To one’s true self…

Love is patient;

love is kind;

It is not jealous;

It is not pompous, it is not inflated, It is not rude.

It does not seek its own interests;

It is not quick tempered;

It does not brood over injury;

It does not rejoice over wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never comes to an end.

I fall silent when I think of my daughter, who seems like only yesterday was alive and here. It’s been 2 1/2 years, and I can still imagine and pretend that she will walk through the front door to say “I’m home!” I walk by pictures of her in our home, and each time, I find her beauty and spirit breathtaking yet painfully so.

I think of what I have done in the past with her, lamented the times I was not patient, and upset that I can’t do anything more with her. It’s not helpful to do this, but it’s human nature. It’s also still a struggle to be a better parent with her siblings, despite knowing what happened to Allie.

When I use my name in the prayer above in place of the word “love,” I find myself deeply examining my relationship with God, my family and my circle. I see my shortcomings, my frailty, my inhibitions and sometimes, my bests. This prayer from the Corinthians is an unbelievably crucial gift for checking ourselves, for examining one’s conscience, and being vulnerable before God. Reminders to step back to look at one’s life once in a while is an important step to remember who we are and what we believe.

God believes in us, that is so perfectly true. Our belief in Him, however, is tested each day. It’s because we are only human. God is merciful and kind. He wants us to always come to Him and to think of Him in all we do. I am at peace in believing He has my daughter. He had seen her pain, how she was not in her right mind when she took her life, and wrapped her in His warm embrace. I know this because I’ve felt it. I know it because I feel Allie is content, happy and at peace. I know it. I believe.