Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Isaiah 9:6

Driving to St. Louis last week... It was dark outside, nick was driving, Ava was watching a movie and I was crying quietly as I scrolled through pictures of my precious boy and the journey we were on this time last year. All I wanted was to be home and now all I want is to be wherever Noah is. C.S. Lewis said it well when he wrote in A Grief Observed,
To kiss those cheeks again, what I wouldn't give.
"No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.

At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is  uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me."

It's an odd thing to grieve. It comes and goes. At times I have founds myself speechless and quiet, trying to hold back sobs, while everyone just admires their littles ones and goes on and on about how amazing they are and how blessed they are to watch them grow up. There are days, like recently, where I have had to apologize after for being so blunt as to use the words, "dead kid card" while describing how a certain person in our life never charges us when we use her for her services. I said it as if noah was our ticket to getting "special privledges". Which is totally untrue. We are simply loved and blessed by this particular person and she chooses to love on us by letting us have a price break. I realized it sounded so tacky and I had to apologize and thankfully that person knows I just say things like they are and wasn't meaning to be rude. I just call it like I see it and I have a dead kid. I didn't choose it, I certainly never wanted to be someone who has to go on this journey of child loss, grief and turmoil. I just have to take things a day at a time and try my best to be thankful and praise Him for everything in every situation I find myself in. Sometimes finding the humor is part of that process.

 I've been seeing all these blogs being reposted with titles like, "10 things to do while on the toilet" "18 things I wish I knew when I was 5" "44 things your mom never told you about boiling perfect eggs" it's been driving me crazy. I read a few and some I enjoyed, others not so much. There was one on grief and I agreed with it. I do feel like the more I learn about grief the more I feel like everyone knows what I don't know and is waiting for me to join the grief club and get on with life. Sometimes I feel like people are wondering when I am going to get over it and not talk about it anymore or be ok finally.  I am thankful that Christ doesn't deal with us in lists. Although, I have a slight obsession with them. I just know that The Lord lets me deal with all of this as I need to. He is patient and kind. He doesn't push me or try to make me feel things I don't want. He lets me not want another baby on Monday and by Thursday change my mind. He knows that part of my motherhood feels black and empty. He knows that nothing will ever fill that place that my boy should tangibly be. I kind of wonder some days, if the further we get from Noah's death if I will have anything left to write, but I know God is always teaching me something.

Death is such a hard thing. It effects each person left here on earth, differently. May God comfort and hold each one hurting, today and always.

So, my list for today?

Be intentional
Hug your children
Love them well
Tell your spouse you love them and mean it
Do something for someone just because
Take a minute and slow down.
TPaw & The Mighty Noah
Do what you say you will do
Mean what you say
Start a tradition
Keep a tradition
Give thanks
Let it go
Lay it down
Don't turn back

Isaiah 9:6 is a typical Christmas time verse and I felt it has been so over used, but recently I have realized that it is an absolutely incredible verse for everyone, but especially those hurting and grieving deeply.

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

When I think about the journey we have been on since may of 2012, I think of the depth of pain I have endured on so many levels, the lonely feeling nights, the long days, the months that dragged on and on, the times when I was more than helpless and somehow each of these names of Christ have found me in the place I'm in at the time.

Wonderful Counselor
It was sometime in May of 2012 and we had found out we were pregnant, that we were 20 weeks along and that our son had half a heart and there was no chance of it growing or developing. Surgery was his only hope to live and that would have to be done in another town, closest being 6 hours away from home. I came home from that appointment and wept. and wept and wept and wept. I curled up in the fetal position and wept some more. I could not attend to my daughter, I could not even try to put a smile on my face or pretend it was going to be ok. I just mourned and mourned. Deeply. Imagine your son dying. That was what I was crying about. Even though there was a 80% chance of him living I still cried like he was going to die. It hurt. It cut me deeply, in places of my heart I didn't know were there. I finally fell asleep that night and woke up the next morning determined to get in the Word and find some solace. He led me to two scriptures and there He was my personal Counselor. He counseled me on how to find strength, look ahead, wipe my tears and be strong, in Him for my son on the way and my family. He reminded me that He is in control and that He had a plan. He was and continues to be my Wonderful Counselor. When Noah actually did die, and obviously through all of the ups and downs of his little (really huge) life, he was my daily counselor, encouraging me, listening to me and finding me in my hole, pulling me out and helping me move forward. Still, he helps me get up, helps me be thankful, hears me when I weep, congratulates me when I succeed, rejoices over me with singing when I come to new realizations and holds me when I'm shaking with grief. He will always and forever be my Wonderful Counselor.

