Christmas Hope December 25, 2011
“Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.”
So you may have hope this Christmas…
For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and His Name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Picking up the pieces December 15, 2011
I feel sometimes like a vortex. A big black hole inside of me is sucking all of me into oblivion.
But, I see so clearly two roads before me…
The first is heavy with the ugliness of grief-animosity, anger, anxiety and depression. This road makes us bitter and hard and unable to really be filled with faith, have peace, or love deeply.
The other still has the burden of sadness but is heading down a path of healing and hope. This one is harder. It makes us vulnerable. But it softens us, helps us appreciate life and the blessings we have, and makes us better friends, parents, people. It gives us perspective into another’s struggles. It gives us compassion, mercy.
I know in my heart that I can choose to surrender to the entrapment of grief or rise above and accept His peace. Jesus talks of a becoming like a child to enter the kingdom of heaven. A little child doesn’t always understand but fully trusts his parents. I guess I need to fully rest in His grace. I know I can trust my pulverized heart in His hands. I never imagined going through the unthinkable of losing a child and having my very heart ripped from my chest and being able to somehow still breathe, still carry on. Though I’m not quite sure what carrying on looks like yet. In Him, lies my only hope. I know I can only do this with Him. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have Him to bring hope to my despair and healing to this deep and intense pain.
There is such vulnerability in grief. There is such liability in vulnerability. And yet there is power in vulnerability.
In knowing that I am not too hard-hearted to let love wash over me. That in this weakness, strength will be there. Not my strength. But my dependence on Him and His strength. I want to make it through this to the other side. I want to finish the race set before me. I don’t want life and pain to conquer me. I want to beat this.
I want to be a survivor.
So here I am, picking up the pieces…
fix our eyes December 10, 2011
I’ve been contemplating death and the hereafter lately. To be honest, it’s not something I’ve given much thought to before-not really. Heaven sometimes seems like this far off fairytale and not real. But its been so impressed on my heart how real and present it is. I know as a Christian it seems silly that I’ve never mulled over the topic before, but I haven’t. I think the reason I’ve never given it much thought is because death is so mysterious and I never wanted to dwell too much on it.
I think the Lord has been showing me that there is so much more to LIFE than this one here on earth we see and we know. This is our temporary, our beginning. After this, well-the Bible says its eternal. Our minds cannot even comprehend this. Forever. I’ve been understanding that this life here is just as the Bible says-here today and gone tomorrow. So brief and yet there is so much more. My heart is full of this vision of not just death but life. It’s understanding that this life isn’t as real as the next.
Fix your eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal. (Acts 20)
Then I read this book, “Heaven Is For Real” and it had me thinking even of our purpose in heaven (other than the obvious-our relationship with and worship of the Lord).
So I have been thinking lately-Andrew’s life began for a reason. Who knows what purpose the Lord has for him in heaven?
It’s hurts so much to have lost him and all he meant to us. So, I will choose instead to feel honored that God allowed me to have Andrew. And to even in a way that can only be understood through knowing Christ, that somehow, the pain will make me better. The fire refines us if we allow it to. It’s the struggle, the choice, to allow it to make me better that’s the hardest. It’s easier to fall into my pain, anger, even bitterness. But He wants so much more for me. This is what it means to die to really live…
Today December 8, 2011
8 weeks ago today…
Heartsick and missing you, Andrew, my love!
A few words about him December 6, 2011
He’s the strong, silent type.
He doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve, but I always know where he stands.
He’s calm and reassuring, even when the storm shakes him to his core.
He takes care of me-not just physically, but my heart, too.
He allows me to talk when I feel like talking, but he holds me in the silence when there are no words.
He makes decisions and takes care of things I cannot handle.
He lovingly has met all my needs to the best of his ability.
He is my buffer, and my guard.
He keeps me grounded in our faith.
He has brought me anything he thought might ease my pain and not judged me for it.
He has never demanded I move on or told me how or when to heal but has allowed me to work through my own heart.
His strength has carried me through and allowed me to be vulnerable.
Even though he is in pain, he has not let it overtake him so that he can be there for me.
I’m thankful for his strong arms and enveloping hugs that make me feel secure.
For his quiet way of sacrificial living and loving and supporting and giving.
I could not have made it this far without him-my husband, my soul-mate, my friend.
KISS HIM FOR ME November 21, 2011
Sometimes other people are frustrating. They may say things that aren’t very thoughtful. I know their intentions are good. Sometimes people just don’t know what to say. Someone said I didn’t have years with him and loose him. Yet others have said I will come out of this stronger or that God has a plan.
