I don't want Lily to be seen as a "sad thing that happened to me." I don't want other people to look at her life and death and only see her death because of the dark shadow it has cast over my life since March 2010. I don't want to not live fully and honor her with my every breath, each a breath she will never take. I want her to bring happiness to my life, rather than take it away.
And she does bring me so much joy. She has brought me so much more beauty than pain. And I do know I am living in a way that brings her honor and God glory and that I am doing many beautiful things because of her.
However... I feel as if I will never be whole again. I know I will be in Heaven and that God will wipe away every tear from my eyes. But here... on Earth... I fear I might never feel only happiness again, without the tinge of sorrow.
There is a certain kind of loneliness in grieving your child without a spouse and in not having another child born either before or after the child you lost. I know I have friends and family who love and miss Lily, but not in the way I do, not in the way only a parent can. And I have hope that I will one day have another child, but who knows when and if that will ever be. I don't even have any prospect of a man in my life and it's difficult for me to picture finding someone that "fits" with me. It is so hard. SO HARD. to see people who had a loss around the time I did go on to have one, two, or even three more children since that time. And here I am, still single and without a child to raise. So many people who have a loss are able to go on and have another child to help fill their empty arms shortly after. I know that having another baby will never, ever replace Lily or completely take that pain and ache away, however, I imagine that there is a healing that comes only when you have another child. It's been FIVE years for me. I have been feeling forgotten by God. I know I am not, but I wonder why He finds it best to keep me single and childless still, all these years later.
My soul is weary in the waiting and wondering if I will ever have another child to call my own. I'm tired of feeling that oh so familiar, yet unwanted, pang of jealousy when I see what seems like everyone around me be given the gifts that I long for - marriage and more children. I'm burdened by the ache of loneliness I feel when it seems every other woman has a strong arm around her except me. I'm afraid that no man will ever "get" me or want to marry me. I'm weighed down from what it's done to me to miss my daughter for 5 years now. I'm tired of feeling like people think I am strange or unhealthy in how I express my grief and love for Lily. I'm tired of feeling like I have to work at making her "count" in other people's minds. It makes me sad when it seems other people avoid me and my posts about Lily, when I see them commenting all over other people's posts. I know people say, "it's just Facebook," but behind every Facebook account is a person. And it hurts to feel avoided. It hurts when I wonder if people think I'm a "Debbie downer" or that my posts are depressing. Even though they have no idea what it's like to walk a mile in my shoes. I feel alone in my feelings and like people just don't get it. Sometimes I just don't even want to explain myself about things... like why it would be hard to go to an Easter egg hunt because my child isn't here to participate. Or why I wouldn't want a living child to share a birthday with my daughter, when it's one of the only things I will ever have of her and it would be a bitter reminder each year of everything I'm missing out on. I feel like people think I'm mean or selfish when they have no idea how hard this is for me to carry. I'm just worn.
People have asked me many times about Lily's father and if we are still together, what happened between us, and what not. I struggle with knowing what to say because I don't want to say too much or not enough. It's a very private grief and apart from losing Lily, the deepest and longest-lasting, most excruciating pain my heart has ever felt. The anguish reaches clear to my soul, the innermost part of my being. The wound is deeper than the sea. I have been haunted by "what ifs" and "if onlys."
Maybe in the future, I will share more. In fact, I believe fully that I will because I believe part of the ministry God has for me in the future is to reach out to others experiencing similar things.
What I will say now is I felt God ask me to give him up, to place that relationship in His hands. The Lord saw best to take that relationship away. Had Lily lived, things might have turned out differently. But, I have complete peace in knowing God asked me to let go of him.
Now, I always assumed it was because He had someone better suited for me. And maybe He does. But, I don't know that. I struggle at times wondering why God has not brought me my husband yet. I will be 26 this year and always pictured myself getting married very young, late teens or early twenties. I never imagined I'd still be single at this age. I also never imagined that after having Lily I would still not have another child 5 years later. I almost felt like God would certainly fulfill those dreams, after I had experienced so much pain. I don't know that I'll ever get married.
But, here's what I do know... I know that I would rather be single forever and in the center of God's perfect will for my life than having settled on the wrong person for me. Because here is the thing, HE (Jesus) is the right one for me, first and foremost, before any other guy. And purity is not just waiting for the "something better" or "someone better," but realizing HE (Jesus) is our something/Someone better, even if an Earthly Prince Charming never comes.
I have had relationships in the past where I could have gotten married had I so chosen to, but I am so thankful that the Lord kept me from choosing that path. And though it is painful and very lonely at times to wait for a man that I don't even know if he exists, I would rather honor the Lord and my future *hoped for* husband than give my heart away to guys who were never meant to have it.
I desire to seek to honor God in this area, no matter the cost. Even though I struggle with wondering why I still have these feelings for Lily's father and why God hasn't just taken them away, even after all this time, even though I was obedient in surrendering that relationship.
I have to believe it's all for a greater purpose. I have to thank the Lord for having anything to surrender to Him. I have the opportunity to deny myself and what my heart wants because I know what my heart wants is not God's best for my life. I have to trust that He has me still single and childless for a reason. That doesn't take away the pain or keep me from questioning at times. But I trust my loving Father. Even if I never get married or have a living child, I will trust that He is still good, still loving, and still has a perfect plan unfolding.
I'm singing this over my soul when the questions make me feel like I'm drowning:
This beautiful poem was shared with me by a friend and it has been such a blessing to me in this time of waiting...
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried:
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said,
“Child, you must wait.”
“Wait? You say, wait!” my indignant reply.
“LORD, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is Your hand shortened? Or have You not heard?
By faith, I have asked, and am claiming Your Word.
“My future, and all to which I can relate
Hangs in the balance, and You tell me to WAIT?
I’m needing a ‘Yes,’ a go-ahead sign,
Or even a ‘No’ to which I can resign.
“And LORD, You promised that if we believe
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And, LORD, I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
‘I’m weary of asking! I need a reply!”
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, “You must wait.”
So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God, “So I’m waiting…for what?”
He seemed, then, to kneel
And His eyes wept with mine,
And He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.
“All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want-
But, you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of My love for each saint;
You’d not know the power I give to the faint;
“You’d not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust by knowing I’m there;
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me;
When darkness and silence were all you could see.
“You’d never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descend like a dove;
You’d know that I give and I save, for a start,
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.
“The glow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have last.
“You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that, “My grace is sufficient for thee.”
Yes, your dreams for your loved one overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss if I lost what I’m doing in you!
“So, be silent, My child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And though oft’ may My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still, ‘Wait.'”