Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Longing for Mary Grace

It's been 73 days since Mary Grace entered and left this world. I want to say I miss her but I didn't have her here on this earth with me long enough to know what I am missing, except for what I can imagine of her. So...the only way I know how to describe it is I long for her, I deeply long for her, and only her - only Mary Grace could fill this void. The emptiness that I feel for her is a lot of times overwhelming. I start to get the feeling of longing and I get anxious, like I do not know what to do with myself. I think one of the things that has been most difficult is the fact that I can not go to Mary's grave since she is in Kentucky. I want to sit by where she is and talk with her, cry for her, and although I realize I can do that anywhere, anytime - it's just different. It's a very helpless feeling but when I actually make the effort to ask my Lord to sustain me, he does, every time. I am not quite sure why I do not automatically ask Him but I don't. Maybe I still feel abandoned by Him although I know that's not true, it's just not true. Maybe I still want to solve this and get through it on my own, even though I KNOW it's not possible, and I know that "all things are possible with Christ who strengthens me". So why do we, especially as Christians fight it within ourselves so much, why do we fight the fact that Jesus can and will rescue us? Why do we seek other a friend, talk to our Mom, eat those chocolate eggs, turn on the TV, look at a gossip magazines, get on the computer......all these things to run from the very one who wants to embrace us, the very one who died on the cross to SAVE us? Ps. 55:22 "Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken".

Oh Jesus, hear my cry and help me. Help me to wake up every day and think of you first, help me to remember in my deepest hurting moments that YOU are my answer, You are my refuge, You sustain, You save, You deliver and You are the One who loves me unconditionally the most. Help me to gain everything I can and that all you intended for me from Mary Grace's life so that You and only You will be glorified through me. Help me to feel and be deserving of the beautiful honor of being Mary Grace's Mother, I do not want to waste any of it. Help me to help others, help me to help myself, help me to be the wife, Mother, daughter, sister and friend that you intended me to be. Help me Lord...hear my cry. Ps. 107:13-14 "Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains."

I have been blessed with the most amazing friends a girl could have. I mentioned earlier that not having Mary Grace here is very difficult although I know she is in the right place by being buried in Kentucky. My friends here in Texas went together, bought and planted the most beautiful Crepe Myrtle tree (the blooms will be pink! pictures to come). We picked a spot up by the swing set where my other two girls play all of the time -it's a spot that I can see from any where in my house and back porch. I want you to know that when the tree was in the truck I didn't notice blooms or buds on the tree nor did the person looking at it with me point any out........and as soon as it was in the ground, watered and finished we noticed buds popping up - it seemed miraculous to me but I couldn't speak of it at the time without losing it. I plan on putting a garden around it and have had another group of friends say they are donating another tree to us in Mary's honor to put in the garden. I will have a place for Mary here. I can not tell you how much this means to me friends and how thankful we are. There are no words.

I also want to ask that all of you pray for someone who has recently contacted me via e-mail who recently found out her precious baby girl Faith has Trisomy 18, Ashley is 29 weeks pregnant. Oh how it breaks my heart but we know God will be glorified through yet another miracle baby. Pray for this mommy and family (Faith has 2 sisters), pray for Faith and that God will do great works in and through her. Here is her information, please lift this family up and encourage them.... BTW she gave me permission to share.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. God has blessed our family so much by using you and I hope you know how much you all mean.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Eva Janette is here!!

Visit Eva's blog and check out the beautiful miracle girl, Let's continue to pray for her and her precious family - and let her know please. I remember walking this road only 2 months ago and I remember the peace that God poured over our hearts and the miracles and love that took place that day when Mary Grace blessed our lives forever. Oh the sweet power of prayer!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Just another manic Sunday

I come to you with a heavy heart tonight. Today has been a really hard day and I have had several good cries. I was by myself in church today (Chris is traveling) and I pretty much cried the whole song service. I didn't have a Kleenex and I must have looked pretty nuts to everyone around me. Normally I will cry during the songs but not during the message. But today it seems like almost everything our Pastor said triggered tears. When he ended the sermon he sang "on Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand" with tears in his eyes. Wow, did that get me going, those old hymns are so incredible, I just love them.

Everything feels so conflicting. I can feel pretty "normal" one second and totally lost the next. When someone asks how are you doing and I say "okay or pretty good" I am not sure what those words even mean. I can be reading scripture about Hope and know that God's word is truth, but after reading it I can still feel so hopeless. I can be praying but not feel anything. It's just such an empty feeling. I can feel so cheated and mad, but then look at Chris, Kailey, Allison and pictures of Mary Grace and feel so very blessed.
I am not sure that just after several days of putting on my "game face" I just break down from being exhausted from it all. Not that I am trying to or that I purposely "fake" it, I just have never been the type to be "woe is me" in front of people, even some of my closest friends, even a lot of times with Chris. I am not sure if that's good or bad or what the right way to be is....but it is what it is.
It's just tough - plain and simple. I have to just tell you, I want Mary Grace, I want to hold her, kiss her, look at her for hours, I want to whisper in her ear to tell her how much I love her and how beautiful she is, I want bury my face in her neck, I want to kiss her sweet feet, I want to sing her some hymns while I rock her in the chair that I rock my other two in, I want to watch her sisters argue over who gets to hold her next, I want to buy her first Easter dress and get her picture taken, I want to give her a bath and rub Baby Magic lotion on her just to smell her. Oh my arms ache for her, my heart breaks for her, my sweet Mary Grace. It's just that simple..........

