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Out of the Mud and the Mire



He lifted me out the the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire. Psalm 40:2



Updated: 2015-09-17T00:30:59.002-05:00

 



Signing off, officially....

2008-07-26T18:31:05.667-05:00

When I started this blog, I did it because I felt lead and I figured it would help me grieve. I also thought it would help my friends and family to better understand what this loss feels like and to know how I was doing. It's been over a year since we lost Jonathan and I no longer feel the need to blog about the loss. I'm not over it. I never really will be, but I'm moving on and enjoying the lives I have around me. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing in my journey this far.



2 Comments

2008-03-30T21:14:20.049-06:00

The last couple of weeks have been alright. Even though the 10 month anniversary and Easter fell in the same week. Easter was a bit tough. The church we were at had a big door on the stage for those who had decided to follow Jesus in the past year to walk through, symbolizing the new door they have walked through in their life. That sort of thing gets me a bit teary eyed anyway, just seeing all the new believers. BUT, toward the end of the procession a mom walked through with her little boy. He was maybe 6 or 8 years old. Old enough to decide to follow Jesus or possibly just going through with his mother. My thoughts circled around how special for that mom to walk through with her son and I pray that we will be celebrating decisions like that with our girls in the next few years. I couldn't help but wander to the part of my brain that holds all the "I'll never get to do that with my son." thoughts.
I think one of the things that I mourn the most is not having that mother/son relationship. I know, I wouldn't have had that anyway, we have three girls. But somehow, expecting a son and all that joys that come with that, makes it harder to think that I won't have that. I've often heard how special that relationship is and when I didn't think I'd ever have that (pre-pregnancy with Jonathan), I didn't mind. But now, it hurts my heart.

At church tonight our pastor spoke about persistance in prayer. He mentioned that sometimes God answer is no. When he said that I realized that God's answer to our prayer to keep Jonathan safe when I was not doing well was "no". It has really helped me begin to frame our loss and what I've learned on a foundation on sorts. Of course the firm foundation is always Jesus and what he has done for us, but that's pretty broad in some ways. I feel like this part of my life starts with answering the question of what happens when God says no, to a big prayer.
I think this will help me frame my story for sharing with others. My friend Shelley said that maybe when I was scheduled to speak at church, but was too sick to do it was God saying not now. I think she was right. I never felt like what I had prepared was just the right way to say it. Maybe now, it will come together more naturally.



Please Pray for me!

2008-03-09T09:00:52.339-06:00

I may be sharing Jonathan's story and what God has taught me through all of this at church tomorrow night. Please pray that if I do share that I would hold it together enough for people to understand me! Also, that something in my story would would cause others to see that even when our life is horrible and painful and it seems like God is absent, he is there and he loves us. Thanks so much. The services are later posted on the church's website. When it's posted I'll include a link so you all can hear how it went. If, that is I do indeed share.
***********
I won't be sharing tonight. I am sick. no voice. no talking. bummer.



Things that make me happy

2008-02-22T21:45:16.844-06:00

I'm stealing this idea from my friend, but I needed a list tonight to help turn my grouchiness around!

rice krispie bars
purple
hot chocolate with marshmellows
comfy clothes
watching my kids laugh (laughing with them too)
listening to my five year old read
spending time with my husband
shopping
great memories of roomies gone by
hanging out with friends
good coffee
magazines
alone time at the coffee shop
bike rides
walking to the park
flying kites with the girls
scrapbooking
seeing MOPS grow at Faith
helping at the food outreach
watching FRIENDS everyday on syndication!
Movies: Pretty Woman, While You Were Sleeping
sleeping in
getting ready in the morning with out interruption
choc. chip cookie dough
hearing the bird that lives in the birdhouse outside my window chirp
playing pretend with the girls
watching the squirrels play
flowers in the garden
snowmen
Sandra Boyton songs

It's a good start.....



A breakthrough

2008-02-21T21:18:54.126-06:00

I've hung up pictures of Jonathan in our house. I've wanted to do this since I got the pictures from Julie with NILMDTS, but never felt ready. I've put two pictures in a collage frame. The frame holds about 40 pictures. It's a great frame, I love it! The pictures of Jonathan are in two corners and are not obvious. The frame hangs in our downstairs family room/playroom. Not a lot of non-family traffic. It's a small step, a breakthrough.

