And Jesus wept (John 11:35). Words that mean so much more to me now that tears are such a regular part of life for me. My soul, mind, and body all long to see Quinn, to have her near me. I carried her for 9 months, went through 28 hours of labor to be with her, I spent 24 hours a day caring for her... she is a part of me. I feel like someone took a chainsaw to me and cut out a huge chunk of me and now I am hurt, raw, with some of my most intimate parts for the whole world to see. I know I will eventually heal, but it will take a long time, I will forever have a scar, and it will never be the same. C.S. Lewis in "A Grief Observed" relates grief of losing a loved one to losing a leg... yes it will heal, but nothing is the same again- not the way you put on your shoes or pants, not the way you walk or stand, nothing. You will never again be known as a biped.
That is another aspect of my grieving- over the loss of who I used to be... trusting, sarcastic, naive. And the loss of who my husband used to be. We will never be the same. We can't be...part of us is missing. My prayer is that Tim & I will be better versions of our selves after this, but the verdict will be out for quite some time on that. Sue Monk Kidd in "When the Heart Waits" describes the word crisis as "a holy summons to cross a threshold. It involves both leaving behind and a stepping toward, a separation and an opportunity." Tim & I are at that threshold. Isaiah 43:2-3 states:
"When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
And when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."
Tim & I are the definition of walking through the fire and as much as I want to walk around it, or jump over it or just stand still, I can't- but i have to keep reminding myself that MY LORD, MY GOD is walking me through it. That he knows what is on the other side. See... In the story of Lazarus when Jesus wept- he knew the ending of the story. He knew what he was about to do. He knew Lazarus would be resurrected. Jesus wasn't weeping because Lazarus was dead. He was weeping because he saw how much hurt and pain Mary & Martha were in. He wept because he knew they couldn't see the whole picture, they didn't know the ending, they couldn't see what was on the other side of the fire. He empathizes with them. He is fully God and knows all things and how they will work out, but He is also fully human understanding our pain- hurting with the people he loves dearly.
When Quinn first passed away Tim & I poured over 2 Samuel 12 when David loses his first child and the verse that struck both of us is when David said, "Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me." I will go to be with Quinn someday, but she will NEVER return to me. That hurts. Children are supposed to run to their mothers. I know someday I will run to her, but that is not the way it is supposed to be. And that is why Jesus wept. Because to Quinn it will just be but a moment and she'll be reunited with her mommy and daddy, but Jesus knows it will seem like and will be a lifetime for me.
I have said in the past that death doesn't scare me because I know where I am going. But now, in hindsight, I think I was just saying that because that is what Christians are expected to say. But I can say to you today that Heaven has never seemed more real to me. It is sad that is takes something earthly for me to declare that, but it is what it is. I CANNOT wait to get to Heaven and run to my babies (Tim & I had a miscarriage before Quinn). To have that first time when you meet your child here on Earth is such a heavenly experience, but to meet my first child in heaven will be surreal. But mostly when I think about heaven, I think about Quinn. I think about holding her again and singing to her, I guess singing with her praises to the King. And knowing that I won't cry for her anymore and that I'll never have to say goodbye to her again, but that we will be together for eternity. It seems so far far away, when all I want to do is hold her now. But it makes me look forward to Heaven more than ever before. It makes me more thankful than ever of what Jesus did to make that possible and ironically God- who watched his only son die so that one day I may be reunited with my own children. Until then, I am homesick.