I’m in the car on the way to the doctor. I feel catatonic…is it possible I’m really on my way to do what I am on my way to do?
Husband asks a question, I think I answer, but he asks again. I attempt to answer, again.
I can’t speak. Can’t blink.
All parts of this reality, this life as a mother with a baby in her womb who was kicking one second and is now passed away, are fake to me. I stare out onto the street because I’m grasping for something tangible. That tree, that car, that building. As it blurs by, I watch it and will it to ground me. To help me come back to the here and now. I’m terrified, and there is no end in sight of that which terrifies.
I’m on my way to induce labor. At 18 weeks. It’s too early, it shouldn’t be this way. How could it be this way?
Something prompts me, wills me to look at my wrist. Almost too scared to move, I glance down at my hands in my lap. The trembling fingers and palms are there, but there’s also something else.
There is a bracelet I’ve worn my entire pregnancy. A simple cord, entwined through a small piece of sterling silver. Heavily stamped in the silver is a star.
I finally have something tangible to focus on, and I hold the little star, feeling its smoothness and its realness. I’m grateful to the company that sent it to me, Bebe au Lait, though I’m sure they had no idea their bracelet would touch me in this way, for this reason. The bracelet is a part of a beautiful mother daughter set, I had intended to buy Mabel Love her bracelet when she was born to complete our pair.
And I did. Her bracelet arrived a few days ago and is the most tiny amazing little beautiful thing ever.
This little star, is now my Mabel. I wore this bracelet for months, not realizing how much this silver star would mean to me, not knowing I would have it to remind me…
That Mabel isn’t gone for good, just gone to the heavens. A place I can’t be just yet, but a place where she is always with me in spirit, with me in heart.
Soon after this moment of realizing Mabel is my little star, a friend sends this note to my inbox:
“Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.” -Eskimo proverb
Then a couple days later another friend (if you don’t read her blog, now is the time to start) emails me this:
on a cold and dark Canadian night, spread out with the black velvet, your story is a star hung on my soul sky.
Conceived in love, birthed in love and held in love, your love goes on forever and ever, and you, sweet Daughter have no end. You are an eternal star.
Then same wise and amazing friend leaves me this comment here:
In time, years, dust settles.
In memory, ages, God emerges.
Then when we look back, we see God’s back.
Wasn’t that too His way with Moses? “When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back” (Ex. 33:22).
Is that it? When it gets dark, it’s only because God has tucked me in a cleft of the rock and covered me, protected, with His hand? In the pitch, I feel like I’m falling, sense the bridge giving way, God long absent. In dark, bridge and my world shakes, cracking dreams.
But maybe this is reality: It’s in the dark that God’s passing by. The bridge and our lives shake not because God’s abandoned, but the exact opposite: God’s passing by. God’s in the tremors.
Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by.
In the blackest, God’s closest, at work, forging His perfect and right will. Though it is black and we can’t see and our world seems to be free-falling in and we feel utterly alone, Christ is most present to us, eye beam supporting in earthquake. Then He will remove His hand. Then we will look.
Then we look back and see His back.
He is close, Arianne… even in the blackest grief…
A gift in the grief… The Glory of God passing by in the dark.
I love you … and so pray.
Mable Love, the star that never falls…
And so a picture starts to emerge…I can see a purpose in this darkness. The little star, God’s light, they help me traverse this wide and wild darkness, because they remind me that God is closer than ever. I don’t feel the pressing of the vastness so much, I don’t worry about falling off a cliff, because He holds me still, calms my quivering. Quiets me when the trembling reaches my bones, and fills me with so much peace I am floored each time I receive another wave of it.
I see God’s plan for me has not changed, His promises still remain, and even though the journey to Him took turns I didn’t expect, I’m still on His road.
Under His hand in that rock, supporting me through the tremors. His gift of darkness, and His gift of the little star, with me forever.