Sunday, January 23, 2011

De-Funked

Well, I am not completely defunked yet, but I am on my way.

The comments and emails I received were SO helpful. Thank you, all of you. Thank you for encouraging me, advising me, supporting me, and pointing me again toward Christ. I was really touched.

As I read your comments and mulled them over in my mind I had a long conversation with God. A much needed conversation that I have had parts of here and there, but I've never quite spit it all out...

Lord, what does it matter if I am near or far from you, if I pray or not, if I seek your way for my life or go off on my own...my prayers don't seem to carry any weight nor my love for you count for much. At the end of the day, you are God and I am just me and what you have planned for me is what you have planned for me, so honestly, tell me, what does it really matter?

This question has been swirling in my mind since the moment my Ellie died. And when my Aubrey died a week later my suspicions were confirmed. It seems to me that God does what God does despite the fact that I prayed with all my being for my daughters to live. And when they did not, the only conclusion I could come to was that it was all already decided and what I wanted didn't matter.

Everyday since it has been hard for me to pray because I feel...I'm not even sure the right word...defeated/blocked/shut-down perhaps. My feelings are hurt to say the least. I find myself expressing gratitude and honor for God out of fear. If He thinks me ungrateful He might allow more suffering, more loss, and more pain in my life. And I can't ask for anything not only because I think my requests will not be considered but also because I greatly resent when lesser significant prayers are answered but the most important prayers of my life to save my babies went unanswered.

It is a fierce inner struggle. No wonder I am so exhausted all the time!

And this is where it gets even more complicated. I have been a Christian a long time. I have loved, I mean LOVED, Jesus since I was a young girl and willingly devoted my life to serving Him. I have studied his Word for almost two decades and I know what it says.

Despite how I feel I do know the Truth.

The truth is that God is near to the hurting and he answers prayer. He heard my cries and he hears them still. He is compassionate, patient, and kind. He choose me, rescued me, and rejoices over me in singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

And God did not ignore my prayers. He heard every word, every single one.

So how do I cross over? How do I get from how I feel-betrayed, disappointed, and resistant-to what I know-a loving God who wants to shoulder the burden for me if I would allow Him to? A God who did not take my girls but saved my girls and restored their tiny broken bodies to what He always intended for them; LIFE ABUNDANTLY. After all, it is His Will that none would perish. How it must break His heart to see babies suffer so.

It think the real issue is allowing myself to become vulnerable again, to trust and love Him again after this season of distance and resistance. Before my girls died I was a do what you want with me God kind of girl. Now just the thought of giving God the reigns again scares me to death. On one hand I feel like God let me down, but on the other hand I honestly doubt I could do a better job with my life on my own. The thought of trusting God again is easier to consider when I evaluate the alternative. Although it hurts, I see that God made the better choice, the best choice, to restore my girls despite the pain it has caused me. He knew it was what I really wanted, in the deepest part of my mother's heart, I wanted them to be whole and well and I was willing to pay any price for it. He knew my heart and He honored my prayers, my secret prayers that even I didn't want to admit I prayed.

In order to cross over I have to re-learn who my God is. I have to learn to see clearly through the pain and trust the truth again. It is time to dive deep into His Word and rediscover who He has always been...as He has not changed, I am the one who has changed.

This journey is a long road. MUCH longer than I ever imagined it would be. When I choose healing I had no idea the depth of the transformation that would really be taking place in me. I've hit some pretty big hurdles along the way but I refuse to give up. I don't want to miss out on what God has for me. I don't want all this pain to be for nothing.

...let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:4 NIV

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Funky Funk

I can't shake this funk.

I think (well, I know) that I am tired. I was in San Fran the last five days launching my tea at the Fancy Foods Show. It was an amazing time. It was so validating to have such a positive reception. Teamotions got rave reviews to say the least. It was so rewarding to tell Aubrey and Ellie's story. But it absolutely exhausted me. All the talking and the standing drained me more than I anticipated. Since I returned I am barely functioning, but it was worth it.

Aside from being tired though, I am in a funk. It is as if I have a cloud hanging over me. I feel this way from time to time unfortunately. It seems to be part of my life now. But I can't seem to shake it this time. Truth be told, I'm feeling pretty low.

Since Aubrey and Ellie died I have struggled with bouts of depression from time to time. When I get tired or run down I seem to be more susceptible. Usually all I need is a day or two to snap myself out of it...

