You know that scene at the end of Braveheart when William Wallace is strapped down to the table and is being disemboweled? I've always watched that scene and thought, No, you cannot survive that type of pain. You simply cannot do it.
I recall certain memories from the day of Grace's birth and I think, No, a person simply cannot survive that. You cannot hold your beautiful, perfect 5lb daughter in your arms who has already gone to be with the Lord and survive. You cannot hand your child to a stranger, watch her taken from your sight, knowing you will never see her again in this life and survive. You simply cannot.
But we do. Day after day we do.
By the grace of Christ. The all-sufficient grace of Christ.
And because for the believer in Christ, ours is a story of redemption. This life is not it. One day everything will be as it should. No more heart defects. No more death and separation. No more tears. Never any suffering ever again.
He has given us the promise and hope of Eternity. We will see her again. We will hold her again. And she will be restored and healed, with a perfect heart.
Author Angie Smith, who has also lost a child, writes about this journey, It's a sacred dance of grief and joy.
Yes it is.
Yesterday we knew we needed to get away as a family. It was a beautiful day so we headed for a hike and a picnic in a canyon not too far from our home. Just the four of us.
And after having experienced a dark day of suffocating grief the day before, it was life-giving to have moments of pure joy and the beauty of Creation.
We watched the boys with rolled up pants and bare feet wade in a stream, throwing rocks and sticks. The sun beat down on my face, the sky blue for as far as the eye could see.
But with wavering voice, barely able to speak the words, I ask Matt, Will I always feel this way? Even in the midst of a happy moment, will there always be this gaping hole?
I miss her. I always miss her. I always feel like something's missing.
There is grief and there is joy.
And there is Christ. There is always Christ.