Monday, November 15, 2010
It was strange. I didn't want to go...I did...but I didn't. I thought it would be fine, we'd just swing by since we were already so close, drop off the things at the nurses' desk and leave.
But as we entered the maternity ward and heard the different newborn babies crying I started to feel the walls closing in on me. I felt sick. My daughter kept asking question after question, my son was asking questions, I was lost weaving my way through the maze of corridors, the crying babies...I heard myself saying "we're going to find the nurse's desk, give them this stuff and get out of here..."
Not very comforting to the little people. Mama was stressed.
As we rounded a corner my sons pointed a ginger finger and said, "You were down there Mama." None of it looked familiar. I just remember my view in the room.
Finally, we were on our way out...we passed a waiting room. My oldest son said, "Mama, there's the room. That is where we were. I tried to sleep. That's where Mrs. D knit all night, where Desiree and Dawna slept." He spoke in an awed hushed voice, as if he were speaking of a special, sacred place.
He said, "I've always wanted to come back here." He said it in such a happy, satisfied way.
"Why?" (I never wanted to set foot in here again.)
"Because...we are so different. We are changed because of what happened here. God used it to change us." He spoke with a grateful tone and with a maturity far beyond his 13 years.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Our midwives cared for Samuel in life and in death
I had been thinking about Samuel's birthday approaching and felt, well, sad. I wanted to do something, to mark it. I didn't want it to just pass without doing 'something' special. One day, my friend Renee called and I just happened to be crying about it (literally) and happened to answer the phone and actually tell her the truth. Later, she surprised me by planning to have Desiree, Dawna and her come over for the day. Desiree has been our midwife with both Isabel and Samuel. Dawna was her assistant. They were all there that night Samuel was born so it seemed appropriate to have them come to remember.
Just look at it. Doesn't it look fun?
So they came for an afternoon, to remember, to discuss, to acknowledge...what happened, how it happened. To sit and talk about things often not talked about, things people are afraid to bring up. We talked about how we still can't believe it happened.
We talked about the night he was born. How afraid and alone I felt. How I dreaded doing it all again.
How Renee came and sat up all night long in the waiting room knitting and knitting, sometimes falling asleep knitting on this beautiful jacket (Baby Surprise Jacket) so that it would be finished by morning when Samuel was born.
But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Psalm 33:11
The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. Psalm 135:6
We talked about what I could have done differently? Is there anything that we can think of that may have caused this? Of course, you just rack your brain to try to come up with solid answers or reasons...something you can know for sure, but these are exercises in futility. The Lord reigns. He does as He pleases to accomplish His purposes.
Dawna sat and held Samuel so tenderly. I remember her holding him, she had her forehead to his forehead and she was talking to him. I wonder what she said?
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
I wanted to share a little bit of the blessing that Dawna has brought with her music to this whole experience. She was there before, during and after Samuel's birth. Her worship was so sweet during such a hard time. I filmed a bit of her playing the other day on Samuel's birthday.
It wasn't spoken or announced and most people didn't know but I knew, and my kids knew...those little cupcakes with chocolate sprinkles were a small offering in remembrance of our son's birthday. To acknowledge the silent yet gigantic, gaping, bloody hole that exists in our family.
People are missing.
Happy Birthday our Sweet Samuel. How I wish you could be sitting in a high chair, with light blue, fluffy frosting smeared all over your face and us smiling at you while taking a million pictures, but that was not to be.
It never was.
It was never the plan.
We just thought it was the plan. We assumed. We expected things would go as we planned but God had a different and better plan. It doesn't feel better to me now, but in 100 years I will know how much better it was. And it will have been soooo much better.
So anyway, I made these cupcakes for you.
During the last year the biggest thing that I feel is the need to just be quiet. To sit, to consider, to get through, to survive...again.
This verse in Job has brought me great comfort amidst great sorrow. This is why I feel so quiet.
What else can be said? What can be done? He knows how devastated I am, how dashed my hopes, all that has happened, heard all the careless words spoken...he knows it all and that brings me comfort because I know this is His earth and his world and although things would seem to the contrary, I believe I can trust Him. Read and be comforted yourself...
He knoweth the way that I take.
Streams in the Desert - April 22
He knoweth the way that I take.
Believer! What glorious assurance! This way of thine-this, it may be, a crooked, mysterious, tangled way - this way of trial and tears. "He knoweth it." The furnace seven times heated - He lighted it. There is an Almighty Guide knowing and directing our footsteps, whether it be to the bitter Marah pool, or to the joy and refreshment of Elim.
That way, dark to the Egyptians, has its pillar of cloud and fire for His own Israel. The furnace is hot; but not only can we trust the hand that kindles it, but we have the assurance that the fires are lighted not to consume, but to refine; and that when the refining process is completed (no sooner - no later) He brings His people forth as gold.
