At what cost?
Have you ever moaned in pain, not physical pain, but emotional pain? I had not until today. I thought I was doing a good job holding it together for the family, but today that changed. I dropped Jo off for the first time on a long visit, 5 days, until Friday. In over 2 1/2 years she has not been away from us that long. After I dropped her off, I was driving home, and it hit me, the gravity, the reality of what I had just done. I was instantly overwhelmed, my chest caved in and I had a hard time breathing. Then I sat in my driveway in my car and just let it all go. It was painful as I heaved and my soul literally and audibly moaned in pain. My chest cavity tightened, constricting my airway and causing me to gasp for air. For the first time I could see she may no longer be with us, for the first time I lost faith. For the next few hours I was light headed, on an emotional ledge ready to fall off. I had to remind myself to breathe, and it was laborious. It was unadulterated grief, true grief deep in my soul, my being. I have never felt such despair, and I pray I never do again. Even when my dad suddenly died in 2002, although I felt grief, it was not like this. This was grief for a lost soul, or perhaps it was self pity. Perhaps I felt grief for a deep loss for me and my family. It is impossible to explain what it is like to have your child legally taken from you. Impossible. It is unlike death, it is unlike divorce, it is unlike a miscarriage. All those are brutally tragic, and I don’t know if this is worse, but I can say for certainty, I feel worse than when I have experienced death of those close to me. It is such a unique tragedy, something unimaginable, incomprehensible, a thought that you would never allow to enter you mind. And now you are slapped right upside the head with it, and man does it hurt.
Will she remember us? Will she be healthy? Will she be safe? Will she be happy, successful, moral? But most importantly, will she have a relationship with Christ? Oh to know the future, oh to know what God knows, to not have to rely on faith and stare deep into the abyss of the unknown. I cannot fathom what the future holds, I cannot think about it right now as I become overwhelmed with fear and sorrow, and I know the fear is not of God. I know that God has a plan, I know that Jo has been prayed for many countless hours, and not just from us, but from friends and family. I know these things, but I am not able to fight off the despair. I know that we are far, far from perfect, but I know that we can offer love, unconditional love and I know we would show her the love of the Lord. I know, ultimately she has to make her own decision, but I also know that we could light the path to make the decision clear.
I have even fought with being ashamed, ashamed that I am being selfish for wanting a child when I already have been abundantly blessed with a full quiver, yet I cannot help it. I feel that I am losing not only a child, but a promise of life, the promise of a child that was to be ours, one that we would train up, one that had already become part of the 10. I also am aware that we have not been open to letting those who want to help, help. It is because we do not know how to relate what we are experiencing, and we just don’t know how to act. For that too I feel guilt.
I feel anger. Why, why even bring her into our life if she is going to leave? Why? What purpose can that have? I know that she has met many people that will pray for her daily, perhaps that is all she needed. But at what cost? Is this what it feels like to be used for God’s purpose? If it is, then I don’t know if I can do it again.
So for now I walk on the cusp of collapse, on the cusp of an emotional breakdown, a song, a smell, a laugh, a picture, a memory they can all tilt the scales from normal to pain. It is on the surface and there it will be, for how long I do not know. But I know this, I know God is in control, I know life goes on and I know I will participate. I don’t want to right now, but I have those that depend on my participation, those that need what little I have to offer, and give it I will.
This is a very personal experience and I have not yet decided whether to share it or not, but if you are reading this then obviously I have posted it. I guess the purpose is to, in some minute way, share a real experience, real life, in hopes that it helps in our healing. Thank you for your support and prayers, truly, truly I give thanks for you, and be patient with us as we tiptoe on the edge of emotions. Glenn