One Day At a Time

 

The thing about grief is that it’s unpredictable.  It’s immeasurable.  You can’t spend a few days working on it, cross it off your list and go on.  No, it comes and goes and there will be a measure of it that is always, always there.

Of course, I don’t expect this grief to have abated much, here at only four days in…but that doesn’t mean I like it.

Mostly, I just want Baby B back and I am sad.

I’m thinking a lot about Baby A and his/her story and how we’ll tell it, how we’ll write it in his/her baby book.  How we’ll place the ultrasound photo of the two of them in a scrapbook because that photo is all we have to remember Baby B…Asher…by.  But Baby A’s story can’t be told without Baby B’s…

And of course, all of that is if Baby A makes it through this scary pregnancy.

One day at a time.

We have to just take it one day at a time.  And as we’ve been doing all along, we have to lay it down.

The loss of Baby B is my fourth loss.  There was one between Julia and Aubrey, there was one right after Lila, there was one last summer and now Asher.  I think about those four in heaven and wonder what it’s like for babies that never breathe life on earth.  Do they start as a baby and grow up?  I kind of think they do…because Jesus loved little children so much.

I wonder too if there isn’t some specific purpose for little ones who go to heaven before they are born…little ones who go to heaven before they get to grow up.  I think of my four babies in heaven, my sister’s babies in heaven, my mother’s babies in heaven…and I think too of children I know who died still young- like Carter and like Caris.  I know that each of these was created for a purpose, for God’s own pleasure and I have no doubt of their eternal significance…but I wonder if there’s more.  If there’s some heavenly role they fulfill and that when we get to heaven we’ll say, “Ohhhhh….” and we’ll finally understand why these things have to happen.  It’s so hard to understand in our limited human experience.

So many mysteries.  And we have to just surrender to them all.  Because God is not magic Genie God who just waves a magic wand and makes everything come out the way we want it to.  He has to make all the puzzle pieces fit for the whole, eternal story and yes, yes, yes, He does everything through a filter of love.  That truth doesn’t change just because we are disappointed.

I am so disappointed.  John is so disappointed.  Asher’s siblings are so disappointed.  But we stand on who God is and we stand on His faithfulness…because if we can’t stand on that….what do we have?

One day at a time, we lay it down.  One day at a time, we trust in His faithfulness.  One day at a time, we believe in His miracles.  One day at a time, we rest in His love.

One day at a time, we grieve…and He stands with us through it all.

 

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6 thoughts on “One Day At a Time

  1. Good words. Hard words. It’s interesting to grieve, though, through His filter of truth. I see you doing that and it’d different than the hopeless, “I know better than God” filter we as humans gravitate toward. Keep doing that! I think the eternal significance is much bigger than we can ever fathom. I even had a lady tell me that a man who went to heaven briefly described babies who went there in this way, were waiting for their parents to get there to raise them. They were in a beautiful state but didn’t develop past a certain point so the parents could be there. That could be completely inaccurate but neat to think about…we put God in a box but He will always blow our minds far beyond what we can imagine!!! And even our tears are hopeful (but gut-wrenching)…He WILL wipe away every tear from our eyes.

  2. It isn’t easy. Caris was my second loss. Not many people know that. I had a baby, my Luke, when I was young- only 15. I miscarried him after a car accident at 21 weeks. I birthed him. I saw him, but he never breathed here on earth. It is the hardest thing wondering why these things happen. And grieving will take on many forms, for the rest of your life, over these four children you have lost. It was also difficult for me, because my sister Jessi was pregnant with Elias. I lost Luke in February, a month before Elias was born. The day Elias was born, so many emotions ran through me. I have lived every day seeing Elias as what could have been my son- he is my favorite boy that isn’t mine- because he healed my heart in so many ways after I lost Luke.

    When I found out Jessi was pregnant while I was pregnant, a wave of emotion ran through me. I honestly though “oh my gosh, is this going to happen again?” and honestly, when we found out Caris was a girl- I felt it was God’s way of say “Nope, not this time Maggie- it’s your turn to be mommy” and then, when she was born ill, all those emotions came back into my head. I feel like my week with her at the 3 hospitals she was at was like train flying by me, my hair flying behind me in the wind, but I could.not.move. I went through the motions and I loved on my baby girl the best that I could through her plastic home. When the doctor looked at me on her 6th day of life and said “I’m so sorry, she’s gone”, in my own brokenness and frustration I felt I heard God say “I’m sorry Maggie- you’re still not ready to be mommy” and my heart broke. My legs gave out. I couldn’t breathe. I felt so much pain and hurt and anger.

