Saturday, July 26, 2014

Storming the castle and other cool moves.

I thought I was doing pretty well.
I cried less.
I laughed more.
I didn't forget but it didn't hurt as much to remember.
I played with my sons while thinking of my daughter.
I was engaged and present with them.
I didn't feel like being physically sick when the 13th rolled around this month.
I could actually look at my friend's 25 week pregnancy update without completely losing it.
I even looked wistfully at her belly picture thinking about what my belly would have looked like as I would have been 25 weeks along as well.

Then Wednesday came.

I felt withdrawn.
I wanted nothing more than to go back to bed.
I wanted to hide away.
I wanted to get lost in the online world.
I didn't want my husband to go to work because the thought of the boys needing me was overwhelming.
I tried to keep it together. I really did.

But then my husband gave me the look and asked me the question.
"What's wrong?...."
I tried to brush him off and just tell him I was in a funk.
Just a weird mood that I couldn't shake.
"You miss her a lot today....don't you?..."
And that's when I lost it.

Tears came.
I couldn't stop them.
I couldn't hold it back anymore.
It felt like my secret was out.

I tried to hide it from the boys.
Tried to keep it together for them.

I'm not sure if our 4 year old asked my husband or if my husband just told him,
but he knew mommy's heart was sad.
He bound into the kitchen, dimples showing, arms open wide, and embraced me.
He wrapped his sweet little arms around my neck and held me as I held him.

"Mommy, I know your heart is sad today. So here's the deal..." In his typical 4 year old fashion he lays out a plan for our day full of snuggles and movies, extra hugs and kisses, and helping out with his brother.

I cried on and off all day.
I tried to hide it as best I could.
We snuggled and watched a movie.
Even Bug, who is usually on the go, climbed up to snuggle me completely on his own.

As I worked on making dinner that night I cried while cutting up onions.
I didn't think it was noticed as Monkey didn't say anything and wouldn't really look at me.
But as we ate dinner he said, "Wow mommy! These onions are TASTYYY! Even if they did make your eyes cry."

Oh that boy.

I decided we would end the day a little happier.
We walked to the doughnut shop.
Ice coffee for mommy and a doughnut to share for the boys.
"THIS is a happy ending to a sad heart day." -Monkey
We brought back our treats and watched Turbo.
And yes, I cried some more.

The next day Monkey asked me if my heart was still sad.
When I told him it was feeling much better, he looked proud and accomplished.
He told me that we would snuggle more that day to help my heart be even less sad.
As I watched my boys play sweetly together with their castle set, well as sweetly as they can while storming the castle gates, I couldn't help but imagine what it would have been like in two years. Monkey 6, Bug 4, Zoe 2. The three of them storming the castle gates together, slaying dragons, and taking on the world.

Later that night he asked me why my heart was sad.
I didn't know how to answer him.
He had asked me questions before.
I told him that mommy just missed some people a lot.
He asked me who I missed.
I didn't want to lie to him.
I didn't know what other questions may come if I told him I missed his sister.
I didn't feel it was fair to my husband for me to tell our son alone.
I told him I missed his daddy a lot that day.
I was relived that I hadn't had to lie but that I didn't have to tell him everything.
He asked me who else I missed.
People. I said people. That's plural.
I told him I also missed his Mima.
He asked me who else.
I knew he wanted the full truth.

I had so many thoughts.
How do I do this? How do I tell my oldest son that he has a baby sister in heaven?
What is the right thing to do? Do I tell him? Is telling him that news for me or him?
What might that do to him? Why isn't there a manual for this?!

I quickly changed the topic and got him distracted with something else.
I felt relived at first but quickly realized he just needed to know the full truth.
I told my husband that night about the conversation that took place.
We just sat together in silent sadness.
Sad for the life we have lost with our daughter.
Sad for the sister our sons are missing out on.

