So, I have been reading a little of Rob Bell's book, Drops Like Stars. The substance of this book is suffering and how to view suffering when we experience it. Bits and pieces of the book are profound and have helped me look at our situation in a totally different light. Other parts....I could do without.
Below are a few excerpts from the book that have struck me:
Suffering can do that to us.
We're jolted, kicked, prodded, and shoved
into new realities we
never would have brought about on our own.
We're forced to imagine a new future because
the one we were planning on is gone.
That's what often happens when we suffer. We had things well planned out. We knew what meant what. We had all of our boxes properly organized and labeled. But all of that was disrupted when we began to suffer.
So there's "out of the box," which is often merely a variation of the same thing. And then there are those who think and feel and live and create from a different place. They've had their boxes smashed and their insulators dismantled until.....
THEY HAD NO OTHER OPTION BUT TO IMAGINE A TOTALLY NEW TOMORROW.
Also known as a "disruption."
And then we hear something born of suffering
and adversity and we're moved because
it's honest. It's real. It means something.
IT'S THE ART OF THE ACHE.
THE ACHE IS UNIVERSAL.
The ache reminds us that things
aren't how they're supposed to be.
The ache cuts through all the static,
all the ways we avoid having to actually feel things.
The ache reassures us that we're not the only ones who feel this way.
As I read through his book and his thoughts on suffering, I was amazed at how he was able to put words with the emotions I have felt over the past month and a half. For so long, we had our comfy box. It was labeled with Lindsay, Jeremy, and Ayden and filled with love, joy, laughter, happiness, faith, thankfulness, tenderness, sweet moments and unforgettable memories. All of a sudden, the box was shattered...smashed...and we were forced to live outside of our box - to live outside of "comfort" and "normal." And as he said, we had no other option but to imagine a new tomorrow. Imagine is the key word - because really, after you go through a tragedy and your whole life as you knew it is destroyed, all you can do is imagine what life will look like now. You try to piece together ideas and images to give you some sort of idea about what life might be tomorrow......but nothing concrete. It is such a disruption to everything that is natural in this world...
I like what he says about "the ache" and how he recognizes it as something worthy of description. I feel the ache every day. It's an ache that begins in my heart and slowly flows to arms and legs and then to my fingers and toes. It is undoubtedly the most overcoming feeling I have ever felt. As he says, the ache reminds us that things are not as they should be. The ache overcomes me in those moments when I realize that our life should be different - at a football game where other mothers have their babies with them....mine should be here - at the store - parents buying clothes and diapers and such for their baby.....I can't do that anymore....it should be different! Every time I see his face or watch a video or when someone speaks to me about how beautiful he IS.....the ache creeps in.
I don't know if it was the weather or not, but I have just felt down today. Just easy to weep....having to hold the lump in my throat down so I don't completely lose it in the middle of Greenville Blvd. Things are slowing down here, and my mom is going back to work. So, today it has just been Jeremy and I. Although the two of us are together...running errands...meeting friends....I feel so empty - so incomplete. We should have a third with us...Ayden should be with us. Coming to grips with the fact that he won't be with us throws me into very deep sadness.
I am beginning to have more good days than bad. Kind of 50-50 right now. Hard days will continue to come and are sure to come. But I have to remember the good times...and remember that God works to the good of those who love him. I know God has blessed us through this and provided an abundance of peace in the times we so desperately needed it. He has allowed us to laugh and smile and think happy thoughts. Through the prayers, thoughts, and kind words of others He is carrying us. I can't imagine walking through this alone....that would be utterly miserable.
I love the video of Ayden that I posted yesterday. If you haven't had a chance to watch at it, please take a minute to view it. It is one of my favorite videos because it shows you how we spent our time together. Those "conversations" were so special to us. It seemed like he had so much he wanted to tell me, and when he realized I was intently listening, he would just light up and keep going. He was always so full of life and expression. A happy, happy baby. I'm so thankful for the time we got with him. God allowed him to advance a little quicker than most babies his age, and I am now so thankful for that. He was at the age when most babies begin to show their personality. Ayden started doing that a month and a half early. We knew him and his delightful little character. So thankful that God, in a sense, gave us a little extra time with him by allowing him to develop a little more quickly.
I will leave you with a scripture a friend of mine sent to me. The context of the scripture deals with Jesus, but if you read it from the perspective of someone who has lost someone dear to them, it is really touching.
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9