This is one of those posts that is trying to get out all on its own, and I have to write it when no one else is around because the tears are probably going to stream down my face as I type. For me, writing is, and always has been cathartic, and sometimes it just has to happen, even if its ugly!
What started as seeing the date on the calendar led to a flood of memories, which led to me digging out my journal from that time in my life and first leafing through pages of naïve hope and happiness, then reaching the pages covered with words of sadness, desperation and grief. And now at this point, my tears are both of sadness and joy – an unexplainable mix of emotions I never thought I could have in those first, dark moments.
You see, my son would have been 4 years old this weekend. I wrote about that time in our life awhile ago and its so crazy to believe that that was only 4 years ago – I feel as if whole lifetimes have passed since those moments.
What hit me like a ton of bricks now and caused me to cry uncontrollably was joy – crazy, right? I always think about him this time of year, and about our second baby in September when he or she was due, as well. These seasons will always be a part of my life but as time has passed, and God has healed, they are no longer seasons of complete desperation, but ones of thanksgiving and hope.
At the time, I wrote “I don’t think its ever something that you ‘get over’ – I think its just one painful thread that has to always stay in the fabric of your life. It doesn’t stand on its own, but its in there and if you stop to look really hard, you’ll see it there in the middle of all of the other threads.” It’s so true – at the time, the pain was the only thing I could see, but now, it’s a thread in the fabric of our wonderful life – if I stop to really remember, sure, I get sad re-living those moments, but those times made me who I am today, made us who we are as parents now, and without that painful thread in there, we wouldn’t be the same.
God has brought us down a 4 year road of learning, healing (both physically as we dealt with my underlying health problems, and emotionally as we went through this together) and enormous growth since that point in our life – He has shown us time and time again who He truly is, how His plans are sovereign, and out of His love He has since blessed us with a beautiful, sassy, amazing baby girl! She in no way replaces our two angel babies, but it is a gift from God that He has entrusted her into our arms and not just our hearts – when I look at her, I am still, 2 years later, so overwhelmed with love and amazement that she is here and that God gave her to us! I hold her and just whisper prayers over and over again that mostly go simply, “Thank you God!”. I feel truly that if we hadn’t walked the path we have, motherhood would have remained a “given” in my mind, and I wouldn’t be in awe of, and treasure, her every breath, every smile and every giggle as much as I do. I clearly remember a time when my arms were empty, and now I feel full to overflowing when my arms are full of a heavy sleeping toddler, my hands are full of dimpled fingers holding on as she navigates the world, and my lips receive sticky girly kisses and declarations of “La-lup!” (“Love you” in curly-girl language!).
And all of this began with loss. So now when I approach these seasons, there’s a measure of sadness, yes, but my overwhelming emotion is thankfulness for what God has done in me and for me since those times. He has truly made all things new in His amazingly unexplainable way. I can rely on Him alone when struggles come, when the hard days come and when I am low because He has shown me He always takes care of it and brings me through it better than I went in.
Working through that time in my life, I wrote, “Don’t ever stop believing in the sovereignty of God and the perfection of His plan or His time. Yes, it hurts, and it can sometimes be ugly, but it is beautiful and perfect and holy. Submit to the peace of the perfect will of God and live with His…blessings.”
So, to my son, on what would have been your 4th birthday, and to my son or daughter who’s birthday is soon after – you are not forgotten, and God used your little heartbeats to do amazing things in your mama, your daddy and to help bring us your little sister. We live with the hope that we will see you again, and that you are running through heavenly fields with Jesus beside you celebrating – Happy Birthday, my baby boy!
Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”… The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the Lord binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted. – Isaiah 30:20-21, 26