Mary Beth has written a book (much like I would like to someday...) about their experience and what God has taught/is teaching them. She reminds me so much of myself - the honesty and transparency. Her words sounded so familiar - like these:
When people ask how we are doing, the first thing I always say is, "I want Maria back. I want my son Will Franklin not to have this as a chapter in his story. I want my children to be healthy, my family secure. I don't really care whose life has been touched or changed because of our loss!"
That is the heart of a mother who lost a daughter and is determined not to lose another child. I believe God can handle my heart, my questions, and my anger. It's okay to want Maria back. It's okay to be angry. The question is, what do I do with it it all? What do I do with God?
That resonated so strongly with me. When we first lost Ayden, I hated the question, "What do you need?" I knew what people meant, but I wanted to scream, "I NEED all of you to stop asking me what I need! You know what I need! I need my baby back!!" I took me a long time to become angry. I spent a lot of time in the numb stage of grief....just disbelief....waiting to wake up from the nightmare, yet every morning was the same....he was gone. Once I finally became angry, I was livid. I questioned Him; I blamed Him; I doubted Him.
But He never left me.
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you...Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west." - Isaiah 43: 2, 5
This verse was written along with the Prologue, which was written by a friend of Mary Beth's. I had read that verse before, but reading it again shook me. After I read it, I wrote this:
- When I read this, tears began to flow. YOU have walked with me through waters, and you didn't let the rivers of grief and loss sweep over me. YOU were always there to steady me. And YOU will bring Ayden to me again when you gather us together. -
One of my resolutions for the new year was to get deeper in my relationship with Christ. Life gets busy, and my time with God often gets pushed aside....which is so backwards. I decided that I was going to keep a prayer journal of sorts. It's not just for prayers, though; when I'm reading the Word or reading a book and something catches my attention, I'm going to write it down and write my thoughts in that moment. This method helps me because if I just read...I forget, but if I read and then record my thoughts and my "ah-ha moments", it will stick.
I chose this book to be my first for my journal, and I'm so glad I did.
If you're like me, and you've lost a child, it's difficult to find Christian literature that speaks to you and this new life. The norm doesn't apply anymore. I seek out literature written by those /for those who have experience loss because it helps me process and it helps me feel less alone. If you're looking for a book to read but can't quite seem to find one that "fits" - give this one a try. I promise, you won't be disappointed. I'm only on chapter 3, and I have already gained so much.
I am going to the Women of Faith Conference this year, and Mary Beth will be there. I'm looking forward to hearing her speak and being there amongst so many sisters in Christ.
Choose to SEE Him....in everything.