Monday, October 10, 2011

It's OK to Hurt

Yesterday morning I felt pretty good. I even put on my eye liner thinking I was all cried out from the night before and not feeling the least bit emotional. At church, we sang a song that has a verse from the bible that says "Oh death, where is your sting? Oh hell, where is your victory?" (1Cor. 15:55) and I felt kind of like a little kid, sticking out my tongue as I thought... take that satan!  My God defeated you... you've got nothing on Him. Jesus overcame the grave!  I smiled at the victory that gives me assurance that my sweet girl isn't stuck in that grave - and that I won't be either.

And then it happened.

Word of God Speak came on.... the song that was playing when Rachel was born. I was crying pretty hard, but was still trying to keep my makeup in place with a tissue. Through one of the parts without lyrics, they had words appearing on the screen.... "Rescued.... Reborn.... Chosen.... Wonderfully Made...."

The tears flowed harder because I know that Rachel was reborn and that her & I were chosen before the foundations of the world to walk this path together... but when I saw 'Wonderfully Made', I couldn't help but think of a gift I was given the day before from my friend Anne. She sells these shirts to raise money for her daughter Rose's Memorial fund and then blesses people continuously in Rose's memory. (where I got my grocery gift card the other day!)  I was the grateful recipient of one of Rose's shirts at Asa's shower - wish these pics were better, they're uploaded from facebook :o(
(I have a link to her site on the side of my blog if you wanna order one!)

As the song ended, I breathed out, thankful that I didn't have a complete meltdown. I was pretty sure I was not looking so pretty anymore, but I wasn't a total mess.... until the next song came on...

We Still Believe.  It was one of the songs from Rachel's funeral (I used it on her funeral video) and that was it. I didn't just cry, I sobbed. I was out of breath, my stomach was turning and my head was POUNDING by the time this song was over. With my hands held high to my Lord, just like at Rachel's service, I offered up my "yes" again to my God. I still believe. I still surrender in my heart, knowing His faithfulness is my reward... and oh, how faithful is He...

But my heart broke all over again for my girl. And as my tears washed all my make up down my face (gave up on the tissues by this point) and covered my big Asa belly, my body shaking and jolting from crying so hard... It dawned on me (again) that the pain of losing a child is unparalleled and that this is always going to be a part of me now. A piece of me was ripped from my arms and I will always feel that emptiness - even after my arms are filled with another baby.

Now look, I'm not trying to say that Asa won't bring me joy. He is a gift from God and I know I won't be able to get enough of this little man and that my joy over him could very well even be magnified because of all I have been through with Rachel.  I'm not trying to be dramatic or to hang in self pity in order to not leave Rachel in the past. If you've lost a baby or a child, I'm sure you know what I'm trying to say. It just never goes away.   I can't choose to "think positively" or just "focus on the future" and then it won't hurt so much.  It doesn't hurt more if I'm having a "bad day" or less if I'm having a "good day".  It's consistently the most heart wrenching pain I have ever felt and it doesn't let up for long at a time.  I honestly had no idea that I would still be crying this hard over 10 months after Rachel's death.  I don't feel as deep in sorrow as I did in month 1...2 or even 6... but when those moments come and I think about my baby dying, my heart aches as if she died yesterday - as if I was standing at her funeral service all over again.  As if I just saw the hospital door shut as the funeral home left my room with her and I couldn't go.  Actually, some of these current days are harder because I was still in shock then - and I'm alone a lot more now because most people around me don't understand that losing your child isn't continuously 'better' a little at a time until you're all healed, as with many other losses.  It's ups and downs for the rest of your life.  That's the part that gets me.... it's such a long road.

I shook my head wishing it wasn't true and long after worship was over, I was still crying on Matt's shoulder throughout the sermon. I was debating if I should just leave I was such a mess. But I figured, if I'm going to cry... might as well be at church. I can usually find words for people when they come up to me and ask if I'm ok. But this time, I had nothing.  I had no energy to try to make other people feel comfortable or to try to help them understand what was going through my mind.  All I could say was "it just doesn't let up. I miss her" (oh, and I did ask if I had any boogers hanging out of my nose - you know, just making sure I'm not walking around snot-faced)

And even through this pain, I know that God was speaking to my heart... Her birthday song and her funeral song; one after another...10 months to the day after she was buried.... she was wonderfully made, chosen, reborn and rescued. He has been in it all and He will be with me through it all. And it's okay if I'm not 'emotionally ready' for the next stage of this journey... I don't have to be. God's ready. I don't have to walk around with my head high and feel only the joy of my new baby. I don't have to hide my tears or prove my faith in God by pretending I don't have feelings. I don't have to feel guilty over not putting all my focus on Asa... or on Rachel.  It is ok to be exactly as I am.  A mother with a broken heart.  I wouldn't be proving anything to pretend I'm anything else.  God knows I trust Him and His plan.  And He's also okay with me acknowledging that it hurts.  And that it does.... if "hurts" even comes close to describing it. 

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