One month ago today our sweet little girl Avery Joy was born. 6 wonderful and tiring days with her, 25 without her. We miss her so much. Everyday. The first time we felt Avery in our arms, we knew life would never be the same. It isn't.
Most of the time we do pretty well. But then there are times, perhaps moreso lately, when the unescapable reality of the void she left washes over us with a force and speed difficult to predict or to handle. In a way, I suppose it is comforting. After all, the place she holds in our hearts and our family is secure. But at night, when we want only to hold her and lay her down to sleep, comforting thoughts aren't enough...no matter how optimism tries to spin them. In these times, we run out of pictures to look at, we wear out Melissa's video, and still we want more. We want Avery.
Perhaps I have learned something of my own grief and God's involvement. For months I have been searching and searching for God in the midst of this and more specifically what meaningful lesson I can take from this wonderful and awful last year. And when I have prayed on the matter, I have heard...nothing. No words at all. There is no lesson? Allowing myself to grieve though over the last few weeks, I have begun to know in a new way that God has been with me this whole time. He is with me. Maybe that is the answer to my question, "What is the lesson?" Perhaps his presence is it, and maybe right now words would only distract. Lessons can come later. His presence in the midst of pain is what matters most in these moments.
That statement means something much different to me now than it used to. For the first time in my life, "His presence in the midst of pain" hasn't transformed the pain to joy or at least into something digestable or more tolerable. This situation is still deeply painful and doesn't yet seem to be getting any better. But verses of the Bible that speak of God's steadfast love now have much greater depth than they used to.