Trust

This week is Holy Week and at the end of it, there will be a celebration. Truth be told, this year I identify more with the darkness of the next three days than I do with the light and celebration of Sunday. The next three days, the darkest in the history of the world, resonate with me. The pain of the world as we remember the death of Christ finally feels like something I can relate to. My world is so dark, so empty, so barren. And yet, God is still here. He is still here and I’ve been asked to do the thing that has always been hardest for me, the thing that we’ve done this entire journey, the thing that even when we do it, will not bring Kamri back.

Trust in Him.

I have a lot of thoughts about this, but before I go any further, you should listen to something. For those of you following along Kamri’s journey, you know that mid-way through, we were leaning very heavily on the truth in the song “O’ Lord” by the talented Lauren Daigle. You can find the link to it in one of the updates on this page. Now we find ourselves grappling with another of Lauren’s songs. I’d like to enlist her help, as her words and music have spoken so clearly to us, in looking further into this idea of trust.

There is power in those words and while some of them are comforting, others just make the tears fall because they hurt so badly. I think the best way to go through this is just that… go through it and let the thoughts come. Let the words express the deepest fears, longings, and convictions of my heart.

Letting go of every single dream, I lay each one down at your feet.

In Kamri’s death, we’ve had to let go of so many dreams we had for her. I wanted to dress her up for Easter this year. I wanted to comb her soft, fluffy hair… add a bow or a flower to her dark brown curls. I wanted to hold her as we sang songs in church, take pictures of her next to bright, blooming flowers. I wanted to watch her Daddy help her in her first Easter egg hunt. I wanted to teach her about the joy of Christ, the victory of the resurrection.

And that is just Easter. There are so many other dreams I had for Kamri and our family, but they are still just dreams. Dreams that will never be realized with her. I have to lay them down at the feet of the Lord, even though everything in me wants to hold on to them just in case she comes back.

My hands are weary, I need your rest.

We are exhausted by this grief, by this sadness, by the longing for our daughter. I am weary, Father. I am not strong enough for this. If there is rest from this nightmare, please let it come.

Mighty warrior, King of the fight; no matter what I face, you’re by my side.

I can see you, God. I can feel you. I am watching the ways that you have provided for us. We are keeping a record of the blessings you have shown us in this season. I see you. But I still feel so alone, so lonely without Kamri here.

And this is when it gets real… this is when my heart breaks and I sob while I sing the lines…

When you don’t move the mountains I’m needing you to move,

when you don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through,

when you don’t give the answers as I cry out to you…

God, we trusted you to heal Kamri. I believed you would. I told the doctors that it didn’t matter that her lungs were small, that you would heal her. I needed you to move those mountains and you didn’t. I wanted to walk through the waters of medical tests and statistics and bring my baby home. You parted the sea and saved the Israelites, but you didn’t heal Kamri. My heart is broken and I have cried out to you for answers, for a reason why she had to die, but other people’s stupid daily requests… even my own meaningless wishes… are answered over and over again. You have heard my sobbing and have not pulled me from this darkness.

I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in you.

I must be crazy. I feel crazy. But you are God and you love me and you love Mitch and you love Kamri. I know that and I will trust you.

Truth is, you know what tomorrow brings. There’s not a day ahead you have not seen.

You knew. You knew that Kamri was going to be born from the beginning of time. You knew she was going to die. You knew we were going to be devastated. The day we met in college, you knew this to be true. The day we were married, you knew. The day we bought our house, you knew. The day we found out we were pregnant, found out she was a girl, threw a huge party in our backyard, named her Kamri Blaire Thomas, you knew. You knew. I don’t know what to do with that.

I want what you want, Lord, and nothing less.

I used to struggle with this part because sometimes it seems like the will of God, what God wants, is what is happening in this world. I don’t think that is entirely true. God did not want Kamri to be sick, He did not want her to die. This hurts Him as much as it hurts me. What God wanted was His original creation, the perfection it was originally intended to be, devoid of sin and the effects of sin. That’s what God wanted. So when we talk about God’s will and God’s plan, let’s not make the mistake of thinking that God is at all pleased by the pain and suffering of this world.

And here is where I turn the volume way up in the car, when my sobbing and singing come together and Mitch and I find ourselves boldly proclaiming the truth of Christ, even despite our heartbreak, our confusion, and our inability to completely understand it…

You are my strength and comfort, you are my steady hand. You are my firm foundation, the rock on which I stand.

Only by the strength of Christ will we make it through this. Only by the deep love and comfort of God will we see it to the other side of this heartache. It’s pretty evident that I am not strong enough for this. God did not make me strong enough for this. He made it so that by the strength of Christ, we will survive.

Your ways are always higher, your plans are always good.

Always. You are good, even though I don’t feel good. Even though this doesn’t feel good. You are good. You tell us in the Bible “my ways are higher than your ways, my thoughts are higher than your thoughts”. There are things that you know and that you see, that I don’t. I hate that, but it’s true and it’s where the very essence of trust comes from. Your plans are always good. Your plan was not for Kamri to die, for us to be left without our baby. Your plan was the perfection of Eden, before sin. Your plan is the redeeming resurrection from sin, which is why we are so assured that Kamri is with you in heaven. When I think about it like that, it’s pretty clear. Your plans are always good. Always.

There’s not a place where I’ll go, you’ve not already stood.

Oh Lord, this is what gets me every time. As alone as I feel in this and as empty and lonely as Mitch and I feel everyday, this is not a path that you have called us down without walking it first. As I think about these next three days, I am reminded that the God of the universe knows my pain as His own. One, because my pain is your pain. But more importantly… I am not the only parent out of the two of us that had a child die.

I think about that a lot. We have had so many people (both that we know and that we’ve never met before) tell us that Kamri has changed their lives. That our story has pointed them back to God. That our littlest love has led them to a relationship with Christ. We have always prayed that God would use our marriage and our family for the Kingdom of Heaven, but I cannot say that I would have chosen this as the way to do so.

The truth is, people knowing Jesus is more important than my life. Someone having a relationship with God is more important than Mitch’s life. The opportunity for even one person to accept that Christ died for their sins and receive the gift of eternal life with the King of the world is more important than Kamri’s life. And as a mom, there is nothing harder to say, but it’s the truth. If God used sweet Kamri’s life to bring someone into relationship with Him, there is nothing more beautiful.

But I still lost my daughter. My world is still shattered, by heart is still broken, and my life will never be the same. When I think about the choice that God had to make to give up His only son to save the world, to save me, this line means more to me than ever. There is not a place where I’ll go… not in this grief, not in the rest of my life… you’ve not already stood.

What a dark, painful place to stand, a horrific place to be. It feels like it will never be light again, like there is no more hope left.

But then, after those three days, the darkness broke and the Savior of the world conquered death and came back to life. As it turns out, darkness will never have the last say. Jesus Christ is risen, He is risen indeed. There is so much more to the story, more than we can ever begin to imagine…

When you don’t move the mountains I’m needing you to move,

when you don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through,

when you don’t give the answers as I cry out to you…

I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in you.

5 Comments

  1. Kathy Raduszewski

    Beautifully written. God bless your little soul honey. I wish I could take your pain away. Keep letting it out. You will get through it. {hugs}

  2. I cannot begin to comprehend your pain. The words you have written are beautiful and I honestly believe they will help and comfort so many on this journey we call life. How I pray God will restore your joy.

  3. Such beautiful words from a broken heart! You and Mitch are strong and continue to get your strength through your Savior!

  4. Thank you for sharing your journey. Your writings are truly powerful.

  5. June Staufenberg

    My heart goes out to both of you as tears stream down my face.

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