I work at the hospital where I delivered Raelyn and I frequently have to go into the Labor and Delivery unit to deliver medications. Every time I have been in there in the past year, 'my' room has been open and empty... until last week. I walked into the unit and mustered up the courage as I always do to peek at the room where I last held her and instead of the open room with the dimmed lights, I was confronted with that terrible little picture of a leaf with a teardrop. That same picture that caused my family to burst into tears before even entering my room. That same picture that caused friends to turn and leave before ever knocking. That little purple and green post card signifying that yet another set of parents will be leaving with empty arms and broken hearts.

Something snapped inside my head and I saw red. In that instant I became so angry that someone else lost a child. I cannot understand (and at the same time, somewhere deep inside, I know that I am not meant to). I have had so many (well-meaning) people tell me not to be angry with God that Raelyn is not here with me or that I am to be content in all things and consider it all joy. I'm sorry but how can I possibly worship the God of the Universe and call Him Almighty if He can't handle my anger? He created that emotion within me along with jealousy and intense grief and all of the other things that 'good Christians' aren't supposed to feel. I refuse to give credit for the creation of those emotions to satan. How can I put my trust in Him to work all things together for my good if He is small enough that He gets hurt and turns His back on me when I exhibit anger and sadness? I believe that He is bigger than that.

I know it pains Him to see me angry and broken, but He loves me unconditionally. I have not turned my back on God, nor have I removed my trust in Him, but I know that my lapses into anger are covered by the blood of Christ and even though I daily fall short, I am still a child of the Most High God. He wants to hear my worship and my rants, my love and my anger, because all of those emotions are born out of a deep passion for life and those are the qualities that He placed within me before I was born. As long as I bring it to Him, he has promised to help me bear the load.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." ~~Matthew 11:28-30

Happy Birthday

That's right... two posts in a row entitled 'Happy Birthday'.

One for my daughter and now one for me.

I got up this morning and just stared into the mirror in disbelief. Who is that 25 year old who is blankly gazing back at me? There are parts of her that seem to jog my memory, but I just don't recognize her fully. That red hair is unmistakeably familiar, but it has grown so long over the last year. The eyes hold some recollection, but between the dark rings underneath and the overwhelming sadness they hold, I can't quite place them either. She is much pudgier around the middle than she used to be. Suddenly, she smiles and I search her face desperately to see some left over remnant, but the forced grin seems so painful that whatever memory I had of her during happier days disappeared and was replaced by deep sorrow.

I look closer and I see the contrived smile of a people-pleaser who never wants to let on that she is still broken because she doesn't want the people she loves to stop and try to fix her after they have all moved on. I see that her hair and her waistline have grown because the arduous task of simply trying to live her everyday life has preempted basic things like haircuts and workouts. I see in her eyes not just the past 25 years that have been lived, but also the future life that she has lived in her mind a million times over--the one that includes her daughter's first steps, prom hairdos, and wedding dresses. I see in her eyes the hopelessness that comes with secondary infertility and the sheer terror that her future will never hold any of those things.

I see all these things in the mirror and am powerless to do anything about it.

Happy Birthday Girl in the Mirror.
Maybe in your 26th year you'll get it right.