Days after I left the hospital I was in Target looking for pajamas to wear for the next few months off work. Please note the Target concept of leaving with more than you came for still applies when you’re in shock because as I avoided looking right towards the baby aisle I looked left and saw this book – It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way by Lisa Terkeurst. The little voice in my head agreed, “yeah I don’t think it’s supposed to be this way either” so I brought it home to read. I started it then but wasn’t ready to grasp that much thinking at that point so I didn’t get past a few pages. This week though I picked it up and it’s brought me to several comforting revelations despite being only halfway done reading it.
I’m good at being sad. I can break out in tears moments after I’ve just reassured and convinced myself that I got this, I can live without my son. What I’m not so good at feeling is guilty and angry. I have been pushing away these emotions telling myself I don’t feel them, thinking that will make them not exist. Because I want them to not exist. I don’t want to be angry with God because then I feel guilty about being angry with Him. How can I be angry with him for taking Avery back when He’s the one who gave him life? I am angry though because I’m human and I’m not perfect. God is perfect however and He understands my guilt and anger. I have to acknowledge I am both because when I do, I can let God in to heal what is making me feel this way.
One of the many questions swirling around my head is why God gives children to people who don’t even want them or know how to care for them but He didn’t let me keep my beloved Avery who I was so highly anticipating. When I asked this of Him, He responded with another question, asking if I cannot understand the work of God (Ecclesiastes 11.5) in my own life, why should I expect to understand His work in other people’s lives. I don’t know His plans for them just as I don’t know my own, nor should I want to because they are so great. So if I can accept God’s plan for Avery in my life even though he’s not physically here on earth, I have to accept that He has plans for other people and their children. God’s individual plans for all of us are irrelevant in the way that I am not being punished while others are blessed with children. He is not purposely robbing me of my motherhood while others cradle their babies but never truly appreciate their precious lives in the way I now do.
When I tell God I’m angry at him for blessing me with Avery then taking him back so soon He asks me if I’d rather have never conceived him, if I don’t want to be his mom at all, to which I cannot and never will say yes. And with that I can start to let the anger go.
I’d be lying if I said I don’t wonder whether I did or didn’t do something during pregnancy that told God I wouldn’t be a good mom. More often I have questioned whether losing Avery is a direct punishment for sin(s) I’ve committed in my life. When I acknowledge these questions of guilt and hand them over to God, He calms me with the fact that death exists in our lives simply because sin exists.
Death is but a passageway at God’s designated time for us to finally escape this broken world full of imperfections and be welcomed to the Home we’ve been longing for our entire lives. It’s another beginning.page 20
He doesn’t use heartbreak to punish us for our sins but we have to accept its existence because our world itself is broken. And in turn it breaks us at times.
The human heart was created in the context of the perfection of the garden of Eden. But we don’t live there now.page 6
We live in reality with sin and suffering. We can’t go it alone and we aren’t meant to. We are meant to turn to him for peace and strength to walk our path.
Some things won’t be fixed on this side of eternity; they just have to be walked through.page 51
He doesn’t create the heartbreak we experience to cause us pain but as a means of drawing us near to him.
If our souls never ached with disappointments and disillusionments, we’d never fully admit and submit our need for God.page 27
I am admitting I need Him in this life without my son. I need Him to walk with me through this life until I can be reunited with Avery in the eternal perfection of heaven.
And I am grateful He has blessed me with the comfort of this book. I can almost guarantee I’ll have more to say about the second half.