...but He will wipe every tear from every eye, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All of these are gone forever...He will remove this cloud of doom...He will swallow up death forever!
As far as weeks go, this has been a hard one. Notwithstanding the normal day to day balancing act-which I barely managed to do this week anyway-there has also been bitter reminders. The week started off with an email from Jacob's teacher. There had been a play about a time machine they viewed and a teacher asked if the kids could go back in time, what would they do? Jacob's answer had been to lock up all the guns so Daniel would still be alive. His teacher was told this by another and then had remembered another time he had mentioned briefly about another brother. Knowing I needed to make a phone call instead of replying back to the email, I spoke with his teacher and shared that it was truth. Ryan had thought I had already mentioned it when school started, but I hadn't. Maybe I thought the information would get passed along by a previous teacher? Maybe I didn't want to begin a semester with the awkward introduction of, "this is Jacob. Oh, by the way, his oldest brother died 5 years ago"? Whatever the reason was, it was not mentioned and I found myself having to go back. Jacob is ok. Of course he can get sad missing Daniel-and I will speak to a million people if needed to ensure Jacob never feels like he needs to censor his feelings-but he's never questioned the "unfairness" of it all. He and I did speak about Heaven later that night. Which led to a discussion about the Holy Spirit and Jacob questioning that He didn't know if he had it and that prompted a talk about the Holy Spirit and this Holy week. Raising Jake at 2,3,4,5 was HARD. Raising Jacob as an almost 8 year old who will start to have questions is such uncharted territory, and there is the added veil of grieving questions that may occur. This was a reminder of knowing our story will always be our story and it going to be intertwined with everything we are and do. The reminder can still suck...
I got through that moment in the week, though. Then yesterday was a whole new beast. One that I hadn't encountered in a while. I learned someone-whom we do not know at all-was sharing our story to make an example of carelessness. For reasons that I am still working through currently, I am not going to share the details, but know that it feels like the most personal intrusion of privacy. At this point, I don't shy away from what happened. There has been so so so much growth and peace that has presented itself from nothing but the cloak of security from God, that I would be failing in my walk with God to hide it; and I have been using it to reach out to others that have suffering-and will always do so-but the ugly side needs to be shared, too. My heart hurt again for the second time this week. I have been feeling an emotional exhaustion I have not in awhile. It's taking a little more time to build back from it, but it happening. In all of this, that is what's important. I am coming back from this. I have always come back from this. I will always come back from this.
Something else occurred this week. The dandelions are in full "bloom" right now. All of the kids like them, but I have two that seem to enjoy them a little more. Daniel, and now Emma. Wednesday, I had to carry her away from them all in the morning to get into the car for daycare. I stopped for a moment while I had a dandelion in my hand and blew on it, too. New dandelion growth be damned from doing so, I watched them blow away and thought of my boy. Later that day, I had an old friend stop by work and presented a gift for myself and Emma. It was a necklace encasing a dandelion seed. In honor of my boy.
God's providence shines through this all. In my tears-soooooo many this week. In my children. In the gifts a friend presents and in my blubbering of explanation as to why it was perfectly timed. In a hug that lasts for a moment longer because it was needed. In having people understand and GET why all of this hurts. In being reminded in real time of His sacrifice and the hurt He held for me-and the ultimate promise that He died and He conquered Death and rose for me. I don't get a lot right; I stutter and stumble and cuss and sneer. BUT, through it all, I have never faltered at the promise of calvary. If there is anything that redirects my focus and attempts, it's his grace and love. I am making the decision, much like at the cross roads 5.5 years ago, to choose Him. To choose Joy. To choose Life.