As January rolls around, strange things start happening in me. I'm fine one minute and not the next. Memories swirl. Moments replay. Worship is like opening a floodgate. It's literal music to my ears and yet, scissors to my heart. The week before. The fear and worry. The granted peace and knowledge of truth. The scrambling. The craziness. The room and nurses and doctors. The clear voices and the muffled silence.
Emotions overcome me at the most unexpected times and quite honestly, as silly as this sounds, each year I forget this happens. I never seem to have my makeup handy when I need it and a puffy-faced, tear-streaked mama pretty much always draws attention, whether people want to say anything or not. I'm not actually surprised it does happen, just caught off guard when I'm not "prepared."
Sunday was that day for me so far and as hard as I tried, I couldn't stop the tears from falling. I was fine with it in the middle of worship. I mean, I have that written in my Bible and I couldn't help but laugh later. worship- coming completely undone in the sight of the Lord. That was definitely me! But then during the service (which was about lust none-the-less!) the tears were still rolling. (People probably thought I was upset about the message... wonder how that looked!?) I even had to excuse myself before service got out and cried in a bathroom.
So I'll be honest... logically, this doesn't make sense. Four years ago I was (unknowingly) a week out from meeting and saying goodbye to our son. NO DOUBT that is emotional. But again, head knowledge and heart truth tell me that everything is just how it was ordained to be. The Lord saw fit to call Maddox home. His body was not intended for this place... he is spending eternity with his Lord and Savior, not just mine. That is mind-blowing to me. He is not in pain, hurting or truthfully even concerned with what is going on down here. He is full-time with the Lord. He is good. So are we. So then... what's with being overwhelmed with tears?
Throughout the year, I am usually good. It's a rare occasion to see me crying about what could-have, should-have, might-have been. It's not what is and I trust the Lord. FULLY. We talk about Maddox. He is included in nightly prayers (not praying for him but thanking Jesus for his life). His life, his purpose, his sickness, heaven, prayer, healing, redemption, faith, undying love... it's all part of our family. It's part of our conversation and part of who we are.
And still... four years later I grieve.
And I'm sure you know why. The thought of losing a child is beyond comprehension. The thing is, it's not about him. It's completely, selfishly about me... It's about not having the four children that I have birthed with me. It's about not knowing if his eyes would have changed color like my older two or if he could be into Cars like Deacon was or legos like he is now. It's about wondering if that void will ever be fully filled and knowing that this side of heaven, the Lord is going to have to take it because a piece of me is missing. It's about having so little time with him and fearing he will be forgotten. It's about heart and head and worship and prayer.
It's knowing it's okay when it doesn't feel like it at that moment. Knowing it's okay to hurt, to grieve, to miss him and long for heaven... and ultimately, it's okay to know that this is somehow all part of God's revised plan. This world isn't as He designed it so nothing is how it "should" be. But, He is bigger than just a plan A. Mine or His own. And my simple knowledge that my son is rejoicing and spending eternity with Our Creator... well, when you get right down to it, that's all that matters.
So as strange as this sounds... it still feels strange to grieve like this after years have passed. Our family is filled with joy and love and laughter... but for this mama it is still emotional and sad, even having the faith that we do in Christ Jesus.
So if you know someone who has lost a child, at any age or gestation... Please just love on them a little extra hard. Whatever feels right to you is most likely appropriate and if you don't feel comfortable in person, let them know in a card, email or text. It does a grieving parent's heart good to know that their child is treasured by others, both remembered and loved.
"He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure."- Isaiah 33:6