Sunday, December 4, 2011

when my heart is breaking

We went shoe shopping for Noah yesterday. There were so many adorable styles for little kids-- styles that Noah has long outgrown. He brought me a pair of red ones that he thought would be perfect for Ian one day. And then I found these fun Crocs that were in the shape of... well, crocodiles! And it made me smile for a moment.

Christian had a pair of black crocs that he loved to wear. They were in the shape of cars with little headlights at the toes.

We buried him in them.

The memory took me by surprise. It had been a long time since I had thought about the whole sucky process of deciding what clothes and shoes he should be buried in, right down to the red Power Ranger underwear. Agonizing. Heartbreaking.

All I could do was hold onto David and cry.

There are always those moments of tears and sadness that catch us off-guard. But Thanksgiving and Christmas are pretty predictable on the calendar... and are exceptionally difficult for those that have suffered the death of a loved one. Just this year, so many new moms are dreading the celebrations that were once so FULL of life and happiness...

Even when we are still surrounded by blessings and new life, it makes the absence of that one precious soul even more profound.

It really sucks, y'all.

"The love of God a perfect plan
Is planning now for thee,
It holds a "future and a hope,"
Which yet thou canst not see.

Though for a season, in the dark,
He asks thy perfect trust,
E'en that thou in surrender "lay
Thy treasure in the dust,"

Yet He is planning all the while,
Unerringly He guides
The life of him, who holds His will
More dear than all besides.

Trust were not trust if thou couldst see
The ending of the way,
Nor couldst thou learn His songs by night,
Were life one radiant day.

Amid the shadows here He works
The plan designed above,
"A future and a hope" for thee
In His exceeding love.

"A future"-- abiding fruit,
With loving kindness crowned;
"A hope"-- which shall thine own transcend,
As Heaven the earth around.

Though veiled as yet, one day thine eyes
Shall see His plan unfold,
And clouds that darkened once the path
Shall shine with Heaven's gold.

Enriched to all eternity
The steadfast soul shall stand,
That, "unoffended", trusted Him
Who all life's pathway planned.

I have an heritage of bliss,
Which yet I may not see;
The Hand that bled to make it mine,
Is keeping it for me."

-Freda Hanbury Allen

Believe it or not, grieving mom, you do have a CHOICE when it comes to your thoughts and attitude. You can choose to fight for joy!

It is easier to make this decision ahead of time... Decide NOW that you will fight.

Decide NOW to start praying (and having your friends and family pray) that God will give you grace and mercy in the months ahead. As with all the other "firsts" in your grief, it makes a difference to prepare your heart in advance. It might seem impossible when you are even now, on a "normal" day, just barely surviving... but don't give up.

Yes, you have laid your treasure in the dust. But it does not end there! Although you cannot see past the dark bend in this road, there is MORE ahead... there is a future and a hope!

This life, this world, it is but a vapour that vanishes. You know all too well how fleeting life can be. The time with our children was never long enough. Jesus Christ died on the cross for OUR sins, for yours and mine. And when we ask forgiveness for our sins and accept his gift of salvation, he promises us eternal life. Eternal is forever!

If you have trusted Jesus with your eternal destiny, with the salvation of your soul, with FOREVER... how much MORE can you TRUST HIM with this life here? How much MORE can you trust Him to walk with you through the valley of the shadow of death? How much MORE can you TRUST His Word that a future and HOPE is coming? Right around the bend... though you cannot see. God spoke the world into existence and sees all from beginning to end. He that knows the number of hairs on your head, the One that wants to carry your burdens (if you would just let Him), loves you!

That is indeed worth giving thanks and worth celebrating.

This Christmas season, I pray that God will fill your heart with joy and bring to mind all the wonderful memories of your precious child... and rather than focusing on the missing of that laugh and smile, that you would focus on the GIFT that God chose YOU to be the mommy and allowed YOU to be the one to hear that giggle and see that grin on a regular basis.

He gave you the gift of your child! And through Jesus Christ, we will be reunited again...

Keep trusting and walking with Him. God cannot lie. We have a future and a hope... all because of Jesus!


Unknown said...

Praying for you right now Marsha.

Jacque said...

((((HUGS SISTER!!!))))

You are on my mind and in my prayers. Your family always will be. We love you guys.
Also remembering and praying for the other families as well. Praying for comfort and love for each of you.
Love to the Drews family!!

Erin@The Phillips Fam said...

Great post Marsha... I can relate to it all. This season is just so so hard.

Lesley Peck said...

Oh Marsha, I love you all. Sending up lots of prayers for a comforting Christmas. I know Christian will be watching over you all this holiday season. I always think of It's a Wonderful Life at the end where they say "every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings". Though I think Christian probably already has his...I'm sure he'll be sending you lots of little signs of his love. The crocs being just one of many. {hugs}

Unknown said...

I love you Marsha! And I will have you in my prayers! When I read your posts I cry and grieve with you, but I also see hope and joy. ((hugs)) I hope this holiday season, you will be filled with an unexpected joy, and that any tears shed will be quickly followed with laughter.

LilTanGurl said...

:hugs: I know the pain of Christian's loss will never go away but I pray for your comfort through it!
love you!

Nancy ~Lessons Learned on the Farm said...

Praying for you and sending hugs your way and to all of the others who have experienced loss. It really can make holidays a bittersweet time. My dad always wanted "3 button polo-style shirts WITH pockets" because he needed a place to put his glasses or pen.

