Sunday, June 7, 2009

Day By Day

Some days are harder than others. Already, life continues to propel us forward with a breathless momentum instead of allowing us to stay rooted in the immediate sadness. Somehow, summer is in full swing. Our oldest son has started soccer, and we have been keeping a full schedule of play-dates, evening Bible studies and meetings, and fellowship with friends. I can’t believe there are days so full of activity that it isn’t until all is quiet that I begin to really think about Eliana. She is always in my mind and heart, even when I am going at full speed, but it is surprising how quickly I am assimilating back into the routine.

There are many days, however, when it seems like it all just happened yesterday, like I could still wake up and realize it has just been a bad dream. In many ways the true reality of the situation is still sinking in. Somehow, even after saying hello and good-bye at the hospital, and continuing the farewell through our memorial service and commital, it continues to dawn on me anew. A bin of sweet baby girl clothes still sits in my bedroom, some purchased the day before we learned of her death. Do I really have to put them away? When I walk past the children’s department of a clothing store, I still feel pulled to all those tiny pink and lavender things that I might buy for her…if only. At first I would drink a cold drink and expect to feel her squirming and kicking away, but that has stopped now. Little by little I realize, good bye takes much longer than anticipated.

Also, as more days go by, I start to focus less on the experience of her birth and subsequent farewell, and more on the loss of the hopes and dreams I had for her future. I not only have to grieve her passing, but also the memories that we will never make, the first cry, first words, first steps, first day of school, first love…a lifetime full of memories that will never be. And so, our sadness is uncovered in layers, day by day.

Still, I have peace because though she will never experience a life on earth, she isn't robbed of any joy, she is in a place of unspeakable joy. I also am not robbed of joy, because I carried her in my womb for a little while, and will carry her in my heart forever. I also know that I can trust God to use this all for good in my life and in the lives of others. I take great delight and hope in the comfort I receive from God, and the future I know I have with Eliana in heaven. I can’t see her now, but I will see her then.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Romans 8:18

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything... Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
James 1:2-4, 12

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