When they think Him least near, He is often nearest. "When my spirit was overwhelmed, then thou knewest my path."
Do we know of One brighter than the brightest radiance of the visible sun, visiting our chamber with the first waking beam of the morning; an eye of infinite tenderness and compassion following us throughout the day, knowing the way that we take?
The world, in its cold vocabulary in the hour of adversity, speaks of "Providence" - "the will of Providence" - "the strokes of Providence." PROVIDENCE! What is that?
Why dethrone a living, directing God from the sovereignty of His own earth? Why substitute an inanimate, death-like abstraction, in place of an acting, controlling, personal Jehovah?
How it would take the sting from many a goading trial, to see what Job saw (in his hour of aggravated woe, when every earthly hope lay prostrate at his feet) - no hand but the Divine. He saw that hand behind the gleaming swords of the Sabeans - he saw it behind the lightning flash - he saw it giving wings to the careening tempest - he saw it in the awful silence of his rifled home.
"The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!"
Thus seeing God in everything, his faith reached its climax when this once powerful prince of the desert, seated on his bed of ashes, could say, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust him."
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I journey forth rejoicing
From this dark vale of tears,
To heavenly joy and freedom,
From earthly bonds and fears;
Where Christ our Lord shall gather
All His redeemed again,
His kingdom to inherit.
Goodnight, goodnight till then!
Why thus so sadly weeping,
Beloved ones of my heart?
The Lord is good and gracious,
Though now He bids us part.
Oft have we met in gladness.
And we shall meet again,
All sorrow left behind us.
Goodnight, goodnight till then!
I go to see His glory,
Whom we have loved below:
I go, the blessed angels,
The holy saints to know.
Our lovely ones departed,
I go to find again,
And wait for you to join us.
Goodnight, goodnight till then!
I hear the Saviour calling,
The joyful hour has come:
The angel guards are ready
To guide me to our home,
Where Christ the Lord shall gather
All His redeemed again,
His kingdom to inherit.
Goodnight, goodnight till then!
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
but on the God who raises the dead."
Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length;
Pressed so intensely it seems, beyond strength;
Pressed in the body and pressed in the soul,
Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll.
Pressure by foes, and a pressure from friends.
Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends.
Pressed into knowing no helper but God;
Pressed into loving the staff and the rod.
Pressed into liberty where nothing clings;
Pressed into faith for impossible things.
Pressed into living a life in the Lord,
Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured.
Streams in the Desert, May 18
There are secrets of Providence which God's dear children may learn. His dealings with them often seem, to the outward eye, dark and terrible. Faith looks deeper and says, "This is God's secret. You look only on the outside; I can look deeper and see the hidden meaning."
Sometimes diamonds are done up in rough packages, so that their value cannot be seen. When the Tabernacle was built in the wilderness there was nothing rich in its outside appearance. The costly things were all within, and its outward covering of rough badger skin gave no hint of the valuable things which it contained.
God may send you, dear friends, some costly packages. Do not worry if they are done up in rough wrappings. You may be sure there are treasures of love, and kindness, and wisdom hidden within. If we take what He sends, and trust Him for the goodness in it, even in the dark, we shall learn the meaning of the secrets of Providence. (A.B. Simpson, Streams in the Desert, May 6)
I just love Streams in the Desert. Sometimes I feel like Mrs. Cowman wrote this book just for me. Everyday the Lord uses it to nudge me along. And this one...oh how well this treasure has been hidden from me. And what a costly package Samuel was to unwrap.
How dark and terrible this has all 'seemed' (been). I long for the day when I can knowingly look back and honestly say how dark and terrible that all was but now I see the treasure the Lord gave.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
Streams in the Desert - April 1
I will not doubt, though all my ships at sea
Come drifting home with broken masts and sails;
I will believe the Hand which never fails,
From seeming evil worketh good for me.
And though I weep because those sails are tattered,
Still will I cry, while my best hopes lie shattered:
'I trust in Thee.'
I will not doubt, though all my prayers return
Unanswered from the still, white realm above;
I will believe it is an all-wise love
Which has refused these things for which I yearn;
And though at times I cannot keep from grieving,
Undimmed shall burn.
I will not doubt, though sorrows fall like rain,
And troubles swarm like bees about a hive.
I will believe the heights for which I strive
Are only reached by anguish and by pain;
And though I groan and writhe beneath my crosses,
I yet shall see through my severest losses
The greater gain.
I will not doubt. Well anchored is this faith,
Like some staunch ship, my soul braves every gale;
So strong its courage that it will not quail
To breast the mighty unknown sea of death.
Oh, may I cry, though body parts with spirit,
'I do not doubts,' so listening worlds may hear it,
With my last breath."
"In fierce storms," said an old seaman, "we must do one thing; there is only one way: we must put the ship in a certain position and keep her there."
