HELLO, NORAH.

THOUGH SHE BE BUT LITTLE, SHE IS FIERCE.

The Fight.

Joanna ZuidemaComment

I'm tired.
Exhausted.
Weary.

There's a weight in my bones and a fatigue in my soul from fighting to survive this grief.

Not from trying to pretend everything is OK.
Not from overcommitting myself to distract from the grieving process.

From merely surviving it.

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“Trading punches with the heart of darkness
Going to blows with your fear Incarnate...”

Hard Love by NEEDTOBREATHE

I got goosebumps the first time I heard Hard Love. These two lines put into words the magnitude, the intensity felt in the daily fight for life that lasted throughout my pregnancy, Norah's life, her death, and that continues in grief.

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When we find moments of laughter, joy, or happiness, we temporarily feel as though we’ve achieved some semblance of steadiness. Then about as soon as we settle into our perceived reprieve, grief comes out of nowhere with a right hook that knocks us off our feet. It could be seeing a little one who would be the same age as Norah, the baby section at Target, or maybe, like today, it’s been six months since she died and that milestone, that painful reminder of the passage of time, sends us to our knees bloodied and out of breath.

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Lane and I have stared our absolute deepest fear in the face. Against every primal instinct, against the desire of every cell in our body, we held our daughter as she died. Living beyond our child, this is our greatest fear.

We’re mourning Norah's absence.
We’re grieving lung cancer’s inevitable finish line.
This is why every morning when we get up, we're ‘going to blows’ with death.

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We’re not fighting to win.
We’re not fighting for noteriety or a title.

We’re fighting to stay alive.

This fight will never be over.
Our opponent will never tire.
The punches will never soften.

But.

We may begin to better aniticpate our opponent and not find ourselves caught off guard as frequently.
We may grow stronger through finding rest in the Only One who has ever beaten this opponent, the only one who can truly carry this weight for us.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."  Matthew 11:28-30

Because of Norah, because of God, we may learn how to stay standing just a little bit longer.

"When the wolves come and hunt me down
I will face them all and stand my ground
'Cause there's a fire burnin' in me
They will see my strength in this love I found"

– Hard Love by NEEDTOBREATHE