"Everyday holds the possibility of a Miracle."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How Many Children Do You Have?

I used to love answering that question...  In the time since Ethan's death and our miscarriage I have cringed when the nice store clerk asks me how many children I have when I am obviously buying for kids or have one with me.  I never really know what to say and I freeze in a moment of panic because in my heart I have four, but I only have the evidence of two with me.  I have said "four" with a smile, but then get the next question: Wow, you must be busy, what are their ages?, now what do I say?  Well, I have a six year old, and a three year old, my two babies are in the arms of heaven.  - say that to someone who is just being kind and watch their whole day/face change.  But that isn't always the case, I have meet more people who have been touched by miscarriage or the death of an infant in that way.  The painful loss is not so foreign to people around us, but we don't talk about it.  It is always surprising to find someone else who has been faced with living after the death of their baby, but that instant connection is there.  They understand me  like no one else can - they've walked this road, and they are still here - living.  We met a lovely couple last night at our group. They released their infant daughter to the arms of heaven 15 years ago, and then three years ago released their 18 year old daughter into the arms of heaven.  They could tell us their story with such peace, and smiled so beautifully when talking about their daughters.  The secret to their joy is their faith - this amazing unstoppable faith and trust that just flowed from them.  We asked them how, how can you be so full of peace and joy and trust God so strongly after all that your family has been through.  They said, of course there have been hard times, and they did not always have that peace, joy and trust, but they have been intentional about it.  They have purposed each day to living honestly in the presence of the Lord - and some days when they can't utter anything else they say only, "Jesus, I trust in You."  They also shared that they do not live in fear - they have no fear of the future - it is in God's hands and sometimes what He allows to happen does not make sense to us, but they know that the glories of Heaven await them and there they will be reunited with their daughters.  Then they shared - not that they are in a rush to get there, for they have a lot of work to do here on earth yet - that they do.  I have never before met a family who has been through all that they have not only loosing two daughters, but siblings at a young age and parents, going through cancer, loss of jobs, etc. and just radiate peace and joy - God truly is doing amazing things through them through their painful experiences and they touched our hearts deeply.  Oh that someday, God will give to us that peace and joy, and use us to touch the hearts of others - what an honor, what a gift.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fear vs. Faith

I have been spending a lot of time contemplating faith and what that looks like when being overwhelmed by fear.  Faith I am told is being certain in the face of uncertainty and processing hope when all evidence points against it.  That is a very difficult act to perform when there literally is no certainty and hope is a thing of the past.  Faith is believing with every ounce of you that God will act, will carry you, and can do the impossible.  We live this life, somehow lulled into a sense of belief that we are in charge of our destinies and I think we are, in that we make decisions every day in a world full of sin and daily we struggle against our own selfish desires.  The hand of God in our life is never fully known to us, and if he directs the world, then why not give in to the fear - give it all to God - since He is going to do with your life what He wills anyway and we have no control over it.  Or, is that faith - giving our life totally and completely over to him, since we are helpless sinful creatures and He is ultimately in control.  That really is the question - do we trust him with our futures?  We want to control and know what is coming ahead - especially if you are like me, you would like to plan a little bit.  Do we trust God enough, and have faith enough to lay it - all of it - open and broken at His feet and know with all of our being that He is our Father, loves us, and will make good on his promise of giving us a hope and a future.  Or, are we too afraid to let go and let God?  Do we really believe in the greatness of Him or is our God a "god" of convenience?  Right now, I don't know all of the answers to the tough deep theological question, and sometimes I don't even know the answers to the easy ones, but what I do know is this: God hears, He listens, He gives, and He loves.  He hears every fear that I bring him, He listens with a bleeding heart, He gives me what I need to get through each day in the face of my overwhelming emotions, and He loves me - so much that He willingly allowed His child to die for me.  I know that I did not willingly let Ethan pass into the arms of Heaven and if I could have done anything to stop it I would have, and so knowing that the son of God died so that I could live is enough right now to bring me through my overwhelming fear in faith.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Moment in the Journey...

As anyone who has studied or worked through the journey of grief knows there are stages - passages if you will.  You will stay inside of each point of grief for a time, experience that part fully, and then move through to the next stage.  I have felt stuck inside the stage of anger - anger at God, myself, the medical world.  Anger, sucks the life out of you, drains you and leaves you empty.  Which in reality is a very necessary stage - the anger drained me so much that I felt completely devoid of all emotion and life.  The long lasting instinct of humanity is survival, and as I have become completely drained, forcing myself to go from day to day, I began to struggle for survival to find a way to be filled.  Slowly, Slowly I feel the drips of faith - not so far as hope yet, but faith in that I am not alone on this journey.  God is indeed with me.  God gave myself and my husband a realization on Sunday - our 7th wedding anniversary.  Over the past seven years we have had some very rough spots in life that affected our marriage, and there were moments that being and staying married was by choice alone.  Our first two children, the blessings that they are, separated us more from each other, then we miscarried, and that separated us even farther.  Then came Ethan, and God used Ethan's life and death to heal our marriage.  We were two selfish stubborn individuals, who were having a really hard time becoming one.  Never have we felt closer, never have we known each other better, never have we been more in love then we are now.  Light in darkness...  My husband and I share the deepest emotion known to humanity - that of the grief of a parent loosing a child - he is the only one who truly understands, because he is the only one who also lost Ethan as I did.  When you can scrape away all the extras of life and face the deepest darkest journey one can image (unless you have been there) together - there is hope in that.  God gave us to each other for such a time as this....another drip of faith in the journey.

Monday, October 11, 2010