October 18, 2008

I Saw God Today....

Dear Friends,

Last night, my husband and I decided to take our boat out for an evening cruise for a little "us" time because we haven't had that in such a long, long time. After Christian died, we talked about getting away, just the two of us, but never really made any plans to do so. We've been trying to get back to normal...back to the same old routines...but, what we've really been doing is spinning in circles. Not moving forward...just suspended between celebrating Christian's life and mourning his death.

For me, I've been hiding out... I've been staying at home afraid to get out for fear that I would have to explain, yet again, that Christian died. Saying those words over and over again does not get easier, trust me. What's worse is the look of pity I receive afterwards...the awkward moments...and finally, a rushed attempt to scatter...to be anywhere but near me.

I understand that people aren't trying to be mean or rude. It's a natural tendency to feel uncomfortable in such a situation, but it adds to my feeling of isolation. Every day I try to venture out to do the most menial tasks... shopping, banking, just regular everyday errands and, on most days, I come home in tears.

People always want to talk about new babies...and they have a million questions. With faces lit up, they ask, "How old is your baby?", "Boy or Girl?", "What is their name"... and gush all sorts of congratulatory comments! And then I tell them the news and it's as if my child just turned into an alien.... no more smiles...no more questions... no more engaging conversation... no more looking you in the eye.

What happened?? My beautiful and precious boy is still beautiful and precious... he is still a joy... I have amazing stories I can share...and I was Blessed to have him.

Awkward silence... and then I skulk away like I've done something wrong.

I know people feel bad for me and family... They are hurting too... It's a terrible thing to lose a child. So I've been hiding out... avoiding the stares... avoiding the silence.

But, yesterday, my dear husband suggested we go on an evening cruise...and it sounded GREAT...just what we needed.

I'd had another one of those moments I previously described after picking up Christian's baby rattle which I had engraved... Fresh air away from everyone sounded perfect and I needed the pick me up.

And so, off we went. As we were cruising along the coastline toward downtown, I reclined back in my seat just marveling how gorgeous the day was. I smiled up at the sky taking in big gulps of fresh air. Overhead, little fluffy clouds dotted the brightest and bluest sky. I couldn't help thinking about Christian... and how I wished he was there with us enjoying the moment... and then it happened.

I sensed his presence so close to me I could almost feel him...it was that tangible. I sat up and looked around... and opened my eyes and ears. I mean, truly opened my eyes and ears to everything going on around me.

On the radio, George Strait's song, I saw God Today, was playing. And at that moment, I heard the words to the verse, "...the flashin' lights, the honkin' horns all seemed to fade away in the shadow of that hospital at 5:08, I saw God today....". At the same time, I noticed a little rainbow hovering in the foamy spray of water which splashed beside our boat as we cruised downtown.

I hollered at Ryan and we just stared at each with goofy grins on our faces... completely immersed in that moment. We sang along with the song...out loud and off key...laughing and smiling away. We felt God around us and we felt Christian with us...

My friends, Christian was born August 18, 2008.... at 5:08 p.m.

I am constantly amazed by how God chooses to continually reveal himself to us... Throughout our entire journey with our son, we have felt His presence. He's held us up when we were at our lowest points when Christian was alive...and now he lets us know he has not abandoned us after Christian's death.

It was a great moment...

BUT...for reasons I don't fully understand yet (obviously), God has a way of bringing home the point that life has it ups and downs... and it's okay.

Not that I was thinking about it too much last night. But, on our way home from dinner...we were the lone boat on the water engulfed in complete darkness...hugging the coastline in very, very rough water. I felt like Ryan and I were Gilligan and The Skipper out on the 3 hour tour... I had my feet wedged in between the seat cushions trying to keep from bouncing out of the boat... a white knuckled death grip on my seat and glaring at Ryan for purposefully trying to hit every tidal wave that ventured near our boat. (Not that he was trying to do so...but I still had to blame him, nonetheless!)

I guess what I'm trying to say... is that our outing as perfect as it was in the beginning...still had it's bumps in the road... I think that's what God has been trying to tell me... There is beauty in everything.... I just have to notice it...BUT, there is always a balance... it makes us appreciate the good that much more.


