Journal entries from fall of 2013:
It’s been 3 ½ years since we lost our daughter. We have been through dark days and come out with hope. No, there is no hope that we will ever conceive again, but we have found joy in our life together even with this certainty. We did not arrive at this place overnight or even within months of the loss we experienced. But we, as a grieving mom and grieving dad, keep waking up every day, breathe in, breathe out, and look for one positive in the day.
You can do the same: look for one positive in your day. Some days this will be easy; some days it will seem impossible. Just know the day will come when you will smile or laugh and surprise yourself.
Today I’m sharing a couple journal entries from shortly after delivering and losing Lucy on 6/18/13. The loss of hope for any brightness in the future is very real and very devastating after loss. I’m here to let you know those dark days of hopelessness didn’t last forever for me. I’m praying the same for you.
Today, I’m having a difficult time trusting in God’s goodness.
I have learned of God’s attributes since I was a small girl. He is ever present, faithful, loving, kind, and full of grace and mercy. He is all powerful, all knowing, above all. He is creator. Author of life. I believed these things from an early age. I put them into practice in my life. I wrote about them and taught them at church and to my sons. However, some days the grief overwhelms me, and I feel like a hypocrite. In November 2012, I stepped out in faith and believed for something I was fearful of – being pregnant after miscarriage in 2008 and years of infertility between 2008 and 2012. In March 2013, while I was still pregnant, my husband and I were told there was no hope for our daughter to live. But I trusted God had a purpose and that life would come. He would be victorious. Again, I was robbed of my hope. How do I trust God’s identity when this past year has been a lesson in seeing hope disappointed?
I know there is a bigger picture. I know it is not all about me, my husband, Lucy’s brothers and grandparents. It is not all about our lost hopes and dreams. I do not have to live in this hopelessness. But today I am having a difficult time trusting in God’s goodness. I am afraid to be devastated – again – for his glory and plan. How do I get past that?
September 29, 2013: Sunday morning at the cemetery
How can I trust you? I sought you for her healing. You taught me to hope. Dared me to hope. And hope disappointed. Hope devastated.
I sit beside a headstone. I should be sitting beside a crib.
I know you do all things well. I know you want to give good gifts to your children. I know you have power to heal. I know who you are and that is why this is so difficult to accept. That is why it is so hard to trust. If this was for your glory, then why do I want to live to glorify you?
I will NOT turn my back on you. I will not deny your existence or sovereignty.
I do fear that you are going to tire of my questions and grief. I do fear you have a time line for my grief that I am not living up to. I fear you are tired of my hurt and tears. I fear that you are saying “Enough already. This is your life. Get on with it.” But I don’t know how to do that – spiritually or physically. I know I just get up in the mornings and go about my day. Spiritually everything seems off and I am not sure what to do with that. Where do I go from here? What do I do with my doubts? Where does the pain, hurt, and disappointment need to go?
I don’t want to be angry and bitter. But I am angry. God help me. I am so mad I don’t know what to do. When I am mad at people, I go to you. When I am mad at you, God, what should I do? How long will you put up with me? At least one day more.
I am so lost. I am so broken. I am so tired. I am so lonely for the closeness I shared with Lucy while carrying her. I feel like I let her down. I know I let me down. But I honestly did everything I could. Why didn’t you, God? Why didn’t you?
Monday, September 30, 2013
From a Bible study by Jennie Allen: “We have got to quit pretending faith is easy. We fight for faith and ask God to give it.” Sometimes we have to fight for faith and what we know to be truth – especially when situations in life take us to dark places.
Some of those journal entries are difficult to read. Believe me, it was more difficult to be in that place. If you are there, just know that God’s answer truly is that he will put up with your doubts, fears, grief, or anger at least one more day. His mercies are new every morning. He dealt gently with me in all my doubts, fears, and anger and somehow He helped me get through the hopeless days. One day at a time.
Many people kept me in their prayers when I could not find the faith, strength, or hope to pray myself. And God proved himself faithful. He always does. His faithfulness and mercies look different than our view or expectation of them. I do not have my daughter back. I do not have a “rainbow baby.” We have an empty nest. Lucy’s brothers are now young men, each living on their own.
Yet here I am, 3 ½ years later, hoping again. Hoping that we will be able to raise funds to build Hope House and be able to serve other parents of loss. Hoping that the right words will come when I sit at the computer to send out another message to others. Hoping that somehow, I can share with other parents of loss that dark days and questions are not the end of the story or the end of your life with your child. My husband and I have learned to live our new normal after the loss. We have learned to laugh again. We embrace the things we can learn through our journey with Lucy and hold on to them as a piece of her. We will never be the same – and that has become a good thing.