Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Goodness of the Lord

I'm finding myself really disliking and dreading the month of February.  As I look towards February 2015,  it is filled with celebration and sorrow for us...for me.  Three of our daughters were born in February and one of them also died in February (on one of the other girl's birthday none the less).  So really the question is how do you manage both celebrating and mourning?  And is it even possible?

I'm recognizing that much of my dread is from wondering how I will respond leading up to the day when we lost our daughter.  It's a fear of "how much will this day wreck me?"  The thing is, most days I can easily tuck the hurt way down deep and cover my feelings and pain just by doing life.  I easily get wrapped up in the day to day and don't think or dwell on the hurt deep within my soul and heart.  Then February comes around and I can't hide it anymore.  I can't pretend I didn't lose my daughter.  I can't pretend these past two years haven't been the hardest two years of my life and in my marriage.  Everything comes bubbling up to the surface and pours from me.  It hurts.

Losing my daughter, Charlotte, has changed me in many ways.  It has changed me in many good ways and for that I am thankful.  My eyes have been opened to and I have been able to sympathize more with the hurting, with those dealing with loss and difficult trials.  My trust in God has also grown as I have seen His goodness, known His presence and seen His faithfulness in my life these past two years.  I've come to know and love my Savior even more.

I also feel like losing Charlotte has changed me in a different way.  It is really hard for me to put into words.  I feel as though I don't really know myself anymore.  Losing her changed who I am.  I'm still trying to get to know and understand the new me.  The person this most effects is my husband.  As I'm trying to get me figured out and as situations or disagreements come up in our marriage, it is easier for me to pass the blame to him than it is to take responsibility for my part. I tend to forget grace in my marriage.

Is it even possible that losing our daughter changed my husband too?  Have I ever considered that?   I know that he still hurts from losing her and it pains him greatly to see me hurting.  We are two very different and unique people trying to walk this road after a huge trauma.  We are both healing and recovering from our loss in very different ways.  We are still learning how to walk this road together with grace.  Just the other morning he told me, "we are in this together."  When I think or feel like I am doing this alone, I am grateful for his comment and support, reminding me that I am not alone; reminding me that he loves me and desires to walk through the pain and healing with me.

Psalm 27:13 was on our Christmas card this year.  This is also the verse we used as we dedicated Elijah to the Lord last year.  It says...
"I believe I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living."
Although we can't fully understand the Lord's plan for us in losing Charlotte, we have seen this verse true in our family this past year, even though we continue to mourn our loss.  We celebrated the arrival of Elijah and have thoroughly enjoyed our first year with him as a part of our family.  We continue to be in awe watching each of our children grown and mature and seeing their hearts turned towards the Lord.  We are humbled to used by the Lord in ministry in our local church.

Psalm 27:13 is also a promise that I cling to.  I don't believe that the verse only pertains to the past year,  but I believe it is true for our future as well.  "I believe I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord..."  Good is who God is.  His very character is good.  His goodness doesn't change because my circumstances change.

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purposes." Romans 8:28

Even though I can't comprehend or understand why we would lose our daughter.  I trust in the fact that the Lord had a plan/ has a plan in it and that he is working in it for my good.  This means that throughout these past two years of sorrow, pain and challenge, he is working.  It doesn't mean that it will always be easy, but it does mean that he will be with us and that he will help us.
"It is the Lord who goes before you.  He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed."  Deuteronomy 31:8
Now this is a promise I can cling to.