The hours passed. Comfortable silence. Contentment with one another. His eyes couldn't find me but he could feel me there. Today was an opportunity to come away for a little while, just what I'd been hoping for. When the noise fades from the people on the streets, and the shoes scuffing in the halls, and the children clamoring in the kitchen, there's room for the quiet parts of the heart to find their way out.
Last night I'd dreamed again about the day the doctor found something wrong with Calvin's head size. The day I knew our lives would never be the same. Noah and I had gone to Bangkok together, the rest of the family was to follow in a week. "Mommy, can the doctor fix our baby?" Noah had asked in a perplexed way as I tried to keep breathing and stuffing the tears. "Why are you crying? Are we going to the doctor again because our baby is sick?" These things were too heavy for a three year old. They were too heavy for me. And all I could do in the taxi was cry silently, Lord Jesus. Help, Lord Jesus while Noah munched his chicken nuggets and counted pink taxis.
It was the beginning of a road of pain that plunged depths I'd never imagined. It shakes me still many days. When I see a boy in a Kohl's ad that looks Calvin's age or when I want him to reach out and put his arms around me.
When we started down this road I didn't want to hear about all the wonderful things that God could use this for. Nothing could have merited what was sacrificed. I didn't want to hear about other people triumphantly rising above incredible odds. They didn't understand the depths of this pain, this loss. And I didn't want to hear of healing. These wounds were so deep and the chasms kept going further down and down and down. There was no way back up.
God surprises. God is gracious. He doesn't fill those chasms but He goes down into them with us. Really, He does. At times things were so difficult that we could relate to Paul who "despaired of life itself". I did not turn with admirable faith to God. Instead I screamed at my husband, "If this is what God does to people that follow Him then I don't want this. What good is God? He took my son." I tried to make Darryl answer to me for God. He couldn't of course. We wept together.
There was nothing to do but go back to our silent Father. And go back again. And again. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD. -Psalms 27:14
His Word was our mainstay when the hand of providence seemed against us. Walk by faith, not by sight. His promises of consolation were our very breath. Slowly He worked healing where we never thought healing to be possible. His tremendous grace sought after us even when we turned to run away.
We still struggle with overwhelming grief. We get frustrated with lack of progress, suffering, and the lack of ability to do so many things we want to do. And mostly we still grieve Calvin's loss. His loss and suffering is so hard for us to understand.
But there's something new. It's that peace I didn't want to hear about. It's that comfort I didn't think possible. It's that trust I didn't feel safe with giving again. He has graciously filled our hearts with hope. Hope in Jesus. Trust in Him and His plan to take the most difficult things and flip them upside down for good. He's given us a glance to see how minuscule our faith is and how patient and gracious He is. Desire to praise God. Delight in the way Calvin is and who he is. The loving kindness of the Lord pursues us.
The road is hard but the flowers of His healing are springing up.