Uncomfortable???

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This is the a picture I posted on Facebook the other day. It is the only picture that exists, showing Aj and I together.

I cherish this picture. I see so much pride in my eyes. I had just accomplished something so huge, so exciting, but so tragic…..I had just given birth to my sleeping son.

I am very proud of this picture. And I am proud to show my little boy…sleeping peacefully….so precious…..so perfect……so loved

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If that makes you uncomfortable, please feel free to cover your eyes….

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The spotlight

The goal of my blog has been to share my journey after loss with complete honesty. I have a strong faith in God, but of course I am still human :o) So I want to share one of my struggles that started days after losing Aj.

I’ve always been a very optimistic, happy person. I’ve had highs and lows in life, but I always took them in stride. My adult life had been good to me. I have a great husband, and my girls here on earth. God has blessed me far more than I deserved, and I have always been so grateful……

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8

But losing the twins, and then losing Aj so suddenly left me feeling….confused. I was still grateful for all that I had been given, but I couldn’t make sense of all that had been taken from me. This left me wide open for an attack….wide open….

I can say with certainty, the enemy saw the opening. It was like he was holding a huge spotlight, and he would zoom
in on various triggers all of the time. It didn’t matter if I was just watching tv, getting on Facebook, reading a book, or running an errand……He made sure I saw something…..and in the early days of grieving, I was too deep in sadness to fight back.

I remember my first trip to Target after losing Aj. Satan had the spotlight shining bright!! He zoomed in on every pregnant woman, every bitty baby in a car seat, or infant snuggled up in a wrap on their mother’s chest. I stared at each of them, longingly….and completely green with envy. That should be me waddling around, getting a few things before Aj arrives. That should be Aj, cuddled closely in my ergo. I should be rocking Aj trying to get him to settle. I wanted Aj to still be safe in my belly, alive and kicking….or in my arms, alive and breathing. Why not me?? Honestly, that day felt like a form of torture to my already fragile spirit….and it didn’t end there. Everyday, everywhere, there was some reminder of my pregnancy that ended too soon, or the living newborn baby I didn’t have…..and the enemy highlighted every moment. I found myself drowning in the sea of baby envy and why me, clinging with all of my heart to the promises of God.

After an emotionally bad day, I said to Anthony, ” Everyone is pregnant or having babies. I’m happy for them but it feels like punishment for me, like pouring salt in my wounds.” And he simply said, “Someone is always going to be pregnant or having a baby. It is not about what is going on with them. It is about what’s going on with us.” And he was right. I had allowed the enemy to showcase all of the happy pregnancies and babies that God had blessed others with, and I felt like God had let me down, or was punishing me on purpose……Satan was hoping this would cause me to lose my faith…… my hope….. my trust in an always good and awesome God. I needed to stop focusing on the what ifs, should bes, and what others had, and shift my thoughts back on the One who loves me, and will never leave or forsake me.

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Tomorrow will be 153 days, 5 months since Aj was born. It’s still a struggle. The good days greatly out number the bad days, but the enemy continues to search for a way in…..a chance to damage my relationship with God…..But Satan, you won’t win!!!

Testing…

I’m sitting here, looking through my journal. I started it way back in January of 2011. The entries are sporadic and jumbled. I’ve got several bible verses written throughout, and list upon list of prayers I’ve offered for my family and friends, and the ways that God has answered them. One entry really stood out to me though. Strangely, it’s not dated. This is what I wrote:

This test I can’t pass!! What am I missing? God what are you trying to
show me? What are you trying to tell me?

I have no idea what I may have been going through at the moment I was writing that entry, but much of it is what I feel right now.

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AJ’s death, and the months that have followed, sometimes feel like a big string of tests that I can’t pass. I had to go through the heartbreak of hearing the doctor say, “I’m so sorry Sibyl”. I had to experience the excruciating pain of childbirth, minus the reward of a healthy living baby at the end. Afterwards I still had to endure the engorgement of my milk coming in, with no baby to feed, and the emotional ups and downs of the postpartum hormone changes. More testing….

The morning after AJ’s delivery, I had to find the right words to explain to my girls that their little brother will not be coming home, but will be living in heaven instead…testing

A couple days after Aj was born, I had to go with my husband to pick out an urn for my first born son, and then told a few days later that we needed a larger one to hold all of his ashes. Still testing….

