Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Springtime and Noticing Miracles

Dear Friends,

This has been the hardest year of our lives; we were devastated when Mia died.  Deep sadness still occasionally engulfs me.  It creeps up on me at the worst possible times.  I am thankful that with the New Year, the rawness of my constant grief mostly wore off.  That’s why it takes me unaware when it does sneak back up on me, leaving me ill or temporarily frozen for a couple days.

Grief ambushed me when we recently needed to drive seven hours to pick up Mia’s memorial stone… I thought I would be fine.  I was happy to do something major for our daughter.  I thought I would be happy to finally have her grave marked for family and friends to visit.  For months, Derrick and I talked about what we wanted to put on her memorial stone.  So why did I melt down the Friday night before we needed to make the trip?  I rocked in the glider in our nursery and cried for hours.  It felt exactly like we were burying her again.  Except that, on June 12, 2012, I was in major shock and felt almost nothing.  I guess the trauma had merely been delayed until eight months after her death.  Times like these remind me that I will never be rid of the crushing sadness that my daughter is not here. 

With this lingering grief, I have a very real need to open my eyes to the miracles within the tragedy.  I cannot miss the beautiful things that God is doing to bless me and to teach my heart during this time.  Uncontrollable grief will likely always be a reality, but self-pity is in my control.  (A friend just wrote about this on her blog; you can find this excellent entry here.)   

God continually surprises me- like when Mia’s tulips bloomed red on my dining room table for Valentine’s Day.  Or how her outdoor tulips fully bloomed for Noah’s birthday.  Or how they stayed gorgeous all the way until her memorial stone was set on her grave.  I had expected them to bloom a light pink, so it was almost like God was tangibly reminding me that His ways are better than mine.

I continue to have a very difficult time without Mia; there are hundreds of ways that losing her will always feel very cruel.  But I lift my eyes to My Helper who has all things in His very good control.  He is filling me up, healing me, and is daily renewing me.

Thank You, Precious Savior, for the tender ways that You show me Your loving care.  There is none more gentle and persistent in loving me.  I don’t really understand what has happened or what continues to happen to me, Lord.  I trust whatever You will bring in the future.  You hold and sustain me through it all.  I love You and need You.

Mia's memorial stone s

The boys and I planted bulbs on her grave in the shape of a heart.  Further below are the tulips we planted in our backyard.  Here is what they chose to write on her grave when we were finished:

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