The day before felt like we were playing a dark game of hopscotch on a minefield. That was Friday. It was the day we spent hours absorbing the laundry list of imperfections about our daughter growing inside me. I was a sponge over-filled with horrific realities and sad truths just begging to be washed clean of it all.
Saturday was the hazy aftermath.
We felt all the emotions and none at all. We were both overwhelmed and completely numb.
It was grey both literally and figuratively. The clouds looked lower than I had ever remembered. It seemed appropriate. Heaven was hanging it’s head right along with us.
I spent the majority of that particular day curled up on one side of the couch. Chris asked what I wanted. He knew the answer but was looking for what I needed in that moment.
“An escape,” I said plainly. And so we watched movie after movie….after movie.
Eventually we emerged from our theatrical cocoon and even the dark, grey skies burned our red and swollen eyes. We traveled to pick up Cooper from his grandparents’ house.
It was during that silent, hour-long drive that I received a text from my Carrie. It didn’t say anything; it was a link to a song.
It was “Oceans” by Hillsong United. Popular now, but had only just been released at the time. That was my first listen.
Chris and I looked at each other. We didn’t have to speak.
If you haven’t heard the song, I encourage you to. If you have, I don’t have to say much more for you to understand.
From that point forward, it was Audrey’s song. And it was everywhere we turned.
One acutely difficult day when I was pregnant and waiting with Audrey, I turned to my dad for encouragement.
I was struggling. I was scared of the unknown. No, I wasn’t scared, I was terrified. He was quiet for a period of time. And then he simply said, “Have you not been listening to the song.”
That was a pivotal moment for me. Not just in the journey with Audrey, but in my life…my faith.
You see, I had spent 30 years hearing the words but not listening.
I heard someone recently talk about “training for your trial”. What an incredible idea. It’s less about waiting for the other shoe to drop and more about your faith becoming real and deep and intimate. All of this so when you must go trough life’s tribulations, you are deeply rooted and strongly grounded. You are ready.
So, I listened again. And again and again and again.
It was a fight or flight situation for me personally. I could have flown the coop and given up on God. Why? Because it kind of felt like He let me down. Scratch that, not kind of, it did feel like He let me down.
I dug my heels in and fought for my faith.
Perhaps I had to fight a little harder because I hadn’t trained for my trial well in my trio of decades. Either way, I knew God was in this and even when I was angry, He could take it. Either way, I knew that I wanted Him to carry me through it when I was too weak to take the steps alone.
Fast-forward to the day family and friends gathered to celebrate the life Audrey lived and to say a final earthly goodbye. That same, precious Carrie honored us by singing Oceans to our baby girl. Sarah played violin. Chris drummed beautifully along.
I can hardly type these words without pausing for a tear-break as I think back on the moment. Full-circle. The words of that gorgeous song flooded our hearts on the first day of the journey and again on the last.
And now, three years later, a gift found it’s way to me for my 33rd birthday.
An artist named Lindsay Sherbondy, whom I am inspired by daily, painted the song. The waves crashing. The hope. The darkness. The light. It’s all there in the brushstrokes.
My parents gifted me with Audrey’s song as art. I’ve never loved a painting more sweetly. I’ve never felt a piece of art more deeply.
It’s my fight song. What is yours?