Otherwise she's doing a lot better. She's been working very hard to get along with her brother and it's been music to my ears to hear them playing and laughing again. She's been worried about her friend Emi and it's been hard to try to make sure she doesn't feel lied to...and also make sure she doesn't take on a burden of understanding that she's not old enough for. I feel very unqualified for the job of knowing how much to share and how to help her deal with her grief.
And also her fear. She understands that if Emi can die, than so can she. And that's very hard to help an eight year-old navigate through.
Because honestly, it's been very hard for me to cope for those very same reasons. These last few weeks I've been pretending cancer away. I've been remodeling the front yard, organizing like crazy, hiding from social media, avoiding text messages...anything to make me feel safe from thinking about cancer. I was doing my best to be in denial of that hated "red cancer door."
But with Grace needing this endoscopy, and her being in some really intense pain these last few weeks, the door has stayed open. Waiting to see if Emi will be taken off life support threw it open. And my illusions of security and stability are again shattered.
And I don't know what to do. Emotions are hard for me. When I weep I feel I should "trust" God more. When I'm calm I feel I must be in denial. And how do you pray for a child that is dying? I mean - really? I obviously have been praying for a miracle but I also am praising God for the miracle of eternal life. My fear is that she will die, because we've known six other children that have died. Children we knew personally who were being treated with Gracie, man of them Christians. And I've come to realize the obvious...God allows children to die. How do you pray knowing that?
That's an extremely painful truth, to trust God and know he allows the death of innocents. And I've been angry at him for it. I believe in heaven as the "more real" life, but at the same time I'm angry that this life is so ruined. I'm angry that he doesn't often rescue us from the pain of it. He often allows it. His intervention of breaking through time-space-laws-of-science-personal-responsibilities is the exception. The miraculous circumvention of death didn't come for any of his apostles. Most of them were martyred and all of them stayed dead. Instead they were granted the miracle of eternal life. And often that's not the miracle we want or pray for. To be honest, most of us Christians see death as God not answering our prayers.
Yesterday as I was grieving/praising I felt Jesus say, trust him. He knows what is happening, he knows the injustice, he knows the pain of our suffering. He reminded me that faith isn't always knowing- it's faith. Blind faith. And that's hard for me, but it's true.
But even if I believe in heaven, even if I trust in Jesus with my heart...my head is still throbbing in pain and confusion with so many children suffering. Children dying. Children that we know and have loved. There's no pretending the pain of that away.
Then I remember who he is. He is the God who left heaven to hold our hand while we stumble. He is the God who climbed into the muddy pit of life and let us climb out by standing on his shoulders. He is the God who wept. He is the God who will never leave us or forsake us.
I have come to a point in my faith that is no longer dependant on the outcomes in this life. With his help and my hobbling, I will follow him in faith. I am not immune to the suffering and grief in this life, in fact I think my sense of it is heightened because of knowing Jesus, but it's not this life's outcome that directs me. If it goes well for me, or if life is a tragedy for me, I am swayed...I am hurting...I am broken...but I know who Jesus is and I know that I belong to him.
And my peace comes from knowing that Emi belongs to him.