Three Weeks


Sunday - 7.26.15
I've always loved to read.  I learned how at the age of 4, and have had a love of books ever since.  But I haven't actually read a book since moving to Fargo almost 2 years ago.  I'm not sure why that is.

I've read two books in the past two weeks.  One of them is called "I Will Carry You" by Angie Smith.  She walked this very same road before me in 2008.  I remember reading her blog, Bring the Rain, as she went through it.  I remember crying and praying for her in the only ways I knew how.  Having children wasn't really at the forefront of my mind yet, so I had no way to relate but I felt so deeply sad for her.

I had no idea.

I had no idea that reading through her archives and remembering that time would feel like deja vu.  Our daughters were given almost identical diagnoses.  Their genetics tests both came back perfect.  We both chose to carry our girls despite the fact that medically the statistics were grim.  And while we both prepared for the fact that we likely wouldn't bring our daughters home...we believed that the Lord could absolutely heal them.

I had no idea.

I had no idea that 8 years later I would need something that makes me feel less alone...less isolated.  That a book would make me feel "normal", and not crazy.  That my thoughts & feelings & actions are all part of this hallowed process called grief.

If you've ever experienced loss as tragic as this, please consider reading this book.  If someone in your life is going through such tremendous grief & you want to understand how to better reach out to them, please consider reading this book.  If you want to look at the story of Lazarus from a very different perspective, please consider reading this book.  Just be prepared to feel...a lot, and know that tears will likely fall.


Tuesday - 7.28.15
The past day or so I have just felt agitated.  My body...my spirit...my soul...just all of me.  It's hard to articulate how it feels.  Essentially, I want to lash out at anyone around me until they feel as awful as I do.

I can't do that.  That's not the real me.  And it's not fair.  So this agitation...it's just bottling up & I'm not completely sure how to expel it.  I still cry all of the time.  That helps get out the sadness...but the agitation just stays there, clinging to the darkest & ugliest parts of my grief.

I fell asleep on Monday night completely rattled by this.  I fell asleep just praying for God to be near to me.  I don't even really know how to pray about this.

Josh woke me up in the middle of the night when it started storming.  We listened & watched through our bedroom window for awhile.  The lighting & thunder crashed loudly & swiftly, with very little time between each crash.  Soon the rain started forcefully pelting at the window.  It was very...violent.  If felt like the storm that is raging on in me right now.  The actual storm ended within a couple hours, but mine is still going strong.  And I'm left wondering when I will get some relief from it.



Wednesday - 7.29.15
I can't seem to shake the agitation.  Have you ever seen the movie Steel Magnolias?  There is a part where Malynn erupts in front of her closest friends at her daughter's funeral.  Through tears she exclaims how she just wants to hit someone until they feel as bad as she does.

I know exactly how that feels now.

Biblically, I feel ill equipped for this agitated feeling.  So I typed "Bible verses on agitation" into the search function on my phone today.  My ever faithful God used Google to help me out.  To give me some knowledge...a way to some relief.

I read a Bible based commentary on overcoming agitation.  The author of it defined agitation as a manifestation of fear that is designed to steal our peace.  It makes sense to me.  I can admit that I'm not completely sure what I might be fearful of, but in the wake of the death of my daughter...I am sure there are many that haven't even brushed the surface yet.

He then wrote that "when we grab on to the Word of God during times of agitation, it will settle our hearts and calm our souls."  Then he referenced just one verse, but I chose to read the entire 14th chapter of John.  My Bible titles it "Jesus comforts His disciples".  While I highly suggest reading the entire chapter, I focused in on two verses.

John 14:1 - "Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, trust in me also."

John 14:27 - "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.  DO not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

And then I just sat for awhile in stillness & quiet, soaking in those words.  I can't say that the agitation is gone.  It's not.  I feel more able to pray & seek.  I won't give in to it.  I will hold on to that peace for dear life as I feel it trying to be ripped from my fingers.


Thursday - 7.30.15
After the past few days of being fraught with agitation & lots of shed tears, today was...quiet.  There was a season 12 Project Runway marathon on Lifetime which I watched at times, & listened to at other times while doing things in our room.  I'm slowly cleaning & clearing out our entire house.  I hate clutter.  I hate not having room for new, when old & unused sits taking up space.  And during this time when my mind feels cluttered & scattered....I welcome the feeling of having control over something.

But tonight...tonight my heart is heavy.  I miss Ellie more than I can articulate.  She should still be here, but my deflated abdomen  tells me differently.  I feel like a piece of my heart left me when I had to let her go.  Like I will never be whole again.  Lord, I feel like I am forever going to be broken.

So tonight I got to the Psalms.  I feel like the Psalms teach us that sharing our hearts with God will bring us closer to Him.  They are proof that He wants us to give it all to Him.

Tonight I focused on Psalm 73.  My Bible says that the Psalmist was jealous that the wicked seemed to prosper.  After pouring his heart out, God changed his viewpoint.  He realized that while some will have earthly treasures for a time, God was his forever.

I can see where the Psalmist was coming from.

Everyday there are news reports & articles of horrible things done to innocent babies & children at the hands of their parents.

Every time I leave the house I see someone mistreat their child or flat out ignore them when all they want is a little attention.

I never thought I would be a perfect parent to Ellie, but I at least wanted a chance to try.  Why did that have to be taken from me?  Why can all these other people carry their babies, & I couldn't?

