Thursday, May 22, 2008

Trying to Make Sense of it all

I sit down today so heavy hearted trying to grasp the reality of all that is going on around me...

Today we celebrated the my sweet Lukes kindergarten graduation. A day certainly to be celebrated. As I sat and watched him up on the stage, tears fell from my eyes. Why? I should have a smile on my face. Today was bittersweet. I had the joy of watching him sing songs and smile, while in my heart I wished I had my 4 month old baby sitting on my lap. Today is the 22nd and so a day I would be counting the months of my baby. I will never be able to watch Larson graduate on from kindergarten, never help him with a skinned knee or have a hand print project that I would store away to show him as he walks the aisle for his high school graduation.

But today I was reminded, there is no guarantee for anyother day with my other children either. As I woke up this morning a friend text me telling me of another tragedy. The Steven Curtis Chapman family had just lost their 5 year old daughter in a tragic accident last night. We met him back in February, a month after Larson died. We had a chance to thank him for his music that ministered to us so mightily during our difficult time. We shared with him the great songs we used at the memorial service. With genuine compassion and tears in his eyes, he cried with us and told us how hard it has been to see close friends lose children. Never would he have thought that in just 3 short months he would be faced with this same daunting task. My heart breaks for them. As a parent you never want to be faced with something so final.

On another sad note, yesterday my grandfather passed away at the age of 85 from a long battle with cancer. We will be going to his funeral tomorrow. This has brought back so many thoughts of our last moments with Larson. The planning of a funeral is so much to bear. My grandfather had been sick for awhile and so really we were waiting for him to pass. Just like Larson, we knew there was nothing we could do. No matter what, whether 85 years after cancer or 23 hours from a fatal disorder, waiting just seems surreal. How do you sit and just wait?

All of these situations have made me try to make sense of things so hard to make sense of. God is clear in His word that our days are numbered. In Matthew 10:30 Jesus is reminds us to trust Him. Jesus says, "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered." Even when we know death is near, we don't know the exact moment just that it is coming. Only God knows our days. Yet the Chapman family did not have a fatal diagnosis. They were not expecting to be planning a funeral this weekend for their 5 year old daughter. Their plan was to be celebrating a sons graduation and daughters engagement. Life can change in just an instant. Their lives will NEVER be the same. They will be better but it will be because of much heartache.

This blog seems to be rambling just as my thougthts are. As I laid down to rest from emotional exhaustion today, I sat and thought of so many who have lost a loved one or whose lives unexpectedly changed in a matter of a moment.
--A friend who lost her father at the age of 55 from a short battle with cancer and a mother who was 52 along with a brother who was 19 from a tragic car accident all in 9 months.
--A friend who had 9 minutes with their new baby.
--A friend who had less then an hour with their new baby.
--A friend whose mom was 52 and passed away just 14 days after getting a diagnosis of cancer.
--My grandfather at the age of 86.
--A friend who was expecting a sweet baby girl never expecting to be carry for a severely handicapped child.
--A dear lady who lost her husband after 55 years of marriage.
Some knew in utero they would have to say good-bye, some didn't know what was coming and some had a short amount of time after a cancer diagnosis. None of us know the exact moment of death or what our lives have in store for us. At any time the direction can turn like the wild currents of the ocean. We can never predict our future or our moments to moments.

I guess all I can say as I write all these words, is in the end it won't always make sense to us. It will never make sense to me and so I go back to what I know I can forever cling to, and someone I can always count on....To trust completely in Jesus Christ and His promise of eternity in Heaven with Him for whomever believes in Him.

I can not fathom the grief God had when He knew the only way to save His children from sin was to give up His only Son as the ultimate sacrifice for the redemption of our sins. Gods plan was not death, but when sin entered the world there in lied the birth of death.

So at the end of the day as I try to figure this all out. Where do I go? The same place I went before Larson and the same place I will always go? Straight to Jesus. He promises..."Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28

I can say that through this storm, Yes I will praise Him, Yes I will love Him and Yes I will hold tight to Him. There is nothing else to hold on to but Gods promises.

I lift my eyes up
up to the Heavens
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from you,
Maker of Heaven
Creator of the Earth.

Please pray for the Chapman family this weekend and for the many days ahead as they will be burying their precious daughter and try to figure out what life is without her here.
I also ask for pray for my family for strength as we bury another.
This is a tough time, but I know my God is with me.

Friday, May 16, 2008

God's Timing--Jonah 4:6

I continue to be so thankful for the grace God gives to me during this time. I have realized that I see his grace behind me, but not always in front of me and that is because I don't need it tomorrow...YET. But He will be faithful to carry me tomorrow just as He is doing today.

I find myself not crying all day long as before. It seems now that it is at different, unexpected times. Seeing babies Larsons age is still difficult and to some extent will always be. I see more of them now that the weather has gotten nicer. Just as the baby animals come out in the spring, so do us humans after being cooped up for winter. So before going to the park I find myself praying and preparing myself. But I do know that Gods grace is sufficent. While getting ready for bed I was reading Charles Spurgeon "Beside Clear Waters" and came across this. It came at a perfect time, just as all things do.

