I’ll admit, yesterday was a very lousy day. It was one of those days where I wanted to crawl into a hole, sob, and just go to sleep. I did a lot of crying, and that always gives me a nice pounding headache. My name, Kellie, means warrior, and so I often look at the sufferings in my life as parts of a great big spiritual battle. Holding onto that analogy, last week ended with some sparring, and this week began with a great big uppercut to my jaw. It was the type of uppercut that knocked me down and left me struggling for air. My friend’s baby died.
I was reminded again yesterday that I can never really escape from this suffering. I will always know what it feels like to have your baby die. It feels like a thousand knives piercing my lungs. The pain will always be real, and I will always weep for the poor suffering mothers.
Years ago, I walked to an ultrasound, the June sun was warm and I even jogged happily as I thought about my baby and such a big milestone –seeing her on the ultrasound screen. And then my life changed as I lay on that table and listened to her fate. I would carry her and she would die. There was nothing anyone could do. She lived inside me and died in November. I carried my cross and was forever changed.
In Luke 23 it says
Seized. Just like me, Simon was forced to carry the cross and help his Savior with God’s plan of redemption. My body did the work, and I suffered, but it was not my choice. I was simply walking along the road when I was seized onto a path I did not understand. I did what was asked of me, but my heart fought it every step of the way.
“As they led Jesus away they seized Simon of Cyrene who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.”
Over 10 years later, I still have days where I am pulled onto that road again, against my will, and asked to help another carry their cross. And yet with each passing year, I am less tempted to despair. The grace to see God’s plan in the lives of these dying children and their suffering parents is there. Yes, the picture is blurry because the pain is still deep, but I trust. And I know I must help. I must reach out, suffer with them, and listen. I cannot sit comfortably at home, hiding behind my own sadness and even my own fears. I must walk with them and shoulder their burden. In doing so, I take part in God’s great work of redemption. My daughter Therese does too. And just like her Patron Saint, she is spending her time in heaven showering the earth with roses.
“When I die, I will send down a shower of roses from the heavens, I will spend my heaven by doing good on earth.” St. Therese of Lisieux, Story of a Soul.
~ In Memory of McKayla Rose ~