Have you ever read a novel in which you refused to go on to the happy ending because you kept re-reading the chapters of despair and sorrow?
Yeah. That’s what I thought. I don’t either. I love those happy endings. It is painful to see the characters suffering and struggling. Getting to the end where the hero wins, the guy gets the girl, and justice is served, that is the reason I read the book in the first place.
In life, however, I have re-lived over and over the painful moments of memory. For a long time, I returned to the minutes that I held Isabela as she passed away, the moment I turned away and left mom as she cried (the last time I saw her here on earth), and the sickening moment I stared at Micaela’s MRI and saw all the destruction of her brain. I returned to those memories over and over in a cycle of pain and grief.
Adela received a super book for her birthday, 5-Minute Princess Stories. The stories, beautifully illustrated, are short enough to hold her attention and meaty enough to feed her growing mind. We were reading the story of Cinderella and the Lost Mice. In the story, the mice were about to be thrown into the cold when Micaela’s feeding machine started to beep. I apologized to Adela and had to put down the book and get Micaela settled into a nap. Frustrated, Adela flipped through the story, staring at the pictures, and asking me what happened. Until I could sit down again with the book, Adela had no peace. The rest of the story had to be known. She was not content stuck at the part when it looked like those cute little mice were about to freeze to death outside.
That is a completely normal and healthy reaction, right?
In time, I had to choose to be healthy, too.
Those moments that I kept clinging to were not the end of the story. Until I moved on and embraced God’s beautiful plan, I was stuck in a cycle of pain. The reality is, Isabela’s story did not end when her heart stopped. She is beautiful and God’s joy in heaven. My story with my mother did not end when I let her hand go and walked away because it was time to leave that day. She is sainted and cheering me on as I live out God’s plan for me on Earth. And that MRI was in no way the end of Micaela’s future. Her story continues to unfold with the loving miracles of my Heavenly Father.
It took a long time to learn to stop clinging to the dark moments. But as I chose to embrace the beauty of those stories, I was able to step into new amounts of joy and memories that were not shadowed by grief.
God set me free simply by turning my head to look upon the rest of the story and seeing all the love that lies there.
Are there moments or memories that you still cling to, full of pain and sorrow? Have you asked God to show you the rest of the story?
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"...and God was already there with me."