I’m missing George today. A whole heck of a lot. It’s comical, honestly, how such a mundane day can be triggered by a totally mundane statement or thought, into a day of sadness. A day with a cloud hanging over it, that even the brightest sunlight couldn’t penetrate. As we sat down for dinner last night, Audrey made a comment about the empty chair across from her. How it would be George Mason’s if he weren’t in heaven. And then, just as she always does, she put on her best frown and told us that she misses him. In the very next breath, she exclaimed to the entire restaurant that she had drawn beautifully in the lines on her kid’s menu.
That’s how it goes. A brief moment of intense truth followed by the brevity of a 4 year olds mind. She was genuinely sad for that moment until she was proud and excited by her accomplishments with a restaurant crayon. That’s life in this season. We never know what emotion will well up only to be cut off by an equally, or at least seemingly urgent, opposing one. It’s another season of unknowns. But these unknowns are much harder to process.
As I sit here tonight, missing my son, and wondering why statements that happen frequently in this house - we have a grieving 4 year old and you never know where her grief is going to take her - would be such a jolt to my system, I realized that a big part of me longs for the known unknowns of our pregnancy with George. Those months were not easy. In fact, waking each day and waiting for his kicks, for proof that he was still alive, was some of the hardest days I’ve ever experienced. And yet, it was black and white. It wasn’t certain whether he would survive, but as long as he did, we had plans; a future we could imagine and plan. An image of what our family looked like. With 4, whole and living people. So I guess it’s not all that strange to long for those days. Because hard as they were, we hadn’t lost our son. Yet. And the stress and emotions of carrying a baby who doctors were almost certain should have died already, was nothing compared to the weight of the grief of the death of our child.
Now we are sitting in this new season. This place after we became a family of 4 but look like a family of 3. A place where our future is entirely unknown, and blatantly out of our hands. I clung to my Father during those months with George, but it was different. I had no choice but to fully trust in God’s miracles, because science wasn’t on our side. I couldn’t get up every day and care for myself and my unborn son if I didn’t have the hope of a miracle. So I clung to that hope. And then, when I buried our son, I knew he had lived as many breaths as God had ordained. And I rested in that. It was a new kind of hope for the new season we found ourselves living in. But what now? What is this moment in our lives to be defined by? What is the obvious need for my Father that can give me no choice but to trust? Leave no space for anything else?
I want so badly to know what our complete family looks like. I covet that. And I repent daily. Because the details of our future are important to me, but they are way more important to the God who has laid them out. If only I would allow myself to really believe that. Would you pray that with me? That I would give it wholly to God? Trust in His timing. Make decisions because that’s where the Spirit is leading me, and not because it feels safe? I want to live the words to that song: Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever you will call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior.
I don’t have it all together. I don’t always trust perfectly (or ever). But I can deeply see my flaws. I can be honest with myself about that desperate need for control that draws my heart away from the truth that God really does “got this” - and maybe, in this season of complicated unknowns, that’s what I need. Brutal honesty with myself about my flaws. So that I can acknowledge my deep need for my Savior. I can know that it’s ok to miss my son. I can also know, even when it doesn’t feel like it, that God being in control is so much better than whatever I think might be good for us; for our family.
I miss you, George. I miss all the sweet kisses I would’ve given you. I miss all the adorable snuggles I would’ve had with you. I miss the out of control curls I imagine you would’ve worn with both confidence and sass, and probably a bit of whatever you had for lunch. I miss the destruction of a 2 year old boy. I miss the belly laugh giggles that your daddy definitely would’ve passed down to you. I miss the adoration you would’ve had for your big sister. I miss the doting, smothering love, she would’ve poured out on you. I miss the steps I would’ve gotten each day making sure you didn’t roll down the stairs or do any of the number of things that would’ve looked a lot like self destruction. I miss every part of you, both that I knew of you and imagined and dreamed for you. I also love you with every single fiber of my being, and I’m incredibly jealous that you are in the arms of Jesus and not mine. But I’m so incredibly thankful to know that I will join you one day.