I went for my stress test this week and it was frustrating because they neglected to tell me I was supposed to hold my blood pressure meds. I wondered, but figured they would have told me if it was needed and I didn't call. This is why I always second guess them. So they told me I'd have to come back. That is going to happen in a couple of weeks.
The nurse brought me back and she was having trouble getting my blood pressure. She put the cuff down and started listening for my pulse and said she was having trouble hearing it so she started to feel for it. She looked up at me with a curious look and said "You look familiar." I just smiled and shrugged and she said "I'll figure it out, but first let me figure this out" referring to my pulse. "Yeah, let's see if I'm alive" I joked. She said "I know you're alive because you are pink and talking to me... I'm just not able to feel your pulse." I pointed to my tattoo and told her I have "Alive" written over where you feel for a pulse as a memorial for my daughter. "Rachel's Legacy!!" she shouted. "I knew it would come to me! I ran in the race you do a couple years ago." She moved her hand down to my wrist and there she was able to feel the beat of my heart. ♥ Hi Rachel! ♥
It made my heart sink in my chest. I can't imagine... I can, but I can't. I know you can't compare apples and oranges, but I know how painful losing my baby who I didn't spend every day of 19 years with. I can only imagine how much you miss a child and how that hurts when you spend your life getting to know and love them and they are a part of your every day - and then you watch them go through something like cancer or a heart problem or addiction - and after a long hard road, you have to say goodbye.
At times I wonder why God makes the mother to child bond so deep and then allows us to suffer such pain in being separated. To give us the deep need to nurture our children and then make it so we can't.
I can't speak for every situation, but I know in my life, He has used this to draw me to himself... to prove my faith genuine... to teach me trust... to give me a longing for heaven I never had... to show me how He loves me... He used Rachel to remove my pride, my ego, my false sense of control. Not that those things don't crop up, but I have been shown so much truth about myself and my need for God and how good He is even when I fail that I don't often find myself feeling better than anyone anymore. I used to think I had it all together. I used to feel like I knew the answers to so many questions. I used to push my strong opinions on others and when I didn't, I was probably holding back because like I said, I knew everything. Just ask me and I could tell you. I used to do all those things and they always left me wanting. I always wished I was different. But now I actually am.
I don't pretend for a minute that that makes it worth it to me to bury Rachel. I'm not saying that it means I think this is a great idea. I'm not even saying that it then applies to everyone who loses a child. It doesn't. I'm just saying that in the end, Rachel - being exactly who she was for exactly as long as she was and for exactly what her legacy is - has been an amazing gift to me from God. She has been my deepest valley and brought me the darkest nights.
But in order for there to be light, it needs to invade dark spaces.
I didn't see my life as dark. But now that the light of those Truths shine on it, I know I was not filled then. My life looked a lot neater on the outside, but God did me a favor when He removed all that 'security' and taught me that He is enough. He is enough. He IS enough. In the good, bad, the ugly. In the mess - even ones I create myself. I'm so thankful that He loves me and calls me His. I can't believe He calls me His.
He is the reason my heart beats at all. He is the reason I'm alive.... she's alive... and the reason I am blessed to be able to nod my head when someone says "Rachel's Legacy!" and I can proudly agree that "That's my girl". He is the reason I am made uncomfortable time and time again as some random stranger tells me they know about Rachel... that they follow my blog... that they know me - and that maybe - if only through me being willing to share so much of my heart in such a scary way - I've helped them to know HIM. And somehow, in ways I could have never seen coming, He has done all of this in the middle of complete, utter, brokenness with a wretch of a sinner who never deserved any of it.
And in that, I stand amazed.
of Jesus the Nazarene,
and wonder how he could love me,
a sinner, condemned, unclean.
For me it was in the garden
he prayed: "Not my will, but Thine."
He had no tears for his own griefs,
but sweat-drops of blood for mine.
In pity angels beheld him,
and came from the world of light
to comfort him in the sorrows
he bore for my soul that night.
He took my sins and my sorrows,
he made them his very own;
he bore the burden to Calvary,
and suffered and died alone.
When with the ransomed in glory
his face I at last shall see,
'twill be my joy through the ages
to sing of his love for me.
And my song shall ever be:
How marvelous! How wonderful
is my Savior's love for me!