I continually pray throughout the day. Not always for Shanny, not always for my own grief. Sometimes, I will have engaged in a conversation with someone who needs prayer or requests it for someone else, so I am drawn away from my own pain and am able to step away and offer comfort and prayer to someone else in need of it. And I must say, it is refreshing, to be the giver of prayer, to reach past myself and my small world and into someone else's.
Trust? It doesn't come easy, not every day. Some days it is a bit of a challenge, but I fight through it. Because I believe so strongly that I know God's love is real and lasting . I know I am experiencing the setback, not God. I know it is up to me to remain faithful, God is steadfast in His promise of love and healing. It isn't a quick fix, it is a journey, a trip with many detours and stops. But God is at every turn and every rest stop. He is my strength and my hope. I know His handiwork. He made the heaven and the earth, He reigns forever. My trust may waiver, but His love is everlasting.
Some days, I can clearly navigate the day and rely on Him alone without reservation or doubt. No fear, no worry, no anxiety. Other days, I can become immobilized with grief, and breakdown in the middle of a store, in the middle of the day, for no apparent reason, other than I miss my daughter's touch, her kiss, her smile, her voice..I miss her.
I try to immediately pray for strength and courage to face the moment, and then the next and the next. I know some days are better than others, some memories bring tears, others bring laughter and some memories bring a sigh and a smile. Those memories were created by a life that I was part of-good or bad, the time I had with my daughter was gift from God. If I wasted it in any way, squandered my time with her, made poor decisions and set bad priorities, that is on me-not God. I have to face that, those were my choices at the time, I could have spent more time with Shanny, spoken more kindly, hugged her more often, and given her more of myself, but I can't do that now, she isn't here. That is the sadness I sometimes feel. That sadness of regret. And so I pray for forgiveness. I pray God looks mercifully on me for my selfish days and understands my humanness. I pray He doesn't give up on me and feel sadness for having blessed me with Shanny. I pray He teaches me to be a better mom and grandmother now, because I am still learning. I will, in her death give her what I didn't give her in her life. Time and thoughtful reflection. I will remember the good times and learn from my mistakes. I will trust in God alone to teach me how to honor His blessings and not take them for granted, because this mom knows the power of prayer and faith as a mother grieves.