I absolutely can see where the Psalmist is coming from.

"Lea...I will be the strength of your heart and your portion forever."

Sometimes I can only reply in a whispered "I know."  He will be my portion forever, despite how broken & missing I feel right now.

Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterwards you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in Heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:23-26

This world is unfair, but God is my portion.
In other words, He is enough.


Friday - 7.31.15
The nights are hard. The nights are when the grief can become all consuming.  Somehow, if it's even possible...I miss her even more at night.

Tonight I am inconsolable.  Tonight I hold my favorite photo of her to my heart, wishing with all of my being that I could just hold her.

Lord be close to the one who is brokenhearted....the one who is crushed in spirit.

Tonight I sleep on tear stained pillows.


Saturday 8.1.15
August 1st.  Day 1.  When I found out I was pregnant, I had just attended an Oula training weekend and was beginning my journey towards becoming an instructor.

After practically sleeping through my first trimester, my energy slowly returned.  I did some Oula practicing, but something didn't feel....right.

Then we found out that there was basically zero fluid around Ellie, and I knew why it felt wrong.  I'm glad I didn't push myself, and from that moment my life became about her comfort.  Keeping her safe for as long as I could.  I would have carried her to term with the same result if it meant more time.

But instead, today my Oula journey began again.  I worked on two songs for about 35 minutes.  And they kicked my ass.  I am so out of shape.  My body is weird & flabby & feels so foreign to me.

The first song I practiced was by Ellie Goulding.  I smiled & cried as I danced thru it a few times.  She is probably my favorite pop artist...and she's got a beautiful name.  It was the right place to start.

To my Ellie - I look forward to dancing with you one day in Heaven.  Until then, I will dance here on earth.  Wounded.  Broken.  Missing you.  Hoping that it looks beautiful from up there, sweet girl.

Jesus...will you give her a little twirl for me?

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens...
a time to mourn and a time to dance...
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4b

I would daresay that there is a time for both...together. 

Comments

  1. I think of you and your family often and continue to send hugs.

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  2. Thank you for the suggestion of I Will Carry You..and the verses that have been your solace this week.
    Keep dancing, and ask your husband to dance with you.

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  3. Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy path.

    Isaiah 55: 8-9: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

    These words of scripture have brought peace to my heart on so many troubled days. I share them with you in hope they will help bring the peace of the Savior to your mind and heart.

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  4. What a blessing you are to be sharing your journey so openly - I'm sure you will touch and provide comfort to many more than you would ever believe who are struggling through the same pain as you are. Sending continued hugs and prayers for peace, comfort, and God's loving and healing touch...

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  5. Healing takes time and a lot of work, and you are definitely doing the work. Hoping for sleep/rest for you and peace.

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  6. It's so good to read your true feelings and the scriptures you find... You'll probably never know how many people you'll influence with these blogs. My sister lost her twin girls last year and I was desperately looking for experiences from other people. Was it weird to feel so... lost? And I wasn't even their mother ;). Still, everything you talk about feels very familiar. Hugs and prayers for you!

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  7. Hi Lea. It's weird , I haven't been on the computer because I"ve had the worst tragedy of my life happen last month. I went to Winnie and Walter and your name pulled to me. I came and have read your blog for the last month. I want you to know how truly sorry I am and having lost a child to miscarriage years ago ...I know how you feel somewhat. He is in my thoughts all the time and I miss him always...even though I didn't get to know him, he is a part of me. My tragedy now has ben crying all the time and feeling so overwhelmed I feel like I can't breath. I will never be the same....but I am praying a lot for god to walk this journey with me, hold my hand and walk beside me . I am praying for some peace to you and here is a great big hug Lea PS I will read this book when I feel that I can concentrate, hopefully will help me in my situation. Thank You for sharing..It will help others

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  8. Hey sweet Lea. . . you know, we get an awful lot of thunderstorms during the summer in Florida. And I've lifted you up in prayer every time I hear the thunder rumble. xoxo

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  9. You have been in my thoughts and prayers, a lot. I'm glad you are turning to God and His Word for comfort. It's okay to be mad at God, Isaiah 54:10.This overwhelming grief is a process, your own process, in your own time. There are no rules. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise. You not being able to "sustain" Ellie is not your fault either. You have to hang onto God with everything you have right now to come out on the other side and He will bless you for that. Keep believing. Keep hoping. Never give up. If you do, ask God to get you back on your feet again and He will. Being angry is part of the process too. You will see your daughter in Heaven one day and just when you think that you can't take another second of the pain, remember that. Sending my love to you and Josh.

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  10. May God bless you, your husband and all of your family. Please take comfort in knowing that Ellie is gently cradled in the loving arms of Our Lord. She will be waiting for you. She will know you. She will giggle and twirl and do silly girl things with you. Until that time, gather your strength, rely on your faith and know that He has a plan for you and that all will be as it is suppose to be soon. I am praying for you, that you accept the peace that the Holy Spirit will bestow upon you, and that you can once again look forward.

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  11. Please know that you are in my heart and prayers. The journaling you are doing, the honesty & transparency you are showing while still relying fully on the Savior to comfort and give strength to you will not only be healing for you but to countless others who will come across your story now and in the future. Your faith inspires me and helps me to fully rely on God as well. Big hugs to you and your husband and may you continue to feel the Lord of all comfort wrap his arms around you and carry you when you find the steps difficult to take.

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