I have bad days. I have good days. I have days I think will never end. I have days when I think life couldn't get any sweeter. Isn't it like that for everyone?
After my previous post, I thought I would share a bit more about my journey in Christianity, in learning that it's ok to trust God and it's ok to hurt. It is life in a sinful world that makes Christ so necessary!
Since the day our daughter died in the spring of 2003, my beliefs have been sorely tested. I had only been a Christian for about a year when the Lord saw fit to take her home to be with Him.
Before the Lord saved me, I struggled regularly with depression, and at times, thoughts of suicide even crossed my mind. I knew I could never act on it, but still, to even think it....
After losing Abigail, those thoughts (not the suicidal thoughts, just the depression and cast-down-all-the-time feelings) that I had hoped were gone for good came back with a vengeance. I doubted my salvation; I doubted God; I doubted my husband and our relationship; I doubted. I couldn't reconcile in my mind the truth that God loved me and wanted the best for me with the fact that He just took my child out of my womb, and I would never hear her voice or touch her warm skin or watch her grow and change. I would never have my daughter back.
I stopped reading the Word regularly. Going to church was something done because I knew I needed to, not because I necessarily wanted to be there. I drifted father and farther from my only source of Comfort, and instead, tried to find the healing my heart and soul needed so desperately in other places. Keeping busy, going to school, putting on a brave face for everyone, spouting the words I knew I was expected to say, though my heart didn't really believe it in those moments-these and so much more never brought any comfort, only more and more emptiness.
Many other things encompassed the struggles I had during that time, but ultimately, the Lord in His mercy continued to lead me and guide me in the midst of all the darkness and pain I was experiencing. Three short months after losing Abigail, I discovered I was pregnant with Ryan, and I started a journey to healing and forgiveness. It was still a while before I felt the assurance of God's love and protection again, but the Lord used my pregnancy to slowly draw me back to Himself and to the place where I was trusting again, rather than questioning. I began to see the light at the end of the intense grief and pain. I began to believe that maybe going on was ok and that moving on didn't mean leaving behind my baby girl, but just that all those memories and feelings got tucked inside to a place where I would always remember, but not hurt so badly anymore. It wasn't a quick process, this healing and restoration, but instead it was slowly, slowly, over time. I began to really hear when I was at church. The messages began to mean something and the hunger for God began to grow in my heart again. I began to take up the Scriptures and find some comfort, instead of seeing only questions or meaningless words. God's Spirit wooed my broken heart and I learned again to love.
It's always a journey, isn't it? Every day, every moment leads to the next, even if we think we can't go on. The Lord is in those moments. He does really know where we are and what we're feeling and how He's going to lead us gently to the other side of the darkness.
God's love is an amazing thing. When I really believe and cling to the knowledge that He loves His own, me, with an everlasting love, I find myself in a place of such rest and peace! I haven't found the answer to every question. I still have thoughts of doubt and pain at times when I think about Abigail, but the Lord is ever faithful to remind me of all with which He has blessed me. He is enough.
I miss my daughter every day, and I still have times I have to let it all go again to God's loving hands, but God is teaching me more and more to just rest, to just trust, to just live in this moment and believe that He is all He has said and will do all He has promised.
Though I feel that losing Abigail was one of the most defining moments of my life, so much has happened in the last seven years that all come together to bring me to where I am at today. I hope to share more later. Until then, I'll leave you with these verses.
But now, thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fires, thou shalt not be burnt; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.
Thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us; this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.