Despair is an ugly word. When you live in despair you feel hopeless, lost, and desolate. There are not many things that can shake you out of this empty feeling. Often times a sudden tragedy or event takes place and knocks you off your feet. We can never prepare for these moments and certainly never see them coming; I should know. Three years ago I carried my second son to 35 and a half weeks. He came out screaming and beautiful. To the naked eye there was nothing wrong with him. Our baby was born with one severely underdeveloped lung.
This contradicted what we thought during the entire pregnancy. A tragedy we didn’t discover until nine days later. The doctors didn’t notice his deflated lung at first and thought his breathing was because of infections. His body was depleted from proper amounts of oxygen for so long that his organs began to fail throughout those nine days even on life support. On Sunday, November 24, 2013 our sweet boy went to heaven at 8:20 PM.
This moment in my life is one I will never forget. A time when I was prepared for quite the opposite. Having left the hospital to tend to an empty nursey was an experience like no other. Revisiting all those cute onesies and little boy outfits I never got to use tore my heart into pieces. Explaining to everyone my change in appearance resulted in nothing more than devastation. Seeing the ache and yearning in my eyes only mirrored the pain in my husband’s. The cloud of discomfort and funny looks followed me wherever I went. There was no escaping it; I felt so lost. I had no one to talk to because everyone avoided the conversation. No one knew what to say or how to approach it. It didn’t matter anyhow because nothing anyone could say would make it better.
Sitting here almost three years later I often wonder how I made it out alive. There were many days when giving up felt like my only option. A part of me envied dying or letting go of everything. I often begged and pleaded to the Lord to let me escape. There was one point that light began to shine and I was able to once again hold my head up. I stumbled upon a verse from the bible.
“In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,” says the Lord. “If I cause you the pain, I will not stop you from giving birth to your new nation,” says your God. Isaiah 66:9 NCV
Knowing and understanding this verse has been at the forefront of my healing. Through the years I have developed understanding of the situation. I have never fully grasped why it happened. I do know that even though it did, the Lord has not forgotten about me. Since then difficult things have happened and I’ve had to revisit old wounds. The Lord has guided me and helped me to decipher different ways to turn. It is not easy picking up the pieces when despair destroys your life and everything in it. It is however a rewarding experience to look back through time and see how far you’ve come. If despair has taken ahold of you, decide today that it will be different. You may not know how or when, but it will get better.
Living a hopeful life.