Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sometimes Happiness Still Feels So Foreign

Before Johnathan was born and early on in my pregnancy with him I remember driving home one day and feeling extremely happy...and it was an odd feeling. It felt strangely unnatural to feel happy. I suppose that after living 4 years with the pain and heartache of losing our first four children that living with sadness had become a way of life, and being sad had become normal. Maybe even comfortable. Happiness was a new feeling again, and believe it or not it has taken some time to get used to that feeling.

Sometimes happiness still feels so foreign...

Last night for example. Aaron and I had just prayed at the end of our day right before bed like we always do. And, like usual at the end of our prayers we said our "I Love Yous" to our Heaven babies..."We love you Gideon, Daniel, Angel Babies." We do this every night, but some nights it hits me just how much I miss them. Like last night. I couldn't help but break down and cry...the kind of cry where you feel the ache in your very soul. It was a familiar feeling. A feeling that I used to live with day in and day out almost constantly. And, now that we have Johnathan and Eli, sometimes that ache for my babies seems stronger because I now know what the happiness of having children feels like. I suppose the same is true for the happiness that I feel over the blessing of our Earth babies...both emotions are felt at the extreme.

As I sat there in the dark, tears coursing down my face, heart aching for the babies that I don't have with me, there were plenty of thoughts going through my mind. Like how it is such a paradox to feel such anguishing sadness at the loss of our first 4 children along with the joy of having our two precious sons here with us on earth. Talk about mixed emotions. Often when I see our two little guys interacting I catch a glimpse of what Heaven might be like. Gideon loving on his little brother, and Daniel's face lighting up with joy at the sight of his older brother. I miss that I don't get to see that, to experience the love I know they have for each other. I miss my babies, and I miss being able to see the wonderful big brothers that I know Gideon and Daniel would have been to Johnathan and Eli. And I miss our "Angel Babies" too...and I can't help but think that maybe they are boys as well...that seems to be our theme!

Aaron and I recently had a conversation about how we find it so hard to trust God to protect Johnathan and Eli. We know that is not guaranteed that just because you pray for Him to protect and preserve life that it will automatically happen. I can remember specifically praying really hard, probably the hardest I've ever prayed for God to save Gideon's life. To let him live and to let his precious life be a testimony to what God can do. I was so sure that would happen. I had such faith. But after Gideon's death, and the the death of Daniel and our two angels, that faith is having a hard time staying strong. It wavers. And fear often overtakes it. And I don't like it. Not one bit.

This past week Johnathan has been sick. Nothing big. Really just allergies on overdrive that are draining down his throat and making him cough. However, sometimes just the sound of him coughing is enough to almost send me into a panic attack. My heart literally starts pounding in my chest like its trying to jump out, and I feel a dark dread pour over me. Fear.

As the time neared for Johnathan's birth I thought that once we had him with us, alive and healthy, that all my previous fears and doubts would just disappear. Funny how you actually have to deal with stuff though, it doesn't just disappear. And I know that I still have a lot to work through. I am just now getting to the point, probably since the birth of Eli and seeing God's hand so distinctly through that, that I am able to give Him praise out loud. Honestly in the past it was hard to give God credit for the good things. I was just so angry that His plans for our first 4 children were not my own, and upset that he could let them and my dream of being a mommy die. Thankfully God is full of grace, and I know that He understands all that I felt and still feel and I have always known how much He loves me...even when I felt like He was a million miles away.

Sometimes happiness still feels so foreign. Sometimes the happiness that I do feel gets choked out by nightmares from the past. Grief is an ongoing process, and I am finding out just how much of it I still have left to deal with. However, in the meantime, I have two precious boys to love on and hold and kiss and cry over and two little ones that know me as Mommy. Oftentimes it is quite overwhelming. Oh, how I love those little guys. And oh how I miss my Heaven children.

I am learning that there is more to life than the pursuit of happiness, it's a wonderful feeling but hardly all that life is about. Ultimately I believe that we're here by God's grace, to give Him glory, to live for Christ, to share with others about His love for them...for all of us. And I know that someday I will see all of my precious children together. And that will be something far better than happiness.

Signing off for now,


Greta said...

This is precious, Gracie. I love you!

Fingy :)

Gail said...

Gracie....this post is so sweet. It made me cry...but in a good way. I needed to be reminded that life, though with it's share of bitterness, also carries a to be savored each day, grabbed onto, and cherished. Happiness.

Love you your heart.



Mom said...

My dear sweet Grace,

How wonderful for you to be able to communicate through your writing the very thoughts, feelings, and struggles you are going through. I love your honesty and you know I will be continuing to pray for fresh understanding and knowledge of our mighty God. You are a tremendous mommy to your boys here and to your heavenly children. We too miss the grandchildren we won't ever typerrhknow here on earth, but must leave that fact in God's keeping. Who else is there but our God? And if He loves us, which we know He does, then we surrender our wills to His, even in our grief and sadness and fear. Oh, God, grow us up in the deeper knowledge of You and Your ways.

Thanks for the call to contemplate and trust anew. I love you, sweet daughter, Momma

Courtney Elizabeth said...

Grace, I can't even imagine what you have gone through. But it is such a powerful testimony to me (and surely others) that you held onto God and your faith in Him during those times. It would be so easy just go give up and sink into depression, but you worked through it and now have 2 cute blessings! Thank you for letting me see into you heart and sadness.

Love you,