Today was a beautiful day.
The sun was shining.
Unplanned, my husband and I took Monkey into the backyard and sat at the picnic table together.
We began telling him how there had been a baby in mommy's tummy.
We told him how she's now with Jesus.
We reminded him of when mommy was really sick and he helped feed his brother dinner and friends and family brought us some dinners.
We told him what his sister's name was.
We told him we love her and miss her and how that makes us sad.

He listened intently.
His sweet little 4 year old mind trying to take it all in.
He asked us if we'll ever get to hold her.
He asked us if she was going to come back.

We told him that it doesn't work that way.
We told him we'll hold her some day when we go to live in heaven with Jesus too.
We told him how happy she is in heaven with Jesus.
We told him that it's ok to be sad and to miss her.
We told him it's ok to talk about Zoe and ask us questions.

He flashed his dimple smile and his eyes lit up as he said,
"Zoe would have loved me. I would have taught her all sorts of cool things."
And with that he took off into the backyard, showing off his ninja moves, and other cool things he would have taught his little sister.

We did the best we knew how.
And for now, that was enough.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Is God still Faithful?

The night my heart was breaking and I was losing our baby I created a playlist.
I titled it "Sad" because that's how I felt.
I began to add song after song.
I listened to the playlist I had created every day.

I had a deadline to meet for a dog expo I would be attending at the end of April.
I focused on sewing and listening to the playlist.
One day I really heard the lyrics to one of the songs I had added to my playlist.

"I am broken, I am bleeding
I am scared and I’m confused...

I am weary, unbelieving

God, please help my unbelief

'Cause You are faithful

Yes, You are faithful"

I listened.
That had been the word I had been  using to describe exactly how I felt inside.
Physically my body had bled and it felt like my heart would never stop bleeding.
I was terrified. Had I caused this? Just days before I had carried my oldest son's bike through the house and outside for him to ride it. As I picked it up and carried it, "hmmm, should I be doing this? I wonder if its really wise for me to be carrying this bike."
I was so confused as to why God would give us a baby we initially didn't want, but fell in love with, then take her away.
I was weary to the core. A deep kind of tired that no amount of sleep could touch.

"I will proclaim it to the world
I will declare it to my heart
I'll sing it when the sun is shining
I will scream it in the dark

You are faithful
You are faithful
When You give and when You take away
Even then, still Your Name is Faithful"

I have to confess that I had times when I really questioned God.
I remember listening to this song and thinking, "I know in my head that God is faithful but my heart is so broken right now that I think it's forgotten."

It felt easy to tell the world that God was faithful but I had moments where deep inside my very being I wasn't so sure if I still felt and believed that.
He had given us a baby that was then taken away.
Just after I had given God my heart in a way I never had before my world was rocked to the core.
Was God still really faithful in those moments?
I wondered why He couldn't ease me into this new life.

As I listened to the words I thought through how easy it was for me to share God and what I claimed to believe while in Africa. But now? Sure, I could still tell others what I though I should say or what I thought they wanted to hear, but deep down inside me I wasn't so sure.
I was shaken to my core.

As a teenager I had been able to shout it from the mountain top.
Now as a mother who had just lost a child I had a hard time whispering it to my heart.
It didn't seem fair. He gave me this baby and then took her away? How could He still be faithful?

"And with everything inside of me

I am choosing to believe

You are faithful"

We had friends over for group one Sunday afternoon and while honestly I don't remember much else about the conversation I do remember what my friend Melissa shared.
She talked about how they sang "Christ Is Enough" by Hillsong. The chorus,
"I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back."
She went on to talk about how we have chosen this life. 
We have chosen to follow Jesus. Are we going to live like it or are we going to turn back like Lot's wife? (You know, the woman who looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt? yeah her.)

Isn't that like us though? To want to just stay with what we're use to.
To want to go back when we come upon something difficult.

So I decided I would declare it to my heart.
I would scream in the dark places that I was walking through that God was still faithful.
And now as I look back during some of the darkest days in my life I can see His presence.
I can see the ways in which He was faithful and reminded me He hadn't left.

So I will continue to say yes.
I will continue to say that God is faithful.
I will continue to believe.

Photo Credit

And just in case you want to listen to the song you can click this link: