This will be our first Easter without our Addy Grace. I remember when she was born we didn’t even know if she would make it to her first Easter just weeks after her birth. After all she beat I really didn’t think last year was going to be our last one with her here. I miss her so much every single day, but when any holiday or special event rolls around it intensifies. Family pictures are hard to do, but we continue to do them. We have to keep living and making memories with those who are still with us. With every picture it’s more obvious that a piece of our family is missing and always will be, along with a piece of my heart until I join her in heaven.
I know many people can’t understand longing for heaven, but it’s ok and actually what we’re supposed to do (it doesn’t mean someone is suicidal or not living as fully as they can). We went to a retreat in Tennessee for couples who have “lost” a child (that would be in quotes since I know exactly where she is…there’s nothing about Addy that’s lost). It’s always hard and emotionally draining to share about when Addalyn died, but then to hear about other children as well who have gone on to heaven was exhausting. It was also an incredibly amazing weekend with couples who know how to continue enjoying life with a deep pain always following them. We were able to share our struggles that most of the world doesn’t quite understand and encourage one another in our faith. The isolation you feel after burying your child can be so hard. It helps to connect with others who know the heartache of living daily without their child. Someone shared the first part of this verse right before we left and I don’t remember hearing it before, but it’s now one of my favorites:
“It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart. Frustration is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.” Ecclesiastes 7:2-4
I also thought it was very fitting for today since it’s Good Friday. I can’t even imagine the hopelessness and mourning that must have gone on right after Jesus died. They thought He came to save them in a very different way. But, I also can’t quite imagine the amount of joy when they saw Him after He was resurrected. I can’t wait for the day when I experience that joy, when I see my Savior and get to be with my baby girl again. As I continue to long for heaven and for the pain and heartache of this world to melt away, don’t worry about me and my mental or spiritual health. We should all be longing for that day. This world was not meant to satisfy us; it never can satisfy as Christ can. Our only purpose here is to point others to Christ and give Him the glory He deserves in everything, and that includes suffering.
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”