I shot a wedding on Saturday. When I got home, we jumped in the car and drove 21 hours to Ouray, Colorado. We are staying in Ouray, but doing an immersion training in Ridgeway, which is about 10 minutes away. (The photo above is the town of Telluride from a gondola ride. It is beautiful here.) My husband has a dream, and this was the first step towards making it come true.
It was never our plan for me to come along on this trip. We thought I would still be pregnant with Ellie, needing to stay close to my doctors. Instead, I needed to come on this trip with him. I struggle even more when I am apart from Josh right now, and an entire week felt unbearable.
I had an appointment with a grief counselor before we left, and she told me that I need to have some distractions each day. Something that gives my head and my heart a break from the grief and hurt. And she was right. The grief was physically affecting me. I can say that today a lot of those symptoms have started subsiding or are gone.
Josh was going to try to do this immersion training alone, when it was meant for two people. That would have been impossible. So, I'm glad I was able to be here with him. I did the business side of it, and truthfully...it has made me find some value in myself again. I have a business degree, and I did really well in business school. As we went over books, balance sheets and profit & loss statements, the fact that I am actually really good at all of this came pouring back. And I've remembered that I actually enjoy it too.
We have had fun together. The area of Colorado that we are in is breathtaking and we have just been drinking it all in. It has made us miss our beloved Montana. But we look forward to our future together in Fargo, and wherever our path may lead. We've laughed together, and at each other. We've eaten too much bad for you but yummy food, and have sworn that our meals will consist of chicken & veggies when we get home. And through all of it...we have missed & longed for our daughter.
As I've been in awe of God's beautiful & majestic creation while here in Colorado..I've also been giving Him the silent treatment. I write this out of transparency. To let you know that I am not the perfect little Christian, whose grief is this pretty little package tied together with a bow on top.
I do believe that He is good. That He is perfect. That He has a plan.
But that doesn't mean that I'm not disappointed. That I'm not angry.
Arabella Grace was not our final hope & dream. But she became a part of ALL our hopes & dreams for the future. And now we are having to figure out how we continue in these hopes & dreams without her. And it is hard. She was physically supposed to be part of this dream, and it makes me mad that she isn't.
I believe in an amazingly powerful God who could have healed her...who could have taken this from me. But He didn't. And I am left with the disappointment and the anger and the why's.
I know there are some out there who think I shouldn't express this. That I shouldn't say this publicly. That these feelings should be kept private...for God's eyes only. It's possible that I might have felt this way in the past. But I have learned in this last month that God isn't afraid of my hurt. He isn't afraid of my anger & disappointment. He isn't afraid of my silence. He knows that I still deeply love Him & believe in Him. My heart is just so broken. He knows and understands that too...all to well.
I want you to know this too. He isn't afraid of anything you might feel...even doubt. He isn't a god that doesn't understand our "humanness", because He created us. He understands us more than we will ever comprehend.
Yes...I feel angry & disappointed. But please hear me when I say this. I do not feel them in disbelief. I believe with all of my being that He is good, He is perfect and He has a plan. I believe that the cross makes me flawless. I believe that Jesus welcomed Ellie into Heaven with open arms. And I believe that because of Jesus, we will be reunited one day.
It doesn't mean that I don't hurt. Or feel angry. Or disappointed. And that is okay.
I'm going to leave you with some paragraphs from a book by Tommy Mann called "Asleep in Heaven's Nursery". I read these paragraphs today, and they really hit home for me. I couldn't express it any better than with his words.
"Another verse that Christians love to quote to each other for encouragement is Jeremiah 29:11, which says, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." This verse is saying that God has good plans in store for his people.
But so many Christians who never go through hard times cannot fully appreciate the promise of that verse. That was not some "health, wealth and prosperity" preacher delivering those words during times of abundance. Actually, Israel had been taken captive and had all but been destroyed. This was a prophecy that after a long period of suffering God would step in and carry out his good plan for his people.
No one is exempt from hard times. They will come. What is important to know is that when you experience these hardships, God is going through them with you. He hasn't forgotten about you, and he wasn't asleep when all this happened. You have to accept the fact that what you are going through is part of his plan for your life.
Nobody understands the pain of losing a child like God does. And just like with you, the child that God lost was innocent. But it was through the death of Jesus that our sin problem was solved, so God allowed his only Son to die as a substitution for us and our children.
So you can cry out to God during this time of pain. He has been there, and he knows better than anyone what you need to get through this time. Better than that, he, more than anyone, is able to give you what you need during this time."