Heart of Esther

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

Happy Birthday, Baby! October 15, 2012

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Yesterday was our sweet baby Andrew Zane’s birthday. 

We lost him one year ago. When I woke up one year ago yesterday, I had no idea that my entire world would be turned upside down and forever changed.  A year ago today, I was lying in the hospital receiving blood transfusions because I had lost so much blood and was so weak, I could not even raise my own arm or sit up in bed.  The nurses were telling me they had never seen anyone when I crashed with such low blood pressure still alive.  I remember lying in the sterile-smelling room, hearing newborn babies crying down the hall, a constant stream of tears running down my face, unable to even respond.   

I didn’t just mourn yesterday.  I’ve mourned heavily this entire month.  I allowed myself to slow down and not fight the grief.  All of it flowed freely-the anger, the sadness, the longing and aching.  I’ve just allowed myself to weep openly.  And the tears seemed as if they would never cease.  But it was healing. 

And when his birthday finally came, we made cupcakes-brown and blue sprinkles on top.  And the children enjoyed having a little birthday party for their brother.  My more sensitive one shed some tears with me, but mostly the whole thing was approached lightly. 

 

And we remembered you, Andrew.  We talked about how we used to talk about you and the silly little songs we made up for you when you were in my tummy.  We looked at your pictures.  Your perfect little hands clasped together by your face.  How sweet you looked!  We thought of how it would be if you were here.  How you would be crawling and sitting and laughing.  And we pictured you where you are now-never knowing pain or sadness.  And we sent our love to you.  Though my heart aches with sadness that is too deep to describe, I have hope in this-that someday I will hold you again, sweet baby. 

All my love,

Mommy

 

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…

 

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!

 

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.

He has allowed me to grieve the way I do and I’ve allowed him to grieve how he does.  And its strengthened our bond.  Because no one knows the depth and dynamics of our loss but us.

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.

 

 
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