So what do you do when the puzzle pieces are strewn all over the table, you are trying to put them into place, and then you realize that they don’t even match the picture on the box? That’s kind of how I feel. I had in my mind what my “picture” was supposed to look like, and now, as I try to figure out how everything fits into place, I am realizing that the picture in my head and the picture of reality is not looking the same. I want desperately to complete the puzzle (and I hope it’s a pretty picture of butterflies and tulips and lots of happy things), but am struggling over finding where the pieces fit together. I remind myself that the puzzle doesn’t have to be completed today. Or even tomorrow. That one piece (or minute, or hour, or day) at a time, the puzzle WILL be completed, and it WILL look better than all of these random pieces lying around.
I posted on my Facebook page yesterday that we survived Winter. And by saying that, I meant emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. In a sense, we have. This weekend was so nice and it felt refreshing just to be able to go outside without putting a jacket on. That alone brings me some relief. But about as soon as I made that comment, I felt this wave of emotion come over me, and the past 24 hours have been me duking it out with myself. Longing so badly for someone that I just can’t have physically anymore. I want to be able to take her outside for a walk or down to the playground. I want to give her a bath and put her in a cute outfit and take her to see VeggieTales. I want to hear her giggle. I want to hug her neck. I want to watch her grow and change into a beautiful young lady. It is taking a lot for me to truly come to grips with the fact that all of my earthly time with Sadie has already been had. I have lots of great memories, but that’s exactly what they are–memories. I long so badly for the day that I can remember that sweet girl and smile instead of cry. She deserves that, and I know that day will come in time. I had 17 wonderful months with her (and 8 days), and have been so blessed by that sweet girl. I want to come to the point where I can be thankful for the time we had together, instead of sad over the time we won’t have together, this side of eternity. I know how I want to feel in my head, but the challenge is getting my heart to cooperate! 🙂
If you have kept up with my journaling, you know by now that music speaks loudly to me. And one thing about it lately is that some of the songs that I knew before Sadie’s illness sound different to me now. Yesterday at church, we sang a song that I remember learning before Sadie got sick. I liked it then, and I like it now, but the words meant much more to me as I tried to sing them (through tears) yesterday. The song was “With Everything”, and the thing that hit me the hardest were not the words themselves, but that I hadn’t truly considered the words I was singing before. I mean, why sing something to the Lord when you aren’t really, really serious about what you are saying? I thought I was, but I honestly have never faced something in my life that truly brought me to the end of myself. And now I have. And so these words somehow mean more to me now, and I want every ounce of my being to honestly, truly mean every syllable. And so here is the link, but the phrase that hit me the hardest was this:
With everything, with everything
We will shout for Your glory
With everything, with everything
We will shout forth Your praise
Really? Everything? Even my child getting a nasty disease that took her earthly life? And so I am challenged to shout for His glory, I mean really shout for His glory…in EVERYTHING.
This morning, I was having a hard time getting it together emotionally. Poor Eli has to be a witness to these things sometimes, which I hate for him. But he immediately came up to me, rubbed my arm, and said, “Don’t be sad, Mommy–Sadie’s in a good place and she’s happy and having so much fun”. To which I cried some more, partially because he intuitively knows why I am sad, and partially because he is so right. I leaned over to him, hugged him, and thanked him for reminding me of that. I wish I could process this more like him. Through the simple eyes of a child. I’m trying, but I get all tangled up in how it all makes ME feel. How unfortunate this is in MY life. How badly I wish this had never happened to ME and MY family. The truth of the matter is, all of us have to process really hard things at some point in our lives. None of us is without a single struggle. All of our faith is tested somehow. The question is, how are we going to react? Time will tell how I pull through all of this, but I really do want to strive to fixate my eyes on God, to trust His ways, and to know that He holds the picture of this puzzle of my life. He will help put that puzzle together in a beautiful way, if I will let Him.
There are lots of people I have met or have a deepened relationship with as a direct result of this journey. People I am so very grateful for. People I am learning from and am encouraged by. And, although I am finding a lot of comfort in the hugs, prayers, love, and compassion from those who I already know, I am also learning that it is important for me to remember that God places us in people’s path that we may not even know sometimes because He wants US to be the one who stops to pray for those in need, or who takes the time to show a lot of compassion to someone we may never have even met, or who sends a simple text to let someone know you are thinking of them, or who offers lots of reasons to smile just by being themselves, or who takes the time to visit the grave of your child because they invested so much of their heart and soul into your baby and hurt almost as much as you do. I can’t assume that it is someone else’s role to meet the needs of their friend/family member. Maybe the very thing that person needs to hear needs to come out of MY mouth. And so I am challenged to be more sensitive to the needs of those around me. That is tough for me right now because I can barely see through my bleary eyes. But maybe it will help my eyes to focus if I am quicker to recognize the needs of those around me. This has never been my strong-suit. Definitely something I am challenged to be better at, and something I am realizing more and more as a result of the events of the past few months. All that to say, thank you all for helping me know that I am not alone, that we are loved, that we are prayed for, and that we are going to be okay!