It’s a loaded date around these parts.
And by “these parts,” I mean mainly in my head. And my heart.
As much as I share on social media (and I’m refraining a lot nowadays, trust me), I’m not the type to lament a “bad morning” or the like. Truth is, I recognize how blessed I am and how even my minor “trials” pale in comparison to the sadness so many other people wake up to in this world daily. No, I try not to complain.
Except when I post about neighbors who like to do the deed at 1:30 in the morning. Or 4:30. You know, it’s cool.
But I think by posting that kind of stuff got people praying, ’cause it’s been awhile since their passions have awoken me. Hallelu.
But I digress.
It was a rough morning. It was a rough night last night. I could feel all my roughness come out of my poor son. He felt the rough. I couldn’t place my finger on my out-of-control emotions last night that had been so well contained for many months now. It clicked this morning.
Roughness that caused my son to enter his school and come running out screaming, Mom! Mom! as I drove away and turned the corner at which point another mother grabbed him to stop him from running into the street.
Are you kidding me!?
He had left a project in my car. He knew what he had done was very wrong (running out of the school without telling anyone once he had entered the premises). And he collapsed under the weight of a lot of pressure he felt from the roughness of long nights and busy days ahead.
But still. Running down the block!? What was he thinking?
But I digress again.
May 1 was the day hubby and I started dating. For the most part, it’s a good thing. What makes it hard is being where we are now, it’s hard to look back on those days fondly. Our relationship was so sinful; being heathens isn’t even a strong enough word to describe how we were and the things we did. And something I try to shield myself from admitting is part of that truth–I was still dating another person when hubbyand I made it official. In my heart it was over with that guy. But that argument wouldn’t hold up in court, I’m sure.
See? So wicked. Not caring about anyone but myself.
I love seeing how far we’ve come. God took something that was “bad” and turned into something beautiful. Not perfect, a lot of times not even good as we fall and bend and make mistakes. But beautiful. We love and serve the Lord together. We are raising a child to love the Lord we love. It’s hard, but always beautiful.
April 7, 2001. The moment we met. How many couples can say they have documentation of that? Pretty cool.
Four years ago, May 1 was the day I miscarried. Or had an ectopic pregnancy. Adding to the hurt was that it wasn’t clear which it was, which for some reason made me all the more upset. Like I did not have a clear answer as to what went wrong. All I know is I was left broken over a life I only got to “feel” for a couple of weeks.
It technically began to happen on April 30. But we were in the hospital until the early dawn of May 1 and being a significant date in our history, it’s the one I’ve attached to this event. May 1 used to hold more value in my eyes than even our marriage date (for personal reasons, for now). I knew that was never how it should have been, but it was and when this happened it felt like any happiness I could possibly feel with hubby was taken away. All the important “dates” were marred and I grew bitter.
It’s hard to grieve a miscarriage (It’s just easier to refer to it as such even though it’s not certain that’s what I had.) because I know women have gone through so much worse. I also know that I have a happy and healthy child and so many women could only wish to have that one. But I still need to acknowledge the date for my own healing. As an advocate for pro-life choices, my beliefs are life begins at conception. Therefore, even though that life never saw this side of heaven, it’s a life still to be celebrated and cherished. I think often a the three-year-old I “should” have had by now. I imagine how life would have changed and envision what it would like like now and would feel like for Goob to have a little brother or sister. Once upon a time, I dwelled on these things to a point where I grew resentful and became angry with God. Now, they are fleeting thoughts and I am grateful that through this trial, God allowed me to only grow closer to Him. With the exception of this date and perhaps the baby’s due date, I can look back at the year with only fond memories. It’s the year we decided to buy our own home. It’s the year I got to take my husband and son to meet my family in a country I adore. For those things, I am forever grateful for 2009. It all happened exactly as it was supposed to. I couldn’t see that then. I cherish that notion now.
February 17, 2009. Special memories for special reasons.
On, May 1, 2011, one of Christofer’s main teachers passed away unexpectedly. I’ll never forget that day.
Hubby and I have always tried to “recognize” May 1 regardless of the circumstances surrounding our beginning. It was the day that started what we are now, and it’s okay to tip our hats to it once a year in acknowledgement. For that special “ten year dating anniversary,” honey went all out. We went to see Catch Me If You Can on Broadway and were supposed to follow that up with an amazing dinner at a Cuban restaurant on the same block.
Except on the way there, I began getting text after text about Mrs. Edwards being rushed to the hospital and being in poor shape. The texts flew and as the hours passed, the prognosis looked grim.
Oh, the irony of sitting in a comedic show trying to enjoy something your poor husband spent a lot of money on while checking your phone every two minutes. By the time the show ended, I asked hubby if he would mind skipping the meal. I knew I would not enjoy it and would feel horrible if I did not get to the hospital to see her.
I never made it. Just a few stops short of our home on the LIRR I received the dreaded text that Mrs. Edwards passed away.
I cried for her children now without an earthly mother. I cried for her husband. I cried for her students who would face Monday and the rest of the year without her. I cried because I would not have my talking buddy in the morning.
It was the first time as a Christian that I lost a Christian friend and felt the weight of it.
I don’t count this as a positive at all, for I’d give anything for Mrs. Edwards to still be with us today, but because of her the blog title “A Life Well Done” was born. One consistent theme you heard woven in the stories people spoke of her was when she went to heaven God most certainly would have said to her, Well done good and faith servant. Mrs. Edwards had a servant’s heart. She was kind and a motherly figure to her students. You could feel her loving you through her words and warm embraces. She was a mama bear for sure, but more importantly she was a Godly woman I aspire to be and I wanted to live the life she did. One that was well done.
I miss her still.
It was last year or the year before, I can’t remember, that I poured my heart out into a couple of blog posts that detailed some of these experiences. They got deleted, ugh. The emotion was raw and even though I was very upset, they served their purpose. Once I released those emotions into the open, I could move on.
So here I am, trying on another May 1 to release. To share. To let you know that whatever dates you have that don’t conjure those nice warm fuzzy feeling we WANT To feel–
You will heal.
We have a Heavenly Father who sees our hurts and a Savior who can very well sympathize. When I call out to Him, it doesn’t mean those emotions go away all at once. But I begin to heal. I begin to look past my circumstances and open my eyes to what I DO have. I learn to be grateful. I look to the cross. I remain grateful and humbled of the gospel and what it means in my life.
And if God took EVERYTHING away, that would be okay. Because I would have Him.
I don’t need “dates.” I don’t need a baby. I don’t need Mrs. Edwards.
I like those things. I love those things.
But I need HIM.
And while May 1 may always be rough, I’m learning to see the beauty in the day.
I look ahead.
Knowing that the time is fast approaching when only good days will come.
When I’m worshiping my King.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
~Psalm 23:4 ESV
For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust,
O Lord, from my youth.
~Psalm 71:5 ESV
Let your steadfast love comfort me according
to your promise to your servant.
~Psalm 119:76 ESV
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
~2 Corinthians 1:3-4
And so many more.
Be comforted today, friends.
Be brave. Share your stories.
Let’s help one another get through these days, shall we?
With lots of love,