I can't believe it's been almost a year.
The anniversary of Scarlett's death has been looming all month. It's one week away. That's driven some mixed feelings for me. In one way, I can't believe I've made it through this last year, and I'm relieved to have some space from that terrible event. In another way, it breaks my heart that it's been almost a year since I saw my daughter's smiling face.
Shortly after her death, I started reading the Bible. I got on a one-year reading plan and used YouVersion to keep track of my progress. At first it was just to give me some kind of routine as Jeremy and I sorted out our "new normal." But soon it became more than a comforting ritual. Soon it became a crucial part of my day.
I noticed that every time I cracked the spine of that book, or pulled it up on my iPad, I felt soothed. My pain eased. Maybe it was God hugging me through those verses, or maybe it was me tapping into humanity's universal consciousness through the vast history of those manuscripts, but reading it made me feel better.
As I was doing my reading last night before bed, I flipped through YouVersion to see what the next few days were going to bring. I was shocked to discover that today, Friday, February 15, was the last day of reading before starting the Book of Revelation -- the very last book of the Bible.
In a way, I feel like I'm coming up on the end of a year-long voyage. From the death of my little girl and the start of Genesis chapter 1, to the one-year anniversary of our devastating loss and the completion of Revelation. I have been considering what to do once I reach the end of the Bible -- I've thought maybe I'll deeply study a few specific books, or maybe I'll re-read the New Testament. But I feel pulled to start the whole thing over again, to be honest. Maybe it's just that I'm not ready to let go of the comfort that tome has brought me.
In the same heartbeat, I feel like this year is just the beginning of my overall journey. I'm not coming to the end of anything, but rather I'm getting ready to exhale after a year-long inhale. Each year will be a breath unto itself, culminating, somehow, into the journey of a life.
It's been difficult to fathom what this time would feel like. I have been dreading February for a year, while at the same time stretching desperately out to it. Here I am, and I still have no straight answer as to how it feels. My heart still hurts every single day, missing the child my own body brought into this world. I still sometimes feel like my infertility is some kind of a sick cosmic joke, or the devil messing with my head, or at least part of a really insanely difficult lesson that even Gandhi would crack under.
I can tell you with certainty, though, that my capacity for love has grown. My appreciation for friends and family has deepened. My walk with God has stretched my spirit and opened my mind. And if I can survive a year like this, I am unstoppable.