Saturday, June 26, 2010

He is always there

As we go through life we get busy and don’t always feel that God is still there with us.  If we stop and slow down we may see that he is right there.  I would like to share some times that I know God was right there by my side carrying me through the pains of this life.
During one of the most difficult times in my life or shall I say the most difficult time of my life so far was the funeral of my son, Benjamin.  I was overwhelmed with sadness.  I remember that day as if it was yesterday.  Walking to his grave site in disbelief that this was really happening, as I held my belly from the incision where he was cut out of me.  Did I just give birth to my baby boy and is he really gone?  Will I really not be able to hold him again or help him grow up into a handsome man?  I remember my brother, Bryan, Mark’s brother, Mike and Jim our brother-in-law, carrying Benjamin to us.  My first thoughts were wow what a small coffin.  Don’t know why I expected it to be bigger I guess because I have never been to an infant funeral.  I just could not believe how small it was.  As tears rolled down my face it began to rain as Bryan, Mike, and Jim carried our son to us God was crying too.  It was amazing it started to poor down rain.  I remember being worried that I would not be able to hear our preacher Victor as it was raining so hard.  Just as I thought that the rain stopped.  It never rained again like that, that day.  I believe with my whole hart that God too was feeling our sorrow.  He was right there with us, HOLDING us during our deep sorrow.

The first time you see your new born child, it is suppose to be full of joy and happiness.  When Mark and I finally got to see our son, Benjamin it was not like that.  We saw our little boy lifeless as tubes were keeping him alive.  His arm was limp, unable to feel our touch or grasp our hand.  I have never felt such pain and disappointment before.  I was completely distraught.  The extent of Benjamin’s illness was staring us right in the face and we could not believe it.  I left his side feeling so alone and so distraught I became angry, asking why, how could this be happening, this is so unfair.  Looking back on that moment in time I was not alone God was there.  I just did not realize it at that time.  In the picture below you can see the cross within the lighting above all, in the room.  God was there holding us the entire time.

If you can not see the cross then stand further back from the computer.  It is there!

In my kitchen I have some Jim Shore figurines.  Two new ones I have are Have Faith and Forever in His Embrace. I placed some cards by them that we just received since we just reached the anniversary of our son’s birthday, I cannot believe it has been a year!  One day as I was doing day to day things I saw the sun shining down hard on a special card that we had gotten and the figurine "Forever in His Embrace".  It was as if God was saying, “Yes I have him and he is in my embrace”.  I quickly took at picture of it.  I looked at the picture and thought I can get a better picture than that.  I turned back to take another picture and it was gone.  Here is the picture I took.  The writing on the angel says, “The Lord has called you home and it is within the embrace of his loving arms that you shall reside forever”.  We know where Benjamin is and Thank You Lord for reminding me of that!

 The card says "For a brief while, a wonderful miracle was yours......

On Mother’s Day I wanted to go to Benjamin's grave.  I know I do not have to go there to be close to him as he is always there in my heart.  But that day when I felt that my son should be in my arms holding me tight and giving me mother’s day kisses I just had to go.  As Mark and I approved the drive to the cemetery the song “Held” came on the radio station K-Love, the station that I now listen to all of the time.  We had this station playing during our entire labor process.  I had this song on my iPod before having Benjamin.  I remember singing it to him and the words meant different to me.  I thought it was about Mary and her Son, sacred one being taken away from her.  That is not what it is about at all.  It is about the cry of a mother and father losing their child.  It’s about when everything fell they would be held.  When all fell we were still being held and God is still holding us.  Any way as we drove to the cemetery that day this song began to play.  I turned it up and sang along.  As we parked the song ended and Kelly on K-Love said, that was played for all of you mother’s out there who have lost a child and that this day is hard but that God is holding you.  I felt comfort then.  At that moment I was amazed.  What is the likely hood that, that song would play like that as we approach our son’s grave.  I thank you God for continuing to talk to me and let me know you are there.  Here are the words to that song and you click on this site to hear it for yourself.

by Natalie Grant

Two months is too little.
They let him go.
They had no sudden healing.
To think that providence would
Take a child from his mother while she prays
Is appalling.

