Friday, January 31, 2014


What is healing? What does that word really even mean?

Can someone who has lost part of herself be whole again? Can a woman who has lost her child have her heart mended by God? Can she laugh with joy and stand in peace? Can she look outside herself and reach out a hand to help others heal?

Yes. She really can.

I honestly prefer to use the word mend instead of heal. I think it is more accurate. When you mend a sock, it is now perfectly functional. The wearer can have a warm foot and put their foot in a boot and not worry about getting a blister where the hole is. When a sock is mended, the hole that is in the sock is sewn up and the hole no longer exists. Where there once was a hole, there is now a small stitch. A stitch that shows that there was once some sort of trauma that caused the sock to tear. Maybe the hole got there from years of rubbing, a constant friction that caused the hole. Maybe it was one event, a sharp tear that caused this rip in the fabric.

For me, it was a sharp moment. It happened when they told me our son had died.

Mending is a slow sewing of a hole. It leaves a mark where the injury had been sustained. Just like when human skin is given stitches. You can always see the mark it leaves behind.

The definition of the word mend means: to set right, to progress towards recovery, to improve or make better. And the word healing literally means to make whole.

Can I be made whole again without my son? I am not sure. The part that has been torn off of me can never be sewn back on, but the hole that was left behind can be closed. One thing I do know is that even if I cannot be totally whole on this earth, I WILL be whole one day. And I smile at the time when I will be with Jesus and He will make all things new.

Healing in the psychology world means that you are able to lead a normal or fulfilling life after the grief and loss you have experienced. I honestly believe that I do. I am able to dedicate time and love to other moms who have lost their babies. I am able to help them walk this road and make their way onto being mended by God. I am able to walk beside them in a sacred time in the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years following the death of their precious child. I get to comfort others as God has comforted me (2 Cor 1:4).

So, have I been mended? The answer to that is YES! Am I ok? I am better than ok. Are there days I hurt as much as I did when he first died? Absolutely. Are there moments I cry and weep and just want my son in my arms? No doubt. Do my arms ache to hold him and do my ears yearn to hear his laugh? Always. Do I sometimes feel an ache so deep that there are no words to describe it? Yes.

But has God done a work in my heart? YES! He holds my heart and He whispers His comfort, love and joy over my life. He mends my brokenness. Do I laugh at the funny memories of my son? I do. Am I able to smile when I talk about him? Yes! Are we honored and proud to be his parents? Always.

I miss Gideon and I always do. Every single day. He is part of me and he always will be. He is my CHILD. He is part of my life. He is mine. And he is God's. I remember him and honor him every single day.

I am blessed. I laugh, I dance, I drink in life. I grab it with both hands and inhale its sweet scent. I enjoy life more now because of Gideon. Because he died. I love more fiercely. His life taught me how to love with purpose and passion.

Does the sock show the remnant of the hole it had? It does. I bear the scars on my heart where pain ripped a hole. My heart always will have that mended part to it, visible for the whole world to see. But that sock is whole.

I am whole.

"There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens:...a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance...a time to tear and a time to mend..." Ecclesiastes 3: 1,4, &7

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A memory that never was

I was laying in my bed tonight just now, not able to sleep. Thinking. Praying.

I was asking the Lord to be close to us, more real to us and that we draw into Him more, worship Him more, love Him more. I prayed for us as we are in the transition of buying a house, as we consider possibly tying for a baby to add to our family, as we serve Him at church and as I keep serving Him through MEND. I prayed for my friends, my friends who have never known loss and those that have. I prayed for Silas. I prayed and prayed.

..and my thoughts drifted...

For some reason my mind thought of our old apartment. The apartment that we lived in during my whole pregnancy with Gideon. The apartment where he was conceived, the apartment where I found out I was pregnant with Gideon (and Silas), the apartment where his nursery would have been. The apartment where I felt him move for the first time and the last time. Our apartment wasn't very special, it was just an apartment. But to me, it held the dreams for my son. For the life we would have had. 

As I was thinking of this, God gave me a memory.

No, not really a memory, because this memory never actually happened.

For a short second I saw the life we would have had. I could feel it in my heart, in my bones, in my soul. It was in the heat of the summer of 2011. It was afternoon and Todd was at work. The lights in the apartment were off, but the sun was coming in through the sliding glass door. I was sitting on our couch in our apartment holding a boppy pillow in my lap. I was nursing a tiny newborn boy. This newborn boy had curly strawberry blonde hair and was the most laid back baby I had ever seen. He had his little fist curled up by his face. His eyes were closed and he was wearing footsie pjs. He was slowly nursing, taking his time, laying against me. I had my legs crossed and my arm cradled around his head and back. I stared into his sweet face.

It felt real. It felt more real than a lot of actual memories I have. I felt pure love. And joy. And happiness. I held in my arms everything I had dreamed of. I was holding my Gideon. And unlike the moments in my real life when I held him, there was no agonizing pain mingled with fierce love.  I didn't have to say goodbye. There as no ache in my heart in this memory because he never left me. He was there, in my arms. Alive and resting near my heart. 

It felt so real. Just for a moment. 

Then it was gone. I couldn't hold onto this image, this not-real memory. 

I am thankful for that. I am sitting here in tears at the beauty of that moment that never happened and never will be. I am thankful that for a short second I got to experience what it would have been like for him to come home with me. Even if it was only in my mind. 

Thank you, Lord. You knew what I needed tonight. You knew that my mommy heart wanted more than anything to have Gideon here with me and that one of the biggest things I missed out on was nursing him. Those quiet moments between mommy and son. Thank You for giving me a tiny piece of that. Though it never happened, I will hold that short day-dream, image, memory (whatever it should be called) in my heart. Father, this brings so much more joy to me than I can express. To see a sliver of what he would have been like, what it would have been like to have him here with me, brings a smile across my lips and a tear to my eye. You know my need when I don't even realize its what I need. You never forget us in our grief and You walk alongside us always. 

Your unfailing love is higher than the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Psalm 108:4