Sunday, December 13, 2009

My waves (some gentle, some tidal) of sadness and grief over the last year usually roll in without notice. The sadness, fear, or just dull ache is often over something specific concerning Lilah's disease (if I dealt with all of 'it' at one time, it would sink me). Right now it about missing the baby I never had. Longing for a chubby, curious baby to snuggle up next to me. Expecting to find evidence of my 'baby' getting into things. Wanting to look over and see her exploring something besides what I dropped in her lap. Listening for sounds like 'talking'...."momma". The closest way I can explain it is, like phantom limb syndrome. I know it's not like she's gone. Lilah's very much a beloved member of our family and we wouldn't ever trade her situation for different. But in my heart, something tangible feels missing. Even though I know and want Lilah here, I feel like there is a baby missing too.
It's not near the darkest of my grief, but I share it for healing and because it came up today in church.
Not my grief specifically, and thankfully....since I already had to excuse myself to the restroom once to dry my tears (i almost always cry at church, i did not bring tissues, and i was surrounded by tiny babies who were strong, and bright-eyed, and ....i was jealous). Our pastor was talking on this verse:
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
I have to say, this is usually one of those verses where I think I'm just not spiritual enough to trust that to be true or even want it. Why can't we do away all together with the sufferings?
And, I probably missed the entire main point of his message (b/c I was too busy wiping snot on my sweater), but he said "Suffering, whatever it is, and we all have it, is not going anywhere. And if you try to endure it alone, it will sink you." This was my 'aha' moment (ode to Oprah). Our culture tries to 'fix it and forget about it' when problems arise, making it doubly hard to deal with suffering that seemingly has no endpoint.
Things in our life have gotten so much easier from a logistical standpoint (easier feedings, no O2, less medicines, sitting up, having help, etc.), but all the grief remains. Maybe not all, but the remainder, I am learning, we will carry with us through this lifetime. This suffering is not going anywhere. I don't have to work to 'get through it' or 'get over it'. Some of it will just always be hard, terrible, heart-breaking. But, it doesn't have to be crushing or isolating or devastating.
Our family has been through more in the last year than I thought we'd be capable of doing and I know the only way it hasn't sunk us is that Jesus bore the burden. He carried us through days so dark, that I have little memory. And there have been such riches and glory on the other side. As terrible and hard as times have been, we would not change them. God's plan is exactly where we want to be.
I know my life will encompass much suffering beyond what I already know and I have absolutely no plans of going it alone.


Elizabeth Myatt said...

Good to be ministered to by you, my friend. Thanks for your encouraging words... I am sinking here...will call you tomorrow.

Johnson Party of seven! said...

Oh Gina! I wish it weren't so late! I would pick up the phone and call you! First of all- how weird is it that I was pondering this same verse earlier today?! I LOVE it when The Holy Spirit confirms to me what He has been trying to tell me! Secondly- you always have such a beautiful way of putting into words EXACTLY how I am feeling! You know when you go to church and the pastor seems to be speaking directly to you? Thats how I feel when I read your posts! I realize this is your story and I am not trying to make this about me. I just want to tell you how thankful I am that you were put into my life. You are an incredible support and I can see how God is using you and Lilah to bring Him glory. Thanks for always keeping it so real. You are awesome!

Jessica said...

you are such a beautiful, strong Mother! What an inspiration! Thank you for sharing