Who told us we'd be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?
We're asking why this happens
To us who have died to live?
It's unfair.

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we'd be held.

This hand is bitterness.
We want to taste it, let the hatred know our sorrow.
The wise hands opens slowly to lilies of the valley
and tomorrow.


If hope is born of suffering.
If this is only the beginning.
Can we not wait for one hour watching for our Savior?

Some people may choose to say all of these things are just a coincidence.  I have a hard time believing that.  There are more ways I know God has shown/reminded me that he is there.  But, there are many, many, more that I never saw.  Slow down and allow God to talk to you.  This is really hard for me but I am trying hard to "Make time for the quiet moments as God whispers and the world is loud"

Please share some of the times that he has shown you that he is there.  Your comments are appreciated and I pray they will inspire others.  Slow down and allow him to show you his presence.
God Bless you!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

An aching heart

Yesterday I woke up at 0538 just minutes before Benjamin was born.  I sang happy birthday to him, while I laid in bed thinking about that day, a year ago when we had him.  Yesterday we placed flowers in the vase we got with the plot marker.  It was nice to see all of the flowers from others.  I thought that day I should be having a party for him and giving him so much more than flowers at a grave site.  Although I am sure they had a party for him in Heaven..with our grandparents by his side.  Now I am feeling that roller coaster today.  It is only the next day but it really is filled with saddens.  I did not expect that, not sure why but I have been so strong.  I remember the pain I felt and the disbelief of what just happen.  Today I wish I had spent more time with him, as if any time would be long enough.  If I had known I only had a day I would have watched him, in amazement move about in his little hospital bed.  I would have held his little hand longer to feel that touch just a little longer.  We both cannot believe it has been a year.  It does not seem possible.  To us it feels like only a couple months.

Yes, the joy of our little girl is such a blessing.  She is loved so much already.  I love this saying which I saw in a store .."the first blessing of parenthood is loving so deeply someone you've never met".  It is so true of my feelings for her and Benjamin.  And once you get to lay eyes on them that love is so overwhelming!!  A love I truly have never felt before.  It is just amazing.  At times with Benjamin I didn't even see the life supporting machines.  I only saw our little boy and was stricken by him!  Now as we go through this again with the anticipation of our precious little girl, we can only imagine that day of love.  Being able to hold our girl I know will be one of the most amazing days of our life.  Something that is so often taken for granted will be so much more for us.  I am praying for that day.  I know as before this is all in God’s hands.  I am trying so hard to not worry or allow that anxiety to enter my soul.  I think I have done well with that so far but as we approach  21 weeks tomorrow I have allowed some of that worry to enter.  With Benjamin all looked perfect.  His detailed ultrasound was at 19 weeks, hers at 20, and both with no signs of a problem.  The world around us came crashing down at 28 weeks.  The next 7 weeks my worry is a bit more.  I can only trust and know it is in our God’s hands.  

Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  Phil 4:9 continues to say: “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you.”  

Please pray for me that I can remember this and put into practice what I already know.  God is all powerful and in control.  May he give me peace in knowing that.  

Happy Birthday Benjamin
We Love an miss you so much!!

March of Dimes photos

We were overwhelmed with the love support we had this day.  Thank you Joyce for the perfect T-shirts!

Thanks so much for your support we raised $1,035!!!

 It was amazing to see all of the people there supporting such a great cause.  There were groups like us remembering their loss.  There were others celebrating the miracle of life.  One dad had a sign. On one side it said Miracle 1.5 lb and on the other side it showed his son grown up at the age of 4 or 5.  It was an amazing site. 
We will do this every year to remember Benjamin and the work March of Dimes does for families during such a difficult time.  
Thank you everyone for your love and support of our walk!!