By Rachel Raper
Tonight, well after the kids were tucked into their separate beds, the baby monitor screen gives me a front row seat to view my oldest child crawling into the toddler bed with my youngest child to sing him an “original” lullaby. I watched, as only a mother would, as they hugged and sweetly comforted one another. Overshadowing my love and pride arose the stinging thought….”I’m missing one!"
You should know that I’m angry this month as my son’s fifth birthday approaches. Not road rage angry or cray-cray not fit to be in public angry, but the kind of anger that has flashes of sadness- so much so that it’s hard to tease out “am I angry or am I sad?" My heart has a scab that the Devil lifts every so often and it stays a little raw during this anniversary month. I don’t like revealing these thoughts, because it seems sinful and eerily familiar to the time following my son’s death. Those early days of grief were so heavy and Jesus has healed my wounded heart, so much so that I don’t want to take away from the positive by stating the obvious.
The obvious is my child passed right by this Earthly world and nothing changed, yet everything changed. In most of my moments, during most months, I crave to remember him, smile whenever I talk about him, and honor his life by carrying out my calling in ministry. This month is different as it’s the anniversary of his death; an old memory creeps back each day, the more the month passes, thus the heavier the burden becomes. Everyday moments no longer elicit my typical reaction. My typical dose of strength from the Lord is not enough to make it through these July days, I must request more.
Even though I don’t welcome this annual strife, I acknowledge that this extra dose of sadness does not take away from my healing and does not cloud the joy I’ve learned to embrace. I will give myself permission to grieve on this day too. I will forgive myself for wishing away the rest of this month. I will choose joy, as I humbly seek more strength for this weary mother’s heart of mine. I will stop anticipating next year’s anniversary will be easier, because each year delivers a similar bundle of tucked away emotion.
Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Naomi's Circle News
Here you will find articles intended to help you in your journey. Some will be reviews of websites and books. Some will be devotionals, some general articles, and some will be guest bloggers. Feel free to comment and let us know if there is something you would like to see addressed here.
Week 1: Devotional
Week 2: General article about loss
Week 3: Testimony/guest blogger
Week 4: Website/book Review