Monday, August 25, 2008

Found Treasure

I've been getting ready to visit family and am gathering up pictures and things from Nicholas & Olivia to bring them. To my joy, I discovered a disc that had photos of their dedication. This photo is one where we are praying over them. I love to see how tiny and bright Olivia is and how tenderly Corrie is holding Nicholas. They were 2 1/2 months here...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Beauty from Brokenness

The underlying theme of this blog has not only been to remember my twins Nicholas and Olivia, but to chronicle the journey they have taken me on, from conception to pregnancy to infancy to death to life after death. I am grateful for the gifts they have given me on this journey and I am overwhelmed by how much God cares for me each time I continue to be presented with one.

The latest gift I have received is vulnerability. Now, those of you who have read this blog all the way through may argue that I have been vulnerable here. I agree. It has been uncomfortable, sometimes scary, always rewarding. I have an intense need to not be judged, to be found acceptable, to execute every situation perfectly. To not be rejected for who I really am and what I'm really thinking about. This has been a relatively safe place to do that.

Is there a deeper level of vulnerability? For me, yes. I've decided to put my profile on to Facebook.

OK, before you roll around with laughter or mouse over to your Favorites to hit another blog, hear me out. I've been a Facebook "lurker" for a while. I hack into my husband's profile and go and see how everyone's doing, share nothing of myself, then log off. My eyes were opened to see that this is how I do relationship. I choose who I want to open myself to, and when. I hide behind surface interaction and share nothing. Even this blog, while a big step for me, has only allowed you to see what I wanted to write about.

Without this amazing journey with my beautiful babies I don't know what would have brought me to this place where God could speak so deeply to my heart. So, tonight, I become a "lurker" no more. I choose to put myself out there in a new and challenging way for me and will see how God uses it for my good and not my harm.

There are some who will read this post and have no idea what I'm talking about. That's OK. God wired you to be social, interactive people and I believe that God in His goodness has placed you in my life to be an example of how I've always wanted to live. I love you for wondering why I would be apprehensive about doing something that you think is really fun. I pray that you understand that revealing myself in this way is a step of faith and that it is a big deal for me.

Thank you Father, for sending Nicholas and Olivia into my life to put me on a path that I didn't even know I needed. Thank you for the gift of brokenness that continues to soften my heart, open my eyes, and set me free. You have promised to make a something beautiful out of all the shattered pieces.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mad at God

I was surprised to discover this week that I was still mad at God. Surprised, because I believe in a loving and all-wise God, one who is kind and just and sovereign. Only such a God could be trusted with the eternal care of my babies.

But in an effort to be authentic, I should tell you that I still indulge myself occasionally in being angry at my Creator who took my children from me. On Tuesday, seven months after Olivia's death, I was overcome by a grief storm triggered by a number of things. After a day of seeking the Lord and enveloping myself in the peace and comfort of my home, He revealed to me that I was still mad at Him.

I didn't know what to do with that. I can't do this thing without Him, and now I didn't know if I could do it with Him either. What was amazing, though, is that He met me there. He reminded me that I could be mad at Him and still be in relationship with Him. That He could heal that too, if I would let Him.

So I did. And I realized part way through the next day that I wasn't angry anymore. That my perspective had been restored. What I've discovered over the last couple of months is, the sooner I submit all my emotions to my Saviour, the sooner He can heal them and establish me in peace. And now when I examine what my thoughts were about during that time, I am grateful for His perspective, because now from the other side I can see that they were just not right and could only lead to deeper despair.

God, You are so good. You lift me up, turn me around, and set my feet on higher ground.

Prayers for the Babies

We just learned today that a family we know gave birth recently only to have to say goodbye to their baby the same day. I was talking with Sabrina about how this little one went to Heaven to join Nicholas and Olivia, and she took it in stride. Then she asked, "When will baby Gavin die?"

**SIGH** I took some time to remind Sabrina that not all babies go to heaven, that in fact, very few of them actually do. We just know more of them than other people. So, we prayed for all the babies tonight, and in my own prayers I ask the Lord to restore Sabrina's innocence and to surround her with babies to play with and enjoy.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Welcome, Little One!

(08/13/08 - Oops! I had Gavin's birth date wrong when I originally wrote this post...check out my mother-in-law's comment about how all his "stats" are eights! Freaky!)

We are thrilled to welcome into our family Gavin Nicholas, our newest nephew. We have been waiting for him to arrive for a long time and he made his way into the world late in the afternoon on August 8, 2008. We are blessed indeed!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Pillar of Salt

But Lot's wife looked back from behind him, and became a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19:26, AMP)

I've been thinking about Lot's wife today. I've also been really missing my babies today. Everywhere I go they follow me like little ghosts - I've been thinking with the "would have's". If I was grocery shopping, I "would have" had to go to Superstore because they have the bigger shopping carts that can fit two kids. They "would have" been poking each other and getting mad, reaching out to either side to pull down things from the shelves. If I was in the back yard, they "would have" been playing in the grass, with chubby little legs and bare little baby feet. Maybe they "would have" been walking on their own by now. Sabrina "would have" been playing with them. If I was having a meal at the table with our family, they "would have" been lined up in their high chairs side by side. I "would have" hardly been able to eat because I "would have" been feeding two babies at the same time.

You see what a trap this is? The footnote to the verse above discusses that not only did Lot's wife look back when instructed to keep going forward, but she most likely lingered behind and literally became a pillar of salt due to the brimstone raining down on Sodom.

I can understand why she looked back. That's where her heart was and even though an angel of the Lord was there to lead her forward, she wasn't able to yield her heart's desire and consequently stayed there suspended in time forever.

I don't want to become a pillar of salt. I know I need to be looking toward the Lord instead of back to what "would have" been. What "would have" been is a dangerous place to go to because it can only bring despair. There my dreams can never happen because they are based on something that isn't a part of my life here on earth anymore. I need the Lord to come and dream new dreams for my family, to breathe new vision into those places where our dreams have died, to gather up the fragments of our shattered dreams and create something we never could have imagined.