I don't believe in coincidences...


Last night was amazing...

"I saw God Today"...

Love,

Leah

25 comments:

Bobbie said...

Isn't that awesome how God orchestrates things? Amen!

friedrichfamily said...

What a beautiful moment for you to have with your husband, son, and your CREATOR! Amazing. I had goosebumps on my arms and tears in my eyes. I hope that miracle moment helps with so many of the other ugly sides of grief. Still praying for you!

Carla Burlando said...

Amen...what a blessing to have that moment of clarity. That gift. He is close to you, its just hard to feel it most of the time. God is close to the brokenhearted, he blesses the poor in spirit (you know what its like to have your spirit, your heart, your whole body ripped apart and crushed under the pain...leaving nothing left but a poor empty spirit), and he blesses those who mourn.

I remember those casual conversations. I hated the while I was still pregnant and after people noticed I wasn't pregnant anymore. I always did the "which answer should I give them?" If I was feeling cruel I would give them the whole ugle truth...and watch them squirm..if I was feeling worn out I would tell them what they wanted to hear. A mother wants her child to be remembered and validated even when he has passed away. I wanted to talk about the labor, the birth and brag about my baby just as much as any other mom. There were very few people who I could share all the joys and sorrows with though.

Penny said...

Life measured in days hours and minutes is life so intense! You spoke so eloquently Leah. As humans birth and baies are such a happy thing unitl there is a bump in the "normal" road. Most people just don't know what to say and rob us and themselves from the beauty of our babies in heaven. As I read your post I agreed so much and wished I could be one of those who you would meet on those everyday errands. I LOVE to hear your stories about Christian and his little mannerisms that made his Mom and Dad smile.
This is such a hard road and although the public part gets better with time it is so bittersweet.....even after 3 years 4 months and 1 day my tears flow and I miss my sweet baby girl. Hugs to you girl, I am so glad you got a moment of clarity and a message from God. I'm sorue Christian was smiling down seeing his Mom and Dad so happy.

Kristi said...

Oh wow, that gave me chills:) I think you'll have to add that song to your playlist!

Diana said...

Your evening out was amazing!
Have you by chance been to this blog. She is truly a inspiration.

http://audreycaroline.blogspot.com/

Darlene said...

Leah, it has been a while since I left you a comment, but I wanted to let you know that you have not left my prayers.

God baffles me, in His detailed but tiny, small, and big way that he speaks to me. I call them little-big-gifts.

5:08...

details. to let you know He knows.
He hears. He loves you. and Ryan. and of course, your sweet Christian.

Darlene

Kathy said...

So beautiful! God is so good!

His illustration for you and Ryan and then passed on to all of us is a such a beautiful reminder. My favorite thing about the rainbow is knowing that it's something God can see from heaven while we see it from earth.

I once heard God's audible voice at just the time I needed to hear it. "Here I am". Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for being right there for Leah and Ryan!

May each emotion, each memory draw you nearer to Him, Leah! I just wish I was there to look you in the eye, to hug you, to wipe your tears, and, yes, to laugh with you and share the joy of your beautiful son! There are many of us here that would do the same.

Love,
Kathy

Kenzie said...

Happy 2 month birthday Christian! I know this continues to be so difficult... to figure out up from down just 2 months after your precious boy was laid in your arms. However, I am SO thankful that the Lord continues to reveal Himself to you- in big ways and in small ones. You surely did see God and maybe He was letting you know that Christian is perfect in His arms.

Praying for you and for your heart's healing as you never forget.

Love you!
Kenzie

Connie said...

I am so glad that God is giving you signs that He is right nearby and has not forgotten your pain. I am praying for you every day.
love, connie

Suzie said...

This gave me chills. Thank you for sharing this with us all. Thinking of you and praying for you both.

Doripink said...

What an AWESOME story! (Love the song too)! Have you ever considered writing? You're very good! Have you ever read the book, The Shack? I just finished it and it was incredible! It was about God revealing Himself to someone who has gone through a horrible thing (I don't want to give away too much of the book) :) Read it...I think you will REALLY enjoy it...
Love-Dori

Shannon said...

Love, peace and prayers to you.

Jen said...