I want to put up pictures in the hallway where I have a few other great pictures of my girls. It's the hallway that we use about 27 times a day, so I would see them more often, anyone who comes to my house and uses my bathroom would see them. I'm not ready for that yet, but I'll get there.



Oh that I would reveal my craziness....

2008-02-21T14:00:44.253-06:00

My emotions have taken over. The past week has been difficult. We should have been marveling over a beautiful 9 month old boy last week. I'm sure that was the start of my emotional roller coaster. I've been more irritable, crying more easily, I've cared less about, well, anything. I've gotten overly emotional about stupid things.
Over that past 9 months I've had moments when I've thought perhaps I do have depression. Like the kind that is diagnosed. I have told myself that because it doesn't interfere with my daily life, that I don't meet the criteria. Maybe I should check my DSM again. I'm meeting with our church's counseling pastor tomorrow. I think that being a trained clinical social worker, I know when to stop sharing my feelings or down play them so as to not cause worry. Pray that I will be brave enough to reveal my honest feelings and not present a brave "healthy" front. I'm good at that.
Why do I care if I were labeled with depression? After all, I am living out most people's worst nightmare. What does it really matter?

added: I met with our pastor today. It was very good. I feel certain that I am moving toward health and am tackling what is coming at me. I think the depression days come and go and that is to be expected. Yesterday was a down day, today is better. The girls have a book by Kevin Henkes called Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, in the book the teacher says to Lilly, "today was a tough day, tomorrow will be better." I am living out that statement!



Jonthan's Little Footprint

2008-02-07T23:16:02.520-06:00

My 5 year old, Bria, had a play date today. As we were chatting about families, my darling said, "We have 6 people in our family. Our baby brother is in heaven." Her friend gave a bit of an odd look. Then, my 3 year old, Adriann said "Yeah, he's heaven. I don't know why."
Bria: he was born to early
friend: my mommy's cousin had a baby who is in heaven too.
my thought: oh good, she has some sort of context to put this in!

When the friends mom came to pick her up I felt I needed to share a bit about the conversation, just in case it comes up at the dinner table at their house.

It's amazing the stuff kids come up with. Bria hardly ever brings up Jonathan. She doesn't draw him in family pictures or anything. But here she felt the need. Maybe it's because her friend has two brothers, she may have felt the need to let it be known that she has a brother too. Good for her. Claim him proudly, he deserves it.

I was sharing with a friend yesterday, actually, she was encouraging me, about the pride we do have in our babies. My friend, Shaina, has also lost a baby. She was right. I am so proud of Jonathan. Every time I see his picture I beam with pride, just like a do with my girls. I still feel the sense of sadness and loss, but I feel the pride taking over. He was just so precious and has made a huge impact in our lives. He never saw us, we never saw his eyes, but I feel like I have looked deeply into them. I feel like I really do know him, despite the little that we did know.

I know that he was a thumb sucker, he was sucking his thumb in a couple of ultra sounds (when you have an IUD in a goofy place, you get a lot of ultra sounds). It is fun to know this partially because only one of our girls is a thumb sucker, Kyla, and she was also sucking away in the ultra sound. I know that he had the cutest nose and lips and in one picture of him and I can absolutely see the family resemblance to the girls.

In my mind he has a personality more like our middle daughter. She is more of an introvert. I have always had the sense that she lost a real buddy in Jonathan. I picture him as more of a book reader like Adriann, an observer. I don't know why. Maybe because that would be more descriptive of my husband. Maybe because the first and third girls are more extroverted like I am, so of course they would be evenly divided.

In one of my ultra sounds, the doctor was in the room and has he looked the image on the screen he said that this baby was going to do great things. The intern, the nurse and I began to speculate what those things could be. Tangible things like finding the cure for cancer, professional sports, Computer genius (Steve Jobs with Apple, not the other guy). All the kinds of things that the world values and would support his parents in our old age! Well, the doctor was right, Jonathan will do great things. He will have an impact.



