I don’t believe for one minute that child loss is a test or curriculum or punishment.
But I do believe there are things I can learn from it.
I absolutely believe there are things I HAVE learned and am learning in this Valley of the Shadow of Death.
What are some of those lessons?
I know life is hard. Not just for me or for those who suffer my particular tragedy or difficulty. Life is hard for everyone. If I can’t see the burden someone is carrying, that’s either because they are good at hiding it or I’m not looking closely enough.
I know many things remain broken for a lifetime. They simply can’t be fixed, put back together or patched up to even resemble what they used to look like. And there’s no shame in that. Brokenness is not failure. For most of us, the brokenness is a result of what has happened TO us, not choices we made ourselves. For those whose brokenness is magnified by poor choices, it’s no less devastating.
I know people give up on you. Some folks simply cannot bear to see another person’s pain so they leave. Others are too self-absorbed to make room for long term compassionate companionship. A few turn away, disgusted because they are convinced it can’t happen to them and if it did, they’d handle it so. much. better.
I know people stand by you. If you had asked me to write a list of the ten people (outside my family) that would still be walking with me over four years later, I’d have only gotten two of them right. People I would never have imagined have stepped up and stepped in and refused to run away no matter how ugly it gets. They are gifts from God and I treasure them.
I know that time is not on our side. We think that tomorrow is the perfect day for sending the card, writing the note, making the phone call. But tomorrow may not come-not for me or for the person that means so much to my heart. Bless today. Give today. Be present. Today.
I know that, for me, my faith has been shaken but not destroyed. I have dragged out every single thing I believe and held it up to the glaring light of child loss. It burned away the superfluous, decorative and/or foolish things but has left the rock-solid foundation of my faith intact. I am as convinced today as ever that God will redeem, restore and resurrect what the enemy has stolen. I am not forsaken.
I know that love lives. I never imagined I would have to love a child of mine from earth while he or she was already in Heaven, but I do. And I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter whether I have his physical companionship because all the love I’ve ever felt is still there. I miss him like crazy. I can’t wait until we are together. I hate our broken family circle. But the circle of love we weave in and out through our hearts and our stories cannot be broken. It is eternal.
I’ve learned that I can hold out and hold on.
I can keep moving forward even with a limp or at a snail’s pace.
I’ve learned that if I lean in and latch on to love, life can still have beauty and purpose. ❤