It used to be so hard to find those shirts, but if I gave him one without a pocket, he'd just offer it right back to us. He was adamant about the pocket! Ha!

Now I can see those shirts "with a pocket" and tears well up in my eyes. At first, it was awful grieving tears, but now it's more tears of fond memories of his stubbornness about those pockets.

Hoping those tears become more and more happy/fond memory tears for you and so many others.

Lainie said...

As I read this and as I listened to the song, I thought about you and this verse from Hebrews "Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name."

To praise Him when it is hard and you hurt is offering that sacrifice of praise. The world doesn't get it, but God sees your sacrifice of praise to Him and like the widow who gave her last two mites, He knows that when you give, you are giving all you have.

May the Lord bless you continually and abundantly for continuing to praise Him in the pain.

Love you...

Leticia said...

Thank you for sharing this Marsha! One of my dear friends just lost her two week old. Yesterday she would've been a month old. My heart breaks for her and I want to be encouraging and supporting, but a miscarriage is the closes thing I've ever been to her situation and I realize that doesn't compare. I'm going to share her blog with you in hopes that she will find some comfort in your words! Thanks for sharing your pain with others!!!

Lori @ Just Pure Lovely said...

Such a gorgeous boy. Don't you agree? :) I think of you often, in the most random moments. Maybe those are the moments when I'm supposed to pray for you, so I do. Merry Christmas! I can't wait to virtually meet your baby!

Kimberly said...

We do not know each other at all but a friend of mine told me to read your most recent blog. I to can feel your heart breaking as well.
We had a child born with spina bifida and hyrdocephulus. She was born November the 3rd and lived till November the 17th. We were able to spend 2 glorious weeks with her. But my heart and mind wonder Why did God chose my husband and I to be her parents. I struggle with alot and yesterday she would have been a month old. I have been having aniexty attacks and we have 3 other girls that I know are gifts from God as well but I feel sometimes when I am playing with them or doing something fun I feel guilty for enjoying myself. I am struggling to move on. I feel so lost, empty and just wondering why.
I know God has a perfect plan for us and his plans and thoughts are different from ours.
As a Christ follower I know she is in heaven whole and perfect but my heart aches b/c i feel like i did not get enough time.
However, we have heard stories on top of stories of how Autumn's story touched so many lives. I know he had a plan for her and it was fullfilled in the 2 weeks she was here. I feel honored that we were her parents but I feel so empty as well. I came home from the hosptial with just her clothes and nothing inside. How do you heal from this.
Could you shine some light on this since we both have lost a child.
My email is and i have a blog journey... blessings in disguise. I would like to hear your story. Thanks and God bless

Many Kids 4 Us said...

I have read your blog since the passing of Christian. I would grieve for you and often wonder, how can someone get through such a difficult time. I mean, I know Christ and have since I was 17 years old, but I just couldn't imagine going through that. I would cry because my heart would ache for you and your family.

This year we lost our son on Nov. 3. He is 3 1/2 years old. You see, he is still alive but was taken from us. We were his foster parents and we had him since he was born. All that was left was the final adoption paper. All the rest of the paperwork had already been signed by the judge. Then the judge decided to all of the sudden give him to a relative. A very unstable relative and a non-legal relative. We had 30 minutes to say goodbye and he was gone.

I am hurting so bad. Other than birthing my son, he was mine. He was since he was born. We were with him at the hospital since his birth, we brought him home. He was my son. Having to go through the Holidays will be hard. We decorated the tree and i found his ornaments from previous years and I just cried.

I now know why the Lord lead me to your blog. I know by seeing you there is hope and it will get better.

Loni said...

Ohhhh, so beautifully and heart-stirring and so accurate. Thank you for sharing! December 11th will mark 7 years ago that our 16 year old son died unexpectedly and yes, all of a sudden a memory comes and tears still flow out. It was hard this past summer when our oldest son got married - his brother was only 13 months younger and should have been by his side. So there's still "firsts" even 7 years later. I look forward with you when our tears will finally be wiped away, for forever.

Anonymous said...

prayers and love to you Marshamallow...hugs - Donna M

Anonymous said...

Marsha! You are such a dear one! Thank you for baring your heart on such a precious and tender topic. This post was what I needed to read! That poem speaks to me too as I'm traveling a difficult path right now. Praying for you in the weeks and months to come! Love you!

Julie P.

Laurie said...

Tears are flowing here in Tennessee. They have been off and on since your sweet Christian left this Earth.

You are an incredible example to me and so many others.

Thank you for posting this and including that song. I hadn't heard it before and it touched me deeply.


Shannon Wallace said...

Hey dear one, I emailed you just now. I can relate to so much of what you have written. My theme song right now is Trust and Obey. That is all we can do. You are so right, there are so many days things so not seem so great. But we are blessed. Life is a vapor. And we shall see our boys again one day. I love that promise!


Ranchmom said...

Thanks for writing this. I "happened" across your blog while looking for something else but am glad I read your story. Our precious little granddaughter went to her eternal home earlier this year.

We had the chance to love her, here on earth, for 2 days, which we cherish. Some days I am "fine" and some days I feel like I could just fall on the floor and curl up and never move again I miss her so much.

(((hugs))) to your family.

Sprittibee said...

Making me cry again. I love you. I know that's not a lot of help, but it's all I can think of to say. I hope you had a merry Christmas!