Guilt and Anger

2008-02-05T22:44:23.450-06:00

This is from my prayer journal yesterday. As was I was writing it out I felt compelled to share it. I'm not sure why. A little back story before you read it. We were not trying to get pregnant. We were trying not to get pregnant. I had an IUD put in the spring before. However, the IUD was pushed too far and was sitting far from where it needed to be to do any good. We didn't know that and were quite surprised by the results of the pregnancy test....so to sum up, we were pregnant because of a midwife's mistake. I also want to tell you why we were planning on being done. I get terrible varicose veins when I am pregnant. Extremely painful almost from the start of the pregnancy. In fact that is what made me suspect pregnancy this time. Anyway, we knew the pain in my legs would be horrible, so we planned on stopping with number three.

"Father today I bring to you the guilt that I feel. I feel guilty Lord for not wanting to be pregnant with a fourth baby. I feel guilty for being angry about it, for not being excited right away and for not realizing the blessing that he was immediately. Forgive me Father for being ungrateful for your gift. Is that why Lord? Was it because I was ungrateful? Was it because I wasn't excited? Was it something I did? I'm angry at myself. I'm angry that I was mad. I'm angry I wasn't excited. I'm angry that I didn't see the blessing right away. I knew in my mind that he was a blessing and I knew that I would get excited, but there were those first few weeks, where I just wasn't excited and wasn't happy. Am I being punished? Father I don't think that is the kind of God you are. I don't think you would do that. I guess I won't know that answers, but asking somehow helps."

So, now I'm asking myself if I could do it again would I? I mean if I could make it so that I didn't ever experience my pregnancy with Jonathan would I? I don't know how answer that.



This Secret Club

2008-02-01T20:43:26.758-06:00

It has been said often that those of us who have lost a child are a part of the club. The club is a very secretive club. I have no clue who all is in this club. I know a few, those who have identified themselves. We don't have matching t-shirts or brightly colored hats. We don't see a stranger at the mall and know that because of color of her purse, she in the club. It isn't part of our introduction of ourselves. "Hello, I'm Naomi, I have 3 beautiful girls, an amazing husband and a baby in heaven." We just don't say it.

I was recently at my MOPS meeting and wondered, how many in the room were part of this club? How many of them, somewhere inside were hurting and not talking about it? Why is it that something that happens to so many of us, isn't talked about? Are we protecting others and ourselves? Death is never easy to talk about. We also don't include in our introductions, "Hello, I'm ____, I have 3 kids, a wonderful husband, my mom died when I was 20 years old." So I guess it's normal to not talk about my loss too. Actually, it might be an awfully sad world if we all did! Never mind, forget I said anything.

I have found some basic ribbon pins online that would be a discrete way to let others know of infant loss without broadcasting my sorrows. Shoot, I'm already broadcasting my sorrows, maybe I should just go for the goofy hat.



The Boy Potty Book

2008-01-30T21:56:35.630-06:00

We were at the library today. My 5 year old wanted to bring home a book about teaching boys to go potty. I said, "No. We don't need that book. We don't have a boy to teach about going potty, so put it back. We'll leave it here for someone who needs it" I could sense the bitterness in my voice. I'm not sure if anyone else would have noticed, but I knew it was there. There was a librarian near by. She probably thought I was an uptight mom who didn't want her little girl looking at the pictures in the boy book. In reality, that is probably what my 5 y.o. wanted. She don't see boys all that often, she is quite curious. But I just didn't want the book in my house right now.

It's funny that I really never know when it's going to hit me. I guess it's reasonable for a boy's potty book to bother me though. I would need it, after having 3 girls and growing up with a sister, I have no clue how teach a boy to go potty! That would have been Tim's job! But, as it is, I will teach 3 girls to use the bathroom and I will have the BIG TALK with 3 girls. Oh Lord help me!



The Grief of Our Parents

2008-01-27T22:49:24.910-06:00

Lately I've been thinking a lot about how all of this has affected our parents. We hear over and over that the greatest loss is losing your own child. I also know that none of us want bad things to happen to our children and we grieve when they do. So I have tried to imagine how painful this all must be for my parents and Tim's parents. They have lost a grandson, which by it's self is painful no doubt, but to also watch Tim and I go through this horrible pain. So how do they deal with grieving their own loss and the hurt that comes with watching us go through our loss and try to be the supportive parent? At least no one expected me to be supportive!

