A silent suffering- that is where I am currently at. Strangers pass me in the street and have no idea the storm that is going on inside of me. That pain that is threatening to strangle me and builds, becoming toxic until it bubbles over, spilling out of me as if floodgates had just been opened. I HATE THIS. I hate that this is now part of our story. That suffering knocked on our door a month and a half ago and decided to move in for what seems to be permanently. How can this happen? How can I experience the best year of my life and the worst year of my life all in the same year? How can the direction life is going change so drastically? Because of this abrupt direction change, I'm so lost.
I long for the day when I am on the other side of this. The day when I can look back on this time and see how far I've come. Jerry Sittser writes:
"The quickest way for anyone to reach the sun & light of day is not to run west, chasing after the
setting sun, but to head east, plunging into the darkness until one comes to the sunrise."
I love this analogy because if I run from this suffering, this darkness that comes along with losing someone you love so dearly, I will maybe have fleeting moments of comfort, but the darkness will always catch up with me. So I've decided to run straight into the darkness- facing all those things that scare me: Quinn's nursery, pictures of her, talking about her and our memories, my fears of never having more children, letting go of MY plan of how life was going to be. Once I do that I am down to the most basic, primal parts of me. Even though it hurts so bad, I know it has to be done or else I'm just delaying the inevitable.
I don't know where we (including me) got the idea that life isn't supposed to be hard. That bad things happen to "other" people, but if we're "good" enough it won't happen to us. We (including me) have this sense of entitlement. I was reminded of this last night when reading Romans 8:15-17:
"The Spirit we received does not make us slaves again to fear; it makes us children of God. With
that Spirit we cry out, "Father". And the Spirit himself joins with our spirits to say we are God's
children. If we are God's children, we will receive blessings from God together with Christ. But
we must suffer as Christ suffered so that we will have glory as Christ has glory."
As I was reading that verse in my Bible I noticed I had previously read this and had the entire verse underlined but stopped at the last sentence beginning with BUT. See, I failed to underline the suffering part. We want a nice neat box to put Christianity in and throw in those fuzzy verses about love and conveniently leave out the suffering parts. Brennan Manning writes:
"Christianity doesn't deny the reality of suffering and evil... our hope... is not based on the idea that
we are going to be free of pain and suffering. Rather, it is based on the conviction that we will
triumph over suffering."
Just this week I realized something pretty simple that I can't believe I've missed all these years of growing up in the church... Those whom God loves dearly, the faithful, the righteous, they all have some of the deepest suffering. Moses was given away as a baby, kills someone and goes into exile. David was chased & sought to be killed by his mentor and then loses his baby boy. Mary has a son who is born in a barn, is persecuted most of his short life, then dies a criminal death for no crime. AWFUL! But we skip over those parts and go right to the triumph of Moses leading his people out of slavery and seeing the very face of God, David being the greatest king to ever live, and Mary being the mother of the Savior of the universe who rose again.
My cousins came last weekend to spend some time with me and asked me about this blog. They were surprised I was doing it because I'm normally more private with things of this matter. I waited a moment to answer them because I had not put into words why I was writing this. But the answer came quick. I had so many dreams and hopes for Quinn. I envisioned her being a character, charismatic, loving people hard, and changing every life who she came in contact with. Now my daughter is gone. And the only possible way that she can still change lives is if her story is told through Tim & I. Here is her story:
Once upon a time there lived a mommy and daddy who prayed and cried and prayed to have a baby. Finally the time came where God blessed them with that baby. When she was born their whole world rejoiced because a light was born and she grew into a round-faced, happy, beautiful, blue-eyed baby. Then, quicker than she came into the world she left the world and that flame went out. The mommy and daddy were heartbroken and thought they'd never see that kind of light again. But that's when others around them caught fire. Mommies and daddies held their kids longer, told their kids how much they loved them, and vowed to be better parents, friends and coworkers dropped their differences and showed each other more love and grace than ever before, and that world turned to the Light Of The World for their own struggles. Even though the one little light had gone out a wild fire had started and there was no putting that out.
So even though I am silently suffering in my day to day life- I will not be quiet about how my daughter changed me, how she moved me from a place of complacency to a place of fervency.