Quinn would've been 5 months old today and the words escape me for how much I miss her. It has been 3 weeks since she passed away and the reality and longevity of her death are finally starting to set in. I miss her big beautiful eyes and infectious smile. I miss coming into her room after her nap or sleeping to find her smiling at me. I miss her voice ,that she had just found, filling the house. I miss taking showers with her in the bouncy seat and poking my head out and looking at her. She usually had no idea I was looking at her, but when she looked up from whatever she was playing with (usually Rosie or her hands) she would smile as if to say "Hi Mom". I hear other children calling for their mothers and I long to hear her say my name... "Mommy", I see other children passing me in the street and they haunt me like ghosts. They are all my "what ifs" siting in the backseat of the SUV. But I don't see children & feel bitter. I don't want those children. I WANT QUINN.
This death is different from other deaths because I am not just mourning the tiny memories I have with her. I am mourning the death of hopes and dreams I had for her. The things I will never get to do with her. This morning I cried because my daughter never got to know me & I prayed, "God, will you tell her about me and what I would've been to her? Will you tell her about how much I love her and miss her? Will you tell her how funny I am, or how her mommy and daddy fell in love, or how much she moved and changed us?" I know no one can love her like The Father, but what is so wrong about her being here with me? I know many parts of this are selfish, but it was who i was made to be... a mother.
The song that kept running through my head the night we lost Quinn was "Worth It All" by Rita Springer. My hope and prayer is that this pain, heartbreak, brokenness, and suffering that came at such a HUGE PRICE will be worth it in the end when I see my Maker's face. That he will say "Well Done", that lives would be moved for Christ. Psalm says that God is near to the brokenhearted and I believe that with my whole heart- Tim & I have both commented on how we have felt it.
Tim & I are in Vail, CO this weekend as a short getaway and I have started the 1st book of many that people have given us to read through this journey of suffering. It is called "I Will Carry You- The Sacred Dance of Grief & Joy". In it the author, Angie Smith (who lost a child of her own) writes about the relationship between joy & suffering. This is the quote that hit me...
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
& you shall see that in truth you are weeping for
that which has been your delight,
Some of you say"Joy is greater than sorrow"
& others say, "No, sorrow is the greater"
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come & when one sits alone with you
at your board, remember the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
This is the beautiful mess Rick McKinley talks about in his book "This Beautiful Mess" of an upside down kingdom of heaven here on earth. One that Psalm 34:18 talks about:
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted & saves those who are crushed in spirit."
The one Matthew 5:3-4 talks about:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted"
The one Lamentations 3:13, 19-22 speaks of:
"He shot His arrows deep into my heart. The thought of my suffering
& hopelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful
time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet, I dare to hope when I remember
this. The unfailing love of the Lord never ends. Because of the Lord's
great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness"
The one Lamentations 3:55-58 speaks of:
"I call your name o Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea:
'Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.' You came near when I
called you, you said 'Do not fear.' Oh Lord, you took up my case, you
redeemed my life."
SEE?... FOR IN OUR SUFFERING HE IS NEAR! Don't get me wrong. I have been in some deep depression... that "deep pit" & have been in the most bleak, dark parts of life. It has been hard to get out of bed some mornings, some days I won't talk, some I will cry all morning. BUT GOD IS NEAR TO ME. I haven't doubted that for a moment. I have been reading John 11 a lot lately of the story of Lazarus & I believe that Jesus knows my pain & is weeping with me.
Even before Quinn was born my main prayer for her was that she would bring joy to the lives of others. And even though this situation is as far away from my prayer that it could ever be, I believe that God is still working to answer that. That through this grief & suffering that joy will come to the lives of other through Quinn's story. A joy that doesn't fade, but an eternal joy.
As I read through this joy/suffering relationship yesterday out on the deck in Colorado. A huge storm rolled over the Mountains about the same time I was reading a verse in the Bible that said "I am God"- thunder rolled. I felt that God was letting me know that this was not my plan for my life, but that he was still in control, not me. But as that storm rolled in, I was still sitting in the sunlight (really, I was! Tim couldn't believe it, but still told me to come in). I felt it was a physical reminder of this crazy dichotomy of suffering and joy. That I am in the thick of the storm, but that over this mountain will come joy. And so in my darkest of days, that is my hope.