Though I can't say exactly why it is, going to church is extremely difficult for me since Laynee died. Perhaps the difficulty comes from the many memories of her at church, knowing that her feet barely touched the ground with the many people needing their "Laynee fix" for the week. It may simply be from being with so many people in one place at one time, and the awareness that life remains normal for most of them, while ours has been turned upside down. From many, I sense an awkwardness upon meeting; an obvious loss of what to say and how to act. My heart, mind and soul seem to run the whole gamut of emotion during any given worship service. The Sunday morning song service seems to produce buckets of tears and honestly, I'm tired of crying so much. Every ounce of my energy is required to keep my thoughts focused on the words being spoken. Maybe it's one, or some, or all of these things but whatever it is, I come home from church with a pounding headache and feeling emotionally spent.
While music and lyrics are and always have been a great ministry to me, here is a glimpse of the direction my thoughts often take during a song service in recent weeks. Today we sang "Awesome God" a truly beautiful song of praise. My mind added words to the lyrics that went something like this. "Our God is an awsome God, he reigns from heaven above".........he could have saved Jalayne. "With wisdom, power and love, our God is an awesome God".........but he still let my baby die. Back and forth, like a mighty pendulum, my thoughts go. I praise Him....I don't understand. I praise Him...... I feel angry. I praise Him....... I don't know if I can do this. 'Round and around I go and I want to yell at someone to stop the ride, I want off!!!!
Today as I struggled to keep my mind on the Word that was being preached (sorry Pastor Doug) I was suddenly struck by the knowledge and certainty that I have been forever changed. The person that I was the morning of September 7, 2009 will never be again. One cannot experience this level of grief and sorrow and still remain the same. I do believe that a degree of healing will take place though I do not for one moment believe in the cliche "time heals all wounds." It is not time that heals, but the love, mercy and grace of our Lord and Saviour. We are healed, not by time, but by His spirit. While I trust that little by little we will experience a lessening of this all consuming pain, I sense that an ache will always remain. The journey through grief is forever.
As an amputee heals, yet remains forever changed, so am I in the loss of this precious part of me. I will always be my mother's daughter, my brother's sister, my husband's wife, and my children's mother but I do not think or feel the same. My little girl, through her life, but especially through her death, has changed who and what I am. She has changed the way that I view life, what is important to me, my hopes, my goals, my expectations.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his plan. This is one of the very first verses that I recall committing to memory as a new christian. I believe that the Lord, in everything that He brings or allows to come into our lives, is constantly molding and shaping us into exactly who he created us to be. Yet as I struggle through these dark, murky waters of pain and loss I find myself questioning, "How Lord?" "How are you going to work good from this?" "How is this good for me?" "I'm struggling! I'm sinking! How is this good?" Even as I type these questions I see Laynee Grace in my mind's eye. I imagine that she knows exactly what His plan is for me. The picture that I've added is of her showing me "who's the prettiest girl in the world." I suspect she might look just like this as she says "Don't worry momma, God is SO BIG and he is taking care of everything.
CS Lewis once said that "grief is like the sky, it covers everything." In recent weeks, our family has found that this is so very true. It seems that there is no right or wrong way to travel this path of grief. I have created this blog in hopes that some day we will be able to look back on our journey and see written proof that our great God never leaves us. God is good all the time.