So to our parents, thank you. Thank you for being brave for us, thank you for crying for us and with us. While your tears do hurt me, they also heal. Thank you letting us talk about Jonathan and for not making us talk about him. Mostly, thank you for your prayers. They are being answered everyday.



Please remember him

2008-01-18T21:52:29.260-06:00

I think one thing, that I want most, is for people to remember my son. He's going to be forgotten in this world. I know, most of us are, we're not all Mozart's or George Washington's. But my fear is that when Tim and I are gone from this earth, no one will remember him. Bria, his oldest sister, does remember, but for how long will she? Adriann and Kyla, his next older two sisters, certainly don't remember him.

I've made him a scrapbook, just like my three girls have. They each have one that is much like a traditional baby book, documenting the first year of their lives. His holds the story of my pregnancy, his birth story and the amazing, wonderful pictures that Julie, from NILMDTS took. I've put many of the sympathy cards in there, as well as some that I have gotten more recently. The sermon that Tim shared at his memorial service is in the book. That is his life here. His entire life on earth is in one 12x12 book. I guess the book is my way of keeping his memory.

** I want to share that I wrote the above two paragraphs about 2 weeks ago, but didn't feel it was the right time to post them. Tonight, as I was rereading them, I felt God's comfort, peace, and reassurance as he told me what I have written below**

But Jonathan's life is eternal. We have eternal life with Christ! The joys of his days can not be counted (only joys, no tears in heaven, no sadness!). The bible does say that we will know each other in heaven. I guess that means that not only will Tim and I know him, but others will too. He is not forgotten in heaven.



Random Ramblings

2008-01-18T21:29:51.596-06:00

Jonathan would have turned 8 months old this week. The other day, on his birthday, I met two new babies. One was 9 months and the other 7 months. Each time I thought to myself (no need to say these things out loud and freak out moms) 'He's about Jonathan's age, of course, Jonathan would not have been that big yet. If he had survived that May birthdate, he would still be a tiny peanut for his age.'

I've been following a CaringBridge site for a little guy that was born at about 24 weeks. It has been incredible to watch this little guy grow. It's been amazing to read the faith of the parents as they watch their son go through the daily ups and downs in the NICU. Someone asked me if it was hard to see him growing and surviving. No, not really. It's encouraging. I feel like I am watching him beat death. He is surviving and thriving. He is doing exactly what I certainly wish Jonathan had the opportunity to do, but that's not how it worked out. Sure, I'm sad for us, but I am delighted for this couple. If you think of it, you could pray for him, his name is Sam.

Ok, on the don't say things to new moms note. I really have watched too many movies and Without a Trace episodes. Sometimes I really do think that if I were to tell one of these women what happened to me, they would get all nervous that I would take their baby! Can't you just picture it. I reveal my life and they clutch their baby closer, not so much out of joy that they have their baby, but fear of the crazy lady they just met. Have a laugh at my expense!



Hope

2008-01-10T23:17:17.836-06:00

Psalm 40:1-3, the verse that I have held on to since we lost Jonathan, says in verse 3 "He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord."

Since that time I have been asking the Lord to heal my heart and give me joy, a new song to sing. (but don't worry, I won't literally sing) I have waited for him to answer this prayer. I have felt despair, as though the Lord was not hearing me. I have wavered in the confidence that I have that he does listen.

BUT today I have hope! Today I read this verse: Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy. No shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles. Psalm 34:5-6

I want a new song to sing so that others will be amazed at what the Lord has done. Then they will put their trust in the Lord. Others coming to Christ is the only really Glory that I can see in this. I don't know that I can say "it would all be worth it" but I it would help me see how God uses all things to his glory.



Prayer

2008-01-08T23:50:41.190-06:00

I'm leading a bible study on prayer. I think I may not be the best person to do this since I'm a bit cynical about prayer right now. I know in my heart of hearts that God answers prayer. I know that he only does the best for us. BUT, I did pray for my son. I prayed like crazy. Lots and lots of people prayed. I was anointed with oil while in the ICU and God did not answer my prayer. I asked him to protect my son and allow us to have a healthy child. So when I lead a study on prayer I feel a bit odd.

