(Photocredit – Justin Jamgbadi)
She stood at one end of the room, her head buried in her hands, pensive, willing so hard to stop the rebellious tears from making their way down her cheek.
He stood, at the other end, pacing, arms buried deep in his pockets, pretending not to see her hurt, pretending not to see her struggle. He watched from the corner of his eyes as her arms shook from trepidation and every part of him wanted to go to her. Every part of him wanted to walk the distance and take her in his arms and hold away her fear. If only there was a way to explain the pain away. He wanted to kiss her forehead and let her know it would be fine. They would be okay but instead he stayed put in his corner, arms buried in his pockets, head down, pretending not to care. Caring was a waste of their time. Nothing else could be done.
What does it mean to lose a miracle? To lose the one thing you prayed for the most? To have it within your grasp and watch it slip away, knowing nothing you do would change anything? What do you do when your whole world crumbles beneath your feet?
Elise had always wondered about things like this. At church, she would hear stories like these and say to God “Thank you” silently beneath her breath. She would even hug them and pray with them but she didn’t understand. Not in the way she thought she did. Not like she did now. Standing at that windowsill, she let her mind trail back to the beginning. How long had it been since they waited for a child? 5 years? 6? She couldn’t exactly remember but she remembered countless nights on her knees, praying for a miracle. She remembered days when she would hold hands with her husband and they would raise their voices to the only one who could do something. She remembered the yearning, the longing, the tears, the hoping. They needed a child. That was always their utmost desire.
So it was with tremendous excitement that they welcomed the news of “Anna” Her little girl. Tears escaped her eyes and she didn’t even try to stop them this time. She remembered that day in the doctors office when he had told her that she was pregnant. She remembered not knowing how to scream because she wasn’t sure if she would scream enough. She remembered the feeling of wanting to burst with excitement, her heart rate doubling as she called the love of her life to share the best news with. They were going to have a baby. It was settled, it was finished. All was well now.
Anna was everything. Saying this in past tense now, feels weird because that implies that she is no more. (Which is true, but it’s odd still) Anna was the blessing they very much needed. Like a breath of fresh air, she charmed everyone that came their way. She remembered the day they gave the testimony in church. All the clapping and hooting and singing were nothing compared to the warm feeling in her heart when she looked at her baby girl. Anna was everything.
Which is why now, at this moment, she struggled to understand why they were standing in the hospital room, a hospital room where her three years old daughter had been lying peacefully. She couldn’t understand why they were there assimilating the news of her death. When was it that they diagnosed her with leukemia? Hadn’t it just been a year ago that her baby girl was perfectly healthy? Her heart sank at the thought. In this past year, they had fought with everything in them. “She would pull through” the women from church had said to her when they held hands to pray for her and she believed them because it doesn’t make sense for God to wait so long to give her a miracle and then take it back from her, he’s not that callous. He is good and kind, he would heal her daughter and so she believed with all her might – Hospital trip after hospital trip. Not minding the expenses or the strain it was putting on her and Daniel. How would she explain to her husband that her heart was breaking in ways she never thought possible because of a child that they both birthed and shared? How would she express herself to him when she couldn’t even find the words? How much comfort could she even give to him who was hurting too when she was such a mess herself?
Anna would get better, she had told herself. Anna would get better and the dark days would be over. Everything would be fine but Anna never got better. Anna was gone and her heart bled at the thought. She had no idea who to be angry at. The God who gave her a long awaited blessing only to take it back after a short while, herself for trusting, the world for not being fair, her husband for not loving her through this… who exactly could she direct her rage at?
She glanced at her husband, not out of the corner of her eyes like he had been doing (how would he think that she wasn’t seeing him do that) but squarely in the face, eyes searching for answers as her mind came to terms with the bitter truth. He was all she had left but the lonely ache in her heart stemmed from a long train of bad decisions and forgotten vows. They had been so consumed with having a child and so enamoured by her when she came that somewhere along the line, they had forgotten how to love each other. They had drifted apart and now that she was gone, all they felt was emptiness. Not for lack of content but of an inability to feel what should be there. She looked at his eyes and she knew in that moment, it wasn’t only Anna who died that day, and somehow, it was too late to do anything about it.
A lot of the time, we hope and pray so long for something that we idolize it and ignore our first love – The one who gave it to us in the first place. This story is special to my heart because the Holy Spirit revealed it to remind me that beyond all he could ever give to me, loving me is his first priority. Don’t be so focused on what you can get that you lose sight of who he is.
To you, who is struggling with heart aches that you can’t even begin to express. To you who can’t see the road in front of you, whose heart feels torn, shattered, broken to pieces. To you who feels like you’ve lost your way and don’t know how to find it back. I can’t pretend to know exactly how you’re feeling, but I know someone who knows exactly how much it hurts and this is his message to you this morning.
“It’s never too late my darling, to find your way back home, back to me. It’s never too late. You are precious without measure. You are my heartbeat, my jewel, my gem. This pain you are feeling, it would pass. I know sometimes, you wonder if I even love you, if I care, why I allow these things happen. In times like these, please remember that my thoughts for you are always of good and never of evil. When you can’t see the road in front of you, remember that I am the beginning and the end, I know just how this ends. I love you to shreds and pieces. Literally. You are my heart’s desire. I’m here, always❤️ Holding your hand through this. Know that when you hurt, I hurt. It is not my desire to see you hurt, or cry. It breaks my heart. I’m here, through it all, loving your pain away. Trust my intentions towards you. Trust me💕”