Today was a weird day. It wasn't sad. It wasn't particularly memorable at all, actually. I woke up this morning with a weird crick in my neck, we met some new people at our church, and Audrey took forever to fall asleep for her nap. Nothing about today screamed anything other than normal or regular. But as I was walking up the stairs to grab my heating pad, I stopped and stared at George Mason's picture; at our family picture. The only complete family picture we will ever have. I felt this sudden rush of sadness. I'm not even sure why. I mean, I know there are so many reasons to feel and be sad in this season of my life, but I'm not sure why in this exact moment I was, I am, sad.
I got a glimpse of what life is going to be like as we move on through this grief. As we meet new people and gain new friendships, there are going to be people who don't know about George Mason. There are going to be decades of relationships with people who won't have grieved with us. Won't have loved on and prayed for us through our pregnancy. Won't have praised with us after those first precious breaths and cries. Won't have cried with us after his death. There are going to be people who never knew what this season of our life looked like. It's a weird, and until today, completely unknown part of our story. Right now, God has surrounded us with people who so deeply love George Mason just as we do. Right now, God has given us this protective bubble of people who went through this and continue to go through this life with us. They prayed. They prayed harder. They loved. They mourned. They grieved. With us. Alongside us. Up to this moment, every person with any significant contact or role in our life, has known George Mason. Up to this moment, the only people who didn't know George Mason were grocery store clerks. It's easy to brush off the comments about my one child when it's from a total stranger. But when someone who is going to be in my life asks how many kids I have or why Utah hasn't been my favorite place, I cannot just brush that off.
It seems weird to share this part of my story with someone I literally just met. It's something so very dear to me. Something so close and raw. But to a new person it's heavy and horrible. And I'd like to think that with time and a deeper relationship with me, the death of my son won't seem as shocking and horrible. It will always be an awful thing. It will never make sense. I don't think that it will ever be easy to share this part of my story with a new person. But perhaps with time I'll get better at it. Perhaps over the years and with more experience, my son's life won't end up being a horrible and awkward elephant in the room, but instead a beautiful part of my story.
The sermon this morning was on James 1. I've quoted those verses before and I've clung to them more often than that. I don't understand them and I'm certainly no good at applying them, but I know they are true. I know they are God's promise that no matter what comes my way, even in the depth of the sorrow over losing my son way too soon, I'm going to come to the end of this and have been tested in a way that is going to make me stronger. That there is joy to be found in his sorrow. Because God is who he says he is.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. - James 1:2-4