This, Christian, is what you must do. Sometimes, like Paul, you can see neither sun nor stars, and no small tempest lies on you; and then you can do but one thing; there is only one way.
Reason cannot help you; past experiences give you no light. Even prayer fetches no consolation. Only a single course is left. You must put your soul in one position and keep it there.
You must stay upon the Lord; and come what may - winds, waves, cross-seas, thunder, lightning, frowning rocks, roaring breakers - no matter what, you must lash yourself to the helm, and hold fast your confidence in God's faithfulness, His covenant engagement, His everlasting love in Christ Jesus.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
"Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was." Exodus 20:21
God has still His hidden secrets, hidden from the wise and prudent. Do not fear them; be content to accept things that you cannot understand; wait patiently. Presently He will reveal to you the treasures of darkness, the riches of the glory of the mystery. Mystery is only the veil of God's face.
Do not be afraid to enter the cloud that is settling down on your life. God is in it. The other side is radiant with His glory. "Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing has happened unto you; but rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings." When you seem loneliest and most forsaken, God is nigh. He is in the dark cloud. Plunge into the blackness of it's darkness without flinching; under the shrouding curtain of His pavilion you will find God awaiting you.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Gideon is the son of a friend of mine. He is two years old. The other day, little Gideon toodled around in his fireman's hat at my house eating a tiny apple he picked off our tree. When questioned by his mother on his thoughts about firemen he looked at me and said seriously, "Bad guys."
His mother explained that they had recently watched a bunch of firemen burn down a house.
In Gideon's mind they were bad guys.
They must have been.
We know that it was a controlled burn, but to Giddy's mind it was just plain wrong!
My friend shared how this had struck her in regards to our situation. She prayed, "God, do we say you are bad when we really just don't understand what You are doing?"
It reminded me of the March 6th Streams in the Desert. The verse is from Luke 24:21 "We trusted".
Lord, may we continue to trust in you despite the perceived crumbling, tearing or burning down of so many things that we hold dear.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
It's not time yet.
I'm protecting him.
I thought how pleasing it was to me to see him being such a good boy, obeying my command despite how hard it must be for him. It made me want to give him more.
Mostly, I felt it was the Lord reiterating what he had shown me a few days earlier with Jack.
I don't know if I can explain how I feel right now. I feel totally hopeless with nothing to look forward to or hope for. I was wondering where do we go from here? Do we try again? Adoption? I felt frantic inside, wanting to know what is going to happen, how do I move past this place, where there is nothing but painful memories and broken dreams.
The word "burden" is described as being "what Jehovah has given you."
Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you. Psalm 55:22
Friday, February 5, 2010
I'm thinking that when I get to heaven he will say, "I've been saving some cookies for you."
Friday, January 22, 2010
At Samuel's Memorial service they had an open mic for people to share. My friend's daughter (10 years old) shared that in her Bible study she was reading about how Jesus healed the blind man and how Jesus was the first person the blind man ever saw. Then she said, "Jesus was the first person Samuel saw."
A week after Samuel was born the kids and I were laying on my bed. I said, "Samuel has been in Heaven for one week today."
T1 said, "I remember when you said that about Isabel."
And you remember?
That was depressing.
I probably did.
I can't believe my kids had to hear me say that twice in 3 years.
So after I got over that, we lay there talking about what it must have been like for Samuel. We were daydreaming about it. He was in the womb, safe and warm and unaware of things, and then he was in heaven. It must have been like emerging, not as a baby hazily emerges from the womb, but waking up, fully conscious, fully aware...into heaven. That was all he would ever know in his life...heaven.
We lay there staring up at the ceiling, thinking of this concept in quiet contemplation when my son said,
"He skipped the dot."
"Samuel skipped the dot and went straight to the line."
We smiled together (me through tears) at the thought. We had just received a costly nugget of truth from God, something we had worked hard to earn.
We are living the dot.
The dot isn't important.
The line is.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Saturday, January 9, 2010
This is from the Streams in the Desert devotional for today, my birthday.
"I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness…And I will give her her vineyards from thence" (Hosea 2:14-15)
A strange place to find vineyards--in the wilderness! And can it be that the riches which a soul needs can be obtained in the wilderness, which stands for a lonely place, out of which you can seldom find your way? It would seem so, and not only that, but the "Valley of Achor," which means bitterness, is called a door of hope. And she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth!
Yes, God knows our need of the wilderness experience. He knows where and how to bring out that which is enduring. The soul has been idolatrous, rebellious; has forgotten God, and with a perfect self-will has said, "I will follow after my lovers." But she did not overtake them. And, when she was hopeless and forsaken, God said, "I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her." What a loving God is ours! --Crumbs
We never know where God hides His pools. We see a rock, and we cannot guess it is the home of the spring. We see a flinty place, and we cannot tell it is the hiding place of a fountain. God leads me into the hard places, and then I find I have gone into the dwelling place of eternal springs.