It hurts tonight. My arms hurt. My heart hurts. My whole body is aching.
I'm having a hard time falling asleep tonight so I've been paging through a journal I'd been writing the past several months. I came across a dream that I had shortly after we learned that Evie was sick:
I dreamed that Ryan & I were on the beach in Miami where we honeymooned. The beach was very narrow, though, and the sky was gray and stormy. Not far behind us was a 10-foot tall stone retaining wall and behind it were the streets and hotels of Miami.
The weather was terrible and there was talk of a tidal wave. As we looked at the horizon we saw a huge, dark mass getting taller and darker as it came toward us. As the darkness came upon us I grabbed Ryan and pulled him toward the stone wall thinking our best chance of survival was to cling to it to keep from being washed away.
The tidal wave grew and grew and the sky became eerily dark. At the last possible moment we drew a deep breath and held on tightly to each other and the rock. Water surrounded us for a long time and we were in real danger of drowning, but we were able to find pockets of air in the rock that kept us alive.
When the water retreated we climbed up to the street, afraid that another wave would come soon. We knew we couldn't outrun the wave like all the other people were trying to do, so we found the highest building and started climbing the stairs as fast as we could. If we could get high enough, the waves would not be able to reach us.
We climbed and climbed - we couldn't take the elevators because of the storm. Sometimes the stairs were very steep, and other times the ceilings were so low that we had to crawl on our bellies. There were no windows in the stairwells, so not until we reached the top could we see what was happening outside.
We finally reached the top and when we looked out we saw that the storm had passed. The sea were quiet and we were safe.
As I read and remember that dream, I can't help but think of Isaiah 43:1-3
"But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
'Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.'"
Oh, I ache for my sweet baby tonight. I wish I had more of her - more memories, more things to look forward to. I wish that so many of the memories I do have of her weren't sad ones. As we move forward, I wish she were moving forward with us.
I thank God tonight that though I am pressed, I'm not crushed; "... perplexed but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." 2 Corinthians 4:8,9
Thank you, Lord, for your mercies. Thank you for preserving and protecting me. Remind me in my grief that I will not be crushed or destroyed, I'm not abandoned, and I don't have to be driven to despair. Uphold me tonight with your righteous right hand.