October 10, 2016

Honored Little Ones

The flowers they brought sit on the counter. Untouched. They're beautiful, and I'm grateful, but they're not for pleasure they're for the dead. To touch them somehow means to accept that she's...dead.

For two days they sit. Finally, one by one the stems are arranged and into that corner of my darkness they bring the beauty I needed.

I know tomorrow is the day - so I curl into the cushion as if it's a mothers embrace. Lap heaped with a mess of cream and I weave a blanket for our baby to be wrapped in.

Buried in.

With each stitch my heart is torn right through. The loss of dreams. Nights I'll never have to hold her close. No tickles. No laughter. No kisses or prayers or bedtime stories. No unruly hair to brush in the morning. No tea parties or baby dolls to play. No sister close in age for Chaela. Nothing. But the ache of losing her.

The next day we cradle her within the dirt and with the last shovel heaped upon her everything in me breaks. I want to scream - claw my baby from earth's grasp. I sit. Still. Say words just between her and I. Wipe the tears and order my steps. Beg God to just help me through...today. I do the dishes, make the bed, scrub toilets, laundry, dinner. I carry on the dance of life. What else can I do? I walk among the living.

When all goes black the house sits still and the earth drinks.  My thoughts arrest me - Is the blanket I made going to keep her warm?  Crazy thoughts!  I know she's not here - yet she is.

Heaven seems too far.

Weeks go by.  Those blooming stems dried up and faded - still they sit in the vase.  Throw them out? They're the only tangible evidence that she was ever here.

The souls within these walls sleep as I rock my sweet Michaela Shalom.
He's given me peace.  Acceptance of His choice.
Yet I feel her absence and the emptiness remains.
She should be rocking with us but she's gone.
She lies under the changing maple and I too am forever changed.

The next day I open the screen and it's blinking back at me. As the message unfolds, my eyes blink back tears of joy. For the first time since our baby was carried away I feel joy. Pure. Deep. Joy. I smile. Genuinely. Through tears of thankfulness I get a glimpse of God's redeeming work. And the heaviness of heart feels a bit lighter. Losing her is still not how I would have scripted the story but perhaps that was the only way for a long awaited answer to prayer.

Until then...

September 27, 2016

Harsh Winter

Overcast. The air hangs crisp. Leaves dance beyond the pane - still summer green yet they play peek-a-boo with a hint of caramel and crimson. Autumn is upon us ushering in plump pumpkins, spiced cider, scarves, boots, woolen blankets and those brilliantly colored leaves that will soon crunch under foot. It's my favorite time of year but in my corner of the world it doesn't last long.

Before I blink, the trees will stretch forth their barren limbs as white blankets the earth, and I will hibernate as much as possible. Enjoying the peaceful white from my comfortably heated home - coffee in hand. Knowing this, I always do some fall cleaning. Just like spring cleaning opens it all to new and fresh I prepare for the confinement of the dreary months ahead. I wash the windows knowing they will soon be dirty again but I want to enjoy the glistening of a winter wonderland for as long as I can.

Funny how distorted our view becomes when we're looking through layers of grime.

It's like this life - my heart.  There are seasons of new, fresh, sunshine, glorious hues, wonder and there is also the barren muddied winter.

If I allow the difficult seasons to distort my view of God I can't see the joy and blessings right in front of me.

This life is hard... it always will be. But when I allow Jesus to wash my heart and heal it's wounds... then I see through the right frame...and I discover this life is beautiful... even in the midst of a harsh winter.

Until then...