Let’s just cut to the chase here. So far, this road we seemed to have been called down? It sucks. And we are pissed.
Sure, there are moments when we see God at work, fleeting instances where we laugh and smile and feel hopeful again. But there are also moments of the deepest, most intense anger we’ve ever experienced. And these are the moments when we realize just how much pain we’re in. The pain is so raw, so piercing, and so relentless. It will throw you into a tailspin.
For me, it usually goes something like this…
I find myself enjoying something… could be a TV show, playing a game with family, arranging flowers in a vase. For that quick moment, my mind has wandered from the pain. That is, until it comes back in a wave that crashes over me and immediately, my feelings that had been hiding just beneath the brief happiness, unearth themselves. First, it’s sadness. Kamri should be here, enjoying this thing with me. I should be rocking her to sleep while Mitch and I watch TV, one of her grandparents should be cuddling her while we play a game, she should be in her rocker or strapped to my chest while I arrange flowers. But she’s not. I’m still alone doing these things. We’re still a family of two, here on earth.
Next comes the longing. My entire body and mind and soul yearn for my daughter. Our lives were set up for her. We were ready and so excited to be her parents. Everything we do seems irrelevant, unimportant, and inconsequential without Kamri. Simply put, we long for our daughter.
Finally, the sadness and yearning turns to fiery anger. It burns through my blood and I can barely think or see straight. We are so very angry. I am furious, absolutely furious with God. When that anger courses through my body, it is passionate and it is ugly and it is raw. I’ve always been one to say what I think and this is no exception. At this point in my life, God is well aware… I. AM. ANGRY.
The other week, my mom and I were taking a walk and all of a sudden, I was overcome with rage. We had gotten to the part of the trail that winds through the woods and there I was, screaming at the top of my lungs. It started out a slow, quiet sob… my mom had just prayed for peace over me, but I was beyond that.
Why God? Why did you take her from me? I wanted her. I wanted to be her mom.
You created her. Why the hell did you create her with small lungs?
WHY DIDN’T YOU SAVE HER?
You knew I was going to be a good mom. You knew how much I wanted her. And you took her.
YOU TOOK HER… AND I HATE YOU!
You can keep your peace. Just give me back my daughter. Leave us alone.
I HATE YOU FOR TAKING HER.
I HATE YOU!
I hate you.
By the end, I was hunched over, sobbing and screaming at Him.
My anger is deep and it is unbridled. I am angry that Kamri is not here. I am angry that her whole life was spent in a hospital. I am angry that we never got to bring her home. I am angry that I had no choice but to go through the entirety of a pregnancy and recovery afterward, no matter the outcome… although, when I think about it, I would do it all over again for her in a heartbeat. I am angry that my husband never got to lay with his daughter on his chest while she fell asleep. I am angry that the only time I ever got to cradle Kamri, to cuddle her was after she had already died. I am angry that my daughter died, but all of the people surrounding me have healthy kids. I am angry that so many people in this world that don’t even want their kids, still have them. I am angry that God KNEW how much we wanted Kamri and yet, somehow, she’s gone. I am angry that she never even got a chance, that her lungs were too small from the very start. I am angry that he didn’t save her. I am angry that, for the rest of my life, I don’t get to be with her.
I have said awful things to God, blamed Him for the pain that consumes me. I have called Him names, cursed at Him over and over again. I’ve said the most hurtful thing my mind can come up with… You took my daughter. And I hate you.
The thing about all of this is that it’s ok. While I stood there in the woods, screaming at God, He was standing right next to me, in just a much pain as I was.
Some people think that anger should be suppressed and that anger toward God is bad. Those people are wrong. The Bible does not tell us not to feel these feelings… thank goodness. You can still love God and express anger. Often, after our fits of rage, we drop to our knees and tell God we’re sorry. I don’t mean it, God. I don’t hate you. I love you with all of my heart. It just hurts so much and I don’t know how to do this. There’s something about needing to voice the words of rage out loud that satisfies the fury inside. We’re learning that with all of these emotions we experience, if we don’t allow ourselves to wade into them, let them wash over us, we cannot move past them. If we don’t allow ourselves to interact with the anger, it does not pass.
What is amazing is that God gives us instructions about how to do this… “In your anger, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” (Ephesians 4:26-27) He does not tell us not to get angry, but gives us the parameters for how best to interact with it and move beyond it. While you are angry, do not sin. Well, we’ve certainly messed that part up and at times, have gone completely off the rails. Thankfully, God is an ever-forgiving God, He knows we are human, and He loves us anyway. Even after I scream at Him how much I hate Him. Can you imagine that kind of love? Guess what? He loves you the same… even when you scream at Him.
The other part of that verse that weighs on us is the last bit… Do not give the devil a foothold. Do not give Him a leg-up, a chance to manipulate us while we’re most vulnerable. We’ve also failed at this. There will be moments when we have to take a step back because we’ve recognized that Satan is weaseling his way into our thoughts, our words, and our hearts. Satan is a liar. He tries to convince us that God “took” our baby, wanted this for our baby, and that because He didn’t save her in the way we wanted, He must not love her or us. That’s just bull****.
We recognize that the spiritual battle we had talked so much about throughout the updates is still at large and we are daily targets for the devil. He loves to prey on the vulnerable. This does not mean that we need to hurry to stop being vulnerable, it just means that every day, we need to ask God to protect us- our hearts and our minds- from anything Satan might try and use to manipulate us. So we do that… we ask God to surround us as we experience and express the deepest anger we’ve ever faced.
There are two things that are becoming clear to us in all of this… that we need to allow ourselves to experience the anger that we feel, to interact with it, and that we also need to allow ourselves to move beyond it. It is dangerous to stop right before the anger and not wade into it. It is also dangerous to wade into it and stop in the middle. We all know people who have clearly waded into their anger and then remained there for the long haul. That is not the way that God wants us to experience our lives… in a constant state of miserable, exhausting anger. So we must, at some point, wade out of it at the other end.
Someday, we will. But today is not that day. Today… for right now… I am just plain angry.
To my sweet girl… wow, this is hard. Mommy and Daddy are a mess. We miss you so much that it’s hard to control the anger we feel. Tell Jesus I’m sorry for the things I said. Tell Him I’m also sorry for the things I’ll probably say in the future. We’re trying, baby girl. It’s just that we never wanted to do this life without you. Kamri, you have taught me more about so many things than anyone else I know. I wish you were here. I love you, my sweet girl.