I’ve felt the seeds planted. I’ve watched it take root and I saw it begin to sprout, it aches within me. Do I deserve to ache? I’ve never felt the kick. I’ve never seen the heart beat. She turned the screen from my face. Never experienced the getting ready for. The blues and pinks. Like the other mothers have. I chose to leave it. So like a weed I uproot it. Like a weed in my flower bed I tear it out and throw it away – far away. Because I don’t want to deal, with truth. With pain. With reality. Like a weed so deep I continue to pull. But my soul can’t forget. The could have beens. My soul can’t forget small life and I reach for the paper with that signature. It’s mine but unfamiliar. It signed over goodbye but the me now yearns for the other road. Yearns for the early mornings and the tired eyes. The voice that would call me mamma and the small hand to hold. And though I forgive the younger me, the liar reminds me. Little life gone. Because he said I’d be better off. he said the world would be better off. he slipped in during the night, in the quiet, and he said this isn’t life. he said he would let it go but he hasn’t let it go. he still slips in during the night at times and reminds me. But I’ve seen the Light. It outshines the night. And I refuse to begrudge this life. I refuse to let the weeds take over. It hurts but it won’t separate. I won’t let the hurt of little life gone separate me from the Healer. From Creator. From the One who created the little imprint in my soul in the first place, I will worship Him. The giver of life. Of light. Of healing. Of wholeness. Despite the rawness. Of goneness. Of pain. Despite the yearning, and wanting. Despite the plans that go unfulfilled. The lullabies unsung. In these moments the liar would feel accomplished for us to stay sulking. For us to stay living with this burden, with this pain. But whatever darkness we encounter, we can choose to look for the light and follow it. And I run. I sprint into the arms of the Hero. I fall into the carrier of the cross. Of my mistakes and regrets. Of my loss. The strong arms of the one who is. It’s done. It’s Heaven. It’s more than I can describe but it’s freedom. And I can rest. I can breathe. I can trust. I can cry but believe that the tears will be wiped away by Jesus. Like a cycle. Then comes mourning. Then comes healing. Then comes hope. Then comes morning. Always comes morning.
I hold on to things. I’m by no means a hoarder, but I definitely still have “Babs”, the stuffed-dog I got when I was two. (And I definitely still sleep with her, my husband has accepted this.) I hold on to memories and love and pain all the same. Like stepping away from relationships. All of those years I held knuckle-white tight. And learning to be independent and who I am as this person God created. If we let them, people will shape us into a shadow of ourselves, and when they leave we can’t recognize our own reflections. Sometimes we have moments where we have to choose whether to remain stuck in the waiting for change to hopefully come or we have to take the leap to reach change now.
I get lost in my own mind sometimes and relive moments with my grandma, I still have her number saved in my phone as if I could call her whenever I want to. I get lost in her memory and her goodness and her love for Jesus. I wish she could see me loving Him, too, the way she always prayed I would. I remember the night she made her way to Heaven and I wasn’t sure how any of us would continue to live. How would we make it without her? But tomorrow came and we had to choose to move with it. I’m so thankful I finally chose to move with it.
We walked down the beach tonight and there was a young boy with his mother, and I think of my child. I think of the way his memory used to be shut away, too painful, always taunting by the enemy. And I think of the way God has redeemed it, so beautiful, so thankful I can talk about it. He would be big enough to run alone and play in the ocean and laugh and talk with me about who knows what. It hurts for a moment but I think of Heaven immediately and the setting sun behind us. And I smile. I’m full of joy in heart at the thought. How much greater is it all on his side of Heaven?
And a year ago I couldn’t face this. The pain of growth and releasing of hands and moving forward. But sometimes God works in our time, when it comes to matters of the heart. He doesn’t rush our wounds to heal and He doesn’t push us when we aren’t ready. Because He knows it’s not easy being us. He came down on earth as one of us. He knows life can be ugly and burdens can be heavy and this bed seems far too safe compared to the world outside of our window. He knows people die and fathers leave and relationships end. He knows results come back a devastatingly positive and the rain seems never-ending. And so he doesn’t push us, but encourages us, that yes, the pain in your heart may be overwhelming some days but there is a sunset over the ocean painted just for you that he doesn’t want you to miss. Just a sunset over the ocean that can help our feet to move forward, even if it’s just one small step at a time.
And what’s on the other side of moving forward has been so worth getting out of bed. So worth the releasing of hands. So worth all-in trusting Jesus. So I will leave my pains right here, where the shore meets the sea. I will let it wash away with each wave. Because although there is pain, God is still good, the sunset is still so beautiful, and Heaven is surely worth it all.
“I don’t want something so tragic to be suppressed into my stone heart. If someone is going through this I want to pour into them. It hurts. It sucks. It’s full of regret. It’s full of wondering if there’s healing. If anyone will ever understand. I want people to know that I understand. I believe there is healing. I believe this will always be painful. Always be embarrassing. Always be shameful. But I believe one day I will wake up and a burden will be gone. One day I will wake up and breathe light. It will hurt but I won’t be scared to share. To speak truth about abortion. To speak up.”
