Besides the super obvious reason of missing my Addy Grace, there are other reasons why I cry. I cry every day and I never know what is going to trigger it. Sometimes it’s walking past Addalyn’s room, coming across something of hers in an unexpected place, hearing a toddler laugh or cry, taking a family picture, seeing my niece and nephew hurting, not seeing her in the backseat mirror while driving, seeing an outfit that I would have bought her if she was here, but the one thing that gets me almost every time without fail is when I’m singing praise songs. Yes, I miss my baby girl so incredibly much, but that’s not why I cry when I’m praising my Savior.
I cry when singing praise because certain songs remind me of what has been done for me, despite what I really deserve. Grace isn’t just God giving me a gift I don’t deserve, it’s Him giving me a gift when I deserve to be punished. He died for me, He accepted suffering for me, God gave His only son as a sacrifice for me, and most importantly, He conquered the grave. It’s hard to understand a willingness to suffer for those who aren’t worthy of it because I would forgo suffering in a heartbeat, if I could. I know that if I had to give Addy up to save others, I wouldn’t have done it. To see your child suffer and die is the most excruciating pain, even when you know what will happen in the end. When I’m praising I cry because God knows the pain of watching his only child die, I cry because I’m not alone- Jesus knows what true suffering is, I cry because I am loved more than I could ever love, and I cry because this pain will end and the image of the joy that is to come brings tears to my eyes.
They say misery loves company and it’s true, I find comfort in those who understand this pain. Often it’s connections online, but through it all my biggest comfort is Jesus. That doesn’t mean I’ve been okay with Him allowing Addy to die or that I’ve stayed in the word and prayer nonstop. I had a couple months when I couldn’t read His word or talk to Him, other than telling Him he owes me something good (in case you’re wondering, that doesn’t work). I know it might sound cliché, but when you’ve experienced deep pain, you connect on a deeper level to others who know sorrow and suffering. “He was despised and rejected-a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief…(Isaiah 53:3). I know He didn’t take joy in allowing Addy to die. He doesn’t enjoy watching us suffer, He is near the broken-hearted. He does allow suffering though, because of the sin in this world. We live in a fallen, broken world and we were never promised a life without suffering. In fact, He told us we would experience suffering and trials in this world until we are called home. “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.” (1 Peter 5:10). Suffering in this world is meant to stop us and God’s plans for us, by Satan. But, I refuse to allow Satan to stop what God has in store. I want my suffering to produce perseverance and strengthen my faith. I want to persevere in this life and continue on the path God has in store for me.
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3-4)
As we approach the one year mark since Addalyn went to be with Jesus we are also getting back on track to grow our family. Addy will be a big sister, just not the way we had planned (just one more way God reminds us we aren’t in control). We’ve had a baby room ready for over a year and look forward to the day when it’s no longer another empty room. We could use lots of prayers as we continue this journey. Prayers for our hearts, raising the funds we need for adopting, perseverance to follow the path God leads us on (it could take a while for anything to happen for us), and prayers for the child that will be joining our family.