"God, in His infinite wisdom, created us with the ability to survive these heartaches."
This is my new favorite quote. And now, almost seven months after Hannah left us for Heaven, I'm beginning to understand the truth of it.
The first few days after Hannah's death are pretty much a blur to me. There are some isolated moments that stand out clearly in my mind, but not very many. It's funny...at the time, I felt that I was completely lucid, and things seemed very vivid in my mind...but when I look back at it now, it's very foggy. I do remember feeling very numb, and honestly not feeling a lot of pain. But after the visitation, after the funeral, after the burial, and after all the family left, it was time to get back to "normal life." And that's when the pain hit in earnest. This may be a strange word picture (okay, it IS a strange word picture), but as I walked through each day, every little reminder (and EVERYTHING was a reminder early on) felt like a plastic knife being shoved into my chest. By the time I got into bed each night, I felt like my chest was literally bristling with plastic knives. Why plastic knives? They are not too sharp...sharp enough to cause a lot of pain when they are thrust into your chest, but not sharp enough to kill you. If anything, the number of knives and the depth of their penetration increased over the next several months.
But, God is faithful, and He has created us to survive these kind of heartaches. Gradually, almost imperceptably, the number of knife wounds each day has begun to decrease. Don't get me wrong...there are times that are just as bad as those early days (the first few days of school this year come to mind), but overall, the pain of the heartache is easing. Those plastic knives are always nearby, and I still get shafted several times a day, but it's become more manageable. I have to be completely honest, and let you know that I am worried about some difficult days ahead...Hannah's birthday in October, Thanksgiving in November, and Christmas in December...I know that those days will bring fresh stab wounds. More opportunities to depend on God for strength. I recently saw a framed saying in someone's house (someone who has lost a child), "God is closest to those with broken hearts." I think that's my new second favorite quote! I never knew what a "broken heart" was...yet another thing I didn't understand in my very sheltered life...but I do now. Thank you, Lord, for your comfort.
Walking wounded we press on,
Our scars but badges of Your grace,
Our fragile frames Your dwelling place,
Our hearts renewed though strength be gone.
Jars of clay beneath a blow,
Broken to let Your glory show.