Sunday, August 2, 2015
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.
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.
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.