Last year I read the book Choosing To See, written by Mary Beth Chapman, the wife of a well known Christian Artist, Steven Curtis Chapman. In it she writes about her journey through the grieving process after the accidental death of their 5 year old daughter, Maria Sue.
Something about the title and description drew me in. The loss of a child remains to be the most traumatic experience I could ever imagine having to endure. I lost a younger sibling at the age of 23 and to this day I cannot think of any other event that had a greater impact on me and my family. Even now, when I am forced to face the reality of my own mortality, it doesn't come close to the overwhelming grief I experienced at that time.
I had previously purchased a copy of Beauty Will Rise, the CD that Steven Curtis Chapman released after the loss of Maria Sue. This collection of songs was by far the best of his work I had yet to hear. I remember thinking how the lyrics were filled with the pain I had experienced as I moved in and out of the emotional stages of grief, and yet they managed to come through the experience transformed by faith and hope. I purchased several copies that year to give as gifts thinking no matter the reason for grieving, in the end, the process was the same and these words could heal people.
I am still impressed by this couple and their courage to share their journey with us, no matter how personal and painful the experience has been, and although at the time I had no idea of the journey that was unfolding before me, through them I have been inspired to see God's hand in my own journey.
Choosing to see for me, means not to become angry with God for allowing this disease to take my life as I knew it, but instead finding the many ways in which we are blessed by these changes, and blessed by those who have joined us on this journey.
I have always joked that my glass is not half empty or even half full. My glass is overflowing and that has remained unchanged even through this challenge.
My faith simply will not allow it!