Confessions No.1 - First Moments Blues

These past ten months as a new mom haven't gone exactly as I always expected. While Addison has brought me such inexplicable joy, there have been too many first moments that didn't hold up to my expectations. There were countless moments that I have imagined and daydreamed about sharing with my first born. What I never imagined was having to share these precious first moments with grief. I've always thought that the one-year mark was the hurdle to pass after losing a loved one. I never realized how prominent this grief would still be during my daughter's first year of life.

"So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy." (John 16:22)

Losing Sharon has left a hole in us that can never completely be filled. Addison has brought joy and love where there once was only sadness and heartache. Yet, the pain is still an ever-present part of us. These first moments with Addison have been bittersweet. Instead of experiencing pure happiness during these once-in-a-lifetime moments, I have been too melancholy and sad, wishing for things that I can never have. Wishing for the presence of the mother, grandmother, friend who is always present in our hearts, but no longer present in our lives.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

I've often imagined Sharon's reactions and joy to these first moments. In my mind, I've seen her smile and excitement when Addison learned to crawl. I've heard her laugh when Addison is being silly. Sensed her pride whenever Wes dotes on his daughter. And felt her love each day of Addison's life. My heart aches when I think of all that we have missed out on, all that my husband and daughter have lost. No one will ever be able to love us as she could. We have lost out on one of the best gifts that can be offered only by a mother and grandmother. My heart cries out in knowing that we will never be the family that I've always imagined. We are forever, and irrevocably broken.

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. (Lamentations 3:19-22)

The holiday season has been worse for me. So many more joyous occasions to celebrate in, with smiles and laughter that aren't completely heartfelt. I can feel the joy, and I can feel the love, but I also always feel the sadness. The terrible, overwhelming sadness. These past ten months have been filled with a whirlwind of emotions, highs and too many lows. I have been praying desperately for God to work in my heart. To ease this sadness, and to help me be able to focus on Wes and Addison, and our joy in the moment. These moments are so fleeting after all.

After much prayer, and too many months, I can finally feel myself changing, emerging from that darkness. I've been better able to treasure the moment I'm in, to embrace it and love it without as much melancholy. I'm still afraid of how tough Christmas might be, and Addison's first birthday. But I finally think I am on the right path.

Trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

I had an incredibly intense memory of Sharon the other day. I could perfectly see her face, and feel her joy, exuberance, love and personality. Oh, how I miss her! Days later, in a conversation with Wes, I realized how similar he is to his mom. In so many ways, he is just as unique, special, and amazing as Sharon. And I realized, that through him, I will always have a piece of Sharon alive and with me. And I hope and pray that my daughter will grow up to be like her daddy and grandmother. My family is amazing!

I truly am blessed to have them in my life, and to be able to share in their lives. I'm grateful for the time I had with Sharon. I love her, and I miss her. But I have two of the greatest pieces of her. Her son, and her granddaughter. My husband, and my daughter. Her greatest treasures are my greatest treasures. Through our love for them, she is always in my heart. I will get to live each day loving those who mattered the most to her. I am humbled by how greatly my God has blessed me.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)

Sometimes I get lost in my own troubles and sorrows, and too easily forget to see all the love and blessings He has given me. Yet even in my selfishness, my grief, and my darkness, He is always with me. He is leading me back to the light. And it is filled with great hope, promise and love.

Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles. (Psalm 119:50)

God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)

You light a lamp for me. The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness. (Psalm 18:28)

May your Christmas be merry and filled with love. And for all who are struggling through the holidays like me, may you feel God's love and blessings in your lives, and may He bring you out of the darkness and into the light.