That doesn’t lessen my pain. We DID loose a child-no matter how brief his life here on earth. He was still our precious child. We still miss him. We still long to hold him and plant kisses on his sweet cheeks. To gaze into his eyes and know him.
My son said to me today that Andrew is in a beautiful place and that God has a special place for him. Then, Lord will you hold him close and kiss him for me? 😥 I miss my baby so! My arms ache to hold him and nurse him. All the plans and dreaming of him-GONE.
And I’m helpless to change it.
THERE ARE NO ANSWERS November 15, 2011
Nothing makes sense to me right now. I know things in my head but my heart does not comprehend. Everything I believe has come in to question. But my spirit knows the truth and though I lost my way (temporarily) I know my way back. I could allow bitterness to take root, but I refuse to. My heart is still His.
Andrew was made BY God and FOR God. Though I desperately want his life to be here with me, he’s not here. But God still made him. Somehow, there is comfort knowing that Andrew was made for Him. I don’t know his purpose, but his brief life meant something.
Maybe this will help bring me some level of acceptance…
Another truth I know-the devil cannot take what I freely give.
So as much as it hurts and as much as it’s not what I want-Lord, I give baby Andrew to you.
He is yours now, to keep and to love.
JILL MCCLOGHRY SPEAKS ON THE LOSS OF HER CHILD November 14, 2011
A few weeks ago I posted a link to “Desert Song” by Hillsong United. It is a song I’ve listened to for years and it has sustained me through so many seasons. Little did I know the significance it would play in my life this week.
After losing our little Andrew, I looked up this song on YouTube. I knew I needed something encouraging to hold me back from this black hole of despair and grief. I’ve been so angry at God for allowing my precious baby to die! Bitterness and anger have threatened to swallow me up. I want to hate God. My heart screamed at Him…
Its a long story, but I happened across this interview by Hillsong United regarding the recording of this song that had seen me through so many times before. I had NEVER seen this interview before! I know it was the Holy Spirit who led me to see this. Thank you God for this interview-it gave me hope and put things in perspective for me. I knew if Jill McCloghry could survive, somehow, I would, too. Thank you, Jill, for speaking LIFE into my death and hope in my pain.
Please take a moment to watch this interview: Desert Song Interview
WHY? November 13, 2011
I must warn you this entry from my journal is pretty raw, but it is real. There are always the “right” things to say, but this is my heart and I’ll share it with you…
I try to fight the anger. The outrageous fury that screams within me! Why did you let this happen, God? WHY?
I want to hate God, but I cannot. He is inexplicably woven into the very fibers of my being. He is so apart of me, I have no life without him.
So though with grief I try to reject Him, my soul cries out for Him alone. He alone can restore peace and hope. He is my comforter and my strength. Even when comfort and strength seem unattainable. Though questions, fear, even doubt pull me away-my heart is compelled to return to the One who loves me. Within Him is my only rest.
So, instead, I hate myself. What did I do wrong??? Why is this happening to me?? Why are you silent, Lord? Where are my answers? If you love me…why??
HE MEETS ME WHERE I AM November 2, 2011
To my harsh heart, He is soft and gentle. He is my “enough” in my inadequacy. His forgiveness pours into my bitterness and disappointment. My deformities and ugliness are traded for loveliness and beauty. He brings instant calm to the storm of anger that rages inside me. When fear, doubt and worry swell within me, the soft wind of His Peace rushes over my soul and I know I can rest in trust. When the enemy has stolen my joy, His laughter and joy bubble over. He is the anchor to my double mindedness and restlessness. It is ME who gets in the way of His nature, of the sweet flow of His Love.
But He never punishes me for being the opposite of Him. Instead, He constantly showers me in His grace by meeting me where I am. He gently takes my head and turns it. He blows His sweet Spirit on me and causes me to breathe in His goodness; His love washes over me and cleanses me from every worry, every habit, and every part of my old, dead nature and restores me. He somehow shows me in that instant that my struggle to make myself “better” is no longer an issue when His Spirit is rising up within me.
Often I care more about myself than those around me. I have let bitterness and unforgiveness stifle the outpouring of His grace and mercy. I have allowed anger to steal the soft words. Pride has come between me and many relationships. I stumble and fall and my pride drags me to the ground, but He will always meet me where I am. His Love continues within ME-every moment that I allow-to pick me up where I am and bring me under His wing.
And then He makes me soar.