Heart of Esther

"And who knows but that you have come to this position for such a time as this?" –Esther 4:14

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. 

Grace.

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…

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inside out December 13, 2011

So I braved a party this weekend.  I decided the only way to overcome this anxiousness is to slowly face it.  So, even though it sent me into a panic attack the night before, I went.

And, for the most part, it turned out alright.  I only broke down once.  Not bad, right?  More importantly, I faced my fears and survived.  

I didn’t feel like everyone was ignoring what happened.  I felt comfortable enough bringing it up if I wanted to.  I also didn’t feel pressure to talk about it if I didn’t want to.  The hard thing, though, was hearing how “good” I look.  Like because I somehow don’t look “bad” I must feel fine?  What exactly do people expect?  Should I be bursting into tears every five minutes?  Just because I’m not a blubbering mess doesn’t mean I’m not hurting beyond words inside.  I’m not walking around in sackcloth and ashes so I must not be desperate and depressed inside?  Most of the time I feel desperate and there’s no one who understands and no help out there for me.  I have to somehow make it through my days.  Of course I smile and talk politely.  What else can I do?  Our loss is too sacred to share with just anyone and if we walked around with our heart on our sleeves it would just make them uncomfortable.    

I don’t know, maybe it makes them feel better to think I’m doing well…

 

pain December 12, 2011

Post-traumatic stress.

My Dr. said after my experience, I was a prime candidate for post traumatic stress.  Yeah.  So that is all the anxiety, panic attacks, sleepless nights, nightmares, and strange random pain in my body.

I think my heart is manifesting in physical pain.  I was offered medication, but I don’t like taking that sort of thing so I haven’t.  We are being told we need to talk to someone-a counselor.  The thing is, I can talk until I’m blue in the face and it won’t change a thing.  Maybe it helps some people, but it hasn’t helped me.  In fact, it makes me push things further down.  Then, more anxiety.  More pain. 

Writing, however, has been very therapeutic for me.  It’s also not forced, its whenever I feel like reflecting.  It’s on my own terms.  And no one is telling me what to do to make it better.  Or giving me pat answers. 

Because nothing will be better until I work through my own feelings.  Until healing comes and soothes my heart. 

Until my soul finds peace.

 

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).

Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back  -             By: Todd Burpo, Lynn Vincent

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!

 

THIS AND THAT… December 1, 2011

Warning:  this blog is a little of this and a little of that.  I’m not sure how it flows, but this is me right now, so please bear with me!

So a friend suggested I start a project or something to help me to have something to focus on.  It was a very good idea!  It has helped me to stop wallowing in grief all day and night.  So I started a family closet.  Which led to re-organizing the clothes, toys, and garage.  You know how when you move something, it leads to another and another?  Crazy of me, I know.  I haven’t been able to stop the last few days.  I’m completely exhausted and making myself feel sick but I keep going.  I know if I stop, I’ll break down.  So I keep going.  Not such a “healthy” way of dealing with things-running from grief.  From pain.  I don’t want to deal with all the tears and feelings today.  So I am running from them.  

Until I cannot run anymore…

I have had so much anxiety. People are too much for me right now. Any stress seems too much to bear.  I don’t want to leave the house much. It seems overwhelming to me. I am really embarrassed by this for some reason. Maybe because I am normally such a people person-and fearless at that-and this feeling of being actually anxious around others is new to me. I am usually quite capable but I feel so very out of control of everything right now-especially my emotions. Is it because I’m on edge of what they will say?  Because I will feel too depressed or too guilty for not being too depressed?  Because I’m afraid of breaking down and crying in front of them?

I’m not sure…

I still touch my stomach, as if he’s still there.  It’s so hard to one day be filled with another life and be the home and the only thing Andrew knew-where his life began and ended and now to be so empty.  Which brings on other feelings of guilt and failure as a mother.  A mother’s instinct is to protect and I was powerless to help my baby.  

And so the emptiness of my womb echoes the emptiness of my heart…



 

RAW November 19, 2011

I am continually touched by my children’s hearts through this grieving process.  They are raw and real as they speak of their little brother.  They grieve as much as we do.  They wanted another brother or sister so much!  They were SO excited for him to come!  They cry often.  They pray for another baby.

It’s very difficult to put into words the depth of the pain that is in my heart.  My heart is completely broken.  The circles, the ebbs and flows, the intensity, the numbness…

Some days I’m SO angry at God.  WHY did He allow this??  The anguished cry of my heart repeats…what did I do wrong?  The beautiful part of having such a loving Savior is that I can have my moments of anger and he covers it.  I can question Him, and He allows me to.  Some things coming out of the grief of my soul may offend others, but He is not offended.  He is still there, waiting for me.

Other days, I am at rest (purposefully, not naturally) in knowing simply this:  He is GOD.  He created me.  He created Andrew.  Who am I to tell Him what to do or question Him?  Even if His reason does not seem right to me-who am I?  In His Almighty wisdom and power He can do what He likes.  

 

Before the mountains were brought forth, or you had formed the earth and the world,  from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (Psalms 90:2)

 

So that’s where I am today.  

Trusting and resting in His understanding because, honestly, I have none…

 

 
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