Today’s Sunday Best is a bit different. It’s actually been a year in the making.
I’ve talked a lot about my faith experiment. I haven’t really talked about why it became so necessary. There was a straw that broke the camel’s back, that broke my heart, that I thought would certainly break me entirely.
Today is March 24th, the one year anniversary of Ella’s hospitalization. I’ve been struggling with what to say about this experience, since I’ve never really talked about it on this platform before and because I’m still not sure how I feel. My feelings change and evolve and regress– anything I say today might not be true tomorrow. So I’ve decided to say only what I know to be true, not necessarily how I feel all the time. I’m not going to try to rip a polished, put together essay out of my heart and put it on paper. My feelings aren’t polished or put together. I don’t have some grand reflection on the past year because I’ve found that I can’t reflect on something that isn’t over yet. I haven’t seen it through; I’m still recovering.
But I am better now than I was. And that’s largely due to time and to my faith experiment, which should really probably be called a “hope experiment.” For months after we left the hospital, I was living a life dominated by fear. I didn’t know that was why I was still upset even though Ella was safe and healthy and fine. I couldn’t explain why I would cry at the slightest provocation or get overwhelming anxiety when I had to make decisions or plan. I couldn’t reconcile my lifelong faith with the anger I felt towards God.
Why would He give me something so perfect to love and then use her to hurt me? Why give me the responsibility of protecting her and then so abruptly show me I couldn’t? Why? Why? Why?
How can you dream when you’re afraid? How can you look forward to the future when you’re drowning in painful memories of the past? How can you live when it feels like your spirit is dying? How? How? How?
These questions still plague me, still make me cry. I have no grand reflection, only these simple words, a simple truth to pull me back in from this and every other storm: hope and faith.
The poisonous mix of anger and fear would have taken me over if not for the very powerful healing balm of hope and faith.
March 24th had been the day this terrible thing happened to my baby. It had been the day I became damaged and angry and afraid. But look through the lens of hope and faith and March 24th becomes the day that my daughter’s life was saved. I can’t believe I didn’t see the potential in that before. I mean, motherhood has turned me into a party planner and here was a celebration right under my nose. It’s a fight to look through that lens, a fight to heal and have peace and see the blessings. It’s a fight all the time to remember that God didn’t do this to me. His plan all along has been for me experience life and be refined and become more like Him. The answer to every “Why?” is “For your good.” The answer to every “How?” is “Hope.” Our trials are meant, not to damage us, but to make us more divine.
Hope is a divine gift and it’s the only reason I believe that I can recover. That nothing, not even this, can ever really break me.
Happy Sunday, everybody. Happy anniversary.