Today has been one of those gorgeous, shining southern pre-fall days, and they always seem to make me thoughtful. The air is dry and scrubbed clean, lit up with the sun and a light breeze and the assurance (finally) that fall really is coming. It's been hot this summer. Suddenly, I feel like I can breathe outside. I love to run errands on days like today-- to be alone in the sunlight and drive and not listen to the radio or music and just think.
I had a list of things I needed to do today: I looked for curtain rods at five different stores, trying to avoid buying them online; I bought a book for a dear friend who is newly pregnant and worries all the time and with whom I often feel so awkward-- what is my experience to her? I did everything right and look how my story ended? (at least, that part of the story) Never mind that his death had nothing to do with my pregnancy, I always feel so aware of the fact that mine is a sort of cautionary tale, not the comforting story of peace and miracles that a pregnant woman needs to collect for the wee-morning-worrying-rituals. My friend hasn't confessed to such thoughts, but would she? Ah, Jesus, just another place I need Your redeeming touch and power.
But that's why I wanted to write-- not just because I am avoiding scrubbing the tile in the front bathroom. Because God is so very, incredibly good and kind and I have to say it-- proclaim it.
I've learned so much in the last year and half. Before April 28, 2009, I always wondered how in the world a woman could survive the death of her child. I wondered how you go on. I had watched my dear sister Winter walk that path and I saw it nearly kill her for a season, and then I saw the Lord come in like a flood and restore everything the enemy attempted to steal...but still, I wondered. How do you go on? Until you've walked the path, it's impossible to know, honestly.
Truly, it is a horrible experience, but here's the thing:
Jesus is real. He is real. When I cry out to Him in my darkest moments, I feel and know His presence in my very bones and He lifts the shroud of mourning and I can breathe. He has guarded my mind from insanity and my soul from total anguish. My testimony is that we can experience the darkest depths and lo, He is with us. He is the God who sees-- He is El Roi, the God who sees me. He is faithful. He guards my dreams. He comforts me in the moments I allow myself to revisit the day of Ben's arrival and departure. He softens the memories. He holds me when I know that no one, not even my husband, truly gets the depths of my longing.
He is the same Person for you. He will be.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.