I hold my daughter in my heart, rather than my arms.
I have no other living children on earth with me to help ease the pain. The ache.
My "parenting decisions" are things like what sort of headstone will I pick out for Lily? Do I want it flat or upright? What do I want it to say? What words do I want permanently etched in stone?
What special things should I take to the cemetery where she's buried when I go up to visit this summer?
I have containers of clothes for a little girl that will never wear them. Clothes that go up to about age 2 because mom and I loved shopping for her. Now she'd be outgrowing those clothes. But, there is no need to purchase more. Her "coming home from the hospital outfit" actually turned out to be her "going home to Jesus outfit." Her true home. Her forever home.
I must imagine what my own child might be like. How she might look. Who she might have become in these past 26 months.
What is it even like to look at your child in their eyes? Blue eyes. That's what I truly believe she had. Blue eyes like her mama. She looked just like a mini-me. Can't you tell by this picture? It's one of my favorites.
Oh, she was beautiful.
My daily reality consists of grief. Consists of loving a precious princess that I never got to know past 40 weeks 2 days. Those were the most glorious months of my life. Because they were spent with her.
Instead of thinking what can I do for my daughter, I think of how I can honor her memory. I think of how I can be a mom to her, without her here....I want to make this blog a special tribute to her life and all God has done. I want to share her story with as many people as possible.
Instead of knowing the different stages of babyhood and toddlerhood, I know the different stages of grief. I have to ask my mom how Lily might act now, at the age she'd be.
So often it feels like just a cycle of joy and sorrow. Shedding tears of thankfulness and then tears of sadness. How many tears can be cried for one life? I feel so often like I am simply repeating myself on this blog. On this journey of grief.
How many different ways can I say, I miss her. I miss who she would have become. I miss who she might've been in the future. How many different ways can I say, this is hard. How many different ways can I say, I am thankful still. And the Lord is good, always.
"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book." ~Psalm 56:8
My God sees me. All of me. My tears, my dreams, my grief, my everything. And those tears are precious to Him. So precious that every tear I cry is collected and held in an account! He knows how much I ache to hold my little girl and does not tell me to "get over it" or "move on." He picks me up in His strong, loving arms and tells me I can cry in His shoulder. I can rest in Him. He tells me to pour out my heart, my sorrows, to Him. To share my life.
My pain, and your pain, touch His heart.
Listen to His call today. He is beckoning each of us away, to the secret place, to rest in His sweet embrace. Let the tears flow. No matter what your hurt is...Give it all to Him for He is worthy. He holds each of your tears in a bottle. Not a single one goes unnoticed.
Matthew Henry, a theologian living in the late 1600s and early 1700s, wrote, "God has a bottle and a book for His people's tears, both those for their sins and those for their afflictions. He observes them with compassion and tender concern; He is afflicted in their afflictions, and knows their souls in adversity. Paul was mindful of Timothy's tears (2 Timothy 1:4), and God will not forget the sorrows of His people. God will comfort His people according to the time wherein He has afflicted them, and give to those to reap in joy who sowed in tears. What was sown a tear will come up a pearl."
He is with us always, to the ends of the earth. Go to Him, He's all you need.
(Be sure to pause the music at the bottom of this blog before listening.)