Ps. 55:2 - Hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught.

So I came to the computer to cry out, to get it all out, to tell you about ME and how much I am hurting and how mad I am and how heavy my heart is (ME ME ME again!) and when I sat down I decided to check in on others first. And well, I am reminded that this world and this hurt and this trial is not about ME - guess I need to read the book I purchased a while back (it's not about me!). It's about something much bigger. Something I will never fully understand. my hurt and despair, I somehow find God, I find that I need Him deeply. I find that this is about reaching out to others, it's about connecting with others and sharing and loving and growing. It's about knowing that Mary Grace has connected me to some very amazing people, some awesome miracles and stories of others that I would not know without her. That she has taken me to a better, more "desperate for God" prayer life (very desperate). It's about being prayerful for others, it's about trying to find a way to glorify God in all of this. It's about so much.
So....while I know I have a right to be hurting, I know I have a right to feel sorry for myself, I know I have a right to pull the blanket over my head and not come out for a while and I know I have a right to feel cheated (and I do and I will)...... I want more from this. I want all that Mary Grace was meant to bring me. I want her purpose to be fulfilled in me, I want to "get IT". I want it desperately and if I don't get it for a while, I know I will get it eventually. I will just keep on keepin' on. In the good and the bad times, I will seek His face.

So..speaking of being prayerful for others. I have some pretty big requests.

First, tomorrow or today for that matter (March 17th) my friend Chrissy will be meeting her precious miracle Eva Janette. Eva has been diagnosed with t-18. Chrissy is the last of our group that has met via the blogs to give birth. She has had to endure all of our stories and losses and still find a way to enjoy her pregnancy with Eva. Please pray for her, for Eva, for Vinny her Husband and for her other two children Mya and Dominic. Pray for lots of time together and that all their prayers will be answered. Oh how my heart hurts right now and how anxious I feel for them. The entire of day of Jan. 14 (Mary Grace's birthday) plays back in my mind as I think of this precious family. May God grant them their heart's desires. Check on them via their blog:

Pray also for the family of Joshua Mathew Sams. Joshua passed away after having 67 days with his family. He was born with a neural tube defect. The Doctors said he would pass away soon after birth but praise God the family has had some wonderful time with him!! Please pray for Mommy Susie, Daddy Matt and Sister Oceana. They have many needs but mostly pray for healing that only can come from God. Let them know you are praying for them :

This family I have never heard of until tonight after reading a friend's blog. Molly Brown suddenly passed away at 19 months old - she had Trisomy 18. What a miracle this sweet girl is but her death was sudden and unexpected. Oh to be given so much time and then to have to let her go. Please pray pray pray for this sweet family. Let them know.....:

Thank you for your prayers for these families. Thank you for your continued prayers for me and my family. I appreciate my family and friends and even strangers more than you could ever know!

Ps. 9:9 The Lord will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know Thy name will put their trust in Thee.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

God is waiting on me.....

Well, the last two days I have actually felt human. For those of you who do not know a couple of weeks ago I came down with type B flu - took about 1 week to somewhat get over that - then after having maybe one day where I felt like I could accomplish something - I started feeling yuck again. So....last Friday morning when I woke up my body ached and I felt in the tank again - this after seeing the commercial for cymbalta saying "depression hurts, it hurts everyone, it hurts everywhere, your body aches" - well - I just knew - this is it - this is how I am going to feel the rest of my life - I pretty much had a break down thinking this is how I was going to have to live. Oh how Satan loves to defeat us! I took a bath thinking it would help me, but after getting out and realizing - nope I don't feel better - I thought - hey I am going to take my temp - 102 - and blisters in the throat triggered a thought of "hey I may be sick again". So...the Dr fit me in - I had strep throat - I actually cried in relief that maybe, just maybe it's not a life sentence of depression.

