Thursday, July 30, 2009

Two-Weeks of Joy

For more than two weeks, I have severely neglected this blog. This may sound terrible, but I’ve had more important things to do. My two year old granddaughter had come to our house for those two weeks. It’s been a very long time since I chased a two-year-old and she has been keeping me busy.

For five years, I’ve enjoyed being able to have my house the way I wanted it. No childproofing necessary. It has stayed tidy because there was no one to mess it up. There have been no toys, no booster chairs, no babies or dress-up shoes or princess houses. And it’s been very, very quiet. I think I enjoy the mess and the laughter more. It comes with the cutest little package that includes a great little belly-laugh that makes it impossible not to join right in. The little head that has bounced around this house with her confident, happy-go-lucky walk made me cry, because I knew the day to take her home was fast approaching.

Oh, there were the two-year-old battles: “I want up, no, I want down!” “I want in, I want out!” “I want more, no I’m full!” “I can do it myself, help me!” “I want juice! No, I want water! No, I want milk! No, I want juice!”

But then there are the boo boos that need to be kissed, the polite little “Tink Too’s” (Thank You.) and the “I lu you too’s” There have been bubble baths in the bathroom and bubble blowing on the patio. There have been tea parties, and dress up parties. There have been visits with cousins, and train rides at the fairgrounds. There have been wonderful story times— we read the same one every nap time and bed time. We have sung songs together and played with bugs together. What an awesome two weeks we had.

But tonight, I’m a little bedraggled. I’m sitting on a plane next to an immaculately dressed young woman. She has the most beautiful bag, her nails are professionally manicured, her hair and makeup are flawless. Her outfit is perfectly coordinated. I, on the other hand, am in the tee shirt, jeans and tennis shoes that I put on at 4:00 this morning. I have no makeup on and I’m carrying a black nylon backpack. One leg of my jeans is stained where my granddaughter’s diaper leaked this morning, and there is something on the other leg that I can’t identify. I’m not on my last leg, but I am on the last leg of a 4,000-mile, 16-hour journey. I had to take my granddaughter home today. I’m not sure when I’ll get to see her again. I’m having trouble seeing my computer screen because of the tears in my eyes. (Good thing I didn’t wear any makeup.)

So, at least for a while I should be back to my regular blogging schedule, which I truly love. And tomorrow I’ll probably go through my house and pick up all the princess shoes and baby dolls. I’ll take down the princess house and put the booster seat away for now. Or maybe I’ll just leave them where they are. Either way, I will be missing that angelic little face that came out of her bedroom each morning, with blurry eyes and tussled hair. I’ll miss seeing her finger instinctively go into her nose and meander down to her mouth. She’ll only be two for a short time and I’m so glad that I got to enjoy two weeks of it. It will be a two weeks I will never forget!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Saturday Morning

Last week, I blogged about the 5th anniversary of my daughter’s death. Yesterday, I was reminded of the morning after the accident. I had gone to bed very late that Friday night after the coroner, the sheriff and our family left the house, vowing to never wake up again. I had made a conscious decision to crawl into my bed, pull the covers over my head and never get out.

But God said , “no.” Saturday morning came, the sun came up just like it always does. The birds were singing, people were out walking their dogs, biking and driving to work past my house. I thought surely the world would have stopped spinning now that my daughter—my ray of sunshine—was no longer in it.

I still tried to stay asleep. I pulled the covers up higher trying to shield the light from my eyes, but it was too late. The names and faces of people were flooding my mind. I knew they would be devastated by the news of my daughter’s death and I needed to comfort them. I had to call and encourage them! I couldn’t wait.

This had to be a supernatural move of God in my spirit because I did not have the strength or energy to think of anyone but myself during that time. I tried to shut down into a dormant state to protect my heart, my very soul. But God had a different plan and he would not allow me to sleep through it. I had to be proactive.

I am so thankful for God and the work he has done and continues to do in me. I am, by nature, a very selfish person. I felt my life had been changed more than anyone else’s by my daughter’s death, shouldn’t they be comforting me? Shouldn’t I be the one who needed it the most? Not on that Saturday morning. God put a calling in my heart that I have not been able to ignore since.

Many people have every reason to pull the covers over their heads and never wake up again. They have every excuse to numb their minds with drugs, alcohol, food or shopping. I am driven to help them know the hope that I have found in the providence of God. He put a message in my heart that first Saturday morning that I have to share.

I never thought I’d be able to see light again. I never thought I’d be able to hear a song, much less sing one. I never thought I’d be able to function after my daughter died. But here I am, five years later—functioning—active in ministry—singing as I go. That has not happened by any personal fortitude—I don’t possess it—but only by the power of my unswerving hope.