God's Rainbow

Rainbows appear after mighty storms
When things look their very worst
Just when skies are darkest grey
Look for the rainbow first

The rainbow is the sign of God's promise
He will guide us through any storm
That He will see us through our trubbles
No matter what their form

When you feel battered by life's storms
And you are filld with doubt and dismay
Just remember God's rainbow is coming
It's only a prayer away


I'm so glad you had that moment, Leah. Someone told me once, that there is never a rainbow without rain, and you have to look through the rain to see it.

So Blessed said...

Thank you for sharing this precious, sacred moment that God blessed you with. I will continue to be a stretcher-bearer on your behalf and lift you to the Lord in prayer as you face the heavy times of grief. I pray that God continues to show Himself to you in beautiful, comforting ways.

Melissa said...

That's beautiful, Leah!! That story gave me the chills!!

Deb D. said...

Leah... beautiful story and beautiful testimony in it. I think all of our hearts were lifted as were yours.

You are often thought of.

Cathy said...

Oh Leah, I love your post! I am so grateful that you felt His precense. You know you have held HIs perfect creation in your arms and still you caring His perfection in your hearts. I am sorry for the heaviness that you must go through, but am so happy that HE reveals Himself to you as a beautiful gift.

mrsrubly said...

OMGoodness! that gaves me goosebumps! how awesome is this?! god is so good..i am so happy that you and ryan got to experience such a wonderful moment. put that ray of sunshine in your heart!

Anonymous said...

Leah,

I, too, gave birth to a baby with Trisomy 18 five years ago. Unfortunately my baby girl died at 23 weeks in utero, so I wasn't as lucky as you were to have the the three days that you had. I read your blog every single day that Christian lived, and enjoyed every single precious day of his life. I know it is selfish, but it gives me a taste of what life with my little girl, however short, might have been like. For that, I thank you. And now, I check in on you every day day to see how you are progressing on your journey of grief. It is rough - I know. I spent a very long time there.

I am so sorry for the people that don't know what to say and that say stupid things or say nothing and either way, make you feel sad or lonely, as a result. I am so sorry you will face them. You could just choose to tell your story as it happened when they ask how your baby is, as if it ended just fine, tell them of the beautful delivery, the beautiful days in the hospital, whip out the brag book full of the gorgeous pictures you have of him, and then only at the end tell them that unfortunately he was taken home to God. That would convey a certain message of how wonderful his short life was, although it would make the thud of their reaction that much harder, I guess. I am just so sorry. I had one friend who lost a baby who used to carry around her book of pictures, just in case someone asked to see pictures of him. She says in all the time she carried it, only one person ever asked. I ask EVERYONE who has lost a baby if I can see their pictures. Which leads me to my point. If you can possibly find a group of women or couples in your area who have lost babies, I strongly, strongly recommend you try one out. It was so liberating for me. I was finally among people who were not uncomfortable talking about my daughter. In fact, they WANTED to talk about my daughter. They wanted to see her pictures. They wanted to ask questions. They weren't uncomfortable about anything. And finally, finally I didn't feel alone or different anymore. If you can find such a group in your area, either expressly Christian or not (often even those that are not expressly Christian are often made up primarily of Christians and that dominates the group), I think you would find such comfort there. Just a thought from a mommy who has been there. In the meantime, know that I will continue checking in on you and thinking of you daily.

Mrs. Mother said...

I actually wrote a blog with that title not long into my pregnancy with Jenna. I can't listen to it now. Even though I wasn't religious even then, I had started feeling more spiritual after I found out I was pregnant, if that makes sense.

I'm so glad you got to experience that, though. We had an incidence with a dragonfly when we were canoeing the other weekend that was kind of like what you experienced with the song.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe in coincidences either. That was most certainly a "Godincidence"! I am happy that you got out and experienced this miracle. God wanted to show you He was still there for you.
Amen!

Gale

Sharon Harrison said...

Wow this post was amazing...you don't know me and I am not completely sure how I happened upon your blog. Your sweet spirit is amazing. I will continue to pray for you and your husband. I am so sorry for your loss. I can't imagine losing a child but I know God will sustain you.

Tonia said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah!!! Our God is so good isn't he?

Missing Her said...

You gave me chills.