I have to say however, that I do feel "depressed", I have felt hopeless, I have felt deep deep sadness, I have felt anger, anxiety, bitterness - but I have also had glimpses of relief the last two days. It's a bitter sweet thing - sweet because it has felt nice to feel somewhat normal - but bitter because when I have some good moments I feel guilt and fear - guilt for feeling "good" without Mary Grace, fear that it's a sign that I will forget - and God knows I want her to be a part of me every moment of every day - just not the sadness part. I want to start living what I KNOW to be truth - truth that Mary Grace was a miracle, our specific prayers were answered, we got to meet her, look into her eyes. I want to rejoice in all the ways Mary Grace touched our lives, touched every one's life - how she has impacted this world in a greater way than most do who live a lifetime. She is my third daughter and will always be with me. You know what we want most as parents is for our children to accept Jesus and be in Heaven for eternity. I want to rejoice in the fact that Mary Grace is there - it's accomplished - that worry is done, taken care of - she is with Jesus in paradise - free of this world and the junk it has to offer, she is waiting on me and I will see her again. It's Kailey and Allison I should be crying for - for all they will have to endure of this world - even at it's best - the heartache, the sin, Satan and his tricks and traps....oh Jesus, help me to raise them in You and keep them in your sights, keep them safe and let us be together forever with You in paradise one day. Help me to not lose any time with them because Satan is trying to steel my joy, help me to be the Mommy you planned for me to be, help me to be the Mommy that Kailey, Allison and Mary Grace deserves. Help me to be the wife Chris deserves. He me to bring You the glory that You so deserve. Oh God I want that, but I need you to accomplish it in me, I can not do it without You holding me tight right now.

I have started reading the one year book of hope - and the Author Nancy Guthrie lost two of her babies to a birth defect shortly after birth. She has felt a lot of the things that I have felt. One thing specifically that stood out is that I have felt guilty because I think my grief is more about ME than about Mary Grace. I know this to be true because Mary Grace is in Heaven - my goodness she is "where it's at!". I have just been feeling sorry for myself, feeling sadness for my loss, thinking about what I feel, what I fear, the disappointment that swallows me. Also, I expressed to a friend today that I feel like there has been so many things in my life that I have prayed about, some things I have prayed so hard about, some things I have prayed about for so long.....and it seems that God isn't answering any of my prayers. I hate saying that out loud because I KNOW how the Lord has blessed me and I KNOW the blessings that are in my life, but I also feel like He can do anything - He could answer these requests for goodness sakes - He could have healed Mary Grace......why pray about things - He is going to do what He wants to do anyway. Is He even there? Is He even listening? Why doesn't He show himself? Why doesn't He speak to me? Am I being punished for my sin? Then I am reminded of the Truth. The Truth that sets me free....... For instance Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Mary and Martha sent a desperate message to Jesus about their brother Lazarus, that he was sick and to please come heal him - "Lord the one You love is sick". And Jesus loved Lazarus - just like he loves ME - all of us! But.....Lazarus died - Mary and Martha was so confused - they must have felt like Jesus just ignored them, didn't care, why wouldn't he just come and heal him?! But Jesus had a greater purpose, he knew in order for God to be glorified that it must happen the way it did - days had to pass before he went back to bring Lazarus back from the dead. Jesus was teaching Mary and Martha and his disciples to TRUST him - to rely only on Him. And when we don't understand why......we have to TRUST him. God reassured the apostle Paul when he went through great suffering that "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness". Oh Jesus - I believe, help me with my unbelief.

And one of my very favorite reminders is in the book of Daniel. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego -three Hebrew teens who were captured, stripped of their names and manhood and made to be slaves to an emperor who was very cruel. They must have prayed over and over for relief, for freedom and no help came. They must have asked - "God can you hear us, are you there?" And then when King Nebuchadnezzar built a golden statue and told the three Hebrews to bow down and worship it, they refused - even when the King told them they would be thrown into a fiery furnace and killed. They told him "If you throw us into the blazing furnace the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, oh King. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O King, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up". And God did rescue them, he was in the fire with them, they came out without even a smell of smoke!! Now...if God had rescued them when they wanted to be rescued and answered their prayers in their time, would He have been glorified in such a miraculous way? I have to keep reminding myself of these things. Can you imagine being told you were going to be thrown into a furnace if you didn't bow down and worship another god and having their response - our God is able, but even if he doesn't!? Oh how I want to be like that - how I want to say - Lord you may not answer my prayers like I want them to be answered and this life may not be how I want it or planned it, and even if you never answer another prayer..... I know you love me and because you sent your only Son Jesus to die for me, I will be with you forever in Heaven - I will be with Mary Grace forever! God help me to surrender ALL!! And Satan, you might as well quit - no matter what you throw at me or my family, you will not win, I am saved and I am secure and my God is bigger than you and BTW - you are already defeated!!

You know, I have said before I am having a hard time reading the bible, praying for anything other than for others......and that really hasn't changed, but I know God knows how I feel. God heals the brokenhearted, he is holding me in the palm of his hand - this I know for sure because I wouldn't be able to get out of bed otherwise. God is waiting on me, and I am digging my way out of this hole, Lord I am coming - I know you are there...........I know you will not leave me.....I know your plans for me and my family are great, far greater that I can even imagine........I am hoping, I am trusting and I am relying on you. And I know You NEVER fail...............