The 18 month mark since George’s day is quickly approaching. It feels like yesterday and an eternity ago all at the same time. How can it have been 18 months since I held that precious baby boy? How can 18 months of life already happened? 18 months of memories made. 18 months, 547 days, to mourn, grieve, remember, forget, move forward. It certainly hasn’t been an easy task to get up each morning and start a new day. It doesn’t come naturally to just continue life as if nothing happened, because something huge happened, and then something even bigger happened after that.
On February 10, 2017, we experienced nothing short of a miracle. Our precious baby boy was born, alive, and crying. He breathed the air of this earth. He heard the unmuffled sounds of our voices from outside the womb. He got to be held and loved on by his parents and his big sister. He showed his entire medical team that God is real and powerful; because his life, though short, could only be explained by divine intervention. I cannot even count how many times I have thanked God for the blessing of meeting my living child. My heart aches to think of anything else, and my prayers are continually for those mothers and fathers who didn’t get that chance.
In those first weeks and months after his day, my sorrow over his loss was all consuming. It was like wearing the wrong prescription eyeglasses and trying to build a clock. It felt impossible to ever feel anything but that weight of his death. It didn’t seem like there would be an end to the misery of a broken heart and the lost dreams of so many versions of our family’s future. Survival was all I was able to manage. Get up, live that day, go to bed. Many of those days included more tears than I can even recall. Many of those days were filled with self pity and selfish anger and frustration. So many of those days I fell in puddle of every emotion at the feet of Jesus. Every single one of those days, Jesus met me right there. Right in the middle of the mess I was living through. He fought hard battles against Satan for my heart. He won. Every single time. And he endlessly comforted and understood the beatings I was giving him. Jesus was everything I couldn’t muster myself to be and so much more. He is the reason my family got fed every day. He is he reason I kept up with friendships. He is the only reason I didn’t run for the metaphorical desert and turn my back on God. And now, nearly 18 months later, He is the reason that I’m happy and healthy and finally able to see beyond the weight of death.
There are still days where I sink into the comfort of sorrow. It feels weird to say it like that, but that’s really what it has become. It’s a place that I’ve spent a lot of time and it’s a place that I know inside and out. I can sit in the dark, heavy emotions of loss, holding onto and reminiscing about my son. All these months I’ve been convincing myself to look for the joy in the midst of the sorrow, but when I look at it now, I see the comfort I found there. What I didn’t always see though, was that the comfort wasn’t in the grief or the sadness. It wasn’t even in the sweet memories of George Mason. The comfort was from the Holy Comforter. It was the gentle and snug embrace of my Father whose love knows no end. It was Him stepping into my mess, my darkness, my emotional temper tantrums, and holding me as he told me to trust Him.
And trust Him I do.
So as I sit here today, wondering how it has already been 18 months since George Mason’s day, I can honestly - and with a bit of vulnerability - say that the Lord is indeed my refuge. I am wholly His. And I am deeply thankful for the sacrificial love He freely offers. Because I have done nothing to earn it and tried really hard to lose it, and He just kept holding me tight.
“I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound, decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” Habakkuk 3:16-19