What does this grief look like twelve months out? Well, I guess that there are days where it doesn't looks a whole lot different than when I first started out. Then there are days where as much as I still miss Brinley I feel that God has something in store for me... something beautiful, something lovely, if I just have the strength to walk through this pain.
Our church is studying the book of Ephesians and some of the scripture that our pastor discussed this week really hit home. As Christians we have spiritual powers that many in the church aren't aware of or just don't claim. I have to be honest, many times I find myself putting God in a box. I worry that the pain will get to be intolerable. At what point will I fall apart? When will the facade of healing shatter? More often than not I think that it boils down to me relying on my own strength to plow through this. Paul reveals a mystery to us in Ephesians 3: 14-16 and it has been resting heavily on my heart since yesterday.
"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in earth and heaven is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be STRENGTHENED with might through His Spirit in the inner man."
It is not my strength that carries me through this and what Christian wouldn't know that truth or at least acknowledge it? I know that God is bigger than me. What I'm not doing is relying on this revealed mystery. I'm not waking every morning praying for His Spirit to strengthen me before I even get out of bed. I don't have to worry whether I am strong enough or if I will be broken forever if I just pray for His strength to fill me.
So Brinley's "Heaven Day" passed us by the 13th of March. Sure enough true to everything I've read the days leading up to it are worse than the actual day. My family did our best to celebrate Brinley's life by sneaking away to the Great Wolf Lodge, a hotel with indoor water park. I made sure that there was a gift and note waiting for each of the kids "from Brinley" on her day. Yes it is difficult to know that my children are receiving a gift only because of her death. Sometimes I feel like it is a desperate attempt to help them remember their sister and love her even still, but I also desire for something sweet to come out of that day too.
When we came home I found a card in our mailbox letting us know that several dear friends had placed flowers and balloons on Brinley's grave for us. It might seem simple but it really meant a lot to us. For one thing, I have not been able to take things down to her grave. I don't decorate for the holidays. Part of me hates the fact that putting flowers on her grave is the only thing that I can do to care for her anymore. So I neglect to do it altogether and then when we arrive to her site I feel guilty that I didn't do anything for her. Having someone drive all the way into the city to do that for me was wonderful. My sweet friend shared with me that when she went down to place the arrangement she sat on the bumper of her car and just bawled. I was so thankful that she shared that with me. It validates every single bit of pain that I have felt this past year. It also made this mama's heart proud that others loved her and miss her too.
I'm sorry if this post seems all over the place. It might help if I were to get on here more but with being pregnant and caring for three small ones I don't seem to find the time. We did go to our 5 month ultrasound. As far as they can tell baby looks good but they also had a hard time getting a picture of all four chambers of the heart. My Dr. reassured me that he thinks that it is fine but that they want to do another ultrasound this next month. I know that I am not exempt from more heartache just because I have lost one child. So until then if you feel so inclined to pray with me for the Spirit to place His strength in me I would really appreciate it.
Also, I am not able to share a great deal about the man who hit Brinley last March, but I do know that he has endured a much harder year than I considered myself to have gone through. I just ask that if you think of me and my family at any point could you include him in your prayers as well? As strange as it may sound I worry over him.
Thanks so much to everyone who let me know that they were praying this last month. Your prayers were truly felt!