I’ve been thinking of loss and sacrifice and Heaven quite a bit lately.
I notice the flowers besides the road, left to memorialize one who died there, and I think I understand a little bit better now why someone would do that. I think it’s because they want there to be something, something real, to show that their loved one existed. Because once someone dies, the only thing left is their memory. And there is a cry inside “They were here! And they are missed!” How do you express that for an unborn child?? Only I ever held my son in my hands (hand…he was so small), only I saw his perfect but unfinished body, and it seems like the loss doesn’t take up anybody else’s space but mine (although I know that my family feels it too). I want to yell “He was here!” to everyone. People ask the most innocent questions, like “Oh, it must be nice for you to be living closer to your family” and my first response is “Yes, they were able to be here to help me after my miscarriage.” Of course, awkward silence usually greets those kind of responses. What are they supposed to say other than “I’m sorry to hear that.”?? Ecclesiastes says that there is a time to mourn but how do you mourn an unborn child? When every thought leads you to your loss but no one can share your misery? And even I find myself forgetting, for a moment or two, and smiling and laughing like nothing’s wrong… but does feeling happiness and a lessening of grief lessen the importance of his existence?
The past two months of living without my husband has shown me my own heart. When Nathan and I first began considering missions, we contemplated and accepted many things that we would “lose.” We came to terms with the things we could imagine as best we could. Over time we said goodbye to our house (and to the idea of house ownership), to our family, to many possessions and even one of our dogs. Nothing seemed more important than answering this call we felt. But when it happened during the move that I had to say goodbye to my spouse, well, let me tell you, I was not willing! Separate my family?? We have been the kind of couple that has deliberately chosen not to even sleep apart unless necessary (like when I was in hospital), to the point of choosing not to take jobs that would mean separation. Call us co-dependant if you want but that’s who we are. And it wasn’t until Nathan had to leave that I realized that my “willingness” to “do missions” really only extended to “willing only as long as my family is not separated.” Perhaps I have more hidden caveats, tiny print exceptions on my contract to obey God. I hope not, because it seems He’s willing to do what it takes to rip out those caveats whether I like it or not! And I am so grateful God will be restoring Nathan to us soon…and I really really really hope this is the last time we have to be apart!!