I have always had a hard time turning off my brain. I think a lot about a lot. You name it and I have probably given thought to it at some point in my life. I have the ability to talk a lot also, but if people knew how much I think about that I never talk about they would realize I exercise a lot more self control than it seems. The bottom line is, my brain never stops and sometimes it is down right tormenting.

Lately I feel like I am ALWAYS coming up short. I am not the mother I should be. I don't get enough done every day. I am not as fit as I should be nor am I thin enough yet because I still can't fit into most of my pre-pregnancy clothes. I don't know enough about the things I ought to know about. I don't read as much as I should. I don't eat as healthy as I should. I don't workout as often as I should. And I certainly don't give God the time and attention He deserves.

I constantly fear not paying enough attention to all the things I should be paying attention to. My house is a mess, I let my son watch too much TV, and since I got home from San Fransisco my milk supply has been down. Drastically down. Colt refused to nurse today and it crushed me. He isn't even six months old yet and I feel as if he doesn't want anyting to do with me. If I would have known my milk supply would have suffered so much I would have never gone or found a way to take him with me, after all, it is my responsibility to make sure these kinds of things don't happen right?

If I don't pay enough attention something bad will happen again. It was not paying enough attention that took my girls from me in the first place.

I know it sounds crazy but that is honestly how I feel. I cannot explain to you how many times I have wondered if I had paid more attention would Aubrey and Ellie still be alive?

I also don't feel that there is a single place in my life where I can go and not be measured, judged, rated, and graded. I miss having that safe place where I am not constantly critiqued and compared.

Sadly, my worst critic is probably me. I am the one who carries so much guilt and blames myself for my daughters' deaths. I am the one who can't stop comparing and critiquing myself every minute of every day.

Not a day goes by that I don't want a rewind or do-over. If only...right?

Forgiving myself has been the most difficult part of healing. It is much easier to forgive others than it is to forgive myself. I can give others the benefit of the doubt, but giving myself the benefit of the doubt would require ignorance about my inner thoughts and that is impossible to do.

I know myself better than anyone. Every thought, every action, every inaction, every motive, every secret...all of it. And I can't seem to just let it all go.

I need advice. How do I forgive myself? How do I let it all go? How do I shake this funk?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bag of Rocks

So many wonderful women leave comments on my blog, other women who have walked in my shoes, some ahead of me and others behind me...and although I am so sad for their losses and would give each one of them back their babies if I could, I am thankful that we have been able to find each other. Through them I learn so much and just knowing their stories makes me feel less alone. I wish we could all have tea together someday and meet in person.

Since I began pouring my heart out on this blog over two years ago I have been warned many times to beware of the unpredictability of grief. It has a way of sneaking in unexpectedly and it takes new forms over time. I am just now seeing how true this is.

The birth of my new son this past July was the highlight of my year. His birth was the first true joy I had experienced since my daughter's deaths. It is hard for me to explain it honestly. It was like I had been holding my breath until then and I was finally able to exhale. Something in me came alive again.

But a new baby has not been the remedy I anticipated. The daily joy of my new little one has stirred up new layers of intense grief. And I am frustrated that I didn't see it coming.

My dad and I were talking on the phone a while back and he told me that he found an old journal belonging to my Grandad who passed away about three and a half years ago. In it my Grandad wrote about how we all have our bag of rocks to carry, that life is not always easy and our burdens are not always light. Sometimes I wish my Grandad was still alive so I could ask him how on earth I am supposed to carry this bag of rocks because it seems to be getting heavier all the time. He died before I lost my girls.

My bag of rocks is crushing me these days. I am down right exhausted. And I feel angry because the weight of my grief is stealing the joy of my new son. I feel like everyday is a fight, a literal fight, to keep the good things from being swallowed up by the sadness swirling inside.

I'd like a different bag of rocks please.

Or I'd like to at least be able to throw every rock in my bag at something. I don't know at what but it would sure feel liberating to just let them fly.

But since I can't throw them and I can't trade them what do I do with them? I feel overwhelmingly weighed down. Why did I get this bag of rocks? I feel like I got a heavier bag than most.

Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

I guess the answer is to ask for help. This is my bag of rocks and always will be, but I don't have to carry it alone. Jesus promises to help me.

Some days I honestly doubt if God is really helping me or not. I feel like I am carrying this all by myself. But the very fact that I am surviving each day, that the heaviness of my grief hasn't crushed me completely, is proof enough that Jesus has helped me carry these rocks every minute of the last two and a half years.

Some rocks are impossible to carry on our own.

I'll leave you with Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil for you are with me;
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Happy New Year!
 
Design by Small Bird Studios | All Rights Reserved