The past 3 days I had the pleasure of attending our local Church Mission led by one of my FAVORITE Catholic priests, Father Josh Wagner (yes, he has his own web page:-). I mentioned him only a few short months after I started this blog here, when he told me some LIFE CHANGING words. At the time, I sort of understood them. I was still so raw in my grief, angry at God, questioning my faith, my self, and the relationships I had. However, this past few days, 1 year and 7 months after first hearing the words "For every Cross there is a Resurrection", it all came full circle. I am able to look back and realize that he was so right! Father Wagner is by far one of the most amazing, inspirational, and insightful people I have ever met in my life.
He lead this mission this week entitled "The Four Phrases that will Change Your Life". They are simple, phrases we hear everyday and may not even realize the amount of power each one has. "I am Sorry", "I Forgive you", "Thank You", and "I Love You".
I won't go into all of the phrases, for it was 3 hours of information, but I will focus on the one that hit me the most, "I Forgive you".
When he was referring to this phrase, it was primarily forgiving yourself, and other people that have wronged you in life. However, he did say there are times that we have to forgive God. Although God is not the one who hurts us, there are times we feel like he has. HELLO!! How much more can a person be hurt than having their first born ripped from their lives before she was able to take her first breath on earth? There were moments in the past two years that I wanted to know what I had done, or what Foster had done to deserve pain. I was angry, angry at God, angry at my body for failing me, angry at myself for not realizing something was wrong earlier.
However, Father Wagner was right, God does not intentionally hurt us, however, he does place crosses in our lives. While we are bearing this cross, we need to see past them and see the resurrections.
What kind of resurrections can come out of the loss of a child? Well, as we are approaching Rosie's second birthday in heaven I am able to see these resurrections.
First,I am sitting here with my almost five month old HOME with her. I had been planning on going back to work after Rosalynn was born. But losing her made me realize we only have one life, one chance to do things right, and I choose to raise my daughter instead of letting others raise her. I didn't get the choice to raise Rosie, she was taken from me. Ava is benefiting from this lesson, she is enjoying this resurrection.
Second, My photography business. It has a LONG way to go, but is going in the right direction. I am getting clients, I am making money from something I LOVE doing....capturing memories for people. How many people can say that? Who inspired this? Rosie....I needed a creative outlet for my grief. I needed to feel like I was giving others joy, and through this, my heart fills with joy each time a family loves their photos.
The new friends I have made ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY. There are women that I would never had met if not for the loss of Rosie. Although I HATE the reasons we came together, that our children died in order for us to meet, I thank God everyday for their friendships and support! I get excited every time I get to meet one of my fellow Baby Loss Moms in person.
These are just a FEW of the many ressurections that have manifested from the loss of my daughter. Would I give it all up to have her here in my arms? Absolutely! Could I have learned these lessons and gone down these paths without this experience? Who really knows, but probably. However, the loss of my daughter was the cross I was given.
I still bear the cross of her death, I will carry it the REST of my life. There are days that it is heavier than others. There are days that because of the assistance of others, especially Ava and Foster, that the cross is feather weight, however, it will always be there.
I forgave God a long time ago....even though it was not His fault. There are still days that I get mad at Him. Days that I still ask why, and will probably never really understand the answer to that until I get to Heaven, but by then the answer won't matter, because the true resurrection will happen then....I will get to meet my Rosie for the first time and hug her, and then I won't even care what the answer is.
So what should you do if you are still mad at God and just can't bring yourself to forgive Him? Father Wagner had two pieces of advice for you personally. First, "Get mad at God". It is OK....He can handle it! Yell at Him, scream at Him, cry at Him. He won't get mad at you, He will listen. Then, forgive. "Forgiveness is not a feeling, it is a choice," Father Wagner says. Sometimes you have to wake up every morning and forgive again, and again, and again. And if all else fails, "Fake it till you make it." Yes, a Catholic priest encourages you to lie about the forgiveness until it becomes a reality.
This mission series can be a life changer!! I ENCOURAGE all of you to look at the schedule and see where and when he will be around you! His schedule is on his website www.fatherwagner.com. I hope you go to it, Catholic or not, you will enjoy it!
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