I went to the dark side.
It's fascinating the people who've come up to me with sympathetic eyes, and said, "I told you so."
And they did.
For the first few weeks after Baby M left, I embraced that reality, nursed it; let it breed all the bitterness I could muster. I explored my anger with all the players involved, the foolishness, the disappointment. I bought into my rights, my self-righteousness, my defenses.
But, right or wrong, I am understanding, I needed to go to the dark side. I needed to hear the cock crow after denying Christ's work in my life many more than three times. I needed to stand and see myself mocking the very image of God in people who have lost all hope. I needed to see this rich young ruler turn, not believing I could abandon it all, holding loosely, in order to cling to the only true hope I profess.
I needed to go there.
Baby M was our first. There's something about that. It's different too because Mattie is now part of a earthly forever family who loves Jesus more than anything else on earth. They welcome our calls and letters.
After M, I reached a point of crying "Uncle", and asking, "What's the point?"
The Father allowed me to go to the dark side, because it was there, that I saw His face. I saw the times I've left him, clung to my own hope and righteousness, and strived in my own efforts. He allowed me to be reminded of how ugly this broken, messed up vessel really is, and He gave me glimpses of His beauty and glory that is being revealed through His work in our family.
He sobered me up.
So when the call came last Friday night, I didn't remember the "I told you so's." I didn't remember the grief, or the bitterness.
Instead, I remembered a young mother who can't get past her shame and needs someone to commit to praying for her for a lifetime, whether she welcomes it or not. I remembered a daddy who can't seem to settle on his role or identity in this crazy mess. And, I thought of a two-week old who simply needs a safe place to sleep, a warm bottle, and the words Jesus loves you, one trillion times.
I remembered the fact that I have been commanded, and so I obey.