Tomorrow Josiah, my third child and first-born son, turns 16 years old. I should be happy about it. It is a rite of passage for him. He is growing up. But I can’t escape this ache in my heart. By Tuesday morning, Josiah will have been a part of my life longer than Arlynne was. I’ll have had more days with him. I’ll have a future with him. I don’t know what it holds but it is ripe with promise.
Something I don’t have with Arlynne.
I’m ashamed of myself. Mourning what is gone so strongly that I almost forget what remains. But it is my reality.
And then there is Sunday–the day when we celebrate Mother’s Day. My mom and mother-in-law are still with us but there is a sadness in that day too. It is the reality that even though I am surrounded by family, there is a huge void that shouldn’t be there. The void Arlynne left.
Is it possible to be too broken? Is there a point when my heart is too handicapped to function?
I hate feeling like this. I always pride myself on being able to carry on, regardless of what life deals me.
The only thing that keeps me going is the belief that my Father God is beside me. He is able to carry me through the worst moments.
This morning I had the privilege to sit at a table with a group of incredible women. Our stories aren’t the same but there is a common thread amongst us. The hope we have in our God. There were a lot of tears this morning but they were tears shared.
I have told Arlynne’s story there. I have shared how God has changed me through losing her. I don’t even think I would be there if it hadn’t been for Arlynne. God had done amazing things in my life before she died but He has done even more since. And so her legacy continues.
Some days, though, it is hard to remember.
I am thankful for friends and family that allow me to be broken. I am thankful that I don’t have to pretend that everything is good. I don’t share my brokenness with everyone but I have special people in my life who I can. They are a safe haven.
And, again and again, the story of Arlynne, the story of us losing her, the story of her faith, continue to point others to God. The stories point to the God that has shown faithfulness to her and to me. They point to the God who carries me when I don’t have the strength to take another step. They point to the God that can take those little shards of my heart and start melding them back together again with His grace and love. My heart doesn’t look like a clear window anymore. I pray that it is starting to resemble a stained glass window, broken little pieces soldered together by the Master Artist who can turn even the ugliest shards into something beautiful. Beauty from the ashes.
So I go on. Am I too broken? I don’t think so. No one is too broken for my Father God. Not me. Not you, either.