“We’ll be there in twenty minutes,” They said, and it was all I could do to respond and keep my voice from cracking. She had slept in my arms that whole morning, with her little fist clutching my finger.
I had kept smelling her and touching her.
“They’re coming,” I said, from my corner of the couch, “They’re coming!” My voice cracked wide open. “We just have twenty minutes, Ryan. Twenty minutes.” I felt like I was gasping for breath, like a fist was squeezing the air right out of my lungs. “How can we have just twenty minutes?” I said it desperately, crazily.
Leo played on the floor. Ryan’s eyes filled with tears and he just shook his head. I held her so tight she woke up.
She smiled and a tear dropped from my chin to her cheeks and made her blink. “How can this happen?” I stood to go change her diaper and put lotion on her skin, one last time. “I can’t do this.”
Sometimes we’re left with the broken pieces.
The moment their car had disappeared and I walked through our navy blue front door, my heart split open and bled out like never before. I felt crazy with the sadness and my body shook with cries that cut the air with jagged-raw grief. I clutched the edge of the counter top and held on, while gravity fought to pull me to the floor. All I could say was no.
No, no, no, no, no.
“I want her back,” I said through wild eyes brimming with tears, “I just want her back, okay?”
But sometimes we’re left with the broken pieces.
I went to bed that day and I barely got up for four days. There was no concept of time or calendar days. My phone rang and beeped and I barely noticed. There was no sense of purpose, just all this overwhelming pain. I held her pink and gray elephant blanket and I breathed in her scent and closed my eyes and tried to feel her in my arms again.
It didn’t make a difference that we knew, when we got her, that our story would probably hold a good-bye. Not one bit.
Because no matter how you receive a child, if you choose to love them no -strings-attached, you will give them your heart, you will make them your life, and saying good-bye will leave you staggering.
I lost myself in my grief.
I got stuck there in my tears.
It hurt so bad. I never could have imagined how much I would miss her.
People didn’t understand and I could tell, and the fact that they didn’t understand made me angry.
I got lost in that too, and it became easier to see the judgement and lack of understanding, over the gestures of love.
Sometimes, in a spiral of despair, broken pieces shatter into more broken pieces.
And when you can’t make sense of where to go from where you stand in a whole lot of brokenness, you hide.
It was in the darkness of a church, in the middle of a concert, I realized that’s what I had done.
I could hide myself away, somewhere safe, far from pain, but if I refuse to feel, I’ll never bleed, BUT I’LL NEVER HEAL. I hear JESUS calling me, out of the grave I’ve been sleeping in, with new lungs, I’ll begin again, lift my voice and sing my part, this is the sound of a living heart.
Tears wet my eyes. I felt like my heart was cracking right down the middle and letting go of it all. The heavy sadness of saying good-bye. The hurt I felt from other human, well-meaning people. The feelings of failure as a mom.
So many times, I had cried out to Jesus, but then in that dark church, in the middle of the concert, I realized He not only heard my heart and caught my tears, He was calling me out.
And maybe, this is what you need to know, right where you are today?
That whatever broken pieces you’ve been left with, Jesus is calling you out.
Your song won’t be the same. Or your story. But you can be sure that
Every tear will be redeemed, in the hands of God.
A new door will open, a new path will unfold.
You will make it, friend. One single step at a time.
Because by Him, through Him, and unto Him, you can begin again AND –
live more fully than you ever did before.
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