She’d be 14 today. It would be time for a driver’s permit. There’d be makeup, clothes, texting her friends. Would she be a girly-girl or be a tad-bit tomboy? Quiet? Shy? Outgoing? Would she be a bookworm or an artist? Writer or actress? Would she enjoy coffee dates with me or going running with her dad?

As more time passes, my heart, though healed, still hurts so much. As her siblings grow into such amazing people, I ache over what will never be for her – or us. At least not here.

This year has been difficult. My pain has been closer to the surface, and it’s tough to say exactly why. Yes, they say time heals all wounds, but I’m not sure I believe that. Time does not heal all scars. In many ways, the scar in my life left by sweet Abby’s absence becomes more prominent as the permanence of life without her really sets in.

The loss of a child is unlike anything else. We’ve even had people say, “Well, aren’t you glad you have other children?” To which I want to reply, (but thankfully haven’t), “Sure. Let’s cut off your right arm. Aren’t you glad you have another one?” Of course I’m grateful that God saw fit to give us more children, but none of our other kids take her place. None of them fill the spot reserved for her in our hearts. Every family picture is missing someone. She was here. She was real. She is gone.

Although some moments can still get pretty dark, it’s not often entire days or weeks anymore. We laugh. We have fun. We experience lots of joy. Then her name comes up, or we turn and see her picture, or we see a girl her age. There’s a twinge of pain at that moment. We feel the scar the wound has left.

Our only hope in all these years has been this: Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again. Throughout history, believers have clung to this truth in the suffering and pain of life. This won’t last forever. We won’t hurt forever. We will be together forever. Because of Christ. I believe this.

When He comes again, all the pain will be gone. All the tears wiped away. Only joy. Only peace. No more wounds. And the only scars will be His.

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