I just finished.
I think I am done.
The story God laid on my heart to write and publish is ready to publish, should the Lord see fit to send the funds for such.
And I am in tears.
I don’t want to have a story like this. I don’t want to wonder what it would be like to have a nine-year-old boy living in my house.
And I don’t want to sit here and cry. I hate crying. It makes me feel sad. And I don’t like sad. I like happy and hopeful. Not sad.
And yet here I am. Overcome with emotion. Real emotion that makes you cry until there is a little puddle beneath your bowed head.
It has been over nine years since I held my son in my arms and his heart stopped beating. Over nine years since I left the hospital and stayed in a hotel room that a friend had gotten for us. Over nine years since I told the nurses that whether or not Daniel lived or died I trusted the Lord.
And I did. I mean I do. I did and I do. I trust the Lord. His plans are not mine.
Losing Daniel here on earth was a painful loss. But I can honestly say that I have grown so much through my earthly loss. I am truly thankful for the gift of a son and of his being in heaven. I am truly thankful that I carried him for almost 37 weeks and that he died in my arms. God didn’t have to give me two days to hope he would live, but He did. And I am truly thankful.
Now the question is what am I going to do with this gift? It was nothing I would have ever asked for. I don’t know that I would walk down this road again if given the choice. But I have been given this gift of life and death. Of love and grief.
And now I face the question, what am I going to do with it?
I will tell you what I am not going to do with it. I am not going to stuff it away and act like it never happened…because it did. I am not going to pretend that it doesn’t sometimes hurt…because it does. I cannot stop winching every time I meet someone whose name is Daniel…because it reminds me of someone else I knew whose name was the same.
I cannot help it. It is just part of who I am now. Yes, I have three healthy little ladies who I love with all my heart. I thank God for them every day and tell them such every night.
But the fact of the matter is that, once upon a time, I envisioned my life with a son. Then that son was born and died and my world was turned upside down. God never left my side, but I did not stay as close to Him as I could have or should have.
And yet, our God saw fit to not only carry me through this valley in my life, but to also give me hope and a peace in my spirit to walk through my life. And for that I am eternally grateful. I will always praise His name, for He is a good God.
My prayer is that by sharing my journey and what God has taught me along the way, you, too, will be encouraged that you are not alone and that God loves you regardless of where you are on your journey.
It can still hurt.
It can still be very difficult.
But God will never leave you…He promises you that.
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b