Saturday, April 23, 2011
2003 was the hardest year of my life but it was also the year that I fell in love... but not with who you think.
I knew God and thought of myself as a 'good girl'. I was thoughtful and kind, prayed often and lived my life in a way that I thought would be pleasing to Him. I was 'faithful' in every sense of the word.
And then I met Andrew.
Andrew changed things. Oddly enough I never doubted God's existence. I couldn't. I have said before that the moment that Andrew's beautiful body was pulled from mine I knew God. Felt His peace and His presence in a way I had never experienced. I knew He was there and in that moment I felt... well... blessed.
But that serene moment ended probably around the time my medicine did- and I realized the magnitude of what had just happened. If you have a child, I want you to remember that moment where you first looked into your child's eyes and fell in love... now imagine looking into eyes that would not open. And handing back that child you'd waited nine long months to meet. It is an indescribable pain. I no longer felt blessed, I felt betrayed.
To say that I was angry with God would have been an understatement. I spoke to Him in ways I am ashamed to admit and when "Christians" would offer me some sort of "God loves you" message I would nod and then go home and roll my eyes at them- knowing that He saw my every mood. You see, I knew that He had the power to save my little boy... and He didn't. I believed in Him and that is what made me angry!
But I never doubted His existence. I went from thanking him for Joe to cursing him for Andrew and walking around in a fog where light could not reach- and I wasn't going to let it. Don't tell me about God! I talk to Him every day! I don't need your 'feel good' message right now! I know the 'real' God!
But here is the thing... somewhere during that time- of me rolling my eyes- wondering how God could make such a mistake... something happened. My tone started to mellow. My shoulders started to slump and I got tired. I was tired of blaming Him. And that day when I was on the floor with Andrew's ashes in my hand. I was tired. Tired of being angry and all that was left was a sadness. I had no strength left in me. I was tired.
No one knew what it was like to lose your son...
His son was better than me. He was thoughtful and kind and lived His life in a way that was pleasing to His Father. He was faithful in every sense of the word. His Father must have looked into His son's eyes and fell in love. And He could have saved Him... but He didn't. He let Him suffer and die. Suffer. Why? For me. For this moment. So I could be picked up off the floor and live again. If I chose to.
He knew what it was like to lose your son and for the second time that year I felt him come over me and I felt His pain and mine. I felt Him hurt, for me. I felt His sorrow and His pain. And I was so sorry.
He was the only one who truly knew what I felt when I lost my son. He knew those emotions for which there are no words. He was the only one who knew my every thought- my every moment. He saw me on the floor. Screaming into my pillow. Hiding in the fog. He saw it all... and yet He never left me. And it was in that moment that I truly fell in love. For more than anyone in this world He knew me. He knew my sin-filled heart and He loved me still. He knew my anger and despair. And he stayed.
Yes. He could have saved Him... but what happened was, He saved me.
For love for God is more than going to church and singing some songs. It is more than reading your bible and praying. Loving God is surrender. It is giving yourself to Him- good, bad, ugly and beautiful- and the best part is... He takes you as you are- and if you're not ready... He'll wait.
He waited for me.
And I can't wait to look into His eyes and thank Him for that. I close my eyes and I can almost see it as He takes my hands and leads me to the other eyes I have so longed to see. The ones that brought me to Him.
Christ is Risen.
He is Risen Indeed.
Happy Easter- May His love break through the fog!
Monday, April 18, 2011
For those of you who are new to my blog- new to my story- I have been traveling down this road for some time. Andrew was my first born (over 7 1/2 years ago) and since then my family has had many blessings and of course, heartache.
Recently we packed up our family and took a vacation to the mountains. It was a hectic time getting everyone ready~ packed. I told my children they could only pack books and/or toys that could fit in their backpack and we were off.
There is something about going on vacation that makes me think of them. The people in my life know my story- know my family- but out there... people see us- a family with four children close in age and they have no idea what our story is- who is missing.
Over the years I feel like I have found a good place. One where there is more blessings than sorrow- even though some days I need to search- more blessings than sorrow- especially when it comes to the two lives I long to meet again one day... but even in that place, I have moments.
On our drive down, I was thinking of Andrew- nothing specific- his name just has a way of fluttering in and out of my thoughts often throughout the day. I was thinking of him when my middle son pulled a book out of his pack and asked me to read it to him. I looked at the cover and it said, "We Were Gonna Have a Baby, But We Had an Angel Instead."
And he was there.
Our last stop before our final destination was my friend's home. Our lives crossed when I lost my Andrew, and not long after- she lost her Brooke. Seeing her again was so sweet.
And he was there.
Toward the end of the night our boys were performing a show for us in the basement full of dancing and fun. My son had two shirts on and was hot so took one off. I glanced at his shirt, "My twin is an angel."
And he was there.
Sometimes I feel like life is so busy that I don't take a moment to really sit and remember and thank God for what I do have- a son (and daughter) in heaven who one day I will meet again. Too busy- but then something will happen and I'll feel it.
He is there. And he reminds me. Not with sorrow but with pause. Slow down. Look at the blessings around you. Slow down or you could miss them. Especially when your world starts to turn again. The good news is that they're always there- when you're ready.
That he was there.