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.