    This too happened in February. And one month later, my sister gave birth to Colt, and on his birth day I held him and I wept, because I so badly wanted to be mommy. I felt as though I’d been punished, for the wrong doings of my past. For the many dances I did with the devil and his people.

    It took me a long, long time to realize (and I still struggle at times) that God does not punish me, or wish to hurt me, or harm me, or take things away from me because of the sinful ways of my past. He endured the same pain that I had endured twice, when He freely gave His son to death, so that I may live and breathe, and procreate at all.

    When I realized that He too had felt my same very pain, that is when the anger went away. There will always be sadness. There will always be the “I wonder what she’d look like now. Would she be talking and saying ‘momma’ like Colt does now?” I wonder these things all the time.

    When I found out I was pregnant with another child, 1 day shy of the 3 month anniversary of Caris’ death, I was scared. It pains me even now to know that my first thoughts weren’t of joyfulness or elation. I was full of fear and doubt. I was afraid to do anything that may have caused any type of pain or damage to this child growing inside me. At my 39 week appointment when I was told I was going to be enduced, and then after laboring for 17 hours finding out that I was going to be taken for an emegency C-section because my contractions were causing his heart rate to fall- I was paralyzed with fear. When I heard Tobias cry for the first time, and when I was able to hold him for the first time, and bring him home, and be ‘mommy’ – the real healing began.

    I can sit here today, and hear my 6 month old, perfectly healthy son, laughing in his activity jumper and praise God that He gave me that chance, to be mommy.

    I am praising God that He has given you 5 gorgeous children, who are smart, loveable, give freely and make the world laugh. I am praising God that He has given Luke and Caris 4 of your beautiful babies to play with in Heaven. And I will continue to praise God that He will hold baby A in His hands, and heal him, completely.

    I have been, and will continue to, pray for you and your entire family, and baby A as hard as I can. My faith in God has grown tremendously over the last year. Not only because he allowed me to become mommy- but because I have seen the love His people pour out on those in need. It once was me, and I felt it. I pray that you feel surrounded not only by God’s arms during this time, but by all of us who love you and want the very best for you.

    All my love. ❤

    1. Maggie, I’m speechless. I’ve read this message several times and have cried every time. Life is such a hard and scary journey sometimes. But it’s the hard things that make the wonderful things so very wonderful.
      You are one of the most loving and precious people I know and I know that God delights in you. (I know you know that too.) Toby and Sebastion are lucky to have you.
      I love you and I thank you for standing with me in this journey and for sharing your life with me.

  3. I’ve only met you once Chris. I saw you and your sister at Chic-Fil-A (her and I went to high school together). I also know about grief in life and how much it hurts and also how much it can make you grow as a person. I’ve been through grief in my life as well…grief over a baby I lost between my oldest and my yougest, grief over a marriage I tried to make work and a husband who was not who I thought he was, grief over him dying because of drug use, grief over my children not having a father, grief over having a child born with a rare birth defect (he is doing well now after a very scary first few years of his life). Grief, I felt, was just a part of my life for a long time…and grief is something that is very unpredictable and unlike any emotion. Your encouraging writing I think is one that can help other and you have been given the gift of writing and the ability to write during grief. The only thing I could write during my time of grief was…”Be thankful for everything that God blesses you with and always leave everything in his hands. He will take care of it!” It was in the middle of the night…one of those nights where you just can’t shake the grief and all the “why’s” that go along with it. I fell to my knees and just prayed…I couldn’t even read the Bible…all my energy felt drained. I grabbed a piece of paper and wrote those simple words, “Be thankful for everything that God blesses you with and always leave everything in his hands. He will take care of it!” From then on when a moment of unsuspected grief started pulling at me I would repeat these words in my head and start thinking of things I was grateful for…from the smallest things to the biggest things. I’m happy to say that life is good now and God had a plan and the pieces of the puzzle that I couldn’t even see falling together or fitting together He took care of them, He took care of my children, He took care of me and although I am far from perfect He took care of everything and still does and still will. Through the bad and through the good He is there. You, Chris, have the gift of expressing what God’s love really means in writing. Maybe you could end up helping one person or a thousand people…the number doesn’t matter…the fact is you have that gift. So even though I’ve only met you once I wanted to encourage you to continue in your writing because I know your writing would have helped me. God Bless you and your family and you will be in my prayers.

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