"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us" --E.M. Forester
This quote puts perfectly into words exactly what God has been speaking into my heart. I have to let go of the life I planned for us with Gideon to receive the life that God has for us now that he is gone. Letting go of the plans I had for our life is not the same as letting go of Gideon. I cannot and will not ever let go of Gideon. He is and will always be our first born child. He will always be our oldest. He will always be our son. Gideon will always be part of our family and part of our hearts. But, the plans I dreamed for our life with Gideon are not the plans God has for our lives. So I must be willing to let go of the plans I made for the ones God has for us. Even though I know what my reality is, that Gideon is not alive and that he is in eternity, it is insanely difficult to let go of the life I planned for us and all of the dreams I have.
I have been so afraid that in letting go of the life I planned, that I might accidentally let go of Gideon. I have been afraid that if I let go of the grasp I have on him, somehow he might go away from me. Which I know is ridiculous and impossible. Gideon will never go away from me. His life, our memories, his place in my heart will always exist. But, instead of simply holding onto him, and holding onto our memories and holding onto who he is in our life; I was clinging with all I might to him. Trying every moment of the day to remember every little thing about him, trying with all my heart and soul to recall every second I spent with him, trying with all my being to focus on him.
One day, through the words of my sweet husband, God showed me that if I just let Gideon live in his extremely special place in my heart then all of those memories would remain in my heart and in my mind, without me having to force them. And as I went from clinging to my memories to simply holding them, I noticed that I could remember more about him and I could recall more memories of him.
I can now recall how he smelled. I couldn't remember that before. I, for the life of me, couldn't remember his smell. And now I can! It is wonderful. He smelled sweet, but it was a very mild sweet smell. His scent was different than any other bouquet that has touched my nose. It was a very subtle smell, like a wisp of baby powder mixed with a gentle scent of freshness combined with the fragrance of clean, wet skin. Gideon's scent was the absolute most fragrant and pure aroma I have ever inhaled. I am so thankful that I can remember his scent perfectly!
In loosening my grip, I can actually hold more.
If you have a handful of sand and you grasp it tightly, most of the sand in your hand will fall out onto the ground. However, if you cup your hand and hold the sand lightly, you can hold more sand and it will not escape from your palm. That is what is happening to me. I can actually hold more of Gideon without holding him so tightly. It is my nature to want to cling to him and my memories with all my might, but if I cup my hand and let them rest in my palm, then I will be able to hold more of him in my heart.
I am not successful at this every day. (Honestly, sometimes it is an minute by minute choice.) This is a daily thing, a choice I have to make. Each day, sometimes each moment, I have to release what I wanted for my life in exchange for what God wants for my life. This submission to the Lord is a choice I make because even though it crushes my heart to not have Gideon, I know that God truly loves me and that he wants to give us a hope and a future. And as much as it hurts, I honestly do want God's future for my life. Not my own.
There are so many moments where I weep and groan because I want him back! I know that will never change, I will always want him back in our house, back in our arms. But, I have to remind myself that God, though not done with Gideon and Gideon's story, has written this story for us. Gideon is still very much a part of our life. He will always be. Gideon's story has shaped and changed us in ways I can see and in ways I have yet to see. But Gideon's life on this earth is done and I have to fully realize that so that I can receive the life that God has set for us. We must submit to the Lord's will. And we submit to Him and what He wants to work in our life through his pain. We submit to His plan for us. This plan God has for us does include Gideon, but it doesn't include it with him with us physically. Gideon's life and death and the work God is doing through him is shaping me and Todd, shaping our marriage and family and shaping the life we have and the life we will have.
I am not going to lie, today I want to lay in bed and cry. I want to just hold Gideon's blanket and imagine he is wrapped up in it. I want to stare at his pictures. No, I really want to stare into his face and hold his little hands. Today I want to lay in bed and go back to the moments when I kissed his face. I want to have the power to travel back to where he was. I desperately want to be where he is. I am crying quietly while I type these words because today, and every day, my heart is broken.
Do I want to let go of this life I have planned? No.
Am I going to anyway, and submit to what God has for us? Yes.
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. Proverbs: 3:5-6