To continue our Rays in the Storm series, I’m excited to introduce you to my friend Jami Amerine. If there’s one word I’d use to describe Jami’s writing, it’s “real.” She says the things most of us want to say but are usually afraid to put out there, and I respect and admire her for it. She is truly one of a kind and gives fresh perspective to often difficult subjects. I thank God our paths crossed in the writing world, and I hope you’ll give her a warm welcome today as she talks about grace in the midst of a grief that goes deep.
Anticipating Grief: Embracing Grace in Oncoming Fear
My husband walked the floor with the little cherub.
She was perfect.
All of our last foster placements were boys.
It was a joy to have this doll baby in our home. And we came to serve, not be served.
But the truth is, I had wanted a little girl for a long time.
Not my will be done, but thine.
As my husband walked the floor with the pink bundle, he sang George Straight lullabies. She cooed and a tiny hand reached up and touch his beard. I saw her smile at him, he smiled back and continued to croon.
My heart lurched. My throat tightened. My eyes burned.
“Oh honey,” a whimper escaped my lips, “she will only be here for a while, don’t get…”
The words caught in my throat. How I hated when people told me not to get attached. Still, he was already madly in love with the wee Kewpie-like infant. Big blue eyes, black eyelashes, and rosebud lips.
She was perfect.
My husband turned abruptly and shot me a glare. “Don’t what?”
“I, I um,” I stammered. I knew it was nails on a chalkboard to him too.
Don’t get attached. Don’t get hurt. Guard your heart.
His dark eyes latched onto mine and he stated flatly, “She will be loved, FEARLESSLY.”
“You’re right.” I quipped.
And then… I went in my closet and wept.
I dread the hurt. I dread the grief. I dread the image of an unknown car pulling from my driveway with this little one strapped inside. I dread the empty crib. I dread a tiny sock that was lost… and then is found at the most inopportune time.
I dread missing her. I dread my husband, kind and dear… losing her.
In a heap on the floor and grieved for that which hasn’t come to pass, but that we signed up for. And I heard my whimpers, “not fair, why, and please no more.” And somewhere in the midst of heartache grace appears.
Scripture written on my heart breaks through the self-absorbed state of mourning. Yes, mourning that is mine. Mourning that is our family’s, but mourning that needn’t be celebrated yet. And I recite it out loud, although I cannot remember how it is possible I know it so well.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
And I rise from my fetal position and wash my face. Showered in grace and a new breath of strength. I go to my husband and foster daughter and laugh. Weeping will come. I dance with them to country tunes, mourning is for later. Now is not the time to refrain from the embrace, now it is not the time to give up.
For every activity under the heavens, there is a time…
And with the fresh grace poured over me like living water I save grieving for such a time under heaven when the season is ordained. In this time of grace, I simply love; fearlessly.
Jami Amerine is a wife and mother of 6-8 children. Jami and her husband Justin are foster parents and advocates for foster care and adoption. Jami’s Sacred Ground Sticky Floors is fun & inspirational. Jami holds a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (yes Home Ec.) and a Master’s Degree in Education, Counseling, & Human Development. You can find her crazy amusing blog at http://sacredgroundstickyfloors.com/ or check her out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sacredgrounds.stickyfloors/ or Twitter at https://twitter.com/jamiamerine