The weather is starting to change. We are slowly, painfully so at times, thawing out from a long and wet winter. The sunshine is healing and as the air around us begins to warm, it’s the light at the end of the dark tunnel of winter. It makes me happy to transition out of the cold. The sunshine makes my soul jump for joy and it’s heat makes my heart smile. It’s no doubt that it’s a gift to begin to see the first blooms coming out of the lingering snow. It’s a reminder that God is faithful; just like winter always becomes spring, and spring always leads to the warmth of summer, God always brings comfort after a storm. Through every trial, he is there. And then when it’s over, he takes delight in the strength we gained as a result.
The first few months of every year are now spotted with the anniversaries of so many of life’s milestones. From birth to death, we celebrate it all from January to March. Often it feels cruel that we have to weather the storm of dead babies and mamas in the midst of winter. That there’s seemingly no respite from the dark and dreary emotions of loss when I look outside and see grey and white. But just as the devil begins to plant his flag and take root in the open wounds of my heart, spring begins to, well spring. And I’m reminded, in the most beautiful way, that God is not gone when the winter roars. He is not dormant, like the trees, or hiding like the bears. Instead, he is fully in control. Providing the nutrients for the tulip bulbs that mark the first signs of this new season. He is alive and well in the tiniest of details in our lives. And just because I don’t see or feel Him in the same way as I might in a different season, doesn’t mean He’s not as deeply invested and at work in my heart.
I’m learning that healing from grief is a long and complicated process. That with each new realization, you begin to scab up those deep wounds. But you also find new ones. As I watch my almost 4 year old shine bright for her Lord, I’m also watching her play alone. That’s how grief hits you. It’s not on the big days or the expected moments. Sure, I miss my son on his birthday or Christmas, but it’s the nothing days that are normal and ordinary that I’m the most saddened by his absence. It feels like a broken record lately to say that. But it’s the truth of my reality in this next season. As we live out the beginning of year 3 without Him, life has moved on and we are further from His day. Further from his touch and his smell. Further from his snuggles. Further from the picture we had imagined for our family. And with each day that passes, that image we had when we saw those first pink lines, gets less and less true. We didn’t have a lot of time with George Mason. So in many ways, we have grieved all of the things about him that we can. At this point, we are grieving his absence as if he were healthy and whole. We miss what could have been and should have been. A new walker and talker. A budding friendship between big sister and little brother. Adapting our routine for a family of 4, with two little independent and stubborn humans. The discussions of family planning and whether or not our family is complete with a 2 and 4 year old, brother and sister.
I’m so thankful for the ways that God deeply and comfortably speaks into my heart. It’s such a blessing to be called His child and to be cared for as such a title requires. Some days it seems like trauma is what will define my early parenting years, but when I sit down with my bible and a cup of coffee, I realize that what is actually defining this season is God’s work in my life. I don’t know what that means, entirely, but I know that in the depth of this trauma filled blip of time, God is working. He’s working in it, through it, with it, and all to make sure that everything turns out for my own good. How could I possibly say I deserve that?! After all, I’ve been pretty hard on Him at times. Grateful that He is a big big God who can take the beatings I have so frivolously thrown his way.