Today was quite an unproductive day. The middle boy came down with a bad case of nausea last night and I slept with him in his bed, to make sure he gets the throw-up bowl positioned correctly every time. He didn’t even bother with the bowl the first time and it wasn’t fun cleaning up afterwards.
I had to move the bunk bed away from the wall to clean and didn’t want the youngest to fall off, so I sent him to our room to sleep with his daddy. This morning as I ran downstairs (I usually run up and down the stairs, I hardly ever walk 🙂 ) I caught a glimpse of his little blonde head sticking out under the covers and for a split second I thought it was Jenna. I did a couple of re-runs past the bedroom door just so I could try to pretend it really was Jenna sleeping there next to her daddy.
I keep her spot in our bed clear. (And right now, I am glad I never bowed to the pressure to get her into her own bed quicker. I would have missed out on many precious cuddles if I had.) I want her spot to retain her smell as long as possible. Sometimes I just take a deep whiff and cry a few tears. I miss my little girl.
She was at an age where our relationship was very physical. She was on my lap or on my hip a lot of the time, she slept next to me in our bed, we shared lots of hugs and kisses. I miss the sense of her being physically near acutely, and though a psychologist friend said I will eventually learn to let go of her physically and embrace her in my heart, it is still difficult. Hubby reminded me of this this morning and I said: “But I don’t wanna”, which made me sound just like my little petulant 3 year old.
I must say that I have really had a sense of what heaven must be like in my times of worship since Jenna died. When the presence of God surrounds me, really surrounds me, there is absolutely NO pain, no anguish, not even a sense of loss… just indescribable peace. I feel closest to Jenna in those times but not in that physical sense that I am so foolishly trying to recapture. There is a connection in the spirit, because she lives with Jesus in heaven.
It is not quite possible for me to stay in that tangible presence of God all the time but it is those times that see me through. Thank God for a church where there is such a sense of his presence and glory during our times of worship!
I have heard that at least one person who attended Jenna’s memorial had difficulty wrapping her mind around the fact that I could worship God so freely in the light of recent happenings. She came to me afterwards and tried to talk about the ‘guilt factor’, trying to encourage me not to take any guilt upon myself. I honestly (and by the grace of God) have not had a moment’s struggle in that area. I just don’t believe that is a yoke God is putting on me (or anyone else that was there on the day)…his yoke is easy and his burden is light.
God is God and he is sovereign. We still believe that somehow he allowed something in His wisdom that he could have prevented in his power and I don’t think I could have changed that.
I am grateful for the foundational teaching I have received in the word of God that has enabled me to see His hand in something so horrible and tragic. There are so many little things I cannot possible share with you all, but when woven together they just form one unending tapestry of grace.
At the very time that Jenna must have fallen into the pool, my sister and mom and I were outside on the patio near her kitchen. Either my mom or my sister pointed out the robin that was sitting on the rooftop, in full view in the late afternoon light. I remembered afterwards that a dear old family friend mentioned to me a long time ago that God often sends her a robin when she needs a special assurance of his presence. Surely we cannot make a doctrine out of this but God has ways of getting our attention, and seeing that robin when I did was one of His ways of whispering to me that he was in control.
I heard that robin sing throughout the rest of my stay in SA, y’all. Whenever the sadness pressed in too closely, I’d hear his clear sweet song. He was the first bird to start singing in the wee hours of the morning…at 4 am. while it was still pitch black outside his song would rise up. Job says: “He giveth songs in the night”, and David said in Psalms 42:8: “the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me.”
It is still true. In the midst of this terrible sadness I can still have a song on my lips to my precious Jesus. And the cool thing is that there is a robin in my yard here in the States too. I have never seen him and I was oblivious to his singing before, but now his sweet song is a constant reminder of the goodness of my God.