Peace and Love

March 22, 2010 at 7:01 PM 1 comment

My grief has a new face these days, and I’ve struggled to understand it at times. I feel very at peace. Throughout this journey, starting at Hailey’s birth until a few weeks ago, I could sense God’s peace. But this peace that I’m feeling lately… It’s so much greater than I had ever expected to feel. Especially with Hailey not even being gone 3 months yet.

I feel like I’m “okay.” I’m content. I feel really at peace at times. I think of Hailey throughout my day every day. I still continue to miss her every day, and I know I always will. But the way I miss her now is so much different than the way I missed her a month ago. It’s so different and I can’t really explain it…My heart no longer feels so very broken. It’s not whole, but I can feel God healing it.


I remember I actually feared this day that I’m writing about right now. I feared the day that I wouldn’t miss her so much. I feared the day I would experience healing. I couldn’t imagine it. There was a part of me that wanted to stay broken, that wanted to stay in that dark place doing nothing but missing her. There was a part of me that thought if I truly loved my daughter, I would never emerge or heal from that place. There was a part of me that thought if ‘time’ or God healed all wounds … I didn’t want it. How could I ever heal from losing Hailey? I didn’t want to stop missing her. I feared it. I feared what it meant. I feared it would mean I was a terrible mother, that I didn’t love her enough.

But here I am. Experiencing miraculous healing – healing that I once thought wouldn’t happen for another 20 years, if ever! I remember feeling like I couldn’t go on and didn’t want to go on. And here I am ‘going on’ and I am doing okay. I am not healed completely and will never be, but I am truly thankful for the place that I am in right now.

To make a reference to Mack from The Shack, I feel like my Great Sadness, my grief that I was wearing like a blanket wrapped around me, has been lifted from my shoulders. I don’t see my world through monotones and shades of gray anymore. I can see the wonder and beauty and color in the world again. My grief was a burden I started carrying myself, and than I laid it at the feet of Jesus – and every day I have to do this anew. He is faithful, and He has lifted my burden and my grief… and I am in awe…

Do I love Hailey less? Absolutely not! Does it still hurt to have lost her? Of course! Do I miss her less? Absolutely not! I just miss her differently now. It’s a better way of missing her than the way I was doing it before. Does this mean that I don’t cry anymore? Absolutely not! I cried today when I was in her room and I smelled her little hat I haven’t washed yet…and it brought her back to me for a moment…  Do I cry less? Yes. Do my tears have a different meaning and feeling to them? Yes. They are no longer tears of pain, of hopelessness, of despair, etc. My tears seem more controlled in a sense even though they come unexpectedly. Sometimes they come out of joy for having Hailey as my daughter, sometimes because I miss her, most of the time because I love her.

I realized that lately when I become sad and/or cry, it comes from my incredible love for her. It’s like my love for her is trying to burst forth and just has to escape me somehow and I can’t release the love I feel like most mothers. I can’t hug her. I can’t cover her in kisses. She can’t hear me tell her I love her. So sometimes my love comes out in tears. And they are good tears. And when I think about them as they trickle down my cheeks and I think of Hailey, I smile. Smiling and crying and happiness and sadness are still paradoxical combinations I’m still struggling to understand, but I love them together.

In my journey through grief, I have obviously taken to writing to help me, and I have found that reading the blogs of other moms who have experienced similar loss and similar faith work to heal and inspire me too. A day or so ago I was reading a blog post from Holley Gerth. She wrote about the peace that she felt after losing her baby – the kind of peace I have. And I love the way she captures this peace with her words – it’s one of the most amazing descriptions of God’s peace that He gives to the broken-hearted, to babylost mothers like myself. She writes:

“As I was driving, I reflected back over our journey and I realized the kind of peace I meant. It’s not the pansy, pie-in-the-sky, life-is-perfect peace. No, this is the kind of peace that comes after war. It’s the hard-won, show-you-my-scars, didn’t-think-I’d-live-to-tell-about-it, peace. It’s not gentle—it’s wild, fierce, and I’m not giving it up, not ever, because I paid too high a price to get it.”

That is the peace I have. My peace does not come from thinking my life is perfect or from feeling happy and smiling everyday like everything is just peachy-keen. Cause it’s not. My peace is as she describes. I’ve been through a war, a battle, and I am winning it with God’s help. And like Holley writes, it is fierce and I am not giving it up. It is good to have.

Remember how I said I struggle to understand this ‘peace full’ stage of my journey through grief:

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7.

When my grief was at its worst, it was in the middle of the bitter, cold, lifeless winter that sucks the colors out of the world and hides the sunlight. And now that spring is here, I can see the sun (Son 🙂 ) shining in my life again.

I feel like I am being healed, like I am coming alive again. The sun is shining, and I can see the vibrant colors of the world that come to life in the spring.

I took this picture of the sun on Saturday, the first day of spring. Josh pointed out that the sun looks like a heart. How unbelievably perfect… as I am at peace right now living in the light of the “Son’s” love.

“…my God turns my darkness into light.” Psalm 18:28

So I am thankful for this peaceful stage of my grief. I’m sure there will still be days in my future that will be unbelievably difficult and painful as my heart and soul ache for Hailey, but I pray for now that this peace would continue. I am seeing that there is hope after all… 🙂

To my precious Hailey in Heaven, I hope you know how much your dad and I love you and miss you. We’re doing okay. I know Jesus shares His love with you now, but I hope He shares our love with you as well. We smile when we think of you, which is often. I like to think that you and Jesus picked that picture of the sun just for us on Saturday. Thank you. Love you so much, mom.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. ileamarie  |  March 22, 2010 at 7:19 PM

    So glad to “hear” you writing all this….I’ve been worried about you. I’m glad that you have some peace. Love the new pictures…should have hired you for the wedding 😉 love you!

    Reply

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Dedication

"God gives, God takes. God's name be ever blessed." ~Job 1:21

In Loving Memory of Hailey Marie

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