This morning, it’s raw.
The return of normal (even in crazy, abnormal times) as kids start new school years and leaves ever so slightly start blushing on the trees.
It’s been almost 11 years . . . and today?
Today it hurts a lot.
Maybe it’s been all the other stuff going on. And, like most of the First World, there’s been a lot of other stuff going on.
But maybe . . . maybe it’s that remembrance that no matter what, no matter how good things can get again . . .
The realization that you can’t bring dead babies back hits hard.
A friend reminded me of one of our pastor’s oft-used quotes, “Miracles begin with impossible situations.”
I remember when it felt like breathing was impossible.
I remember when I stood in church, defying God to make THIS right. I stood there, while everyone around me sang in seemingly blissful ignorance, “You give and take away . . . my heart will choose to say . . . blessed be Your name.”
I wasn’t choosing anything.
I wasn’t blessing any names.
I was defying You to make THIS right.
Knowing that there was no Lazarus story for me. No redemption in the form of miraculous healing. I defied you to put THIS heart together again.
I knew You couldn’t do it because you can’t bring dead babies back to life.
Or at least you’re not in the business of doing it all that often on this earth.
You took it all.
You heard me.
You let me cry.
You didn’t even make me feel bad for being so ugly and angry that You took my child.
You didn’t expect me to stand there and joyfully sing about how You took my baby away, and it’s because of that grace and mercy I kept turning back to You.
Because while it’s true—dead babies don’t come back to life—it’s also true that miracles begin in impossible situations.
In fact, that’s usually where You do Your best work, I’d venture to say. And You were completely OK with being patient for and with me.
Then, I couldn’t breathe.
Now, I see You breathed through me.
Then, I couldn’t see five minutes ahead.
Now, I look back at 11 years of Providence and am so thankful for its gifting.
Then, I didn’t know how You’d make it right.
Now, I know it may never be right on this earth.
But I also know something now that I couldn’t possibly have known then even though I repeatedly heard it from well-meaning friends. Joy did come in the morning.
And it has come in abundance in the last decade, plus. You didn’t just repair a crushed heart and spirit. You created a new heart in me.
Still, today I remember that joy in the morning doesn’t mean the pain and sting of death in the night never happened.
So today, I stop and take pause, living in the joy of this morning and the remembrance of last night.
Dead babies don’t come back to life, but life continues to bring joy.
It’s a dichotomy no one understands until they’ve lived it.