Last Sunday I sat in the back of the church, everyone was bowed in prayer and I was distracted by a sweet little boy sitting in front of me. He was smiling and I was giving little waves to him. Then in the silence I heard the man leading the prayers say quietly, ‘we pray for the continued recovery of Joshua, let’s have a moment of silence as we pray for him’ or something to that affect. My heart stopped, really? This man who has never met Josh is asking people to pray, he is reminding people not to forget our sweet little boy… that was last Sunday and I sat and listened a few things happened. The first thing was that I got chills over my whole body, the second was an incredible feeling of hope surging through me. A seed of hope that has been re-ignited within me and it’s glowing warm and bright in my soul.
I tell you this not to remind you, I know that you who follow me do so out of a care and concern for Joshua, I tell you to remind myself. I have such a terrible tendency to allow self pity to seep into my soul. Lately I have been lamenting Joshua’s inability to talk with me, to share his thoughts, his feelings. I have been feeling like I am missing out on something so deep, so intimate, so honest and it hurts me. I hear of people telling cute little stories about what their children have said, silly things, wise things, painfully honest things or all out hilarious things and I feel like I am missing something vital to motherhood. I actually ache to hear his thoughts, I watch him playing in relative silence and I actually ache. It is similar to the ache of not being able to hold him when he was born, the feeling that I felt for those first three weeks of his life when I physically hurt from missing him, from wanting to hold him in my arms. That is what it feels like now, knowing that he is thinking and feeling all sorts of things that I am not ever going to be privy too.
A woman today told me that she thought we were amazing, the way we handled all of this and my honest reply is simply ‘No’ we are not amazing. We are all too real, all too human in our ways of dealing with our grief, our joy, our pain and our frustrations. Self pity eats at me, worry fills my heart with doubts, anger rises like bile in my throat, and fear threatens me at every turn. Yes, we have many great moments of faith, we have known more joy in the last three and a half years than we have ever known before, we have loved in a way we never imagined possible and we have felt God presence as real as if he was sitting beside us in the flesh but these moments cannot be spoken of without also having you see the other side of this defect of the heart. The side that is shameful, the side that is ugly, the side that is selfish and faithless, the side that is human. I can not be honest with you about our journey through this past three years without sharing the ugliness that also resides in our hearts.
This two sided coin of faith and doubt is why God had to watch his own son suffer and die… so that in all my ugliness and sin he can offer the grace and love of the cross. I doubt I will ever be able to fully comprehend that love, nor express how thankful I am for it.