Regret. Anger. Guilt. Confusion.
The juxtaposition of these (and many other) emotions can make grief even more difficult to process. Do any of these sound familiar??
If only I would have taken him in sooner, asked harder questions, pushed the doctors more…maybe this wouldn’t have happened.
If we wouldn’t have been in that place at that time, she would still be here. If only I had said “no.”
How could God do this to me? He was such a good person. She had so much life left to live!
I wish those weren’t my last words to him. Did I remember to tell her I loved her the last time we talked?
There are so, so many questions we ask ourselves when a loved one is taken from us – whether it’s expected or unexpected. Whether they lived a long, happy life or their life was cut way too short. Survivors are left with these things – thoughts, worries, questions – many of which may never be answered completely.
So… how do we not place (false) blame on ourselves? How do we not get angry with God? How to we forgive ourselves for things said or left unsaid? How do we stop all of these things from keeping us up at night?
For me, the answer was in Psalm 139. I read lots, and lots (and lots) of scripture leading up to and following Emalynn’s death. While many versus brought comfort, none gave me peace quite like Psalm 139:13-16. In fact, the words of those verses are inscribed on Emmy’s memorial bench.
13 For you created my innermost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, everyone of them,
the days that were formed for me when as yet there was none of them.
Jesus knew my girls before they were even in existence. His hand was on them from their very first moments of life in the womb. Before the positive pregnancy test, the first ultrasound and the diagnosis – He knew. He wove Emmy together, not in perfection by the world’s standards, but by and for HIS purpose. And while he knew His plans for her life were short, He gave her to us anyways. And it changed our lives forever.
His perfect plan changed us forever.
I do not live with guilt because I know in my heart of hearts that even with the best doctors, all of the knowledge in the world and the most perfect medical plan – I could not have saved her.
I do not live with regret because I know in my heart of hearts that I cherished every moment I carried her and did not take for granted a single breath she took before she was called home.
I do not live with anger because I know in my heart of hearts that although He took one of them from me, God gave me the two most beautiful, perfect baby girls that I never deserved in the first place.
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” – Job 1:21