To be perfectly honest, I’ve been haunted. Day after day, as I see my step-daughter’s clothes in the closet unworn and her belongings laying untouched, they haunt me. An ever-present reminder of missing and aching and loss. Some days, I manage to shove the feelings of hurt under the carpet and other days I find myself standing, shell-shocked and reeling from heart-stabbing pain of seeing Nico’s things collecting dust.
Since October, we’ve been able to see Nico on two short occasions and for one overnight. While it always felt so good to be able to actually hug her and talk to her, the weeks to follow those visits left my other two daughters shipwrecked on islands of emotional pain. We’ve prayed and prayed and prayed that, somehow, we are able to go back to having her with us half the time. It is clear, though, that there is no resolution on the horizon when it comes to her Mom.
So, we live with these scabs and scars on our hearts. Some days there is a dull ache and some days we bump into something and next thing we know we’re bleeding again. I’ve gone back and forth on whether we should keep Nico’s clothes in her closet and her belongings in the girls’ shared bedroom. I tip back and forth between hope and despair and wonder if seeing Nico’s things around affect my youngest like they do me.
This morning, it felt like it was time. I took a deep breath and grabbed a couple of boxes and pulled all of her clothes out of the closet. Within a minute’s time, that scab on my heart ripped right off and I fell to my knees and broke wide open. Heartache and grief spilled out of me. I had visions of the 10 years I had with Nico, caring for her as if she were my very own daughter. Worries of how this was affecting all three of the little girls that I love so much. Sympathy for my husband who puts on a rock-solid facade for us while I know he’s crumbling inside. My mind races to the verse committed to memory and I question how this is working for good. It doesn’t feel good. It hurts in a way that makes it hard to breathe.
“Lord, I just don’t understand how a mother could to this. I don’t understand how You can allow this and how this will all work out for good. I don’t understand!”
And my eyes fall onto an index card stuck into the frame of the mirror on my dresser.
Trust in the Lord with all of your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding.
I know I need to trust, but right now, I don’t even know how. When I feel compelled to try to figure out God’s plan in this, I realize that His plan may not be one I even like, His plan may be that we don’t heal our relationship with Nico until she’s 18 or older and on her own. His plan may be that it doesn’t get healed this side of Heaven. And I have to trust.
So, I come to you asking for prayer. This situation is littered with broken hearts and shattered dreams and minds left reeling to make sense of it all. Thank you,