Just when we need a mercy, and when the mercy is much more a mercy because it is so timely, that is when it comes. If it had come later, it might have been too late, or at any rate it would not have been so seasonable and thus not so sweet.

Who knows what is the right time? God, who sees all at a single glance know. He knows when to give and He knows when to take. In every godly life there is a set time for each event. There is no need to ask, "Why is the white here and the black there? Why this gleam of sunlight and that roar of tempest? Why here a marriage and there a funeral? Why sometimes a harp and at other times a trumpet?" God knows. And it is a great blessing when we can leave it all in His hands.

Let the plant come up in the night and it will be a good night. Let the plant wither in the morning and it will be a good morning (Jon. 4:6-7). All is well if it is in God's hands. Let us distinctly recognize God in all our comforts: when they come when we are unworthy, when they come in a form in which we most require them, and when they come when we are most in need.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A New Kind of Mothers Day

I have spent much of today pondering what my mothers day will look like tomorrow. One thing is for will be different. I will be visiting Larson with my family at a cemetary. Then I begin to wonder...Where did mothers day come from? What do other people do who have lost their mother, or sister, or child. I know there are many others out there hurting on this day. I am praying for all of you.

Thank you Larson for making me aware of the suffering and hurt around me

Just as I was trying to "plan" my dear sweet neighbor came with a package in hand. Left it at the door and rang. I know that she would not want any of the recognition. Sorry Phylis!! This is a picture of what she brought. An adorable frame to put one of Larsons ultrasound pictures in. The picture is not so great...the gift is so sweet. Reminding me that God did choose Larson perfectly for our family

Thank you Larson for reminding me to have compassion for others.

Tomorrow may be a hard one. As I look around and see all of the mommies hugging on their with empty arms. I WILL have four of my adorable chilren here to hug and kiss all day long and be thankful for. I will also have one son in heaven who has given our family so much, and continues to do so.

Thank you Larson for making me cherish the gifts and blessings that God has given to me. You will always be one of those blessings.

To all of you who have a child who went straight from your arms into the arms of Jesus, to you who have lost your mother, to you who have lost a sister...Happy Mothers Day! You will be in my thoughts and prayers. And remember that we can not put to much into this holiday.

Thank you Larson for reminding me that Mothers Day is not just about Hallmark cards and gifts and breakfasts in bed. For those things will surely fade away. What will always remain is Christ our Saviour.

So on this day I will spend my day worshipping Christ my Saviour. The one my son is with and the one I look forward to be with. Mothers day will not, and should not, be any different. We worship the Creator as we do everyday. We praise him for the blessings He has given to us and thank him for our mothers and chilren and family and friends...Just as we do everyday. Oh Yeah...I don't think they have mothers day in Heaven. It will be much better then that. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Roller Coaster of Grief

I have decided that I am on the roller coaster of grief. Just when I feel like I have gone a whole day without crying, my emotions go down to sadness. Even in a matter of minutes. The last week has been a difficult one. My grandfather is in hospice care and could die any day. It is a surreal feeling to go to his hospital room and just sit and watch him. It brings me back to January 22nd when Larson was born. We laid with him, snuggled him and watched...and waited. We knew there was nothing we could do to change the situation. No one could give him a brain. It was only a matter of time that his body would eventually shut down. As we explained to our children...Larson did not have his control center. Without a brain you can not function. My children know more about the human body then I did at their age.

As mothers day approaches, I feel somewhat anxious. What am I going to do this mothers day. I can't do the same thing...things just are not the same. God has given me 5 beautiful children, but one is not here to celebrate with. I do know he is having the best celebration possible with Jesus.

As we got in our car tonight after being with some friends my children were discussing where Larson would be sitting in the car. How their seats would be rearranged. But that is not how it is. Luke told Emma.."Larson is Gods baby now", and Emma said.."No Luke, Larson is still our baby he is just with Jesus now". How how much their little minds have had to process. Trying to understand it all as I am too. I am sure they wonder how to be sad. Do you show your sadness for everyone to see, or do you try to tuck it away for some other day when you feel safe to share it? I don't have the answers for them. Even my children have to grieve in a way that is best for them. Whether that means talking, writing, drawing or even crying. We are all trying to get through the days. My children know that Larson will be missing on Mothers Day as he will for every other holiday. Just another step in this process!!

I have to say there are times when I just don't want to do this at all. I wonder why grief has to be so hard. Why do I have to feel so different? Who was I 6 months ago? Why can't I be the same person? How can I possibly be the same happy again? How can I go from smiling to crying in a matter of minutes? And then I know in my head that I don't want to be the same. I want to embrace what the Lord is doing in my life. I want to remind myself that God chose our family to have Larson for a time. He was a special gift that not everyone gets to experience. Having Larson was a blessing. I wish I could have had him his whole life, but if I only get 23 hours...Well then I would do it again just to meet my son.

Larson....You are our son, our brother, our friend. We miss you so much. Thank you God for letting me be the one who gets to be Larsons mommy. I am thankful and will be forever blessed by him.