I have never wanted to be a blogger until this morning (10/23/10). For some reason I awoke feeling the need to share this journey. My four year old daughter was killed in a tragic car accident on October 8th, 2010 when our car was struck by a teen on marijuana. This blog is a small window into the brokenness of my heart and perhaps... one day, the healing. Do not mistake this for theological discourse. Jesus, not our circumstances, equals perfect theology. Be warned, this is raw...
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Matching dresses and Busted Plans…. Perhaps
We took pictures just like everyone else. For the first time ever I bought us all matching dresses- I know with 8 year olds the time for that is running out- and by golly, we were going to at least get a picture of us all in them for Mother’s Day. It turned out ok. Not too shabby. But the whole thing made me laugh on the inside at the irony.
You see it was totally staged. Three of my littles had fever when we woke up on Mother’s Day. I wanted to cancel Mother’s Day all together. I was so sad we didn’t get to wear those matching dresses to church. And I was so sad that the day before when we wore them to the mother daughter tea, and my baby was home sick, we didn’t manage to get a picture of at least those who were well enough to go. I know… poor planning on my part. So then Sunday afternoon I declared that the sick children were going to dress up and smile for at least a minute in my dining room. There was push back. There were tears. There was pouting. But we got that picture!
And it’s not at all what it seems like to the eyes. And neither are we. Neither are our lives sometimes. And especially our digital, virtual lives. But like my dear friend said so well at the mother daughter tea, it is so easy to compare ourselves and all of the real flaws that we see to those virtual lives. The ones in pictures. The ones that don’t show everything. The ones that hide the blemishes and the tears and the fights and the struggles. We compare ourselves to THAT. And it matters if we get to wear those matching dresses to church. Even to me.
But I hear another voice whispering for us to look His way. It’s the voice of One who does not look at the outward appearance, but He looks at the heart. And He doesn’t run away or hide his face or cover up the blemishes with makeup. He makes us brand new. And He sees the flaws that still remain, and for some mind blowing reason those are the very things He delights to use. Our strengths? Those are great, but it’s those weaknesses (not sin, just flaws) that He tells us He will shine through.
And it turned out to be a fabulous Mother’s Day! Thankfully my mom was already there before all the kids got sick, and she stayed. They watched Netflix, and we sat on the porch in our pj’s drinking coffee and watching the rain. Soaking up the closeness that comes from being in that place where you are tucked away from the world. Not seen. Except by those closest to you.
And He wants to be that to us. Every day. The one we soak up in secret. Where no one sees our matching dresses. And He sees all of us. And little by little we begin to see more of HIm. It’s in the finding. And the chasing. Him after us and us after Him. That’s where the real peace comes. And the real joy. And the real wholeness for our brokenness. It’s not in hiding, but in being found.
"7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature... For[b]the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
In a single second my life has been radically altered. My precious gift from God, sweet Makiah Kaitlyn, has gone to be with Jesus long before her time. I know in my heart that she is happy, but my arms are so empty... my house so dreadfully quiet. I feel at times that a horrible blackness has enveloped me. I feel as though my insides are screaming. I am clawing and fighting to break out of this torturous body- to escape from this oppressive reality, but I cannot escape. The dark anguish leaps on me again and again. It sits on my chest and presses against my very life breath. My heart feels utterly crushed and broken- pummeled into a thousand pieces. Life as I knew it has been shattered and the shards that are left are painful and sharp. Cutting me as I try to walk through them. This is the valley of the shadow of death. How dark is that shadow!
Her room is perfectly untouched. All of the dolls in her dollhouse family are piled into their little bed together where she left…
Outside the sky is grey and dreary. I feel it should rain torrents today. I think the whole earth should cry out in grief. I feel my heart pounding in my head. My eyes will barely open, and I think no more tears can possibly come. Maybe I will stand in the rain and borrow the tears from the sky.
I look down at sparkly pink toes, and they are lonely. Makiah, our last Sunday together you spent the morning in bed with Mommy (because I am on bed rest). We ate fruit loops and snuggled. We practiced drawing your letters and painted our fingers and toes. You wanted rainbow toes, but I didn't have the colors with me. I promised I'd paint you rainbow toes later. Once we were all pink you said, "I got an idea! Let's put sparklies over the pink, and you have to do it, too, Mommy, so we can be twins!" You are such a princess! So pink toes became sparkly toes. We giggled and hugged and admired our matching feet.
My eyes filled with tears when my mother-n-law told me of her friend's idea. This sweet lady, whom I've never met, wanted to know if she could do something special in honor of Makiah. She said God had put it on her heart to start a well project for her. She would sell "living water well charms" through Operation Blessing International to raise money to build a well for underprivelaged children in a poverty stricken country. She said when 600 charms have been purchased, a well with a permanent plaque would be built to commemorate Makiah's life. Not only was this an amazing idea, it was linked to my daughter's heart in a way that shocked me...
What this thoughtful lady could not have known was that only 2 weeks before the accident, Makiah came into the kitchen on a Sunday morning carrying her whole piggy bank. She told me she wanted to take it all to "give to the kids who need clean water." The preschool class at church had been raising money t…