Today marks one year.
One year of heartache from missing you.
One year of longing to be rocking you to sleep each night, filling your cheek with kisses all day long, singing you sweet lullabies, and gazing at those big eyes. I wonder if they are deep brown daddy eyes like your brothers’ and sister’s.
You would have been six months old, my little one. Probably crawling through the house chasing after those passionate siblings of yours and starting to experiment with pureed food. Our living room would have been filled with all of your gear: the swing, bouncy seat, floor gym, burp cloths… I’ve let your big sister use your little clothes for her baby dolls, because she loves mothering, and I couldn’t stand for them to remain boxed up.
I miss you.
One year feels like forever when your arms are aching for the weight they have so longed to hold and yet have never felt.
But this year has not been all brokenness. There has been a beauty spreading it’s silver lining throughout the storm as God has used this sorrow to plow the depths of my soul and reveal a greater capacity to serve Him and love others. This sorrow has plunged deep into my heart stirring up the soil so that it may yield richer harvests than it had previously been able to bear.
Although this process has been excruciating, I find great comfort knowing that the Gardener stops pruning and weeding around the vine only when He no longer expects anything from it. Your short life on this earth has been used to teach me so much, my sweet one. And I know that I am not done learning, changing, growing, because I am still being pruned day by day.
I’ve seen that just as the ground must be broken before you can build upon it, my life must be broken before I can be fully molded into the likeness of His Son. I have felt that brokenness day after day.
But just as He provided manna following the dew each morning for the Israelites in the wilderness, He has always provided just what I need for every day that passes.
Some days I find myself grumbling just like the Israelites that I am so quick to judge. This is not the food that I wanted. I had envisioned something so different than what I was given. It seems tasteless, and wearisome. I know the miracles that my God is capable of, so why did I get stuck with manna?
But how can I question anything that is given by His hands… those hands that bear such sacred marks of His far-reaching love? When I choose to embrace it, welcome it, long for it, I am reminded that it is life-giving. This manna has been what has upheld me. It has kept me bound to the Lord, because I have had to come before His throne to receive from Him daily. I have needed this manna every day. And every day it has come.
Other days I have tried to store up any extra scrap to carry with me through the coming days. But manna is given just for today. I cannot gather more than I need. When I try to stock up for the future, I am only giving way to fear and doubt, believing the lie that my God won’t provide. Instead, I must trust that just as He put this manna before me today and all the days before, He will be faithful to provide for tomorrow. His mercies are indeed new every morning!
As I determine to trust the One who continues to breathe hope in my heart He gives me the strength to press on and draw closer to Himself, all the while planting seeds of joy, love, goodness, and peace in this broken momma’s heart. And I know that as this sorrow continues to work its way into the deepest parts of me, these seeds will begin to flourish. Because my God, the God who gives manna and gardens the soul, can turn this sorrow into a tool that will cultivate Christ-likeness in me. I know, because He has already begun to do it.
So, my little one. I will not let this year of missing you come to waste. I will press on and wait to see all that the Lord will accomplish in my life through this heartache. And someday, someday when these weary arms can finally hold you, I will be able to tell you that this painful journey was worth it all.
I love you.