It is one of the nicest days we've had this year: 50*, spots of sunshine, no wind...and we're under a blizzard warning. No one seems to know quite where the snow will fall or which parts of our state will get the worst accumulation. I've hard anything from six to 20 inches of snow possible. Wind gusts up to 50 mph. Poor and even "impossible" driving conditions due to blowing snow.
Completely disgusting. Yet, isn't that how life's storms are? You're going along, everything is lovely, you're grilling steaks outside, soaking up the spring warmth. The birds are chirping, the neighbors are walking their dogs. Then, in an instant, everything changes. Turmoil arrives. Damages. Blinds. Strands you. Out of nowhere.
That's what this last year has been for me. One day, Harlynn was moving around, vibrant and alive. The next, she was dead. I went from expecting to deliver a crying baby, to holding her lifeless body in my arms as I wept. Fifty degrees and sunshine to impossible-to-navigate blizzard. One day I'm doing pretty well with coping, the next I'm a rubble of tears and despair.
It's the new normal that has evolved over these last months. On the "spring days" I find myself able to rest peacefully in the comfort of God's strength and promises. On the "blizzard days" I'm usually wrestling with anger or fear. Trying, unsuccessfully, to somehow wake up from the nightmare. Rewind time. Wish her back into existence.
|Photo credit: allislovely.com|
Thinking back to those first moments in the hospital, I've said I felt the Lord alongside us, weeping with us, in that room. I remember it clearly. If I could have put Him in human form, he would have been at the head of my hospital bed, standing between Brent and I, an arm around each of us. I felt it. What I didn't, and still don't, understand, is why He didn't bring her back. Why He didn't keep her heart beating. Why He didn't postpone her death until a bazillion years from now. I wrestled with that tremendously in the beginning, especially. Why mourn with us, when you can change it all and give us cause to celebrate? Why?
I've discovered an answer to that, wouldn't help me. If I knew the reason(s) Harlynn passed away (and I'm speaking of reasons beyond the physical cause of her death), if I knew what the long-term purpose of this suffering in my life was, if I saw the end-picture of it all, I would having nothing to trust. Nothing to hope. Nothing to seek. My faith would be a result of already knowing. It would be like checking the answers in the back of the book before coming up with one on my own. It would be foundation-less.
I hate this pain. I hate that so many parents have to know it, and live with it, every day. I hate that Harlynn isn't here, and that she never will be. I don't, nor will I ever, understand why this is a calling in my life. In Brent's. In Haley's. Even, in Little Man's. Yet somehow, in the midst of the storm, in the smack-dab-middle of this mire, I've come to understand it is already worked out. It is already completed to the end. He knew her heart would stop beating, and He knew it would devastate us, but He also knows what will come from it when we trust, rely, and hope in Him as a result. It isn't easy. It doesn't come naturally. It isn't my instinctive response in my grief. It flat-out sucks. But it's the only way I can find my way through the storm. The only way.
I pray, nightly, to get a glimpse of Halrynn in my dreams. To see her, to see what she's like, hear her voice. Maybe one day this side of heaven, I'll catch that glimpse. A day is coming, though, where I can glimpse upon her for eternity. I hope that day is near.