I did share this with the women in the group. I think they understand and will pray with me trough this. Interesting that the only real way to have my heart healed by the great creator is to pray, yet, sometimes I don't want to pray. I think to myself, I did that and it didn't work. Why do it again? God doesn't hear me.

So, I have to tell myself that God does hear me. He hears my cries and will answer me. The Bible promises me that over and over. He will heal my heart and restore our relationship. But when?

In 1 Samuel, I believe it is, King David has closed himself away with worry and grief over the illness of his infant son. When he hears that his son (with Bathsheba) died, he gets up and basically goes back to work (this is the Naomi paraphrase, it's much better in the actual book). He says something to the affect of, I will not be with him here, but will see him there. Meaning heaven of course. I think of this often and am hopeful of the day when, not only do I meet Jesus but also will hold or see my son. I wish we could have gotten Bathsheba's viewpoint on this one. Oh well, another question for when I get to heaven. Ohh, maybe I can get Francine Rivers to write a fictional novel, maybe she already has!



Faithful to Complete It

2008-01-07T21:10:13.740-06:00

As I was chatting with a friend yesterday about some upcoming changes in her life, we briefly discussed some of the possibilities and listed a few. Then I said, but anything can happen. An outcome may appear that we never saw coming. I think that is a newer realization for me. Anything can happen. We really don't know what God has planned for us. I've learned that I don't know all the possible reasons or choices available or outcomes of any situation. I've learned to be open. I think this is something that some people are born with. They are just able to go with the flow. I tend to like to know what is happening next. So, even when I don't know, I pick a possibility and take the attitude of "that's probably what will happen or what we'll do, etc etc." Not so much now. I know anything is possible.

The rare case seemed to alway be the case where my pregnancy with Jonathan is concerned. It's extremely rare for the practitioner to push an IUD threw the uterus, but mine did. It's not generally the case that a complete placenta previa results in such heavy hemorrhaging, but my did. The doctors said that usually the bleeding will stop its self. Not mine. No one, not the admitting doctor or the nurses expected the outcome we had. It was all too rare. Since then when ever someone says to Tim or I that such and such is pretty rare, we look at each other with the knowing look, that says, "We are the rare case."

Anything is possible and the rare case occurring are times when we often see God at work. (Anything is possible - a virgin giving birth to God's son! Rare case- Jesus raising the little girl and Lazarus from the dead!) I trust that God is at work in me. He is faithful to complete it. God is faithful to complete his work in us. He wants the best for me (and you). I am still not sure how this brings the best for me, but I continue to trust in him. I may never see the best for me in this, but I know that God is a God who keeps his promises. He will complete a good work in me.

**Just a little side note. Generally when I get a little preaching in here, it really is more to remind myself or inform myself rather then me preaching to you the reader. The truths certainly apply to you too though!**



I am so glad I married him

2007-12-30T22:29:56.259-06:00

A few weeks ago, I was having a particularly hard day. I had been crying and Tim was simply holding me, allowing me to cry it out. After I regained some composure, I said to him, "I wouldn't want to go through this hell with anyone else." Really I wouldn't.

We didn't date long before were engaged (4 weeks) and we weren't engaged long before we were married (4 months). I've been told that there were some who thought we wouldn't last. Well, it's been 8 years now and here we are. In those eight years we have experienced each end of traditional wedding vow spectrums. In plenty and in want; in joy and in sorrow; in sickness and in health. As I heard these vows at a wedding this summer, I thought to myself, 'Wow, in 8 years Tim and I have had each of these.' We have plenty, but there certainly have been times where we have been in "want", we've had sickness and health, we've experienced the greatest of joy in the birth of each of our girls and the deepest sorrow in the loss of our son. In just 8 years.

The first night that I was in the hospital before delivering Jonathan, Tim and I prayed for the baby's health, my health and for our marriage. It is times like this that marriages can be so strained. We prayed that God would draw us closer to each other through all of this. At that time, we had no idea what we were about to go through, but I am so glad that we prayed for closeness. I believe that Tim and I had a good marriage before losing Jonathan, but I know that the Lord has continued to draw us nearer one another, has he draws us closer to him.



We made it through!

