“Faith, It does not make things easy, it makes them possible.” – Luke 1:37
The other day as I began to rummage through my attic in an attempt to collect the last of my Christmas things, I came across something that I had been fearing to find. Just eleven months prior…. while Audrey kicked around in my tummy I had made the three girls matching santa bags. I immediately remembered vividly the night I had made them and the time I had taken cutting the individual letters out of black felt. I remembered the excitement as I glued her name across the top and how I dreamed (and stressed) of what it was going to be like to buy presents for three children the next year.
As I sat there in my cold attic starring angrily at the red and white felt bag with the name Audrey written across the top I was faced once again with a question. The question of whether I really believed in God and that she was with him in Heaven, if I really believed that she was better off with him then me, and then if I did believe in all those things like I claimed to then why was my pain just as strong as the day I had lost her?
That happening reminded me that was exactly why December is a month that I have been dreading..no…. fearing to come. A month that regardless of what I try to convince myself of otherwise, I can not help but feel sad. As Christmas preparations begin… no matter how much I try to hide it, the present wrapping, cookie baking, stocking hanging, and family traditions are all going to be a reminder of the absence of a sweet chubby faced little girl that we so desperately miss.
As I sat in church yesterday morning my pastor begun to speak about how the Holidays to some people can bring on sadness due to stress, or a personal loss. Other years that may have very easily gone in to one ear and out the other….but this year…this year I felt a huge lump in my throat and it took every ounce of strength in my body to hold back the tears in my eyes. Then, as he continued on he mentioned one little word….HOPE.
I knew in that moment that right there in that seventh row and second seat of that white church with the big green steeple is exactly where I needed to be, because somewhere along the way in these past couple of weeks I had lost just that. I had spent so much time and effort trying to convince myself and everyone around me that I was okay that I had become angry, upset, discouraged, and most importantly hopeless.
I realized I sometimes forget that I don’t have to show everyone that I have it all together. In fact, I don’t know why I would want people to think that in the first place. I think you just reach a point where you attempt to begin to fit back into a world where you never fully fit back into. A place in your life that you cannot get back because death has left a permanent scar that reminds you that nothing will ever be as it once was.
Tonight as I came across another hope mom missing their little one and struggling to keep it together, I read these words that someone had left her. ” It’s okay to not be okay you know.” As I read those words over and over I sensed that God was attempting to speak to me if only I would stop to listen. That he was trying to tell me that I didn’t need to always be okay to follow him. That I didn’t need to write a blog post to convince me or anyone else for that matter that I was strong through him, or that because of my absolute faith in him I am now healed from this tragedy.
I still have days where I am angry. I still have days where my heart is breaking over and over again and I just can’t seem to pick myself back up…or even let him do the lifting for me. I have absolute faith in God and his plans for my life…but that does not diminish the pain I am still left with to face.
I have had hope the whole way through my journey. I had hope that morning of July sixth as I watched my husband breathe into Audreys lifeless body on the floor of our home. I had hope the day that I kissed her cold little cheek and laid eyes on her for the very last time on this earth. I had hope the days and weeks after her death that seemed like a time I was never going to come through, and I have had hope when I found out there was another precious life growing inside of me.
As time has passed by I have focused so much on my hope for the future. On my hope that I will get to see her again, and the hope to get through her first birthday or Christmas……that I have lost hope in him in my present life. In my now, and in my today. The hope that through him I can have a crappy day. That I can grieve harder than I did yesterday…..but that I can have hope for a better tomorrow. The hope that I can still believe and be angry at the same time. The hope that with him sometimes it is simply okay…..to not be okay.