Thursday, April 10, 2014

What Trusting God Really Looks Like

I have found since losing Jonah and Harper that the hardest part for our friends and family members to accept is that we are no longer the same as we used to be. And I guess I get it, I mean, no one likes change and to see two people that you love very much suddenly act different, it is hard. I'm sure most people think that things would be "better" and "easier" if we could just be who we once were. We were once both so carefree. We were pretty down to earth and both very sociable people. Anxiety was never something I really struggled with. Losing Jonah and Harper changed all of that. 

There are things we see, things we feel, things we experience in this life that forever change us, no matter how much we might have wanted to stay the same as we were before. No matter how much others might have wanted us to stay the same as we once were. And, honestly, I find myself just at a loss sometimes. I mean, what do people really think life is supposed to look like after holding your dead and dying babies in your arms? Do people really expect us to walk through this life, like nothing happened at all? I really don't get how some people think. 

Me and Aaron have trusted God. We do trust God. We have poured our hearts and souls out to God, crying for mercy, begging for relief that simply can't be found this side of Heaven. God has walked with us and He continues to walk right beside us, and even before us. And, He knows our hearts. He knows that we are trusting in Him no matter how hard it is to reconcile holding dead and dying babies in our arms. He has always known that we would stumble down this path that we must tread. And, He has never once left us or told us we need to be the old versions of ourselves, back before our babies came and went and life as we knew it was forever thrown into question. 

I feel as if I'm rambling now, not making the point I set out to make....or making any point at all...

I think Angie Smith says it better than anyone else, when talking about living without her daughter, Audrey:
     "I cling to the fact that Audrey is in her eternal home, enjoying the favor of her Savior, completely at peace with Him as her Father. I believe it, but I can't honestly say that it always comforts me the way I wish it would. I say that because I know that some of you who are reading are in the same place I am. I know you long to drop a weight off your back and carry on with life in complete joy, never doubting that everything will be set right one day. It's not easy, and I would be lying if I said that when I sit in my sewing room stairing at the bloodstains on the collar of her little dress, I am immediately filled with peace because I know where she is. I am not. I want her to be here with me, and on many nights that truth has failed to fill the void. I have beaten myself up many times, wondering why I was moping around when she was perfectly happy. What kind of Christian am I? The answer is pretty simple actually. One who is human. We aren't going to feel whole in this life, and we will long for something we don't have. Something that will fill the nagging void that intermittently stings and knocks us to our knees. And all the while, Satan taunts us, telling us our faith is small. To hurt so deeply is a sign that we live in a fallen world, not that we serve a small God. To love Him in spite of our pain is a gift He freely gives to those who will accept it." - p. 173, from I Will Carry You by Angie Smith

"The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: the faithful love of The Lord never ends! His mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, 'the Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!' The Lord is good to those who depend on Him, to those who search for Him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from The Lord. And it is good for people to submit at an early age to the yoke of his discipline: Let them sit alone in silence beneath the Lord's demands. Let them lie face down in the dust, for there may be hope at last. Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them and accept the insults of their enemies. For no one is abandoned by The Lord forever. Though He brings grief, He also shows compassion because of His unfailing love. For He does not enjoy hurting people or causing them sorrow." Lamentations 3:19-33 (NLT)

My God is SO mighty that He can use this messy, messy life that we are living to point back to His great faithfulness...SO mighty that He can make sense out of all of the confusion and complexities that come with burying our babies and trying to live in spite of it. Please continue to pray that we will not lose sight of God's faithfulness, especially on the hardest days. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I Am

I first heard the song, "I Am" by Crowder a couple of weeks ago on the radio one afternoon. The words of the chorus have been playing in my head ever since: "I am holding on to You. In the middle of the storm, I am holding on to You."
Life is full of storms and these storms look different for each of us. I am clinging to my Father just like this song says in the midst of this never ending storm that I seem to be in the middle of. I pray that the words of this song will speak to your heart, whatever storm you may be facing.

And...your prayers are still very much needed and appreciated! If we cross your mind, please pray for us.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Bathrooms and Closed Doors

I have become all too familiar with bathrooms over the past two years. Bathrooms and closed doors. Or, at least this is the thought that ran through my mind last night when I found myself in yet another all too familiar bathroom, crying my eyes out.

Even two years later, the weight of loss that I carry gets to be too much at times. It doesn't creep up as often as it once did but, I still get overwhelmed and overcome by emotion...for no reason at all other than the fact that they are There and I am here. It is not just that we have been struggling for a year now through IVF treatments and disappointments and that we so desperately long for a child to love on this Earth, here with us, and that it has been so much harder than we ever dreamed. 

It is Jonah's 2lb. frame, his dark brown hair and precious little lips and nose. It is Harper's chest rising and falling with each breath he took and his precious little fingers that somehow grabbed my heart when I held his hand. Yes. Those little boys are what overwhelms me. Their beauty and innocence. How they are missing from every picture, every pew I sit on, every place I go and every breath I breathe. Their absence, that is what will overwhelm me forever.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Stillness

There are moments when the absence of little ones in my home screams at me. I am always very aware, but times like tonight, the absence sits with me and doesn't want to leave. As the day winds down and I have loads of laundry going and I'm caught up on all my household chores, I am reminded that I should be doing something else. 

I should be giving my little boys baths and putting their pjs on, reading bedtime stories and getting them ready for bed...not thinking about the stillness that settles in after dinner. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Jonah: Two Years

Happy Birthday in Heaven Jonah! I can't believe it has been two years since we held you in our arms. I remember how perfect you were, how "wonderfully made" you were (Psalm 139:14). Your face flashes in my mind were so beautiful, Jonah...
Mama and Daddy sent up a floating lantern to you today and we watched it until it burned out. We miss you more than words can and your little brother, Harper. 
Can't wait to celebrate your birthdays with you up there. I love you so much my precious Jonah...

Monday, January 20, 2014

Flowers for the Cemetery

During my senior year of high school, I took a class called Floral Design. Doc Griner taught the class and it was fun and laid back. I never realized back then how much I would use the skills I learned in that class. In fact, I never really thought I would use those skills at all. Oh, but I do now.

I've gotten pretty good at getting the right amount of flowers and other things needed for each arrangement...I never wind up short of a flower or glue stick or filler. I guess I've gotten that good. Now, picking the right flowers out at the store always bogs me down. I get overwhelmed with the fact that I am picking the "perfect" flowers for my sons' graves...and nothing is "perfect" about that. I swear everytime I feel like I could have a breakdown right there in Hobby Lobby or Michael's. Every. Single. Time.

I get really "in the zone" when I am putting together these flower arrangements. It is only when I finish them and I look at my handiwork that a wave of sadness rushes over me. Sad that the only way I can care for my boys this side of Heaven is by making arrangements for their graves. Sad that this is what I get to do in exchange for late night snuggles and early morning kisses with silly little boys who have captured my heart. Sad that no arrangement I could ever make will ever be as beautiful as the memories we would have made or the laughter we would have shared.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

One More Thing

I am reading the daily devotional series at This image and the words in it were part of today's devotional. I thought it kind of went hand-in-hand with my previous post. We are definitely called to love one another with "a real and costly love," as we help each other along the way to eternity in Heaven. And those special friends I was talking about in my last post....that is eaxactly what they are doing :).