When I was 6 years old and knew nothing about life.
Before I had a chance to know her. Long before I would have a way to remember her.
He took her.
And I grew up never having a mother.
If God can see all, if God knows all, if God is in control...did He not think I would want a mom?
Or deserved a mom?
Or needed a mom?
Did He not care how painful it would be? Did He not care how awful it would feel?
Did He not care about me at all?
Because I thought when you loved someone you wanted the best for them. You sacrificed for them. You made sure you did everything in your power to help them.
And it didn't feel like God helped me. It felt like He punished me.
And I had no idea why.
I just knew I hated it.
And there were moments that I hated Him.
When you're little, no one comes up to you and tells you it's going to be ok.
Most don't come up to you at all.
Because people shrink from talking about death.
They don't know what to say so they don't say anything.
And that just makes you feel like you shouldn't talk about it either.
So you just smile. And say you're good. And keep your hurt inside.
And hope no one notices how different you are.
If I could only talk to my younger self now. If I could only have a moment to pull her aside and let her know she would be ok. That she would grow up to be strong. And compassionate. And capable.
If I could only let her know, that this pain would become what made her never go to bed mad. That it would make her not be scared to tell people they were important.
That she would never shy away from telling people she loved them. Or be worried what people thought because she insisted on hugging. And looking for the good.
If I could only have a moment to tell her that this loss would become what pushed her to make sure people knew, especially young people, that they could overcome hard things too. And that her greatest joy would be to find opportunities to cheer them on.
If I could just talk to her and tell her to hold her head up. That God had not punished her.
That God had not let her down.
And that God would walk with her each step of the way without her mom.
I can't go back to tell her, but I can make sure to never forget.
How my greatest pain became my greatest purpose.
And I can make sure to pass the message on.
If you're facing a loss.
If you're feeling like God has taken someone away from you.
If you're mad. If you're doubtful.
If you're in the middle of hating God.
I'm here to tell you to hold on to hope. To surround yourself with people who remind you of the good. To believe your loved one is not gone, that they live on in you. That their life may have ended here, but it has not ended entirely. That their heart still beats inside of you. Their goodness still lives on inside of you. That each breath you take is a living testimony to a love that never ends. That they don't have to be here to make a difference. That your life is the difference they make now.
So choose kindness. For them.
Choose gratefulness. For them.
Choose forgiveness. For them.
And most of all, choose to go on living. For them.
Because even on the days it doesn't feel like it.
Even in the moments you don't care.
God loves you.
I know the pain is hard.
I know it.
But there is a bigger picture we will never see.
And a bigger plan we will never know.
I used to think the truth was that God had punished me.
That He took my mom from me.
But the truth was my mom was God's child before she was my mom.
He loved her first.
He didn't take her from me.
She wasn't my belonging.
She was His blessing.
And though it took me awhile I realized, His blessing never left.
It still remains.
And I promise one day you will see,
that it remains for you too.