Sunday, March 30, 2014
Joy in the midst of Pain
The journey of grief is impossibly difficult to explain. It doesn't follow any pattern from one day to the next. The journey of grief that I am facing right now is very difficult. I have the constant pull between life and death. I have the constant reminder of the life growing inside of me. I smile each and every time I feel my precious little one moving and dancing around. It is the most amazing feeling that just makes me stop in awe and wonder. But yet I know what the future holds. It is hard to grieve for something that is still so fully alive.
This past week my sadness has given way to anxiety attacks. At the most random times I find myself losing control as I think about what the future holds. I am the kind of person who likes to have a plan. I like to have everything organized, prepared, and ready. This journey has thrown me completely out of my comfort zone. It does not matter what I do right now, because there is nothing that I can do to prepare myself for what is to come. Sometimes I try to envision the future, and to be honest I am just afraid. I believe with everything in me that God is in complete control. I believe that he controls the future. But sometimes in my human understanding, when everything I see for the future is so unknown, I just become extremely anxious. Everything around me swirls out of control, and even something as easy as breathing becomes a challenge. I know that this is a test of my faith. God wants me to trust in him for everything.
Never have I been asked to trust in God when everything in my life is out of my hands. This is not to say by any means that I have not gone through difficult situations. There have been many moments in my life where I remember having to place my full trust in God. But this journey has led me to a place where everything else has been stripped away. Not even the wonders of modern medicine can help our baby. It has been hard for me to wrap my mind around that fact. We live in a world where they can cure so many things. We live in a city that is known for its amazing medical services. Yet here we sit completely helpless. When everything else is completely gone, the only thing that remains in a God who has always been faithful.
I have to be honest when I say that there are days when I am just completely sad. There have been times where I have to pull my car over into a parking lot just to cry. Those moments I am just so overcome with sorrow that I can literally feel my heart breaking. But there are other times when the tears are very bittersweet. On my car rides I usually spend the whole time talking or singing to my baby. My mom gave me a cd of favorite children's songs. The first song on the cd is Jesus Loves Me. Baby and I sing this song multiple times each day. Sometimes I can just smile and sing my heart out, thinking of the love that Jesus has for me and for baby. Other times I can sing the song through my tears, thinking of how my baby will be in the arms of Jesus soon. My baby is truly going to know the love of Jesus in a way that I can not even imagine. I have found that sorrow and sadness can come in different forms. Sometimes it is a very deep and heartbreaking pain, that cuts so deep that it is physically present. Other times I feel it in a very bittersweet way.
During the week that Josh and I heard the diagnosis for our baby I never thought I would feel joy again. But slowly I have realized that pain and joy can work together. Although the pain and the grief that I feel is incredibly real, so is the joy. I find the most joy in the beautiful life of my baby. I am so grateful for each and every day that I have with my baby. I am so proud to be the mom to this baby. Going through all of this had taught me so much about enjoying the littlest things. The tiny movements that I feel inside. Hearing the heartbeat at each doctor appointment. Reading books to my baby each day. Teaching my baby how to wash dishes, bake cookies, buy groceries, and fill up a tank of gas. Singing Jesus Loves Me and all of my favorite songs to my baby. Watching my belly grow bigger each week. These are all the little things that I may have taken for granted, but now I now that they are memories that I am going to cherish forever. I will cling to those memories when I have nothing left. My baby has taught me so much already, and I haven't even met him or her yet. I am so grateful that God has allowed me to find such deep and pure joy in the midst of the pain.
I knew from the moment we heard the words "incompatible with life" that everything would be different. I never knew exactly how different life would be. I do know that I am never ever going to be the same person that I was before. But until that final moment when God decides it is time to take my baby home, I will fight for my baby. I will enjoy each and every beautiful moment that God chooses to give to us. I will allow my heart to be filled with the pure joy that only He can give, despite the deepest and darkest pain. I will cling to the beauty of life, and all that it can teach me about love.