It has been a year now since Noemi died. A whole year full of many wonderful moments and adventures, but the sorrow is still fresh and tears still come too easily. It is difficult to witness the scars that even time cannot erase, like when I hear my daughter answer yet another new friend’s innocent questions with her now standard “yes, I have a sister but she died.” It is painful to see so many other mothers bringing new children into their families and still have a gaping hole in our family and to be only three of us here on earth. I want so much to make everything all better but, just like the physical scars I bear from Noemi’s birth, the emotional ones that my family carries are here to stay. I can’t do anything to change that.
Both of my children left me with physical scars from emergency surgeries that were not performed with my vanity in mind. Still, after navigating the initial shock of the changes wrought on my previously unmarked body, I began to love those scars because they remind me of two precious girls that I adore and the physical sacrifices that I was privileged to make for them.
In the same way, I think that I am learning to cherish the emotional scars that Noemi left on our hearts because they remind me of Jesus and the sacrifice that was made for my daughter’s salvation. They remind me of His scars which He continued to bear in His resurrected body, the wounds that He allowed Thomas to touch so that He might believe. They also remind me of the ways that so many of His followers have been drawn into closer communion with Christ and His suffering through their own scars. Somehow, these scars that Christ and His followers have borne have been made beautiful and incredibly precious through the resurrection and their value has been revealed through redemption.
A year after Noemi’s death, I still don’t know how God will make everything better and turn our scars into something beautiful. In fact, in the midst of a world that conveys happiness and perfection, I still find myself wishing that there was a way for me to undo all the pain, but I can’t. Only God can and if the beauty of the scars we bear won’t be realized until Heaven, then that is okay because I believe He will do it in His time. So it is okay if we still bear our scars of sorrow a year later, we likely will for life, because He can make them a beautiful reflection of Himself.