So, today I went to visit Rachel again, even though I went yesterday... I couldn't let a Friday go by without going, I'm not ready to count by months yet...I know I have to eventually...not yet. I brought a few flowers. I cried a lot. I have to admit that today I had one of my few moments (ok, all day) of being disappointed with God's plan... I trust it, but I'm not loving it. I looked around at all the headstones, half of which are covered by snow and couldn't help but think about all the pain in this world. I noticed a spot near Rachel's that had been shoveled out too. I walked over to look and noticed that yesterday would have been this boy's 22 birthday. There was all sorts of gifts there... I just cried harder. It's just not supposed to go this way. Parents are "supposed" to go first. Why, God?
I'll apologize in advance for my bad attitude, please don't mistake it as me being ungrateful for any of the good things that happen daily... but I don't do this very often and I just have to say...
I hate this, I hate this, I hate this. It's not fair. I wish God would have healed her. I feel a little ripped off. Why couldn't He have just healed her? I mean, He is the God of the universe...creator of heaven and earth...in control of ALL things. This would have been nothing for Him. Why not? His plan was for me to be sleeping with her empty blanket and visiting my baby in a graveyard each week?? I hate this. And why all this freakin' snow?? I asked for a light winter...an early spring. Why not, God? Could something go my way? I hate this. Why couldn't Desirae keep her sister? She prayed for months for a sister. Why not, God? We made a commitment out of obedience to You that we would welcome any children you gave us... You gave her to us, we welcomed her... Why couldn't we keep her?? Why, God? We constantly tell our kids that obedience brings blessing... are we full of it?? I obeyed You... I followed You... I have been utterly disappointed. Why, God?
As I write this, I can't stop crying... but God always brings me full circle. He just reminded me again...
If this wasn't exactly what it is...
I wouldn't know His love to the depth that I do
I wouldn't know others' love to the depth that I do
I wouldn't know my love to the depth that I do
Everything that has happened with Rachel, all the ways He has provided... in this dark valley, I have seen a light that I had never gazed upon before....and Oh, what a light It is!
All the ways that people have helped us, provided for us, loved us...this is the most loved I have ever felt. Thousands of people loving us and loving Rachel. The huge snowstorms have proven that every time I pull up to her grave and it's shoveled out...maybe there's a reason God has given us more snow in January than we got all year last year... maybe the melted snow in the spring will help Rachel's tulips grow...
The countless sacrifices I have made for my daughter, helping her to be everything God created her to be, loving her unconditionally, carrying her straight to Jesus, keeping her memory alive... I never knew I could accomplish something so amazing and difficult. I knew I loved being a mom, I knew my kids are my world... I didn't know how much my heart could endure for one of them. I've never needed to know. Most people don't.
I have been blessed for my obedience.
I had a great conversation with the lady at the cemetery office (working on another project that's still a secret for now...) :o) When I went in and told her I was Rachel's mom, she said "oh, that's right it's Friday, huh?" She gave me a hug and we cried together. How many times over the past 6 months have I said that same thing about a total stranger? Countless. This has been a journey of immeasurable love.
I continue to be blessed for my obedience.
As we talked about the peace that only God can give, and she shared with me a time when she experienced that peace herself, I told her of a picture I came across the other day of Me, Matt & Rachel in the operating room. This picture captured that peace that she was speaking of. I don't share many pictures, if any, from the OR.. the time feels too special and huge to share with hundreds of people I don't know... however, some of you have loved me better than people I do know...so here it goes...*deep breath*
This is a picture of Matt holding up a paper where the doctor had written Rachel's name, her birthday and time born, and her weight. I'm glad we have this picture because Matt LOST the paper...(this is me learning to let go...) Another thing I need to insert here is a note on her weight. She weighed in at 3lbs 7oz. She was not a preemie sized baby...sounds it, but a baby's head usually adds quite a bit of weight. She actually didn't fit into the preemie clothes we brought. She also measured only 15 1/2 inches...again, because she was missing part of the measurement. *sigh* Her body was actually the size of any normal baby at 37 weeks gestation. Hence, the chubby hands, legs and cheeks :o) OK, so that was a rabbit trail, bear with me...
As I held her in the moments before this, nobody was talking...all I could hear was the beeping of machines. The song that was playing was "Word of God speak" (we asked them to put on Christian music for us) In my original email on August 5th, letting people know that Rachel would not live, I asked everyone to please refrain from using their own knowledge - and instead use God's Word (the bible) - to encourage me because, I said, "The Word of God speaks". Wouldn't it be just like God to tie that all together for me... He knows I'm a details person. :o)
These lyrics have been on my heart this week as I continue to seek God in my valley, knowing that in Him alone, I find my peace.