2007-12-25T21:20:49.956-06:00

We've made it through Christmas. Overall, I think we did well. For me the hardest part was at my in-laws (held a few days before Christmas), where we sing a few Christmas songs around the dinner table before opening gifts. We do this by candlelight and it can feel very intimate. For whatever reason this was hard for me. I was holding our youngest, Kyla and couldn't help but think that this Christmas, I should have been holding Jonathan. Tears flowed, but I recovered quickly. This was also the evening that we took the annual Christmas photo, where again, I should have been holding a darling little 3 month old baby.

Tonight as I was praying with the girls and having our nightly snuggle time, I couldn't help but tear up. Just a little, for my baby who is safe in the arms of Jesus tonight. I am so grateful to have celebrated today with our three girls.

The rest of our Christmas was good, the girls loved all their gifts and were such a joy to watch as they opened even the simplest gifts. I think one of my favorite parts was after our oldest, Bria, opened a stocking gift. She was so surprised to have gotten Barbie band-aids of her very own!

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, as we celebrated the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.



A missing stocking and an empty chair

2007-12-23T15:17:24.331-06:00

As Christmas approaches, I have become increasingly aware of the missing stocking in my home. We have huge stockings that my mom made for us. I love them. Each of them are slightly different, yet coordinate perfectly. Our names are sewn on in large block letters that my mom hand cut out of fabric. Our middle daughter, Adriann, has a longer name than the rest of us. My mother had to scale down each letter in her name to make it fit. When she gave us the stockings she jokingly said that names can't be as Adriann's anymore! Well, funny thing, Jonathan is longer! So when we decided on Jonathan for our baby I really did think, 'Oh no, it won't fit on the stocking!' All this to say that I have an association with the stockings and Jonathan. Every time I look at them I think, I'm missing one. Same with car seats, each time I look in my rear view mirror, I think 'I'm missing a car seat and kid.'I recently attended an empty chair service at a church near me. I don't attend this church regularly, but a friend recommended the service to me. Tim wasn't able to attend that night, so my friend Michele came with me. It was very nice, we sang Christmas songs in a mellow mood and the opening prayer was very appropriate. Than their lead pastor spoke. He started out with letting us know that the space is usually used by the youth group, but that they graciously gave up the space so the service could be held. I thought that was odd to start with. This service isn't about them, it's about those grieving. Then the pastor began to share about how God cries with us and how Jesus felt pain too. It was good.However, after that, I started to lose touch. He spent a good deal of time talking about how we have memories of our loved one to cherish. Yes, true, when we lose someone who has lived with us on this earth we have memories. I can appreciate that the focus of the service was on those who lost someone who had lived on this earth. But he never, acknowledged that maybe there was someone who didn't have those memories. That's all he would have needed to say. Simply acknowledge the loss. As it was, the grief of a parent who has lost an infant, was not a part of that service.The closing part of his talk was a candle lighting service where there were 4 candles, one for the loved one, one for the memories, one for the grief experienced, and one for hope. During this person he began to speak as though he were talking to the person that died. I really disconnected here. I don't get that. I do get it from a personal viewpoint, in that I'm sure that after having been married to someone for many many years you might "talk" to them after they have gone to be with Jesus. So, I guess, I mostly found it odd, that he was corporately talking to the deceased.My friend I and left the service with a kind, oh well, that was not what we thought kind of feeling. I guess I was expecting to cry, I did that. But I was also expecting some sense of comfort and peace. But that service wasn't designed for me.I will hold on to the hope that I will experience the Joy and Peace that God has for me.[...]



A litmus test

2007-12-11T23:01:13.013-06:00

Sunday evening in church our pastor spoke on Joy. He emphasized the point that we are to find joy in all things. He spoke of a question from his former accountability group that asked, "Have you allowed any one or situation to rob you of your joy?" Well, as he was speaking and pointing out different areas that despite trouble, he or others were able to find or keep joy. I began to cry. Then he had a woman who chooses joy conscientiously everyday speak. Her talk made me cry more because, I have not found joy in losing my son. How do you do that? How does a baby dieing bring Glory to God? I was bawling by the end of the her talk and just about walked out.

As if the sermon and testimonial wasn't enough to send me over the edge, the worship leader chooses to close with the great song "I've traded my sorrows, I've traded my pain, I've laid them down for the joy of the Lord" Oh, help. I cry more and silently cry out to God, reminding him the I have begged him to take away the pain, I've tried to trade in my sorrow, but here it sits.

