These days are so hard....
That is why I simply make myself choose to believe. I've been reading a book that a dear friend sent, and the author's grief and loss truly are ones that I thank God I don't have to endure. In this book, the author says that in the "randomness" of devastating tragedy, he chooses to believe there is a bigger picture...he is part of a very bad chapter in a very good book authored by God Himself. Though I admit that this does not lessen the ache in my arms for my gurgly little 3-week old, it does sort of sum up what I desperately hope is happening in my life. Without the belief that all good things work for those who love the Lord, there is no hope. Without hope, what is there? I simply cannot and refuse to believe that I will not ever see my Matthew again. I choose to believe there is a bigger picture.
Friends, don't doubt that this is part of my "Fake it until I make it," routine...because most days, that's how I feel. What you may see as strength, I see and know is simply doing what I have to do because the alternative is not acceptable. What you see as bravery, I see as cowardice--I would, in a split second, wish this was NOT ME and that I was holding Matthew while someone else's heart was broken. To borrow from Mary Beth Chapman after the loss of her daughter, she said in an interview "I've said, you know, somewhat coldly, 'I don't care whose lives are touched by this story and whose lives are changed or what good comes of it.' As the heart of a mom, I want Maria back."
That's exactly how I feel...at the core, in my heart as a mother, I want Matthew back.
And yet...I know lives have been touched. I know lives will be changed. The EKG machine in Kyrgyzstan alone is tangible proof that in this tragedy and horror that is my life, God is able to use it for good somewhere else. I choose to believe there is a bigger picture.
I have so many things jumbled in my mind these days...and I 'post' imaginary blogs all the time. There are simply things that I want to remember, and hope that someone who may stumble along to this site and read can relate to without feeling ashamed or even blasphemous.
Do not think for one second I have not questioned, "Is God even real?" or "Do I *really* believe in all I've always claimed to believe?" I've asked, "Where is Heaven? If God is real, and Heaven is REAL...WHERE IS IT? WHERE IS MY MATTHEW?" We've explored space...where is it? Where is my child? I cannot, cannot, cannot accept that his life simply exists no more and he will simply rot away in a box in the ground. I just cannot.
And yet, it is so hard to accept things that prior to this, in my head, I'd answer, "Lori--you are a human being. Your brain simply is not capable of understanding the things of God. His thoughts are not ours, and ours are not His." Prior to losing Matthew, that pat answer of simply not being able to comprehend the majesty of God because of my human brain was ok.
It's not now. It's not. So this is where I choose to believe. There have been so many little "signs" of God. One of the first that I came across was in Cindy LaJoy's post... Cyndi has always been so eloquent, but the day we came home from the hospital, and the day after, we just sat and asked..."Where is God?" I went to Cyndi's blog to see about her girls, and lo and behold...the perfect words at the perfect time.
At the funeral, God was everywhere. I have never seen so many people that I knew, and many I didn't know, gathered for no other reason but to support us and to love us. Not even at our wedding, and it was pretty decent sized. The funeral guest book alone had over 200 signatures...and I knew there were people I saw that didn't have a chance to sign. Many signatures represented two or more people...we were overwhelmed with emotions and the people who shared them. Grown men, some military men to boot, in tears. Doctors, nurses--people who certainly had better things to do with their time than to come and grieve with us--strangers who just felt for us and wanted to share their hearts. It was truly amazing. My precious little son being the reason that someone who didn't know God just may have...
But something that we all found really and truly amazing, was one of those things that normally one might look at and go, "Um, yeah...that's a mud puddle."
However, in light of the fact that so, so many of us were hurting and questioning and wondering, we found this sight comforting and awe-inspiring. Who are we to say that God couldn't use a mud puddle to give us comfort or send us an angel? Perhaps you may feel the same when you see the picture...
While our brains may be unable to comprehend the majesty of God, perhaps He sends us something we CAN comprehend...like an angel being with us at Matthew's funeral.
This 'mud puddle' was outside the church all morning... I choose to believe.