I've been back at work for 6 weeks now, and with each week I've found it easier to be back to "normal." At first I was tormented at work because I had to put on a face and move forward. There was no time to cry or be angry. While I was at home, I had the luxury of feeling whatever emotions came at me. I really didn't know if I would be able to continue pretending to be fine, but the truth is that I have been able to. The truth is I'm fine. I know it sounds impossible: "I'm fine?! My baby died 12 weeks ago. It's not possible to be fine!"
Don't get me wrong, I miss Isaac. I look at his pictures and study his face. I wonder why we couldn't keep him. I allow myself to be sad when necessary, but I'm fine. I may be an atypical type of woman. I'm driven by rationale, logic, thought. I don't want my feelings to guide my decisions or my actions. It does happen, because well, I'm a woman, but when it comes to dealing with these heavy issues, I seek reason and truth. I have my father to thank for that.
My dad is an amazing teacher. He was a teacher by trade for a short time, but he was one of those rare teachers: he was a natural; he was good. He doesn't teach professionally anymore, but that doesn't mean he isn't teaching us at all times. It was actually irritating as a child:
"Look at this plant..."
"After the Civil War..."
"Europeans' doors swing in, not out like Americans'..."
During my high school years, Dad taught the high school Sunday school class at church. He continually stressed how important it was, as a Christian, not to rely on your feelings. God doesn't tell us to praise him when we feel like it. He doesn't say we can do the right thing when we feel like it. You must do it; the feelings will follow.
What an important lesson he taught me. Each time the doctor would find another problem with Isaac - his heart had a defect or his feet seemed rounded - I would be hopeful, angry, devastated. I would tell God that I could not handle losing this child. I couldn't. He was wrong. I wouldn't be content. I wouldn't praise him. I wouldn't. I felt no peace. I felt no joy. I felt no happiness. But I am human and feelings are fickle.
Three months later, I have peace about what we went through. I have peace about God's choice, and I can thank God for giving us Isaac and taking him away. Yes, I said it: I can thank God for taking away my son. I don't rely on my feelings because my feelings would have me screaming at God, bitter with his choice, angry at his audacity. My son? My son? You have nothing better to do than take away my son? That would be easier, I think, than telling God that I'm thankful for this agony. But I've done what my teacher said, and he was right. You must do it; the feelings will follow.
"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You."