Heart of Esther

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

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…


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Today December 8, 2011

8 weeks ago today…

Heartsick and missing you, Andrew, my love!

 

life all around me November 29, 2011

Another dark day, I think.

Sometimes its hard to hear of all the life going on around us right now. Our lives have stopped. Don’t you know we can’t go on as always, as if nothing every happened??

It’s these days that its hard for the day to start before it has begun.  The tasks of the day ahead seem insurmountable. I feel listless and tired. I’m sad and heavy-hearted. It’s as if my strength is gone.

And, yet, I know that checking out of life and not being thankful for what He has so graciously given me is what the enemy wants. Sometimes its as if He’s asking in His quiet way “will you still serve Me when everything goes wrong?”

And so on I go-sometimes in a numb kind of way, going through the motions or choking back the tears that too easily come.  

“There is a sacredness in tears.
They are not the mark of weakness, but of power.
They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.
They are messengers of overwhelming grief….and unspeakable love.”
Washington Irving

 

THANKSGIVING November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away. 

I’m not sure how to face the next few days…thankful…

And empty.

I will choose to focus on what I DO have instead of what I’ve lost. I will freely admit, just the basics (laundry, dishes, meals, A SHOWER) are hard to manage right now.  I have little ones pulling my attention many different ways.  I am choosing to be thankful for them.  I know there are so many of you out there who have lost a baby and do not have the comfort of another child’s arms.  So for that, I have so much to be thankful for!  Some days, knowing they need me is the only thing that wills me out of bed.  Other days, I bury myself further under the covers and wish I could be left alone to cry!  It’s hard not to feel like a terrible mother because with all these emotions, my fuse is super short.  I pray God gives them the grace to pardon me and me the grace to respond well.

I hope I do not sound ungrateful because I truly am blessed.  We have so much to be thankful for.  It’s just so hard to focus on gratefulness when my heart is full of  such ache.  So this weekend, when I know I will be thinking of nothing but the emptiness, I pray I can somehow rise above it all and truly in my heart be THANKFUL for a loving husband, my beautiful children, the brief time we had with Andrew, and my own life.  I’m thankful for medical advances that have made something that would have taken a mother’s life two generations ago, easily sustained. I will be thankful for the food we are so blessed to have and the friends and family we are able to enjoy. 

I will be thankful for the blessing of beautiful friends who have been here for us in amazing ways-lovingly watching our children, bringing meals, being there to cry on and talk to, and truly hurting with us.  We are so thankful for the friends who sent amazing flowers, books, emails, and cards that comforted our hearts.  Friends who offered to clean, take our kids for a walk, or even bring a coffee!

This morning I heard BLESSED BE YOUR NAME by Matt Redman.  His song is based on Job so I looked up these verses:  Job 1:21 “…The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” and Job 2:10 “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” 

Job had lost everything and he chose to still praise and not curse God.  But I also realize that even in Job it was the enemy who killed, stole, and destroyed-not God.  Even though the Lord allowed it.  Why He allowed it is the part that is so very difficult… 

These are the times in our walk when we are tried and shaken to our very core and all we are left with is a simple choice.  It’s a choice because it’s not what we feel, it’s what we know.

Though there is pain in the offering, I will choose to say…

blessed be the Name of the Lord.

 

IMPLODING November 22, 2011

I am strong enough now to put on a face around others.  And I’m even brave enough to venture leaving the house now.  Sometimes I wonder if they think I am okay now.  It feels as if the inside of me is a big black hole.  As if all of me is continually being sucked into this dark place.  My very heart is imploding.  There is heaviness.  Sadness.  Guilt.  Sorrow.  Despair.  Aching and longing.  Emptiness.  I feel so sad inside that when I’m left alone for a moment and without a task I feel as if I could fade away.

Sometimes it brings perspective to hear of the pain others go through.  That other parents have carried far larger burdens than ours and somehow survived.  Today I heard of a friend whose three-year old has cancer.  They are enduring surgeries and chemotherapy.  I shutter to imagine what they must be going through.  Or the other stories we’ve heard of parents who have lost their children.  How do they find the strength to endure?

But it doesn’t lessen our pain. And that’s alright, too.  But, somehow, they made it through.  They found a way to get out of bed.  They found strength to forgive. So there is hope that I will too.

 

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.

 

ONLY IN MY HEART November 18, 2011

How precious all the words of love and comfort we’ve received-emails, cards, flowers-from those who were touched by our grief.  As the flowers are dying off, my heart wrenches for fear that Andrew’s memory will also die off…

It never will in my heart, but others will move on as though he never was.  People who look at me will not see the hidden tears or the piece of my heart that’s missing since he’s gone.  I used to carry him with me and dreamed of when I would hold him in my arms.  

Now he only remains in my heart.

I will carry him with me always, but some will never understand.  We’ve heard things like “it was meant to be” or “its better than having a child for a long time than loosing them”.  They don’t know how deep our pain and grief remain.

I know someday I will be on the other side of this.  There will always be pain but I’m told not so raw.  But my heart will forever have a piece missing.  Andrew, my love, I miss you SO much!

 

 
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