Each night I read 3 chapters of the Bible to the older 3 kids. Tirzah reads on her own and she's ahead of us.
We just read through the story of Joseph.
When we were done, Zion (11y), looked at me...with a lot of emotion on his face. "It wasn't worth it, Mommy!"
I felt like I could hear the pulse in my temples as I tried to appear totally normal and ask what he meant.
"Well...you know. Joseph. I mean he was thrown in a pit by his brothers. Sold as a slave. Then thrown in jail for something he didn't do. For TWO WHOLE YEARS. Then the man he saved by telling his dream...forgot about him for another long time. Then after he finally gets out...he's second in charge of all Egypt. And it's an amazing story...but it wasn't worth it. Like...if I were him, I wouldn't look back and go 'yeah...I'd totally go through that all again to be where I am now. I just wouldn't.' "
And I knew he was talking about so much more than Joseph.
His eyes were kinda glossy. Azlan looked at me and said "I'm totally with Zion on this". I quickly assured them...so was I.
So I spoke about the very large, scaly, elephant in the room.
I put my hand on Zion's knee. He looked away. We were all talking about us, not Joseph.
As I was reading the story...I couldn't help but see the similarities to our story. But they are children. I thought they were taking it at face value.
I spoke up.
"We will never, ever, ever, ever, ever....ever....say it was worth it. Never. No matter what God does with our story and how he redeems it. It will never be 'worth it' in our minds. The ends won't justify the means. We will always be heartbroken over our story. Always. But.."
There were now tears. Azahria was weepy. Azlan was looking back and forth at Zion and Azahria watching how they were doing. Zion's eyes were full...on the verge of spilling over.
"God will redeem. It's what He does. He can take any mess meant for evil and make something beautiful. But it won't lessen the pain. It won't erase the horror. It just won't. But it will still be beautiful. Somehow. Someway. It's just what God does. Just like with Joseph. He had to leave the room to sob. Years later. Now in a whole different position. The emotion was right there."
Zion looked at me. "Yeah. You knew what I was talking about all along, right?"
Dean said to me last night..."someday this will all be a memory. A horrific memory...but a distant horrific memory." And I long for that. Because right now? My heart physically hurts. It hurts. Some nights...? It hurts to breathe. It hurts to think. It hurts to remember. It hurts to not remember. It hurts to smile. It just hurts.
I think I'm used to hard things and pain that get better and easier with time. But this...? No. Not this.
Time reinforces our reality. I don't know how to see the last 6 years. I can't unsee them. I can't un-remember. And my memories are so very different from what we now know was our reality.
I have always said that my strength and my weakness are the same. I am all or ... nothing. Awesome when I'm all...right? I've worked very hard to be all. All...not nothing. And for the last 6 years I can honestly say I gave all. 100%. I loved with abandon. I gave everything. 100%.
So...right now? My heart is 100% broken. 100% shattered. All.
The depths that I feel this horrendous loss is so extreme. I've never said "I can't..." so much in my life. And some how, some way...I find the strength to find my "can". Even here. Even in this.
How will God redeem this story? Each piece of it? So very complex. Yet, He knows. All of it. And all of us.
Though I will always say "it wasn't worth it"...I pray the pain someday...somehow...lessens. As God continues to write this story. Each story.