I have been reminiscing the past few days. Not about what was, or even what could have been, but about the emotions I have had during the past year and a half. More then just emotions, I have been weeding through the road God has lead me down and the process I had to go through to get "here". Meaning where I am emotionally, my relationship with God and my attitude about what my life has turned out to be.
I am not bitter. I am not angry. I am not upset or even confused. And I do not know about you, but I think that is amazing.
To know what I have been through, to look back and see where I have been and simultaneously see how God has answered prayers and brought me through the flames is awesome.
To see how God has changed and shaped and molded my heart gives me hope. Hope about certain fears I want to gain victory over. Hope about how I will react to unwelcome events should they occur. Hope that I can and will make progress in my spiritual life.
The day Caden died comes back to me like stills in a slide show. I remember the scene in the ER. I remember asking, pleading, begging God to keep her safe, to save her, to let her be OK. Gods answer was not what we had planned. Leaving the hospital without her seemed wrong.
The first few days Andy and I ran around in a daze. Hours spent in the car driving, to anywhere but home, staring out the window, no radio. Then family and friends started to arrive and already God was showing His love and His comfort.
In the beginning, I was so terrified that she would be forgotten. I begged people to let me know that she meant something to them. To tell me stories about her, to tell me what God had taught them through her life and her death. I was plagued with the fear that we would be the only ones who would remember and miss her. As time wore on, it became clear that was not to be the case. People will remember, people will know. But it will not be by reminiscing only. It will not be by plastering her picture and story everywhere... although, I would love to do that. It will be by how I live. By how the captain and I walk through this hard time. It will be by being honest and transparent with our thoughts and feelings. By us praising God for all he has done and accomplished through her...people will know and remember.
I have found that the biggest lesson for me is where the importance lies. It is not in the fact that she is gone, but how I respond to her being gone. How is God most glorified? By me fretting over Caden's memory or rejoicing in her life and praising Him for the miracles He has done through and because of her?
I long to walk in a manner worthy of being called a child of God. I want others to see Christ in me.
I feel like I have grown so much, yet it was such a slow and steady process. I do not remember having light bulb moments, or turning points in my growth or grief, just a steady pressing onward. I do know that God has brought me a long way. And I have faith and hope He will continue, because we all know I still have a long way to go...
Do I hear an "Amen, sister!"?