The waves of grief come and go. Today I finally had the discipline to drag myself to church. I went alone, to the one I grew up in (not our regular). This is probably only the 5th time I've been since the loss.
During the worship service, I can feel the tears starting to come. I love Him. I do. My roots are deep in my faith but there is still a lot of healing to go. The words in the song "Have your way, rule and reign in me" I battle with. The tears come because I'm tired of the "surrender" to His will yet they are also there because I know none of us have a choice/control in any outcome. I cry too because He is good and after everything I can still bring my lips to whisper that and mean it, despites the pain.
The topic was on "Why does a good God allow evil/suffering?" It started off with a video of footage from the Clackamas Town Center shooting, the Troutdale shooting, the Boston Marathon. Tears again. Why don't you stop this??? I find myself angrily asking. Death and evilness around every corner, striking randomly.
There obviously is no easy answer and the pastor didn't say anything I haven't heard before. He reminded us that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. On the first few days of creation (plants, animals, etc) he was happy but He wanted to be loved. His heart was missing that. The plants couldn't love Him back. Animals react on instinct. He had to give us choice-He knew it would be selfish to pre-program us to love Him to seek Him, to choose Him. He knew that by giving humans a choice-evil could happen if they chose that route. He did not want to force us to be robots that love Him because we know nothing else.
And throughout time, several people have made the choice to not choose Him and goodness but to chose selfishness and darkness. He allows their choices to play out and only promises to make things right, someday.
This is hard to swallow. I didn't do anything "wrong" to deserve to lose my children. No one else did anything "evil" to me to make me lose them. It felt like a personal attack or personal "denial" from the Creator Himself. We cry out to heaven and all we hear is a door slam, several bolts lock, and silence (as described by C.S. Lewis). The pastor reminded us that we don't see tomorrow and He does. That He is good and all His actions are love. That even evil things can be redeemed, made right, restored because of His love for us.
Pretty heavy stuff to process on one of my first times back at church. One of my mom's friends who I grew up with stopped me on the way out to say hi. She brought up the loss and I couldn't have felt more loved. She acknowledged the sorrow and hugged me (so much better than acting like it didn't happen). I talked a bit about it, through tears. I ended the conversation with telling her that despite the horror, Darren and I do not accept this fight is over. Holding Jude only fueled the flames to keep moving forward and I told her that I hope that the peace and that the hope and that the fight to move forward is from Him.
2 popular songs on the radio really get me. It's crazy how love songs can relate so much to babies. The song "All of Me" instantly reminds me of Jude "All of me, loves all of you, all your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections", I picture my favorite black and white picture of his gorgeous face with little bruises. On the way home from church the song "Stay with Me" came on the radio on the way home and I lost it. I really really hope that the next baby stays with me. I cried in a good way. The cry that helps release the sadness that slowly builds up over time.
We later went to a family reunion at my parents to hold a casual memorial service for my grandma that died 10 days after Jude. All my married cousins have kids. I couldn't help but ache for Jude and Brinly when I saw the family pictures with all their children together. I can't help but think all of my sister and cousin's kids met my grandma.
Today was a sad day for me and I actually feel ok about it. I need these days, to process, to remember, to acknowledge and to work through the bruises in my faith.
I came across this article on Still Standing about the pain that comes with losing your only living child. She says that some moms lose a baby/child but they still have 1 or more living-she explains how our pain is different/empty-but goes on to say she doesn't want to get into who has it worst, it's all worst-our child died. Anyways, read it if you get a chance, it explains a lot of how I felt those dark months following the delivery. I still can relate to several of her feelings.
(I took the bottom image from her article)