I sit here at the computer with very mixed feelings. There is peace, there is sadness, there is joy…all mingled up together.
Peace, because I can truly say that God is good. Yesterday during worship at church he visited me and I could almost imagine him smothering my face with kisses. Jesus loves me this I know…
Sadness because I simply miss my girly-girl. I keep up with many blogs of women who lost their babies after just having a few hours or days with them. Their precious babies had been diagnosed with a fatal condition while still in the womb and these amazing women decided to not terminate their pregnancies but to enjoy their little ones however long their time on earth would be. They knew their time with their babies would be short, so they relished every single moment. They took professional pictures, they recorded video clips, they literally ‘drank in’ every smell, every sight, every touch, every thing. I did not expect Jenna to leave us so soon and sometimes I wish I had ‘soaked’ her in more and taken the time to deliberately imprint every facet of her in my brain.
Yet, honestly, I can’t say I have many regrets. I was a hands-on mommy. I took time to cuddle Jenna as she watched tv, to play doll-house with her, to let her climb into the bath tub with me even though it cramped my style a bit and I often wished she wouldn’t notice me taking a bath (I like to wallow). We cleaned house together and read books together and played hide-and seek. I have many wonderful memories, even though right now I wish I had recorded them better. The missing remains though and will remain until I see her again.
There is joy, because I can see that my future holds promise. There is the hope that all my longings for God to do something great inside me might actually not be a crazy and unrealistic dream. He is in fact, a God of redemption like he says he is. He might not redeem this situation in the way I would want him to but I can trust that the end result will be everything that is good and lovely, because that is who he is.
Our pastor ministered at a church in a neighboring town last night, and we went along. We lived three houses down from that church when we first moved to the US, and our oldest son started his school career at their private christian school. So we have known pastor Rob for many years. We were at the funeral of his daughter almost 6 years ago, after she was killed in a car crash with a drunk driver.
Rob couldn’t make it to Jenna’s memorial service and last night was the first time we spoke to him after our loss. Talking with him last night was like taking a deep, cool refeshing drink of water after a hot and thirsty day. He understood! We talked about how we now have a deposit in heaven and how it turns one’s gaze away from what is temporal and makes one so much more focussed on the eternal. Heaven is so much more real now!
We talked about the missing. Rob said the sharpness of the pain edges off with time but the missing remains. Hubby shared how he had just had the most vivid dream of Jenna the night before, in which he was just hugging her and kissing her and loving on her. How precious that dream was while it lasted! Rob could relate. (I have yet to have a dream about Jenna, and I am slighly envious.)
Rob talked about how the pain of losing a child just cuts through you like a knife, slicing you open. But it is as if God comes into that deep open wound and ministers his comfort to you there, and when the wound is sewn up and healed, his presence remains in that deep place. He said that he now knows God in a deeper way than he would have if he had not known the pain…
We talked about how grief changes you. We expressed the trust that it is all for a wonderful purpose. I shared a bit about my study on the deep. (I wrote about it here and here…I think I almost could preach a sermon on it now. 🙂 ) I left Rob’s church full of joy and hope, grateful to have had a face to face conversation with someone who really knows what we are going through, and who loves and glorifies Jesus even in his pain. On the way home I started singing an improptu song about losing Jenna in my head. It sounded good at the time but it is actually a bit corny. LOL. I want to write a song one day, however, to express all these things.
One thing that I hope for is to become more intentional about my walk with God and my interaction with people around me. I am a very easy-going person who often just flows with what life brings. I am not very goal driven, nor do I think I will ever be. I joked with a friend the other day that I am a type Z – which is as far away from a type A as you can get.
I will never be a type A, but I am hoping and praying for balance in my life. I want to be more intentional about how I spend time with God, my children, my hubby, my friends. I don’t want to lose myself in the computer, or any other flavor-of-the-month thing. I want and need God to help me use my time wisely.
Psa 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.