Working through grief often brings up strange little triggers for me. One of the concepts that I wrestle a lot with when writing or telling my story is the phrase "I lost my child". It's a phrase that we say instead of having to say "my child died". Every time I write that phrase though, I feel a restlessness about it, because the truth is, Zac is not "lost" to me. I totally accept and understand where this phrase comes from and all my life I have used it ... but now that I have a little boy who is a Heavenly citizen, I just feel uncomfortable referring to him as lost.
My journey with Zac has given me the opportunity to meet other parents who have encountered the same path of grief that we are walking. While everybody's story is different, there is a precious bond that links us when we share common ground. It continues to deeply impact my life to hear other people's stories who have also negotiated the grief walk. Earlier this week I got to meet a mommy who knows what it means to be carried by Jesus. Her loss is more recent than mine and her child was older than mine, but as we spent a little time together, I realised how much we have in common. Both of us know what it means to be met with the grace of Jesus and be forever changed. When I listened to her share her journey with her precious Chloe, I could see the presence of Jesus radiating from deep within her. She has been met with the King of Glory at the hardest place in her life ... the place of releasing her daughter into eternal life. It's not that she has seen Him with her earthly eyes as much as it is her heart response to His closeness which gives her the heart peace of assurance that Chloe, like Zac, finally know what it means to live in abundant life. Pain free, forever! His nearness radiated from every part of her. As she shared, I could see her eyes fixed firmly on the loveliness of who He is. I could see the grace carrying her. I just sat and listened to her tell her story. As she shared and I wept, she simply glowed with an inner joy. At times she would gently laugh and recount over and over again how good God has been to her in the face of her pain. As surreal as it sounds, because the pain is so intense and the missing is so hard ... but when you call on God to meet you in this place of pain, He shows you treasures that you would never have seen had you not walked through the fire. And that is when you realise the intensity of His goodness, because though the fire rages all around you, never once does He allow it to consume you. I came out of my brief time with Nicola so reminded that God is ALWAYS good and even at the most painful times in our lives when we simply do not understand all the reasons why tough things happen ... especially there, He stands right in the centre of our world reaching out with comforting arms and giving a heavenly perspective that amazingly allows us to accept the ache of letting go. As Nicola shared with me the peace that God has given her of where her Chloe is, I was very much reminded that my Zac is in no way "lost" to me. He is alive and thriving, being raised by the best parent ever! He will only ever know the purity of love, joy and peace and one day he will share his story with me about growing up in perfection.
My heart has lifted once again as I fix them on the beautiful hope that I have in Jesus. My heart knows fully that my little love isn't lost, but is completely found in Christ.
All my love xxx