Sunday evening, Tim and I were talking about church and how we don't see the joy in this circumstance. Tim said that he has to believe that someday we will. God promises that. I know he is right, that one day we will see the joy in this, but right now it's simply not there.

Monday evening I had the opportunity to tell my pastor, who is a dear friend, that I simply have not found the joy in my circumstance. My friend, of course felt horrible for making me cry. I told him, what I did realize was, that I am still angry at God for taking away my baby and I'm really not doing as well as I think I am. While he still felt bad, he said "I'm glad it could be litmus test for you." Me too.



My three girls.

2007-11-28T22:59:55.326-06:00

We have three girls. They are beautiful, lively, smart, lively, precious, and everything little girls are supposed to be. They do a great job driving me nuts, making me smile, and I am proud of them. Lately as I have been praying with them each night I have thanked the Lord for allowing me to experience being their mother. I'm sure I took this for granted before. In fact, I didn't realize until tonight that I have been thanking the Lord for allowing me to have them here. It really is such a privilege to have these precious girls here. They have taught me so much about who I want to be and who I really am. God has used these girls (I think he is using of them more than the others ;) ) to bring me to my knees in many ways.

So now I wonder, what will Jonathan teach me? Or rather what is God teaching me about myself and others through my experience with and without Jonathan.

Thank you Lord for allowing me to raise my daughters. For letting me snuggle with them, teach them to make cookies, be a friend, and discipline when they need it. Help me to be the mother that you have created me to be for them.



I'm am quite irrational

2007-11-28T22:42:57.020-06:00

I must confess that I feel like a bit of a fraud when I look back on what I have shared with you. I've included, so far, the ways that I have grown and what I have learned theologically. The one poem wasn't even written by me, although it did express my feelings well. The truth is that I am often quite irrational about losing my son.

I cry at night. Not every night, but often enough. I beg God to give me my son back. Now that would be a huge miracle, considering his remains are in a lovely urn in our bedroom. I still beg God to tell me why he took my son. Why can't I hold him and raise him. Why can't I find joy in his triumphs and get frustrated when he doesn't listen to and obey his mother?!

I still have so many what ifs. They tend to be things like. "What if I had rested more?" "I should have fought harder for him after he was born." The biggest and scariest is, "What if the due date that I originally thought was right, was?" He would have been a week or so farther along. So then maybe the doctors would have fought for him too. I know that their due date was accurate. I had about 5 or 6 ultra sounds that confirmed his size/age, so I am simply an irrational grieving mother.

The point here isn't to make you bawl, but rather to let you know that while I am doing alright, I'm not great. The truth is that I hurt. My heart hurts and my arms ache.



My son is NOT an angel. Here's why.....

2007-11-24T22:37:28.487-06:00

One thing that I have heard or read many times is people referring to my son as an angel. Each time something inside of me would cringe. I know in my heart that he is not an angel, but rather, this notion of people becoming angels a way to help people grieve. That being said, I felt the need to find out what God says about babies who die. I knew in my heart and mind that Jonathan is in heaven, praising God. Now I wanted to know why I believed that in heaven, they are human souls, not angels.

Whenever I have a theological question I ask my husband. He is great at taking the complexity of theology and making it practical. When I asked him this he simply handed me a systematic theology book and showed me the chapter on angels. That was perfect! So according to Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem this is evidence that angels and people are two separately created beings and people don't become angels.

First it is never said that angels are made in God's image. Grudem points out that since being made in the image or like God does describe humans, according to several passages, it is easily concluded that we are more like God than the angels.

One verse that troubled me in my search was Hebrews 2:7 "for a little while [we are] lower than the angels" Well, how can it be that we are lower than the angels? But the key here is "for a little while." When we are in heaven we will rule over the angels. Grudem points to 1 Cor.6:3 here "Do you know that we are to judge angels?"

Great evidence of God's love for humans is shown in 2 Peter 2:4 "For God did not spare even the angels who sinned. He threw them into hell, in gloomy pits of darkness, where they are being held until the day of judgment." God provided a way for us to spend eternity with him, but when an angel sins, the are sent to hell. There is no redemptive plan for them. How much does God love us? Certainly more then the angels. Read Hebrews 2:16.

