Audrey is teething. I hate that word. It takes my sweet and generally well behaved toddler and turns her into a whirlwind of crabbiness, mood swings, and lots and lots of snot. It also takes every ounce of my self control to not also turn into a hot mess of a monster mama. Teething is not for the faint of heart and these last 6 months have definitely worn me down. Instead of graciously comforting her through the worst of the pain (and I'm sure confusion), I find myself with a short fuse and lack of patience let alone grace. And then I realize just how amazing it is that the God I serve is full of endless grace during my grown up "teething" moments.
I know it's a stretch to equate teething pains with this grief or this journey I'm on. But lately I've been so frustrated with God that this might just be the only way to honestly speak to my heart. Those initial weeks after George Mason's day were so hard. They're so vividly written into my memory but they're also equally as blurry. I don't remember what my relationship with God consisted of in those days... I remember sitting in my rocking chair, pumping the small amounts of milk that were meant for my son, and crying as I tried to find words to start a conversation with him. I remember waking up in the middle of night and needing Adam's help to roll out of bed to pee and pleading with God to tell me why. I remember wishing that all the pain, the ice packs, the 24 hour helpers, would have been "for a good reason" and not a reminder of the empty crib in the not finished nursery. I don't remember feeling his presence but when I read through my journal he was there. He was there. Through the storm. Through my worst days. Through the moments of breathless grief. Through the frustrations and bitterness. He was there. And never once did he lose his temper or lack in grace.
It seems like God could have chosen something more poetic than a teething toddler to remind me of his goodness, but alas, this is where I am. Covered in snot, short fuse, lacking in patience, and grieving my son. It's actually quite perfect. In the midst of the frustration of today, Audrey and I had a really sweet conversation. I was cleaning up lunch and she was stalling nap time when she pointed to the picture of her brother that is hanging in our stairwell. She exclaimed with such pride, "that's George! That's George Mason, mama!" I dropped what I was doing and joined her on the stairs. We talked about him being in heaven with Jesus. About how she is a great big sister. How mama and daddy cried a lot on his day because we were sad; we still are. About how much we love her and George Mason loved her. How it's really sad that George Mason never came home with us, but if he couldn't live here, that heaven is a pretty amazing place to be. And then she told me it would be pretty cool if we could have a baby come live with us.
God met me on those stairs today. He gave me the strength to talk about the truth of his love with my daughter. He gave me the joy to remember my son and to share that joy with her. He gave me the words to spark and continue an especially sweet conversation with the very same 2 year old that was driving me crazy only minutes earlier.
It makes my heart so sad that she and I have to talk about death and sadness but what an amazing God she is learning to love at such a young age. If I have to talk about death with my toddler, I'm thankful I can share the assurance of God's grace and mercy that mean death hasn't won. I'm thankful for the truth we have in scripture about who God is. I'm thankful for a God who is good. I'm thankful for a God who has felt and experienced humanity and all of the ugly brokenness that goes with it. If she has to learn about death, I can't imagine a better way to make it less scary than to tell her that death is not the end nor is it scary. Our eternity is full of hope. God is our hope. In grief, in joy, in anticipation, in worry, in longing, and even in teething. God is our everything.