I’ve hit a rough patch of anger ice in the process of grieving, and my emotions seem to be slippery as I slide wildly all over the place.
On Friday morning as I sat in the backseat with my son Moses while heading to the airport, he decided it would be a fun game to put as many names together as he could. After yelling out every name in his little 2-year-old rolodex, he excitedly blurted out his new creation, “Baby Thitthy Goldie Mommy!”
I smiled and laughed, loving that he’s hitting a phase that involves being silly and creative, but as I thought about his words, tears began unexpectedly spilling over the brim of my eyes and down my cheeks.
My daughter Luca Gold will never be a mommy on this earth.
Because my baby girl left this world on March 5, she will never know the joy of sitting in the back seat with her kids, watching with excitement as they learn the art of being silly. She’ll never know what it feels like to grow and carry life, then birthing that life to the love and adore.
Every once in a while, these little realities come out of left field and smack me upside the head, and no matter how strong I am, I’m never prepared for them.
At first when I realized my little Goldie would never be a mother, the emotions that came brought expected tears that I’ve become accustomed to wiping off my cheeks for months now. But almost immediately, those tears turned into something I wasn’t used to. They turned into pure rage. I felt a furnace begin to grow inside my chest, a burning so deep and so strong, there was no water strong enough to put out the flame.
As we pulled into the airport departures, I realized I needed to send a last minute email before getting out of the car. When Moses realized he no longer had Mommy’s undivided attention, he began to whine, calling my name and asking the same question on repeat like a broken record.
“Moses, stop it!” I snapped harshly without looking up from my iPhone. “Mommy needs to do something. Give me just a minute, will you!?”
As we pulled up to airport and my Studhubs Lucas got out of the front passenger side and began to unhook Moses out of his carseat, I bit coldly at him, “Let me do it! Get my suitcase out of the back.”
We all said our goodbye’s on the curb, explaining that I was heading off to California to speak for the weekend, then accompanied by an onslaught of family kisses and cuddles. But the entire time I was attempting to say goodbye to the men in my life, I was at the same time wanting to punch a wall.
I walked quickly down the airport terminal, reaching up to grab the necklaces around my neck—my beautiful diamond necklace and a Giving Key that says ‘Luca Gold.’ As my fingers hit the key and felt the indentions that carved out her name, I just lost it.
I’m so angry, Jesus! I’m so angry that she’s not on this trip with me. I’m so angry that I have to look at pictures of her to remember what she looks like. I’m so furious that life goes on for the rest of the world, and I feel like I’m stuck in time, locked in a moment that keeps pulling me back into a vortex. And I’m broken that my little baby girl will never know what it feels like to have a baby girl herself.
As I handed the TSA agent my ticket, I’m sure my face was as red as my lipstick. I wanted to scream in his face as he smiled. I wanted to tear my clothes an pour ashes on my head. I wanted to go on a wild rampage and throw over the security bins, hitting the floor in anger, and wailing in agony.
But I couldn’t do it.
I took a deep breath as the furnace raged inside my heart, and I heard a voice from inside the inner flames.
Let it burn, Christa. Let it burn–just let me burn WITH you.
When you suffer tragic loss, each day brings with it an unexpected roller coaster of new emotions. Some days I feel so normal, I have to remind myself that it wasn’t a dream. Some days, an innocent hug can send me into uncontrollable sobs. And other days, the anger that rages inside my heart is so hot, I’m afraid that I might burn those I touch. And sometimes, I do.
I picked up the phone, cheeks flushed, heart burning, and texted my Studhubs. Baby, I’m more angry today than normal. I’m so sorry I was short with you and Moses. Please forgive me. I want to be angry and not let that anger spill out on those I love.
“In your anger do not sin. And do not let the sun go down on your anger.”
The anger that burns inside of my heart isn’t a bad anger. It’s a holy anger. It’s a fire that rages for justice and redemption—both character traits of the God who lives inside. But if I don’t recognize that, surrendering the anger and flames to Someone stronger than me, those flames can destroy and wound, as opposed to refine and heal.
And, dear Jesus, I don't want the anger from the death of my daughter Goldie to do more damage than what's already been done.
Every day, I must turn and face my anger. And every day, I must throw my arms around it. I have to acknowledge the furnace inside as it bubbles up from my heart, sitting down in it and owning every moment.
When we run from anger, it always chases us down.
When we try to hide anger, it always breaks through the surface.
The only way to deal with anger is to get to the root…
And the root of anger is always pain.
I know my anger isn't sin. But if I don't bring God into it—the One who can handle it—I'm going to explode on the innocent. And that becomes sin. As I bring my anger before the King, presenting it as a gift and asking Him to take it for me, a strange thing happens. I'm not alone in the anger anymore. I'm with the Healer—and the Healer always has a solution for pain.
Some days, it's a moment by moment process, and I'm far from perfect. But thank goodness it's not a sin to be angry, and that I have a whole day to process my anger with the Counselor before the sun goes down, or before I burn those that I love. And then when it comes up the next day, I get another day to heal, and another, and another. Thank goodness that as God holds the anger of my heart, His love is the water that turns those flames into passion, and uses the head of sorrow to refine me once again, until I truly I become what He's created me to be. Precious gold.