11 Years: Lesson #3

11 Years: Lesson #3


I am either a five with a six wing or a six with a five wing on the enneagram. If you don’t know about the enneagram that last sentence just sounded like a foreign language you can’t speak.

Translation: I need time to process and I need security.


So when Daniel died and we met with the funeral home, I was overwhelmed at the thought of a receiving of friends…I wasn’t even sure what had just happened.  I could not process the comments and affections from publicly opening up this Life Celebration to the public.

So instead we asked that the obituary not show up in the paper (does anyone still get a newspaper?) until after the funeral was over.

We only invited our family and close friends to the funeral. About eighty people or so.

And I asked our church family not to call me. Someone else served as a liaison between me and the meal coordination…I just couldn’t handle it.

And then I started feeling lonely. Because it wasn’t like I had just asked everyone and their brother to leave me alone or anything…

Lesson #3: Even when you feel lonely, you are not alone.

This may seem like the most obvious message of all times…but it took me a while to remember that God was with me even when I felt like no one remembered me or my pain.

I am going to make a statement here that you may disagree with…and that is totally fine.

Here it is: I don’t believe that God planned for Daniel to die…I think He allowed it to happen and all the while He was saying to me, “I am here.” “Let me help you.”

We live in a fallen world and unfortunate things happen a lot.

Like babies dying.

And yet, God walks with us and I have learned to look to Him when I need to process the world around me.

And sometimes I gain understanding.

Other times, my faith grows because I can not understand the whys or whens of events that happen in this fallen world.  And that is okay…I have had to learn to be okay with the unknown because I trust the known God..

Because none of this is a surprise to God.  And He has never left me to walk this life or process its events by myself.

And I can praise Him for that.

“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.  The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”  Psalm 34:17-18

“I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.”  Psalm 16:8

“And behold, I am with you always to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:20

“Blessed be the Lord!  For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.  The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.  The Lord is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed.  Oh, save your people and bless your heritage!  Be their shepherd and carry them forever.”  Psalm 28:6-9

11 Years: Lesson #2

11 Years: Lesson #2

I love projects.  I love to make Christmas gifts.  I love to sew simple projects (key word: simple).  I love planning events, sometimes even weddings.

I love when something needs to be done and I can contribute to the completion of that project.

I love looking at that finished sewing project or cleaning up after a successful wedding.  That feeling of a job well done is wonderful!

I think I looked at motherhood as another one of these projects.  Like I would have all these babies and be their mother and it would be so fun to look back on the finished product.

To see our little offsprings.  (Yes, I know that is not a word, but I do love to pluralize words that shouldn’t be…it’s drives my English-minor husband crazy.  He loves me!)

All in color-coordinated outfits.

Then I had this son, who couldn’t breath on his own.  Who didn’t open his eyes.  Who never moved a limb.

I wanted him to cry even if it was all night long.  I wanted him to flail his arms and legs even if it busted my upper lip.  I wanted him to run and jump and play (even if it might have been in the mud)!  I wouldn’t even have minded if he practiced his aim while I was changing diapers…

I just wanted him.

And I couldn’t complete this project like I wanted.  I could not get the end results no matter how hard I tried.   I would never have a wonderful feeling of having done this job well…

That’s when lesson #2 became a reality:

Lesson #2: There are things I cannot do and there are times when I need to do nothing.

Besides being unable to help my son live physically, there were so many things I realized that I could not do.

I could no longer think clearly or straight.  My brain went into a foggy mode and it was hard to do anything.  My thoughts all revolved around this little boy and his sister who I probably hugged too tightly and too much, but I would argue that is not even possible.  Too many hugs?

Nope.  Not for my children.

I no longer looked at a project and thought, “Oh how awesome, I would love to do that!”  It would be years before I felt ready to take on another new project.

And in the subsequent years when I had my youngest two daughters, I will tell you that my confidence level was so low.  I was so afraid of losing another child.  Of all the unknowns.  Life just wasn’t fair anymore.

And in my lack of confidence, the Lord gently reminded me of what is true.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13

I don’t have to perform for his approval.

Those feelings of a job well-done were self-centered…and I needed to turn myself upward and see that it was always Him doing things through me…not me.  If He hadn’t given me the gifts He did, I could not do the jobs He gives me to do well.

I don’t have to be the best.  Though I should give everything my best effort.

I don’t have to have the best.  Though I should be wise with my investments and the care thereof.

I don’t have to be busy all the time.  Though God will give me the strength I need when He calls me to a busy season.

What I do have to be is in tune with the Lord as He leads me each and every day.  And many times, He will say, “Be still and know that I am God.”  Or My grace is sufficient for you.”  “Do not worry about tomorrow.”  “Seek my kingdom first.”

And it is in being still and not being overly busy/productive that I am able to rest in the arms of the Savior who loves me and made me.

Scripture never tells us that God’s love is conditional on our performance.  He loves us for who we are…His Creation.

And that is enough.  I cannot do it all.  Nor was I meant to do it all.  I was meant to be a reflection of the One who made me.  And in order to reflect Him, I must be near Him at all times.

Reflect on these promises today and let yourself relax in the presence of a Holy and loving God.

“I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.”  Psalm 16:8

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts and I am helped…” Psalm 28:7

“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.  The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”  Psalm 35:17-18

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the lord and turn away from evil.  It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”  Proverbs 3:5-8

11 Years: Lesson #1

11 Years: Lesson #1

Today marks the eleventh anniversary of the day when sweet Daniel was lifted from my womb into a world full of medical providers who would monitor him closely for the 36 hours he lived on earth.

Eleven years ago, January 26th was on a Friday.  And today, being a Friday seems hard to walk through my normal activities without remembering exactly where I was and who was with me on that day.   ELEVEN YEARS AGO!

Here is a picture of me about this same time (3pm on that Friday):

The first time I saw and touched Daniel.

While time has/does heal all wounds, there are some scars that you never can forget the story to.  I am not the same person that I was eleven years and one day ago.  And praise God that I have grown closer to Him and understand more fully His love and grace today than my 27 year-old self ever did.

Yes, I just told you my age.

And even though I have been an absent blogger for, oh say, the last three months, I want to share eleven things that I have learned in the last eleven years thanks to the heartache of my son’s home being in heaven and thanks to a Heavenly Father who never gave up on me or my emotions or my broken heart.

So for those of you who are subscribed to this blog, you will get a notification for the next ten days because here is number one:

Lesson #1: Life is a gift.

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