Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Battle of Our Lives

Quinn would've been 11 months old today. And I sit and wonder what she would've looked like...would she have looked more and more like Tim or me? Would she have had my dimples or Tim's eyes? What would she have sounded like... I imagine what it would sound like to hear her call out, "mama", to have her voice filling our home again. What would she be doing... I see pictures of friends who have children Quinn's age and videos of them crawling or walking around it is heart wrenching. I have prayed against bitterness, but I have found that it is always slyly lurking around the corner, waiting to sneak up on you the minute you let your guard down.  I am not naturally a bitter person. By nature, I am generally happy for other people in their success. But what I have discovered in my suffering is the nature of bitterness.  Bitterness is what happens to our bodies as a defense mechanism. It hurts so bad to know what other's have and I am without, that it is easier to just be bitter... to be angry with your lot in life. Because anger and bitterness are a whole lot easier than feeling what I feel every day, complete and utter loss and despair  It is something I have to battle everyday.  What I was not prepared for in all of this was the endurance needed to survive this tragedy and simply live. I am shocked at how much energy it takes just to be, just to live life, just to carry out day to day activities. I have come to the point, now, were I am beyond the heart crushing, raw pain of grief, but have entered a new stage of a continual state of dull heart ache at all times. It is like music playing in the background, sometimes you are conscious of it and at other times are you not cognitively aware of it, but it is always there. I know I will never forget Quinn and I will always love her, but I wonder if there will ever be a day when EVERYTHING doesn't lead back to her like it does now. All things in life now cause a twinge of hurt because they somehow remind me of Quinn.
I am, however, finding out that I am a survivor and I can do this. But I am not satisfied with being just a survivor, I want to thrive in this life I have been given. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I view this grief as an epic battle, something that I don't want to sit back and let take over my life. It is something I want to fight. And I hear the Lord say, as he said to Gideon in Judges 6:12-13 & 15-16...
                   "'The Lord is with you mighty warrior!' Then Gideon said, 'Sir if the Lord is with us, why are we 
                     having so much trouble?... How can I save Israel? My family group is the weakest in 
                     Manasseh, and I am the least important member of my family.' The Lord answered him, 'I will
                     be with you. It will seem as if the Midianites you are fighting are only one man."
I empathize with Gideon when he is confused at the trouble he is experiencing if God is with him. I can't count how many times I have asked God as to why are we having this much trouble and why won't he step in and rescue us? I can relate to being weak. There is no way I can do this on my own. I am fighting a giant and am a huge underdog. I woke up in the early morning hours Saturday from a dream and I felt like God was telling me that I am David and this grief and fear of the future is my giant. By all earthly standards I can never defeat this, it is so much bigger than me. And though my faith is thin, I am trusting that God is with me. I am hoping in the words of Jesus in Matthew 17:20:
                   "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 
                    'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
I am not ignorant of the fact that this is the greatest, most difficult fight of my life. And though the battle might change as life goes on, it will always be there. I need endurance and perseverance. 
Hebrews 10:32, 35-36, & 39 states:
                     "Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in
                     a great contest in the face of suffering... So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly
                     rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will
                     receive what he has promised... But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed,
                     but of those who believe and are saved."
I think of an epic tale like Lord of the Rings and feel like the following quote was made just for me...
                   "Frodo: I can't do this, Sam.
                    Sam: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the
                    great stories, Mr Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they 
                    were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy?
                    How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the
                    end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And
                    when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you.
                    That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo,
                    I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only
                   they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
                   Frodo: What are they holding onto, Sam?
                   Sam: That there is some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for."
I sit and ponder this and it is true. All the great stories that ever moved me were those with an underdog, those where all hope seemed lost, and yet the characters stayed strong, they persevered, and they fought against all odds. So today I choose to fight... fight against bitterness, fight against feeling sorry for myself, fight to see the good in life... and know that it's worth fighting for.


  1. Moved to tears again. No parent can blame you for feeling bitter. Your faithfulness, strength and perseverance are encouraging. (Great LOTR reference too, BTW). Praying for you daily, Alison & Tim.

  2. I am a faithful reader of your blog, and a faithful child of our dear King. Your words are so well written, your thoughts and emotions so clearly shared. My heart aches for you. The power of Christ beams like a radiant light through your trial. Thank you for sharing your struggles and the powerful words of God that are carrying you through it. Keep fighting His fight!

  3. I stumbled across your blog the other day from a friend who had posted your link on her FB wall. The loss of a child is indescribable. Only with the hope and help of the LORD do any of us get through. My husband and I lost our 16yo. son, our firstborn, 19 months ago. Blogging has been incredibly helpful for me, as well. My blog is at: AWindowIntoGrief.blogspot.com. I just wanted you to know that you're not alone and to thank you for sharing. Also - if you haven't heard of GriefShare.org, it's a wonderful resource that we highly recommend. Blessings, Angie

  4. I can't believe she would have been three tomorrow. It still feels like yesterday when you brought her to school for your study hall to see her beautiful face. I know that I will be celebrating quinncidence day in honor of beautiful Quinn