Five years ago today, we said hello and good bye to our precious son Caden. It hardly seems like 5 years have passed. There are days that it seems like it just happened, and then there are times when it seems like forever ago.
There are so many memories that we have about that day. So very many of them are not ones that I really want to remember. I don't want to remember the terrible pain I felt after seeing two sonograms showing our baby was already dead. I don't want to remember the physical pain I felt when the doctors tried to induce my labor and only to have it not happen as they were hoping for it to. The process took a whole lot longer than they had hoped it would and being induced was not a positive experience. I don't want to remember the completely empty feeling I felt coming home to a totally made up nursery with no baby to put in that room. I don't want to remember the feeling that I had no idea who I was anymore and I had to get used to a "new" Mira that I didn't even recognize. I don't want to remember the months of grieving and crying and feelings of hopelessness I felt everyday only to be expected to get back to "normal".
Despite all of those things that I remember every year at this time, I have noticed so much growth and God's faithfulness even when things don't work out the way I hope for them to. It is easy to praise God and see how faithful He is when things are going well, but I never knew how incredibly faithful He is when things just don't go the way I think they should. He really does love me and my family and He cries with me. I don't know how I could have ever gone through this experience without knowing that God was with me. Even during the times when I questioned whether God was with me, He showed his faithfulness in real ways to me to show me that He was. My life looks so different than what I ever thought it would and we have been blessed in so many more ways than I could have ever known.
Today, we decided that we were going to do some remembrance things to celebrate Caden and what he meant to us, and then focus on the positive things that have blessed us since losing him. This is the strength that God has given to me to help me cope with losing him. I remember that my friendships changed with several people and that some people that I didn't know well at all have now become some of my closest friends and almost like family. I have shared my story at Glory Babies the support group for people who have had infant death, stillbirth, or miscarriages. Sharing my story has helped keep Caden's memory alive and has helped others see that what they are feeling is completely normal and ok. I learned to
like love myself the "new" person that I knew not much about. I have learned so much about the love God has for me and that when it seems like nothing is happening in my life, God is working on my case and hears every cry of my heart. I have learned to be more confident in the person of God He has created me to be. But the most important thing that I have learned is that God's love for me never fails. I may never know why things happen the way they do, but I do know that God is faithful and loves me more dearly than I ever knew. The challenges in my life have developed my faith in ways that go so much deeper than the relationship I had with Him before.
So today I am holding my family a little closer and celebrating with them everything the Lord has provided for us through our grief and loss. I hope that as the days and years continue to move forward, we will see the ways God is providing for us and see how Caden's life has helped our relationship with the Lord grow.