With this in mind, I do have to believe that we are not reincarnated, if you will, into angels when we die. That also means that dear Jonathan is not my guardian angel or anyone else's. He is simply in the presence of God, worshiping our great creator. In the words of King David, "I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me." 2 Samuel 12:23.



My New Normal

2007-11-16T16:02:17.378-06:00

Today would be Jonathan's 6 month birthday. Six months is such a fun stage with the smiles they begin to share. This poem is one that I saw posted elsewhere with permission to reprint and make more personal. As I read it, I truly identified with it and thought I'd pass it along. It gives good insight to what is happening with someone who has lost a baby.Finding My New NormalNormal for me is waking up every day, praying that this is all a bad dream.Normal for me is going through my day, knowing that this is not what I had planned.Normal is having tears waiting behind every smile knowing that someone important is missing from all the important events in my family's life.Normal is having new friends, that also share a similar loss, because many of my 'old' friends have stopped calling, because they don't know what to say.Normal is seeing a bouquet of beautiful flowers, and then when I smell their fragrance, I am reminded once again of Jonathan's death.Normal is feeling like I can't sit another minute without getting up and screaming.Normal is not sleeping very well because a thousand 'what ifs' and 'why didn’t I’s' go through my head constantly.Normal is reliving the day Jonathan died continuously through my eyes, mind and heart.Normal is having continually being busy so I don’t have to think about how my life is so different.Normal is staring at every baby who looks like he would be Jonathan's age and then thinking of the age he would be now and not being able to imagine it. And then wondering why it matters, he never will be.Normal is every happy event in my life always being backed up with sadness lurking close behind because of my broken heart.Normal is telling the story of Jonathan's death as if it were an everyday common place event, and then seeing the horror in someone's eyes at how awful it sounds, and yet realizing it has become a part of my "normal".Normal is having some people afraid to even mention Jonathan’s name in fear of upsetting me.Normal is making sure that others remember him.Normal is that after Jonathan's death, everyone else goes on with their lives but we continue to grieve his loss forever.Normal is having those closest to me, not understand that.Normal is listening to people compare events in their life to your loss. Losing a parent or grandparent is horrible, but losing your own child is unnatural. And, let's not talk about your pets death...Normal is trying not to cry all day, because I know my mental health and my family's survival depends on it.Normal is realizing that I do cry everyday and it is ok.Normal is being impatient with everything and everyone.Normal is a new friendship with another grieving mother, talking and crying together over our children and our new lives.Normal is not listening to people make excuses for God. "God may have done this because..." I love God. I know that Jonathan is in Heaven, but hearing people try to make up excuses as to why babies are taken from their mothers is not appreciated and makes absolutely no sense to me.Normal is being too tired to care if I cleaned the house, did the laundry or if there is any food in the house.Normal is wondering this time whether I am going to say I have three children or four. Yet when I say I have three children to avoid the situation of explaining his death, I feel horrible as if I have betrayed Jonathan.Normal is asking God why he took my child's life instead of mine?Normal is feeling that only de[...]



Accepting help from the body of Christ (and others)

2007-11-15T09:15:57.872-06:00

God has taught me to accept help from others. I think there are two reasons for us to accept the help of others. First, God uses his body to lift us up. I've never seen the actual hand of God come down from heaven to lift or comfort, not that it couldn't happen. He uses his people to support us when we need it. So by accepting help we allowing God to comfort and heal us in physical ways. We learn more about him when others are helping us the tough times. Help from others isn't just for when we have a loss or some other awful event. God offers his help in physical ways so often in our normal life. I've learned to consider it a blessing that others want to help me.
Second, when we allow others to help it blesses them. Not long after we lost Jonathan, our neighbors had a baby. They are not part of a church, so when I asked them if anyone was bringing meals, they looked at me a bit funny and said no. Our small group women brought them meals. It felt great to help them. I had received so much help during that time that bringing a meal to someone else was a great blessing to me. So often when someone helped our family after our loss, we thank them, of course. But the response was also one of thanks. Thank you for letting me help. So many people want to help. We need to let them. This allows us and them to experience God in new ways.