Today, our girl would be two-and-a-half years old. As time goes by, it gets harder and harder for me to wrap my head around what Lucy might be like right now. She would be the age that Oliver was when she died. Now, he will be turning five soon and Lucy’s little brother, Ezra, is sixteen months old.
In the beginning, right after she died, there was trauma and shock to work through. There was lots of processing for our brains and our hearts, and so much healing to experience.
Now, years later, I think less about the day she died and less about her burial. My thoughts of Lucy are always wondering thoughts mixed with missing her in the depths of my heart. It still feels like she is missing. It still feels like gravity is simultaneously pulling my mom-heart up to heaven towards her, and back to earth towards our boys. Some days I would swear my heart could rip in two.
Questions bounce around in my mind. What does she look like? What is she doing? What is it like for her up in heaven? What is her little personality like? What does her voice sound like? Her laugh? What does her smile look like? What would she be like with her brothers? What are her favorite things? Does she know anything about us? Who is she spending time with? I could wonder for hours on end, literally, about all of the things.
It is painful and difficult for our daughter to feel like a mystery to me. I have seen her, touched her, held her, kissed her, and felt her move in my belly. I know her name. But those things happened over two years ago. It is hard to not know her now.
A sweet friend of mine started something really special, it is called She Reads Truth. I have been using the She Reads Truth App on my phone and going through, “The Bible In A Year” plan. Recently, I was reading Luke 23. It is part of an account of when Jesus was being crucified. As He hung on a cross, between two criminals, one taunted Him and challenged Him to save Himself and save them if He really was the Christ. The second criminal rebuked the first criminal and defended Jesus saying they were paying for their crimes while Jesus had done nothing wrong. These two verses came next, an exchange between the second criminal and Jesus:
“And he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ And he said to him. ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’” (Luke 23:42-43, ESV)
This passage is very familiar to me. The story of Jesus dying for our sins in our place, and raising from the dead and conquering death is what Christianity hangs on; it is everything.
This time, this piece of the story hit me in a new way, like it never had before. As I read it, my eyes locked on the word, Paradise, and I found myself saying it over and over again. It felt like a relief to my questions.
Lucy is in Paradise.
All of the wonderings swirling in my head can rest upon that. Lucy is with Jesus in Paradise, and she has been in Paradise, with Jesus, from the moment her sweet soul left this earth. I believe that when she opened her eyes for the first time, she saw Jesus.
I still, absolutely, feel sad that she is there and not here with us. I feel jealous of those who get to meet her before I do. I feel like death cheated us out of memories with her, not getting to watch her grow and be with her family. But despite all of those things, I trust in God’s plan. Some days it is easier than others, but I believe that He loves me and He loves Lucy. His plan is bigger and greater than mine, even if I never understand it on this side of heaven. So though my heart wonders about Lucy and misses her so badly, may it rest in the promises of Jesus. I might not know exactly what heaven is like, what she looks like, what she is doing; but if she can’t be here with us what better place could I ask for her to be? I feel grateful that Lucy is in heaven, and that heaven is Paradise.