Somehow I have not spent a lot of time being angry after Eden’s death. Somehow God saved me from that. But there are times, like this very moment at 2:35 am. Excuse my French but $@%& gets real. I don’t cuss. Really ever. I used the F-bomb once in my life. It was 1996. So there you go. But at 2:35 am. Right now. The only word that I can use to describe how I feel is pissed. (If this word offends you, you might as well move along now.)
I am often told, “you are such an inspiration.” Well, am I still an inspiration if I told you that sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep because I’m pissed that Eden isn’t here, even almost 3 years later? I’m pissed that childhood cancer exists, and that I’m neck deep in a world I don’t want to be in. I’m pissed that I lose sleep about what to do during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. It’s too big a burden, and I want to scream because I have to carry it. I’m pissed because I never got to hear Eden talk except to hear her scream “Mama” or “Daddy” in pain. I’m pissed because I lied to her over and over and over again and told her that “it was okay.” And it just wasn’t. I’m pissed because Eve and Jude were robbed of a sister. I’m pissed that I didn’t have to buy Eden Pre-K school supplies this week or meet her new teacher. I’m pissed that I can’t mention Eden without people getting an uncomfortable look on their face. As much as I’d like not to admit it, I’m pissed that I played the praise song “Mighty to Save” repeatedly in Eden’s ear as she lay dying, and, at least in the natural, her rescue never came. AND I’m really pissed that I’m sometimes jealous of families of children who have conquered neuroblastoma. I hate it that these words creep up in my head, “Why couldn’t that have been Eden?”
So there you go. Quite the inspiration. There really isn’t much inspiration going on at 2:35 am. I know that with the sun, things will seem brighter. Tears will dry, and I’ll have a more optimistic, faithful prospective. But, to be real, there are moments of raw emotion. Heartbreak. Sorrow so deep that it actually hurts.
Childhood cancer is real. It causes real pain. Real terror. It affects real kids, real parents, real siblings. Real kids die. I sometimes can’t even believe it. Eden died. That’s real.
You want to know what else is real? God’s love. I have not shared this with everyone, but the reason I can say this with so much confidence is that in the very moment of my worst heartbreak. THE moment Eden took her last breath. God’s love poured into that hospital room. I can’t explain it but to tell you that I felt it tangibly and that I miraculously had the wherewithal to recognize it. That same feeling of tangible love and goodness – like almost a weight on my shoulders, except that it was a comfort and not a burden – stayed with me for several weeks after Eden’s death. It was there as I planned her funeral. It was there as I buried her. It was there as I adjusted to life without her. Some may say that I was delusional, that in my despair I was not quite right in the head, but once you have encountered such love and goodness, you can’t deny it. And it is still there. At 2:35 a.m., when I need it the most. In the dark, raw minutes of the night when life’s injustices seem the most exaggerated, God’s love is still there, and, to my relief, no matter how pissed I am. I realize everyone quotes it, but I KNOW He really truly never leaves nor forsakes. And there is another thing I know. If He did it for me, He can and will do it for you. So if you have never encountered His love. For real. Ask Him.
So in my realness, in the middle of the night, I’d like to say…..Don’t let me inspire you. Let God’s love inspire you. It’s the only real reason I seem to be a fairly functional adult at this point. Let His love inspire you to love more. To love better. To love deeper. And, in turn, others will be able to love more, love better, love deeper. It REALLY is cliche, but His love IS all anyone needs. Especially at 2:35 am. (and maybe since I got all of this off of my chest, I can go back to sleep.)
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