” The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” – Exodus 14:14
It had been a long day. I had finally settled the girls in to their beds and slumped down on to the couch totally exhausted.
The whole week had been exhausting. Life had yet to slow down since leaving work only a week prior and time was quickly passing me by. A week full of feelings of unwillingness to accept that it had been almost a year since my Audrey had come bursting into the world, unpreparedness for life that was to come, a what could be life changing decision that my husband had just presented to me, a frightening Doctors appointment for myself, and a last minute trip to the city to meet a family member at the hospital had left me feeling nothing but unappreciated and defeated in so many ways.
I was vulnerable….emotional….and as I sat there attempting to find the energy to fold the last load of my never ending laundry, a family member came to visit. As she sat there we began to talk about Audrey and her sweet little life, the trials of grief and how it can be experienced so differently by others. I started to feel a little relief. For a moment I didn’t feel so alone…but then as our conversation changed from Audreys departure to Ashers arrival I found myself getting anxious.
As she said the words ” I don’t know how you would ever be able to lay in bed with him.” An innocent question immediately made me freeze up. I felt judged. I felt blamed once again for her death. Honestly without her even being aware my mind started going in a million different directions.
Not only did I feel that this was going to be one more person to unknowingly add pressure as she watched every move I would soon make with my new babe, but I also remembered feeling like I couldn’t be angry about the question because it has been one I had constantly asked myself. After all, regardless of the autopsy and medical reports there are still times when guilt or the self blame resides.
Feeling way too tired to defend myself, the conversation quickly ended and I went to bed that night with so many questions about whether I was really ready for what was to come. Not only how I was going to deal with my own fears, judgements, and emotions….but everyone elses as well. For the first time in a long time I feel asleep praying for some sort of sign…some sort of answer that my whole life wasn’t going to fall apart, that my relationships were going to be saved, that I was going to be okay.
The very next day I was driving home from a morning of running errands. Exhausted from grocery shopping and fighting to keep a toddler clothed for the weather. I sat in silence as the snow covered trees glistened on the side of the highway….in that moment a new song began and I heard the words,
“After all of my searching
All of my reaching
I’m left with nothing
Nothing of worth
You treasure the broken
Over and over
Give me a hope that could never be earned ” – Mercy Me
It was a song I had listened to over and over during the first few weeks after Audreys death. Tears immediately began to fill my eyes as I felt the rawness of my own brokenness. I felt completely vulnerable in my car with my bare footed toddler asleep behind me. I cried hard for Audrey as I tried to imagine her walking and what it would have sounded like to hear her say ” Mommy” for the first time. I wept for relationships I have been hiding from because of the fear of pressure and judgement from, and I felt the immense fears I have for this precious little boy to enter the world.
Most importantly In that fifteen minute drive home I felt such a peace that I have not felt since a few months after Audrey’s death. A peace that made me feel that I was not alone. A peace that allowed me to once again really trust. I felt renewed and more ready for this next step….realizing that not only do I not have to deal with everyone else’s fears and opinions but that I didn’t even have to deal with my own alone.
Over the last few days as I have read many of the posts from other Hope Mommies who are struggling with the same issues of guilt, loneliness, and doubting their faith…my hope is that they too can feel the peace of letting it go. The peace of knowing that we are not alone no matter how hard it seems. The peace of him truly treasuring the broken.