A year ago today, I was a parent of two with one on the way. I had gone to work, which was a rarity lately with Ellie being sick and no one knowing what was wrong with her. I left work early to go to my own OB appointment that I had rescheduled twice. Richard had stayed home with Ellie, and once again called the pediatrician with an update that she wasn't doing any different. I reminded him to mention that one side of her face wasn't moving. As I left my own doctors appointment, Richard called me as a van that looked like my mom's pulled in behind me at my doctors office. Richard was calling to say that they wanted him to bring Ellie to the ER again, they were going to do a CT scan, he didn't want me to panic, but had called my mom to do whatever she could. I drove home with Noah, chatting while mom followed me. As I pulled in the driveway an hour later my phone rang again...it was Richard, with panic in his voice I heard, "they found a mass in her head, you need to get here". God covered me with calmness, as I told mom and ran I the house to pack a bag...what in the world do you pack at this point? Pretty sure I wandered aimlessly and left. I drove the hour drive in traffic....more panicked about finding them once I got to the hospital...UVA used to intimidate me. As I walked into the ER, there stood Preacher and his wife, looking for Richard and Ellie too. I was so grateful to see a familiar face to help me navigate the halls and find my child. I remember the doors of the PICU opening, the first face I saw was a nurse who knew who I was immediately and flagged me down...I don't remember much after that,it was all a whirlwind, lots of talking, I don't think tears, and off she went to surgery.
Looking back, I can't believe that was a year ago...it seems like yesterday, but also seems so long ago, all at the same time. A year later I am the mom of 3, but I still only physically have two with me, which I've found is hard to answer when people ask you how many children you have. In the past year I have watched SG grow from quiet and calm baby to all out crazy lady. Noah has grown to have an amazing grasp of life and death, he asks fantastic questions, and cries just as much as he always has....he's so my kid!
I find myself questioning things I never thought much about before. I think about heaven so much. I wonder what it is like now. I find it hard to be a mom and not know completely where your child is or what she's doing...I've often tried to explain this to others and I can't ever find the right ways to describe it. When Ellie was 800 miles away in Memphis, I could point to a map and know where she was. I could FaceTime her and see her face, even if she wasn't smiling, I knew how she was feeling. I could call her and hear all about her day. Richard could text me pictures to make me smile when I missed her most. The mom in me wants to know she's okay...or should I say see and hear she's okay. I "know" she's okay...but I wasn't able to go ahead of her and scope it out before hand. I know nothing about what heaven is right now. I know of the heaven that John saw in Revelation, but that's the new heaven and earth.
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:1-5 NIV)
I find myself reading and rereading Revelation, hoping for a clue, something I missed that would give me a hint about the present heaven. For a few weeks I struggled with this...probably not searching the right places for the answers I so desperately wanted. Often forgetting to turn the only one who could answer my questions, instead turning to google to search for answers. Preacher said something on Sunday that stuck with me...he leaves you in the strain for a reason. There's a reason I'm stuck in this state of questioning, possibly so that I will look more to him for answers, since man and google's answers aren't satisfying me. I hope this makes sense, possibly not to someone that has never been in my shoes before, but I truly hope by sharing these moments of confusion, someone else can relate.
My understanding of Gods love and purpose for our lives has grown so much. Noah asked me one night if I wished people never died...I didn't know how to answer him. Do I miss her, yes? Would I like to have her back, absolutely! Do I understand why she's not here...yes. If death is in Gods will, I can't wish it didn't happen...of course that was pretty tough to explain to a 5 year old. I am completely changed. Before this all happened, I just believed God loved me and he would take care of me, I honestly didn't think much about it. A year later, I have seen how God loves me, I have experienced how he cares for me, I have seen and heard. I have all the proof I need.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13 NIV)
Prayers, Praise, and Pink