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In the Waiting

Picking up the pieces after you lose a loved one is such an unimaginable task.

I remember every part of that so vividly.

Picking up your pajamas you wore the night before.

Folding the blanket we snuggled with that morning.

Clearing your plate from the lunch you had just finished hours before.

None of it felt real.

We left the car seat in the car for months before we could even find a single ounce of strength to take it out.

Once we finally did, I still couldn’t comprehend how you were just sitting in there, and now you were gone. How when I would drive, I’d always look back to see you giggling at something. I didn’t know that it would be for the last time.

No part of this felt real. Until we had to pack up your room.

I’ll never forget that day.

It was really tough making the decision to move again. There were times I wanted nothing more than to stay in that house forever. To feel your presence every time we walked down the hall. To hear the echo of your giggles in the playroom. But at the end of the day, that house held more painful memories than it did good ones.

We left it untouched for awhile. We locked the door and would take turns sneaking in there. We’d lay in your bed and cry. Feeling like a part of you was there with us, while simultaneously not feeling you there at all. Finding strands of your blonde curly hair still on the pillows.

The day we moved, dad and I laid on your floor, in the now empty room, looking up at your sparkly light, weeping. I remember how excited you were for that light. Every time we put you to bed, you’d remind us, saying, “mommy look it has sprinkles!”

I’ve never experienced losing a loved one before you. If I think about it too hard, it starts to feel like some kind of sick joke the world played on me, letting my first experience with grief and loss come from a three-year-old. My three-year-old.

Packing up your room was the first moment where the shock had started to wear off and it all felt real. Taking your clothes off the tiny pink hangers, knowing I’d never see them on you again. Seeing your dirty laundry basket with clothes that you wore just days before. Packing up your favorite rain boots. Boxing up your toys. Taking your bed apart.

Once we got to the new house, I remember one of our movers asking where a bin of your clothes went. And I hated that we were moving into a house that you would never be in. In a house where you didn’t have a room.

But Hebrews 13:14 tells us “For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.”

I thought about the room you are in now. How it is so much better than anything we can imagine. I thought about how death only hurts the ones who are left behind. The hurt we feel, the sadness, the emptiness, you don’t feel any of that.

You are in our home, it’s just not our temporary, earthly one. You are in the place where we will reside for eternity. A place that is far greater than our home here.

This whole earthly life is temporary. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day demands and forget that simple detail. That this is not our home.

Even though the future may not be what we had envisioned, we still have an opportunity to create something beautiful.

It is possible to feel joy again. Even after facing a devastating loss.

Nehemiah 8:10 reads, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

In a season where we may be lacking joy, we can rely on His joy to get us through.

In a season where we may feel weak, we can rely on His strength.

He carries these on our behalf.

When we lack, our need for Him increases.

God is not only found in the miracles and answered prayers.

He is not only there with you inside of the blessings.

He is also in the waiting.

He is there, even in the moments of silence.

Even in the times where we don’t see or feel Him.

He is in our seeking, in our asking, and in our surrendering.

Sometimes that means surrendering our desire to have all the answers.

Our desire to change what we cannot accept.

Our desire to hold on to control.

Loss leaves us with a lot of unanswered questions.

But it is in that surrendering where we will find peace.

Where we will feel his presence.

Where we will find joy for what the future holds.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).


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Jun 18, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

i can’t express deeply enough my heartfelt condolences as words just seem so meaningless compared to empty arms. But, my heart goes out to you both as much as I can possibly express. I can’t even begin to imagine your loss, or what going through this would be like. I will pray for your healing. For God to wrap you in His love and light. You will see your little girl again I know this for sure.



May 23, 2023

As I posted before, I lost a wife 12 years ago, and experienced more pain than I ever have before, and it took years to feel whole again. God blessed me with another wonderful mate, and made me whole again. However, I can't fathom the pain that you're going through losing a precious 3 year old child. I will say that you're handling it well by seeking His wisdom, His grace, His mercy, His strength, and everything else that He gives us in our time of need. I love reading your posts, and pray for you and your precious family each time. I was really moved by your words "death only hurts the ones left behind", and will remind you…


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