This week will be 42 years since Roe v. Wade came into affect. 42 years. 56 million babies. What they don’t tell you is abortion is not an easy fix. It does not take away the fact that we are still mothers and fathers. Sometime around now I could have been celebrating life. I could have been buying birthday cakes and candles and there could have been celebrations. And I’ve fought with my inner self for some time. It seems like over the years I’ve counted every footstep I’ve taken that has separated me further from that day. Further from my younger self who didn’t choose life. And it rings true that we don’t realize what we had until it’s gone. And by then it’s so far gone from here. I’ve spent time staring out blank windows feeling an emptiness. Watching the snow fall out blank windows and days would change but the pain always remained the same. I’ve spent time with a jealous heart when mothers walk hand in hand with their babies. And I’ve spent time wishing for mine. Daydreaming of an echo of a voice in my mind and wanting so badly to reach it. For it to be real. I’ve beat myself up over the goneness. In the silence. I stayed silent for too long. But 56 million babies have come and gone and how many more since my own? How many more moms only realize what’s missing when the missing comes far too soon? I wonder if they are dealing with it or if they keep it hidden in their heart. I wonder if any of them have begun to stare into the same blankness and are wishing that same wish. One thing the abortion clinic doesn’t prepare us for is that there’s no refund. There’s no getting our babies back. When we realize what we have actually done. They say it is best for us. That we will be relieved. But abortion is forever and so is the yearning for our babies back. They never prepared us for the day we would blankly stare out of these windows watching the snow fall, missing a baby we only knew for a little while.
If I could give advice to anyone facing abortion I would tell them to really think about it. Lay it all out there. A baby might not be convenient in your busy life right now, but life will get quiet. And in the midst of the silence “what-ifs” become overwhelmingly loud. The temporary inconveniences will pass but the regret is lasting on the heart. Know that the after-affects of abortion is more draining than chasing around a toddler ever would be. I want to face it head on. I don’t want to be scared of it. I want to speak life into it. I want to declare victory over abortion. Because the world tells us to keep it hidden in the darkness but there is healing in the light. After all this time I’ve finally found peace. I’ve found a piece of healing. I’ve learned to loosen my grip on this secret. I’ve learned to embrace the memory of the one I only knew for a little while, and I marvel in the Lord’s promise that I will one day see my baby face to face. I refuse to stay silent anymore, because my child’s death will not be in vain – for there will be victory over abortion. You were here. You existed. You are remembered.
A voice is heard in Ramah,
Mourning and great weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted because they are no more.
but I will turn their mourning into gladness;
I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
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Two years ago today i held my grandma’s hand as she lay in a hospital bed and we described together what Heaven will be like. I put my face on her chest, and she just smiled as i told her i wasn’t ready for her to go. she quietly said, “you will always be my nah-zee.” i miss her voice. her voice was gentle yet strong and passionate when she prayed. she prayed for everyone. all day long she whispered His Name, “oh, Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.” i replay this voice in my head often hoping to never forget it. Two years ago my grandma made sure to make each of her grandchildren promise her she would see them in Heaven one day. i told her i would but my heart wasn’t sure if that was true. i told her i would see her again and she squeezed my hand. i miss her hands. her hands were old but they were beautiful. they squeezed my wrist as we crossed the street when i was a little girl. they made the best scrambled eggs and the best chocolate cherry cake. they clasped together tightly as she prayed to her great God Almighty. it’s been two years since i’ve gotten to look into her blue eyes. mine were filled with tears and sorrow that day but hers were filled with excitement and joy as she prepared to leave for Heaven. when you looked into her eyes you just knew her soul was destined to sit next Christ. growing up i never had a strong personal relationship with Jesus but i knew my grandma from the inside out and i look back now and think that sitting next to my grandma as a little girl was the closest to Jesus i could have been. it’s been two long years since i told my grandma that i would see her in Heaven. i hadn’t gone to church in years, the Bible i got when i was 8 years old was like brand new, i was not living for Jesus in any way, but my mouth spoke the words before i wholeheartedly thought about what she had asked, and i told her i would see her in Heaven. i believe in the very moment my tongue spoke those words to her i unknowlingly signed a contract and God was the witness. i believe from that very moment God made it His mission to fulfill that promise to my faithful, God-fearing grandmother. two years ago i began to lose my life just so i could find it. there is nothing that i long for more today than to be able to look into my gramma’s eyes, hold her hands, hear her voice, and pray with her. to seek advice from her in times of struggle in my walk. my heart hurts for the wasted time i didn’t do those things when she was here but i know when i get to Heaven Ella Mae will be waiting. if there could ever be the ideal way to pass away, she let out a big, peaceful sigh, and you just knew Jesus Christ picked her up and took her Home.
“your Heaven is going to have a big blue house, just for you. with a big flower garden. with lots of onions and chocolate cherry cake. and a big blue sky. with golden roads. you’re going to sit right next to Jesus, gramma.”
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
i suppose change is temporary. like freezing or thawing still water. changing who we are and then realizing we’re the exact same person as always is as natural a cycle as breathing.