I'm torn between posting pictures of Michael's birthday cake and telling you why my cheeks are tear stained.
I suppose I could leave that line there and make the decision tomorrow.
But then some of you might call my house before 9 to make sure everything is ok and we just can't have that, now can we! Everybody knows Julie is not a morning person. Never has been. Never will be.
So I guess we'll go with the tears and save the pictures for another day. You're more curious about the tears anyway, aren't you?
I told you a few weeks ago, when I was all excited about the Stuff Christians Like site, that I'd never before read a blog from start to finish all in one night. Tonight I finished my second. I don't remember why I picked up the computer in the first place. I had planned to read my book, not blogs tonight. For whatever reason I checked the LPM blog and then Room For Grace to see if there was new content. They are the top two in my favorites list and if I just have a few minutes, I go there first. Tonight, I also checked BooMama, who sent me on my way to a place I didn't expect to be.
Without realizing it, I entered into the story of Angie, whose baby girl died just hours after birth from many medical complications that will never be explained. I was first directed to a post about shattering a vase on purpose and then gluing it back together while you and God have a heart to heart. Curious about what had caused her grief, I started back at the beginning. Once there, I couldn't stop. She tells an honest, compelling story with so much emotion in the words that you can't help but walk the road with her.
So much of her grief ripped open those sacred places I have in my heart for my friend's baby, Jackson, and my own miscarried baby. I remembered the tears and the pain and the anger and lack of answers. I remembered the sorrow and pain and the little things that made me smile when I didn't want to. I remembered being with Molly in Boston on a whale watching boat - how she ran from one side of the boat to the other in an exuberant search for a spout of water, momentarily letting something other than grief occupy her tired self. I remembered how Molly listened while I cried my own sadness to her just a few years later.
And tonight, I voluntarily walked that road again with a lady named Angie in Tennessee. Her baby died just 8 weeks ago. I cried for her. I cried with her. I giggled at some of the things her girls said. I smiled at pictures and ended up feeling like I spent the evening with a friend. How is it that someone can be going through that much pain, and still be writing such encouragement? It's not an easy story to read, or tell for that matter. But it is beautiful. In more ways than we'll likely ever know.
I've finished reading. I've finished my Coke and my popcorn. Michael's already gone to bed. And I... I need to go clean my lenses of the water marks wet eyelashes make. My tear stained cheeks will be clean in just a short while. Hers will take much longer. But tonight I'm thankful for the Psalm that promises
"He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars
And calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power
His understanding has no limit. "