Last year, I was still very much in the shell-shocked stage. The due date was difficult, but life in general was difficult. I had bad days multiple times a week, so it wasn't that out of the ordinary to have another bad day! My life was just pretty bad!!
This year, on Kinley's birthday, I dealt with the fact that it had been a year. It hurt deeply that she had been gone for a full year. I mourned her and it was terrible. I planned the first anniversary thinking all the while that I should have been planning a first birthday. But, I also had in the back of my mind that I really shouldn't be planning a first birthday yet either.
Now, as we approach the time that we really would have been planning a first birthday party, I find a new pain creeping it's way into my heart.
Today I was working in the nursery at our church with a lady who brought her little boy in. He was toddling around, throwing a ball, and saying "ball" over and over. He was so cute and I instinctively asked how old he was. I knew as the answer was coming out of her mouth that I would regret it. She said "he'll be one in just a few weeks".
That was all it took....I could have estimated his age, so why did I even ask?! It felt like a quick sharp stabbing pain right in my heart. "My baby would be about to turn one too! She would no longer be a baby laying in our arms. She would be toddling around, saying words like 'ball'."
It caught me totally off-guard. I didn't cry, I just hurt. I hurt all the way through my heart!
And so it begins....I approach yet another 'day'. In a lot of ways, that's what my life has become in the last year and two months. I feel like I'm living from one tough day to the next. I survive one and then breathe a sigh of relief and look up to face another one.
I'm blessed to have an amazing family and awesome friends to walk this road with me. I'm even more blessed to have a God who not only sees the pain I'm feeling today, but knows the joy that's still to come. He knows every pain that I'll have from now until my last breathe, and He provides for me all that I need to not only survive, but thrive. He makes a way for me to hurt without giving up hope.
And ultimately I know that even if every day of this life is filled with hurt from morning until night, my eternity will be filled with joy! I don't believe that my life will be filled with pain. I believe He's promised good to me and that my heart will feel an unbelievable amount of joy in this lifetime. But, even if not, one day not too far away, I'll be in the presence of a loving God who will heal my heart completely and for all of time. I'll spend eternity with my daughter! That is so worth it to me!!
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:4
"They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away" Isaiah 35:10