This morning I was watching a Dutch television program called ‘Ik mis je’ (I miss you). Two people shared about their deceased loved ones. They told how grateful they were, how important their deceased loved one was to them and how they loved to talk about them. They also said it blessed them when someone wanted to hear stories about who they were.
I could relate to that. And I was surprised I did. Amanda only lived for six months and only inside of me. When she was born, she was already dead for several days. Yet she greatly impacted our lives. My life, our marriage, our family, lives of friends, our faith, our world. Life didn’t stay the same and it will not be the same again.
Yesterday I sang in front of the church like I used to do before Amanda was born. It was the first time since her arrival-and-passing away. I felt I had become stronger, more powerful, and more myself. Yet, I also felt more vulnerable. I knew I could easily burst in tears, but the one leading worship knew that too and we agreed he would step in if I couldn’t sing anymore.
The songs aren’t the same to me as well. All least, they don’t feel the same and mean the same as they did before Amanda. For instance, we sang Oceans: ‘Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me.’
Well, He did just that. I did walk on water, so to speak. I do need trust without borders to live and to keep faith and I find it quite hard to sing: wherever you would call me. Wherever You call me, whatever circumstances life may bring. I will trust in You.
Yet, that is exactly what I did, tried to do and will keep on trying to do, also because of what’s said in one of the verses: ‘You’ve never failed and You won’t start now.’ I sang this yesterday with a loud voice and I say it to myself just like that when despair pops up, when I fear for the future or when I look back astonished about what has happened in our life. You never failed, and You won’t start now.
So I sing. Not because I have it all together and understand it all. But because I believe and I know that in this life I will never have it all together.
In the past years, my favourite prayer was: Lord, bless this mess. With all my children and a lot of problems in my life, keeping things under control became impossible. And because of that, I learned that that was exactly the point: I shouldn’t be in control anyway. I always was supposed to surrender control to God.
Now that my life became a mess even more because of losing our daughter, problems that continue to be problems, children who grow up having different distinguished characters, a body that keeps on giving me trouble, it is still my prayer that God will bless our mess. And I cling unto that sentence: You’ve never failed and You won’t start now.
Some time after this blog, I wrote a song, related to Oceans, wherein I describe how I try to put my trust in God again. You can find it here.
First published in Dutch on October 2, 2017