Another suggestion I received for this series was "the unexpected". It may not surprise you this suggestion came from a fellow loss-mom. After losing your baby, something absolutely no one expects, you also lose your naivety. Your innocence, if you will. The rest of our days are then spent expecting the unexpected. A complete paradigm shift takes place and we are always considering the what-ifs, because in our lives, the what-if became the it-happened.
Everything is supposed to go as planned. We make plans so we can stay the course, complete the task, and maintain order in a world of chaos. When we call the shots, think through our next step, make the correct move, we win. We come out ahead. We feel good. We become content. Comfortable.
And then it happens. The unexpected.
It doesn't matter if it's good, bad, indifferent, or anything in between. It throws you for a loop. You lose your footing, your world is rattled, and you stand, stunned, trying to make sense of it. In my case, it will be 18 months soon since we lost Harlynn, and I'm still stunned. Still struggling to make sense. Still trying to plan my counter moves. Still trying to find my way back.
The verse Brent felt led to incorporate for Harlynn was John 16:33. "I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." We're told trouble comes. But we never expect it. Really, though, if we did, would we go on in the same fashion? Would we have any reason to cling to any sort of faith? If I knew what was going to happen at every given turn, would I live my life better? Or bitter?
I'll tell you I miss my ignorance. I miss my narrow scope of knowledge. I miss having no reason not to believe that only good things happen, especially when you plan them out to be that way.
I've also gained some footing I wouldn't have found had I not been completely knocked down in life. I've stopped basking in disappointment when things don't go as they "should" and I've learned to roll far more flexibly with the punches. Sometimes life's punches make contact. Sometimes I can bob and weave clear of their blows. Regardless, I've come to expect it to come out swinging. And I'm ready.
Ready for what? I don't know. That's become the beauty of it, though. The unexpected has grounded me all the more in the fact I am not invincible. I am not immortal. I am not immune. And I need to stop living as such. I have eyes for His broken. I have eyes for His bereaved. I have eyes that have seen a depth and level of pain most of you will be fortunate enough to never experience, or fathom.
There are always surprise endings. There are always plans that go awry. That said, there is always One who knew it all, and who holds you in the palm of His hand when you collapse in disbelief, devastation, and despair.
When life hands me lemons, I tend to grab them with the hand that has a fresh paper cut. I've come to expect the sting. The pain. What still surprises and amazes me these days, however, are the glimpses of hope, truth, and blessing that rise up from the ashes. Most of those, I never expect. And I always, always, appreciate the unexpected in those cases.