Last night I started going through a book called "The One Year Book of HOPE." It's a daily devotional Josh's cousin mailed me about a mom who has lost 2 of her precious babies. It starts out with her story in the introduction, talks about how the book is set up, then the devotionals start. A couple things have already stuck out to me so far.
In the intro, she makes a statement that has really resonated with me. She says, "It seems to me that most losses aren't just one loss, but a series of losses. For a while I grieved Hope's (her daughter's) death. Then I grieved her limited life. Then I grieved our loss of potential." This last part has really stuck with me. For example today at the pool, there was a mom there with her 3 girls...I won't have this 'potential' that I was SO looking forward to; at least not playing with all of them and loving on them while at the pool, etc. I also saw multiple moms there with their babies and young toddlers.--I will now not have this 'potential' that I was planning to have this summer and in years ahead. I have also thought about missing seeing Avelyn graduate from high school; I have lost this 'potential.' So many things every Mom looks forward to...and even some things that moms may dread having/needing to go through with their kiddos, I have lost this 'potential' and it breaks my heart. Most of the time, I don't immediately cry in public or even at home when I think about these things, but like the author says..I agree with her that "it is as if there is a broken place inside me where tears are stored."
Because of all this, I love what she says in another section...I need my "Manna." She says that just like the children of Israel got their daily manna (bread) from God while they wandered in the wilderness, we need to depend on God DAILY to sustain us. Also, just like the manna the Israelites received, we can't store it up, we must get it fresh daily. I need this. I encourage you all to do the same. Easier said than done, but I need it.--Because of all these 'potential' things I will see regularly, things that I will be missing out on with my sweet Avelyn, I need God DAILY. It has definitely helped me to talk to our sweet Avelyn and tell her hello when I see God's beauty...a beautiful sunset, a small bird flying in the sky, the sun peeking through the clouds, a peaceful rain. But I also need to get in God's Word even more and speak to Him more. At times I have been completely strong in my faith as I speak to Him, at times I have cried out to Him in desperation, at times I have sunken into complete sadness and asked Him to help me, at times I have lashed out at Him in anger...but all this makes my relationship with Him stronger...and I need it, I need Him DAILY to keep me grounded.
Also because of all this 'potential' I see that I will miss, I encourage each of you to love on your babies MORE. It's so easy to say this, but I want to DO it more with my big girls...even in the not so fun times. Cherish those babies...and by babies, I mean babies, toddlers, elementary age kiddos, teenagers, young adults, grown kiddos, grandchildren, etc. You never know when your last moment with them may be...
Hugs and Love to you all.