A Time to Weep

Thursday, May 21, 2015 2 Comments A+ a-

Its been over two weeks since I've had a good night's sleep. My new normal consists of waking about 2:00am, laying awake for an hour or two, then reaching out to my mom or a sister via text, knowing someone is awake for the same reason.

We said goodbye to Campbell this week. We knew it was coming, but even preparing your heart for it doesn't make it any easier. I've cried every day for the past 14 days. Hell. I've cried more times in the past five and a half weeks, than in the past year.

On the day of the surgery, almost six weeks ago, I was hopeful and optimistic. I knew there were dangers, but we had so many people praying and my God is bigger than statistics and worst case scenarios. But when the story took a turn for the worse, my faith began to crack.

That Sunday morning, when we told Devyn that Hastings had passed, she fell in my arms, sobbing and asked, "But why??? I don't understand!! I prayed so hard!" Jon and I exchanged looks over our heartbroken daughter's head and had no way of answering her question. How do you explain that sometimes God's answers don't make sense?

Five and a half weeks. I didn't know it was possible to age years in such a short amount of time. I didn't know it was possible to experience such highs and lows in the space of a day. It was a never ending roller-coaster. I can't tell you how many times I begged to be let off the ride. And oh, how my heart hurts knowing that my emotional fatigue pales in comparison to that of my baby sister's pain.

Within 24 hours of a particularly bad appointment, where the doctors told her she needed to be with her husband, Courtney finally reunited with Jeremy. She now lives in another state, approximately 1,721 miles away, which translates to a 26-hour car ride or a $400 plane ticket. I know her place is there, but it doesn't make it any easier to be this far away from her.

For the past five months, I've felt God asking me, "Do you trust Courtney with me? I know you love her, but my love for her exceeds yours." It was the obligatory, quick response, "Of course, God. Of course I trust you with her." But as this journey has taken one bad turn after another, I felt the foundation of that trust start to crumble.

The day before Courtney flew to Philadelphia on a one-way ticket, I felt him ask again. "Do you trust Courtney to me?" And I realized in that moment, no, I didn't. You're supposed to be a faithful God, I screamed at Him, I don't see your faithfulness here. You're supposed to be good, but this doesn't feel good. My faith is on shaky ground here, God, and no, right now, I don't trust you with her. It was a hard moment to swallow, showing me that my faith is only good so long as the answer is yes.

A few days ago, Jon shooed Devyn and I out of the house. He always knows exactly what I need before I do, and I needed that time with her. I remember asking her if she had any questions or doubts about God in the midst of this story. She shook her head and resolutely said no. I confessed that I was struggling, that I didn't understand. "It just feels like He hasn't heard any of our prayers," I explained. I watched as my 10-year-old daughter tilt her head, slight confusion wrinkling her forehead. "Yes, He did," she exclaimed. "She got pregnant, didn't she?"

It was in that moment that I got my first glimpse of peace. I started looking for the small mercies in this story. Yes, it didn't turn out the way we wanted, the way we prayed and hoped it would, but there are small mercies sprinkled throughout our time with Hastings and Campbell. I'm going to focus on those smaller mercies while I start to claw my way back to faith.

I don't expect the pain to subside any time soon. There's the side of me that mourns the loss of my nephews. And then there's the side that hurts for my sister's loss and pain, and my deep desire to take it all away for her. I know the journey ahead is a long one. And I wonder if the beauty we find will make this all seem worth it. It feels unlikely, but only time will tell, I guess.