From October 2016 -
The movie today at the gym is Field of Dreams. It's a baseball movie. We were just in for a quick mile or so this morning and only caught thirty minutes of it. I think I would be limiting the movie if I said we caught the most powerful scene since the movie deals with unrequited dreams, lost relationships, a belief in something greater than yourself and many other worthy commentaries. Nevertheless, the scene we watched, pierced my heart. Ray Kinsella has gone to Boston to roust Terrance Mann from his hermitage and pledges to come home after a late night phone from his wife tells him his farm in Iowa is in danger. He has built a baseball field in the middle of rich farm land, and in doing so, he has plowed under $2200 with every acre. His crisis, continue listening to the voice pleading with him to "build it", to "stay the course", to "ease his pain", or to stop listening and save his land. On his way back to Iowa from Boston, he meets a young hitchhiker, who just happens to be the young Archie Graham. Archie Graham, in baseball lore, played one major league game for the New York Giants on June 29th, 1905 after entering the major leagues on June 28th. In the movie, Graham has one at-bat on the field before Ray's daughter needs medical attention at the foot of the bleachers. Graham senses the immediacy of the danger and runs to the edge of the field, his cleats stopping at the edge of the gravel. After pregnant "and then their eyes met" camera work, Archie steps over the line from the "Field of Dreams" into reality and saves the little girl from choking to death. Ray, holding his daughter, offers his sincere gratitude to the now aged Doc Graham, but Doc Graham looks back at the field and says, "No. Thank you." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6bD23vEigE
It's Hollywood and metaphorical but poignantly real for me because it illustrated this verse, one that I have had trouble reconciling:
"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances..."
To be content - how am I to be content with just 20 years? How can I be content when half of me is gone?
Archie's contentment made me cry on the treadmill. He was so thankful for his one day on the field, one trip to the plate. I have argued with God for most of the day about this message feeling betrayed by words that are supposed to console because I am not content and feel pretty confident, if not rebellious, that I will never find contentment in my daughter being stolen from me.
Not being one to run from a fight (not always an attribute for which I am proud), I let the thought hang around my shoulders while I attended Ashley's ORU soccer game this afternoon. The Indian Summer heat lifted my spirits, and I yelled like I know what I am yelling about for Ashley and the Golden Eagles. When she saw me after the game, she wrapped me up and said quietly in my ear, "I've been praying for you MamaWitch. I put in for an internship as a Nurse's tech for the ICU, so I can care for people just like you said." And while I was not sad or heavy beneath the weight of grief as I stood there, I immediately began to cry. Losing control sucks because of the weight it places on other people. Ashley didn't make me sad; she made me incredibly proud, and the enormity of it broke through with tears.
I chided myself as I walked to the car, never wanting to burden these girls. I want to be the safe place they can come to remember and laugh. Yet as I drove home in my brokenness, the argument finally ceased.
For me, we are not called to be content with our loss or our grief. Grief, like joy, is given to us. Half of me is gone. It's just gone, like losing control, I hate that I don't know what to do about that. Sometimes, the half that remains stands humbly before the world and asks, "What's next?" and sometimes I turn inside out. In either place, I can just be - that's His promise as the verses in Philippians four ensue.
In both places, standing with only half of me to offer, or lying in a crumpled mess inside out, in my heart, it is wrong that my girl is gone; no amount of gratitude for the perfect 20 years we shared will ever make that right. However, I can say that sometimes when the half of me that remains is standing, I can honestly offer, "I will praise you in the storm." because "HIs faithfulness endures..." and if I am looking, or even when I am not looking, He finds me.
I can find contentment in that.
***update - sweet Ashley, our favorite bohemian is an ICU nurse. So proud.