Thursday, January 5, 2012

33 weeks, 2 days

It has been 33 weeks and 2 days since Gideon was born.

We have now had to live without him longer than when he was alive. Its strange. How do you wrap your mind around that?

33 weeks and 2 days is the amount of time that we had him with us. Gideon was 33 weeks and 2 days when he died, and 33 weeks and 4 days when I delivered my precious first born son. I am not sure how I am feeling about this milestone, this anniversary. I just know that it hurts. A lot.

However, it is incredible to me that in 33 weeks Gideon fulfilled his purpose on this earth. He finished his race that God has set before him and he completed God's will for his life. In just 33 weeks. God used him in such a mighty way in such a short amount of time. 33 weeks doesn't seem like a lot of time to accomplish something and yet my son accomplished his whole purpose in that time. Amazing. It makes me think, in the next 33 weeks, what are some things that I can do for the Lord? In the next 33 weeks, that is about 8 months time, can God use me? He used Gideon in a remarkable way in just 33 weeks. My son's accomplishments astonish me. He inspires me. You wouldn't think that a baby who died before he was born could accomplish something, but our son did. In just 33 weeks God used Gideon. And in Gideon's 33 weeks and 2 days and because of his death, God has used him to touch and transform the hearts of so many people who love him. It astounds me.

I am immensely thankful for those precious 33 weeks and 2 days. More than I can even express in words. I cherished every moment of those 33 weeks and 2 days. From the time I saw those 2 pink lines, Gideon had mine and Todd's hearts. At the moment of every kick, every food craving and every physical ache, my love for him grew exponentially. And when we saw him, his beautiful face, it was like our hearts exploded with immense pride and unequivocal love. Todd and I were completely changed in the span of 33 weeks, our hearts were completely transformed. And in the 33 weeks since Gideon died, we have become different people than we were before. Forever changed.

I miss him. A lot. Constantly. 3 weeks, 33 weeks, 33 months, 33 years, I will always miss him and with the same intensity I do now, maybe more. I still cry at least a few tears, though usually more than that, every single day. Two nights ago, I was laying in bed, and I was bawling. I kept replaying the moments when the nurse told us he had died, and the last moment I ever saw his face, and the last words Todd spoke to him, the last seconds I held him, when I said goodbye and the first night we spent without him. All of the pain just filling my heart until I couldn't breathe.All I could do was sob. Many moments feel as if the air has been sapped from the room and I am suffocating.  However, some moments and some days, I think of our precious son and I smile. Or we laugh at some of the funny things that happened when I was pregnant with him, like my insatiable craving for Icees or how he was a huge night owl. Or we talk to him and make jokes to him. Like when Todd will say something funny and sarcastic to me, I will say "Gideon, did you hear that? Your daddy is being mean to mommy! Tell God!!!" Then we will laugh. Other times, I cry when his name crosses my lips. The joy and sorrow of loving a child who has died is constant. There is always love and always pain and always joy. Those feelings are forever mingled.

On Tuesday, which was exactly 33 weeks since he was born, I spent some time at the cemetery. I needed to go to where his physical body rests. Its just really nice to have a place to go, that belongs to him, where I can sit, think and pray. The weather was beautiful. I cleaned up his headstone and rearranged some of his flowers and took down his Christmas decoration. Its so satisfying to get to do something for Gideon, to get to mommy him. I sat next to his place and talked to him (I know he isn't there and he cant hear me, but it really helps me to talk to him). I cried over him (loudly. It is a good thing I was alone out there!) and I prayed. And prayed. I prayed that the Lord would use this pain, this horrible agony, for His glory. I prayed and asked that God tell Gideon how much I love him. And some moments, I prayed to Him with no words, just my wracking sobs. I read a few of the psalms to Gideon and to Gideon's little brother.. I got to read the bible to both of my boys, one of whom is in heaven and the other who is in my womb. I will never get to hold them both tightly and read the bible to them together. But I was able to do this. Sit at the cemetery where my oldest son's body rests and read to my children the Word of God. Sitting at the quiet cemetery and reading to them was very peaceful, and very healing for me. As I was reading, I felt this little guy moving inside of me and I sensed the presence of the Holy Spirit. And I felt closer to Gideon. I wept as I read through Psalm 46, and 139 and 136. Beautiful passages. Exactly what I needed to read. And I sang to Gideon and to this little guy inside of me. I sang one of the most pivotal and important songs to me, the song I think of as Gideon's song. And as I sang to them, the Lord was right there.  He was holding me as I sang; loving me through my choked sobs and pouring out His compassion as my voice was thick with crying. Some days when I visit Gideon's place, I feel immense peace, other times, it is more agonizing. This time, it was a mixture of both. But every time I go out there, I feel His presence and He is always faithful to speak into my heart. 

I look back over the past 7 and a half months and I wonder, how have we made it the past 33 weeks??How will we make it the next 33 weeks?

I don't exactly know the answer to that. But I know that one thing will always remain; God. I know that He will be constant.  I wanted to share this song because the lyrics speak what is on my heart today, 33 weeks and 2 days after our son was born.

One Thing Remains
Higher than the mountains I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant in the trial and the change
One thing remains

Your love never fails
Never gives up
Never runs out on me

On and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never, ever, have to be afraid
One thing remains

In death and life, I'm confident and covered by
the power of Your great love
My debt is paid, there's nothing that can separate
my heart from Your great love

Your love never fails
Never gives up
Never runs out on me

Here is a link to the song One Thing Remains. I heard this song for the first time exactly 1 week before Gideon was conceived. I loved it at the time, but I had no idea what it would mean to me, as a broken woman and mommy (especially the line "stronger than the power of the grave"). Thank you Jesus that you conquered death and gave us all the chance at eternal life.

And we will survive the next 33 weeks and the 33 weeks after that because Your love never fails.


Hope said...

I got choked up reading how you got to read the Bible to both Gideon and your new little guy xx so sweet and so moving. Thanks for sharing your heart with us all ((hugs))

Stormy said...

Thanks Hope. So very much. <3 I loved getting to read the Word to them.

Nat said...

That's so precious honey. Reading and singing to your boys. We have to embrace every possibility we have, even though they aren't here, we can have moments when we feel them closer.

Megan said...

I found the 9 month mark one of the hardest because it was when Alexander had been gone longer than we had him. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. That is incredable that you read to both your boys. We have Alexander's blanket and I plan on cuddling with it and future children while we read together. I want his little blanket to become the family reading blanket.

Stormy said...

Nat, Thank you so much, my dear. you are so right, we do have to embrace every chance we get to feel closer to them, to get to actively mommy them. I cherish the moments when I feel Gideon close. It is like a sweet balm to my soul.

Megan, yeah, this milestone has been really difficult. I have been anticipating it coming and so the past week has been really emotional, but today I am doing better....I LOVE your idea of Alexander's blanket being your reading blanket. That is so so so sweet!!! I might have to borrow that idea!! My parents made a blanket for Gideon, that he never got to use, but I call it Gideon's blanket and I wanted to find a way for my subsequent kids to use it, and I think I will use it when we read together, or take naps. <3