Two Weeks Gone.

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My baby has been gone for two weeks now. Ten days before Christmas wouldn’t have been my plan. But in God’s timing these first two weeks have gone by quickly with Christmas preparations and events. I was just ready for Christmas to be over, and now that it is, there is an even bigger emptiness left where our baby was and where the season ends. I worry about how I will survive the days when the boys are back in school. But I know that God doesn’t give me the grace to handle tomorrow until tomorrow arrives. I don’t know how I’ve made it through the past fourteen days, and I’m sure that I won’t really understand how I’m making it through those empty days when they come. Many nights I cry to Greg, asking him how we are going to do this. This is not how it should be. This is not how it could be. But this is how it is, and our God is in control. This is not where we planned to be when we started this journey. But this is where we are, and our God is in control. (Steven Curtis Chapman lyrics)

In a way, our loss really started on October 30 when we found out that she would be leaving us for sure. Six weeks of grieving as we watched our little girl laugh and live in ignorance of what was coming. Those six weeks were almost harder than the last two have been. Every time she smiled and hugged us and laughed and pointed out things that were “ours,” we knew that she would be ripped from it all so soon. So many happy moment in those last six weeks were tarnished with tears of anger and confusion and sadness. I don’t regret how we spent those last weeks…I don’t think there was any other way. Just trying to soak that little girl in and hug her tighter and find every way to make her laugh and smile that we could. Whenever she’d see me turn sad or cry, she’d say, “You not sad yet, Mommy?” When I’d respond with either a yes or a no, she would change the subject or say, “You not sad yet, Mommy. You just kiddin!” She had no idea what was coming. To Auntie Amy as we chatted online, I said, “Do you want to come see Midge before she leaves?” Midge perked up in my lap, shouting to Auntie Amy, “My leavin’! My leavin’!” then turning to me and despite our many explanations to her about it, she asked me, “Where my goin’ Mama?”

I am still in the place of questioning “Why?” every day. Some moments I have the grace to accept that although I don’t know why, I can trust God. Every day I cry for my baby. As the initial disbelief wears off, and the bustle of the holidays is over, I miss her so much. The house is so quiet. My boys are so autonomous now, not needing me to entertain them and help them with everything all the time. And yet I can’t seem to fill up those empty hours with productivity. I am being kind to myself and not expecting checks on my to-do list. I have cooked a few meals that wouldn’t have been possible with a two year old underfoot. I am backing up all of my photos onto discs. Some days I can’t even look at her on the computer screen. Other days I am desperate to hear her voice and find myself crying in front of the monitor watching videos of her sweet self crawling and toddling and running and chattering. Twenty-three and a half months of beauty together.

When you think you’ve hit the bottom and the bottom gives way and you fall into a darkness no words can explain, You don’t know how you’ll make it out alive, Jesus will meet you there. He knows the way to wherever you are. He knows the way to the depths of your heart. He knows the way because He’s already been where you’re going. When you realize the dreams you’ve had for your child won’t come true, whatever valley you must walk through, Jesus will meet you there.  (Steven Curtis Chapman lyrics)

I question things that I never questioned before. How can God be loving and yet not step in so many times when He could have easily taken this case to a timely conclusion, saving our daughter from so much pain and loss? And yet I know that He is loving, even though it doesn’t make sense in our lives in a big way this year. Why does He allow and sometimes cause tragedy in the lives of children and disciples who are following the path He put before Him? Why did twenty children lose their lives the day we lost our baby? Why did a God-fearing pastor family lose their five-year old daughter to an asthma attack last week? I know that Isaiah 14:24 says, “Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand” (NASB).  Sometimes I feel stabbed in the back by a God who led us down this road. Okay, most of the time. And I’m okay with feeling that, and honestly crying to God about it. He is strong enough to handle my tears and anger, and He is strong enough to love us through our grief, too. C.S. Lewis says that it is God knocking down the house of cards that we thought was our faith, so that He can build a real faith, a faith that means something true. My faith has not disappeared, but I am understanding it in totally different ways and in new dimensions, and I am feeling free to yell at God and question Him and be angry and receive His comfort, too.

I bought Steven Curtis Chapman’s Beauty Will Rise album on itunes today. All three sets of lyrics in this post come from that album, which he wrote after the tragic loss of his own five year old daughter. He expresses exactly what I’m feeling right now in this song that I’ll leave you with.

Questions (Steven Curtis Chapman)

Who are You God
Cause You’re turning out to be
So much different than I imagined

And where are You God
Cause I’m finding life to be
So much harder than I had planned

You know that I’m afraid
To ask these questions
But You know they are there

And if You know my heart
The way that I believe You do
You know that I believe in You
Still I have these questions

Like How could You God
How could You be so good and strong
And make a world that can be so painful

And where were You God
I know You had to be right there
I know You never turn your head

You know that I’m confused
By all this mystery
You know I get afraid
But if You know my heart
As completely as I trust You do
Oh You know that I trust in You

So is it true
that for every tear I cry
You cry a thousand more
Cause you weep for those who weep

And are You just holding Yourself back
From crushing all the pain and evil in this world
For reasons we just can’t understand for now
But isn’t there a day of redemption coming
Redemption is coming

Quickly Lord, come quickly
Lord, come quickly

So who am I God
That You would raise me from the dust
To breathe Your life and Your love into me
You know that I believe

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6 thoughts on “Two Weeks Gone.

  1. I am so thankful that we had a chance to say good bye….and what a fun way!
    HEY!!!
    I am so sorry for the way “my” system let you and your family down. (and even me because Midge is family to us too) We are praying for peace in everyones heart.

  2. Linn, I’m just checking in to let you know that I am praying for your family, your sweet Midge, and especially for you today. I know I haven’t been a frequent commenter lately, as I’ve been rethinking my blogging habits… But I have been reading and following along, and my heart has been flying out west to all of you. Just thinking of your story today and wanted to let you know.

  3. Hi Linn, it’s been so long since we got in touch and I haven’t known that you had a baby girl. I feel really sorry for your loss and I’d like to leave you this beautiful song by Jemery Camp http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4qPceadBMU

    May God give you all strength and much love to overcome victoriously this difficult time!!

    Love, Fanny (Brazil)

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