A year ago, we held our son as Jesus welcomed him into heaven.
It wasn't the hardest moment. There were many harder ones before, and many more painful ones to follow. There was peace as we sang over him and let him go.
I was flipping through my journal from last year, and saw my prayers and praises from those last days. The prayers were largely medically specific up until June 5. On the morning of June 6, I wrote a shorter list of requests:
Lord, have mercy!
Your will be done.
Peace and comfort for Clive.
Your presence among us.
Change- whether better or worse.
Within a couple hours, Clive made it clear to us it was time. He was freed from his tubes and he entered fully into the arms of Jesus. All my prayers for the day were answered.
And here we are, a full year later. This date seemed really monumental to me. Against my better reasoning, I couldn't help but expect that there would be some sense of closure or completion. That I would wake up on June 6, 2016 and have it figured out. And much like a 5 year old wakes up on their 6th birthday expecting to be bigger and feel different, I woke up disillusioned. Even though I expected that, it still was frustrating.
In my foggy mind yesterday, I tried to sort things out. I looked through last year's journal and was reminded of pages and pages of scripture intermixed with prayers and thoughts. A book full of encouraging words, honest words, and lots of unanswered questions. And yesterday was a day much like the rest of them have been, with moments of joy and pain, moments of clarity and utter confusion, moments of complete sadness and pure happiness, moments of wonderful and painful memories.
A year later, there has been so much progress in many practical ways. The tears don't come every day, the exhaustion has let up a bit, the panic and anxieties aren't constant. But the bad moments come as more of a shock to the system. Really? Weren't we past that already?
The progression in the emotional and spiritual sense is harder to understand. So many more ebbs and flows. So many more questions and wrestlings that can hardly be put into words. But, as Sam reminded me yesterday, it's all part of a bigger story that we cannot comprehend. We have a glimpse of the end, but the journey there seems confusing. The lack of clarity is frustrating at times, but grows our dependence on Him. He knows us. He loves us. God reminded me of that this morning, as I watched the early light come into the sky and read Psalm 139.
You have searched me and know me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up.
You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,"
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.
I awake and I am still with you.