Trying to find the balance between grieving properly, mothering my girls, loving my husband, and taking care of myself…dealing with the longing to hold a living newborn again….learning to forgive the hurtful comments…. releasing guilt over AJ’s death….finding hope again…

the list could go on and on as the test continues….

Almost 5 months later, I feel like I’m in the middle of the same big exams that I failed to study for. I am still completely unprepared. I continue striving for balance and spiritual growth. And I wait……for this season to end and my testing to be complete…..I wait for God to redeem all that has been lost……I wait for the clouds to break, and a rainbow to light up the sky.

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Ok, you can have it back!!!

I’ve totally been dropping the ball at this surrendering thing. Some of my old habits started to resurface….I’ve been trying to find a way to control life again. It started with the what ifs, followed by the maybe ifs and next thing I know, I’ve drafted a plan for how I’d like God to proceed. As if I hadn’t already learned……..and suddenly I found myself tense, stressed, and disappointed that God hadn’t moved according to my timing.

Looking back at the past almost 5 months, I found that though I’ve been deeply saddened, I was more at peace during the early times when I was trusting God to just make it through the day. I didn’t have the energy then to try and figure out the future, when I needed His help just to continue on as a mother for my girls and a wife to my husband. I had more hope……..I knew God was going to make the future bright.

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All my planning and directing has started to dull that shiny, bright future….as each day ticks by hope seems to slip a little further from my grasp. It seems Satan has found and zeroed in on my weak spot…….and I can’t have that!!!

So God here I am. Here are my worries and fears for the future wrapped with a pretty bow……you can have them back!! I’m going to my shelf to grab the box you gave me many years ago. You know, the one full of hope, love, peace, joy, blessings, and prosperity. I had it out a month or so ago, but I mistakenly put it away when I was busy planning the future. And just in case I forgot last time……thank you God for such an amazing gift!!

I also wanted to share a big milestone for me. I finally sat down and added some pictures and such to the baby book we started for Aj. Even though he isn’t here on earth, he is still my little boy. I felt he needed his own book just like his sisters. I love and miss you Aj.i look forward to the day that we will all be reunited.

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Why…

It’s been a little over a week since my last post. I’ve been writing in my journal, but I’ve had trouble deciding what I wanted to write and share here.

For several weeks, I’ve found myself struggling with the timing of AJ’s death, and the loss of the twins. I had the opportunity to be pregnant with friends and family (at least 5) during both of these pregnancies. It was great having someone to compare symptoms with, talk about baby gear, and complain about aches and pains. Most have gone on to have healthy happy babies (thank you God!!!) and others are preparing for the arrival of their little ones any moment now. I enjoy seeing pictures of their cute babies, and offering support whenever I can. I pray for safe labor and easy transitions for their families. I am so happy for all them……….but still, I’m so very sad and hurt for myself. It is hard for me to deny the 4 lb 8 oz, 18 1/2 inch chunk missing from my heart or the 7 wk 6 day size hole on the other side. It hurts, and time hasn’t healed those wounds. The longing to hold my crying newborn is still here. The desire for a growing baby bump hasn’t left. I find myself asking God why now? In the midst of so much life and so much joy around me, why did their lives have to end now?

I prayed about this, and begged God to give me and answer, so that my heart could have rest. I read my bible searching for a clue and poured my heart out all through out my journal. I remembered Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

I highlighted it, underlined it, and read it 1000s of times and allowed to sink in. Then I accepted it. I accepted that I can’t understand why. God isn’t required to explain the whys to me, but I am instructed to trust and submit to him, and then he will lead me.

My spirit has found rest from the unanswered questions, but I still am struggling with trusting God with my future and the desires of my heart. For now, I am focused on submitting to God and allowing him to use me. I know that I have the opportunity to minster my children as I raise them to know and love God as I do, and have the opportunity to show God’s love to my husband each and everyday by loving, supporting, and praying for him. But I feel led to do a little more.

I believe very much in the power of prayer. Although I do struggle in praying for myself, I have no trouble praying effectively for others. If you need someone to stand in the gap for you, please let me know. I would very much like to pray for you.