Friday, March 22, 2013

Loss & Peace & Walking Alongside

Our cousins were in town last week and can you believe that I didn't even take one picture the entire week?? But we had a blast and I was so blessed that they would want to spend their Spring Break here at The Farm. They're in the process of adopting their three precious treasures and we were so blessed to watch them love on those kids of theirs. :)

And in the midst of the joys and chaos of 12 folks bunking here in our quaint, little cottage, I received news last week that my precious friend who was just two weeks ahead of me in her pregnancy, delivered her sweet little boy at 21 weeks and he did not make it. 

I lost it.

My heart lost it like the day we had to give back our own. 

It was the kind of "losing it" where you have trouble finding your breath.

It really doesn't matter if you've carried you're baby for two seconds or 8 months, there is a connection the moment that the two little lines appear on the stick and the letting go stings deep... No-Matter-What.

The truth is, I haven't even had a chance to talk with my friend. 

We've texted. 

And last weekend The Cowboy and I and the kids drove up to her house and dropped off a small gift. I wore a baggie coat as not to accentuate my own little belly. My friend and her husband were asleep and I sat in their kitchen with her mother-in-law, whom I had never met, and I wept as I shared our story, and how my heart broke all over again over theirs. Inside the gift bag was a small box with her son's name on it, and attached was a simple card explaining why. 

When we had lost our boys, my sweet sister-in-law gave me a gift that hasn't left my bed-side since day one. It has the names of our twins on it and inside I put their whole little lives. There are cards from people who loved them even though they never got to meet them. There is a journal that I wrote in the first few months after they were born. Their birth and death certificates, the clothes they wore in the hospital, and the small, white box that holds their ashes. It was a gift that I never knew to ask for, but that I now feel I could never live without. 

The hardest part about loss is that it can't be fixed. And when it happens to those we love, the first thing we want to do is make it all better.

I can't fix it. 

But I can care. 

I can love, and I can mourn alongside. 

I can bring a meal or a small wooden box that might hold a handful of the only thing left; memories. 

We can't fix the yucky things in this life. But we can walk through them together and remind each other of the glorious riches of His Kingdom. We can be thankful that here in this place, with our messy hearts, and all they entangle... it's all only temporary. 

It's only temporary. 

We're a broken mess down here, but our three little boys are in the very place that my friend and I long to be, in the very presence of the One who loves them perfectly! How incredibly sweet is that?? :)

And His peace. 

How else can we move forward but with His peace that surpasses all understanding? 

You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3

We talked about His perfect peace at Bible Study this morning. And the truth is that His perfect peace is so often beyond what our human words are able to convey. 

His peace can't be a feeling because so often when we experience that peace that surpasses understanding, it's happening right alongside our pain. His perfect peace doesn't mean we give ourselves a pep talk and convince ourselves that all is well when clearly it is not. 

His perfect peace does not cast out all pain, but it does cast out our fear. It enables us to walk through the very things that we once thought to be impossible.

Maybe peace is an extension of surrender? Of our acceptance with joy of all that He gives? 

Ten years have passed and there are still days when I'm looking for a pair of socks and my eyes pass over that precious box on top of our dresser that my dear dear friend thought to give, and the tears just stream down. The pain is far from gone, but He is so near. He has always been near.

You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you.


And although my precious friend had to say good bye last week, the Lord has not asked that of me this time around.

And so, here we are, at twenty weeks and we continue to soak up the moments that He HAS given. Because really, ALL is grace. ALL is gift. 

He didn't have to give anything. But instead, He has chosen to give everything, through the One He chose to give up for us. 

I felt our little one move for the first time last week. 

I'm outwardly, joyfully, thankful for that. 

And even though The Cowboy and I have been here several times, the wonder of it all never ceases to amaze me. 

We're grateful.
We're blessed.
We're hurting alongside.
We're broken.
We're slowly growing up in Him.

He's near.
He gives peace.
He gets it. He gets us.
And He gave it all that we might know HIs perfect peace in the least likely of places.