Mighty God
There have been moments since May of 2012 that I have felt as if I were the smallest living thing on the face of the earth and certainly God didn't have the time or desire to answer me or to hear my cries. There were 3 times when I watched them take my Noah to the OR for open heart surgery. Three times I sat for hours on end helpless, completely spent by praying continually as they opened his chest, worked on his heart, and stabalized him and close him back up. There were 5 months of constant concern, waiting, hoping, praying, crying. Nights when I wouldn't go to sleep until 3 am only to wake up at 7 am calling and checking on him. There were moments when I wondered how we would ever go on. Afternoons when I wondered how much longer we had with him and if it was the last time I would hold him. There were days when I felt as if my son was the last boy on the list for answered prayers. I felt tiny. I felt unseen. I felt unheard. Mighty God, what a name. Dad coined Noah as "The Mighty Noah". It stuck. Many people called him that. including the staff. When I felt like we were lonely and nothing else could go wrong, Mighty God would come in and make it better. We would have a good day with peace and no crazy. We would have a blessing in a clear echo or a day with no O2 problems, etc. I will even say, the night Noah died, Mighty God came to the rescue. He knew my Noah was  hurting, suffering and not truly living here on earth and he scooped him up and rescued him by taking him home. Mighty God. Truly. He continues to be Mighty God is many ways. He was Mighty God when over 200 people showed up to Noah's celebration fellowship. He was Mighty God when we had blizzard that postponed Noah's service so that I would have no choice but to be snowed in with my husband, daughter, sister and best friend for 2 days. :) :) Mighty God indeed, when I was able to lead my church family in Noah and I's favorite worship song. He is Mighty God when from the back seat I hear Ava talking about her bubby, about Jesus, watching her close her eyes and worship. He truly is a Mighty God, even in our lowest moments.

Everlasting Father
Peaceful as ever
This is kind of a hard one. It is obviously the name which is the most intimate I suppose. Counselor, God, and then Father. When I think of Father I have a very wonderful image and am thankful for my wonderful Father here on earth. He has painted the best picture of Father for me, besides Christ and I can never fully thank him enough. He is human though and so he cannot be an everlasting father. For me, Everlasting Father means that as I couldn't and can't be Noah's tangible and real mommy and take care of him, make it better or fix it, He can and He does. For eternity He will continue to be not only Noah's father, but mine. Nick was the best daddy to Noah he possibly could be, but Christ fathers Noah in only ways that he can. For that I am peaceful and hopeful that through the Everlasting part of Christ, made possible by his death, I will be reunited, perfectly, with Noah. Thank you Everlasting Father, for never giving up, giving in or letting go of us. You are everlasting in all ways and  you never change. Thankful for that hope, strength and peace.

Prince of Peace
Prince of Peace. Well, this one is an interesting one for me. Prince. Not King of Peace. I suppose part of how I imagine this one is that since it is talking about Christ, that the King of Peace sent the son of peace to earth, making him the Prince of Peace. This shows his submissive and obedient heart as the son of God. This proves his willingness to obey the Father, follow the Father, and worship the Father. What does this mean for us? It means for us to experience peace, we must know the prince. We must also follow his example and we will find peace in our obedience, our worship and our knowing the King. What more could we ask for but for peace? We all long for peace, ask for peace, desire peace on earth, in our home, with our kids, our spouse our job. Maybe following the Prince of Peace's example would cause us to have peace in ways we can't even imagine. Part of learning this was during the days that I could not function, when I didn't want to be strong, when I couldn't stand my baby girl and husband being far away, when I can't stand the thought of never holding my baby boy again, I submit to the King and He always always brings me peace. It might not be instant, but if I continue to seek him and ask, he always provides peace. Peace that is not explainable, peace that runs deep. Peace that makes it ok that Noah died. Peace that allows me to trust him with future children. Peace that reminds me that Ava will grow up and it will feel too fast, but to take it a day at a time and soak it all up, not to stress and freak out about it all. The Prince of Peace is Wonderful, Mighty and Everlasting.

Christmas photoshoot with Mimi, Tpaw and nurse Emily
I hope that you had a lovely Thanksgiving and that as we prepare to celebrate Christ's birth, we will all realize that without the birth of Christ and more importantly the death and ressurection of Christ, we would be completely hopeless and lost. May we continually thank Him for His goodness to us all.

Love and Christmas blessings,
Noah's mommy

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