I first wrote about healing here a month ago, and I've been thinking about healing a lot since then. I guess because I've been writing the story that God has been weaving in my life the past 16 months and I can't help but think about how things have changed since the beginning.
So...what is healing?
I'm beginning to believe it's got nothing to do with 'moving on' or having another baby or any of the other things people want to throw at us to make us feel better and make everything okay again.
And I am realizing that it's got everything to do with finding my comfort in God.
It is not closure. Can I quote Elizabeth McCracken? "Closure is bullshit" (An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination c. 2008).
The subject of healing came up last weekend during a trip to Target. Okay, so we have learned since the beginning that the mall and Target and the grocery store are not the places to go if you want to avoid babies and pregnant women, but sometimes you just gotta go.
As we walked past the baby section, (the same baby section where we registered for all the cute little baby things we needed for Owen) we caught the not-so-inconspicuous smell of a dirty diaper and then the sound of a crying baby. Hubs wrapped his arm tightly around my shoulders and I leaned all my weight on him. It stung to be reminded of the things we'll never experience with Owen.
We looked at each other and he whispered, "I know."
I would have rejoiced over the smell of Owens' dirty diapers and oh, to hear him cry!
I miss him so much...
The ache for Owen is still a constant in my life, but I can see how things have changed since his death.
Is it healing? I think so. I think that the Lord is graciously showing Himself as a great Comforter and Healer.
There are days and weeks where I 'feel' no such comfort or healing, and I am angry at Him and feel dejected and alone in my pain. It usually stems from comparing my life to the lives of those around me. Seeing friends or even strangers get pregnant and deliver healthy babies makes me feel so alone in the life I've been given. I become bitter, jealous, angry, and I start to feel entitled to these feelings, because hey! I've lost three babies!
Then there are days when I start to fall into the trap of comparisons, but He in His mercy calls me to look to Him, and see all the things He has graciously given me:
Romans 5: 8
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
Romans 8: 1-2
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8: 11
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
Romans 8: 23-24
And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.
Romans 8: 38-39
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Corinthians 1: 3-5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
2 Corinthians 5: 1
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Galatians 3: 27-29
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.
Ephesians 1: 7-10
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
Ephesians 1: 11-14
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
I don't want to say the opposite of what I am meaning to say: this is not closure, because as I said earlier- closure is bullshit. But I believe it is healing; healing that will continue throughout my life and will not be completed until the day I reach Heaven.
I will always miss Owen and feel the ache from the hole in our lives where he should be. I will always struggle with this grief. At least, that's what I believe right now, 16 and a half months after his death.
No matter what though, there will always be suffering and struggles throughout this life, but one thing will remain constant: God's love for us and the hope we have in Jesus.
And in that, we find exceptional comfort.