My son, Jordan, loves to yell, "It's not fair!" in response to every minor infraction. If his remote control car stalls, "It's not fair!" If I tell him he can't eat a bowl of marshmallows for breakfast, "It's not fair!" Even when his favorite 30-minute cartoon ends right on time, "It's not fair!"
Not long ago, I felt bombarded by unfair circumstances. I strained to recall a fair and peaceful time in my life. The family I'd dreamt of and strived for was swallowed by tragedy.
I lost a baby through miscarriage and only 11 months later my precious daughter, Angelica, was stillborn. I was traumatized by Angelica's birth-death. I lived in a constant state of torment, a concoction of grief and postpartum depression. I was haunted by her delicate and beautiful features.
My world continued to crumble when after seven years I lost the battle to hold together my fragile marriage. When I held the framed wedding photo that had hung on our living room wall for all those years, I stared into the face of a woman I didn't know, the face of youthful naiveté. I had been a 22-year-old bride, confident that I could handle all of life's challenges. I married at a time when I was rebellious and unphased by the fact that my husband didn't share my faith. It was a turbulent union from the onset; my husband was unfaithful, abusive, and struggled with addiction. I reached out to God but kept him at a distance to avoid his truth penetrating my denial. I was desperate to remain a family, but in the rawness of my grief there was no more room for pretending—my home wasn't a safe place. My marriage collapsed and I watched the life I'd built with thoughtful precision topple like a thousand dominoes.1