Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Choose to Believe...

These days are so hard....

That is why I simply make myself choose to believe. I've been reading a book that a dear friend sent, and the author's grief and loss truly are ones that I thank God I don't have to endure. In this book, the author says that in the "randomness" of devastating tragedy, he chooses to believe there is a bigger picture...he is part of a very bad chapter in a very good book authored by God Himself. Though I admit that this does not lessen the ache in my arms for my gurgly little 3-week old, it does sort of sum up what I desperately hope is happening in my life. Without the belief that all good things work for those who love the Lord, there is no hope. Without hope, what is there? I simply cannot and refuse to believe that I will not ever see my Matthew again. I choose to believe there is a bigger picture.

Friends, don't doubt that this is part of my "Fake it until I make it," routine...because most days, that's how I feel. What you may see as strength, I see and know is simply doing what I have to do because the alternative is not acceptable. What you see as bravery, I see as cowardice--I would, in a split second, wish this was NOT ME and that I was holding Matthew while someone else's heart was broken. To borrow from Mary Beth Chapman after the loss of her daughter, she said in an interview "I've said, you know, somewhat coldly, 'I don't care whose lives are touched by this story and whose lives are changed or what good comes of it.' As the heart of a mom, I want Maria back."

That's exactly how I feel...at the core, in my heart as a mother, I want Matthew back.

And yet...I know lives have been touched. I know lives will be changed. The EKG machine in Kyrgyzstan alone is tangible proof that in this tragedy and horror that is my life, God is able to use it for good somewhere else. I choose to believe there is a bigger picture.

I have so many things jumbled in my mind these days...and I 'post' imaginary blogs all the time. There are simply things that I want to remember, and hope that someone who may stumble along to this site and read can relate to without feeling ashamed or even blasphemous.

Do not think for one second I have not questioned, "Is God even real?" or "Do I *really* believe in all I've always claimed to believe?" I've asked, "Where is Heaven? If God is real, and Heaven is REAL...WHERE IS IT? WHERE IS MY MATTHEW?" We've explored space...where is it? Where is my child? I cannot, cannot, cannot accept that his life simply exists no more and he will simply rot away in a box in the ground. I just cannot.

And yet, it is so hard to accept things that prior to this, in my head, I'd answer, "Lori--you are a human being. Your brain simply is not capable of understanding the things of God. His thoughts are not ours, and ours are not His." Prior to losing Matthew, that pat answer of simply not being able to comprehend the majesty of God because of my human brain was ok.

It's not now. It's not. So this is where I choose to believe. There have been so many little "signs" of God. One of the first that I came across was in Cindy LaJoy's post... Cyndi has always been so eloquent, but the day we came home from the hospital, and the day after, we just sat and asked..."Where is God?" I went to Cyndi's blog to see about her girls, and lo and behold...the perfect words at the perfect time.

At the funeral, God was everywhere. I have never seen so many people that I knew, and many I didn't know, gathered for no other reason but to support us and to love us. Not even at our wedding, and it was pretty decent sized. The funeral guest book alone had over 200 signatures...and I knew there were people I saw that didn't have a chance to sign. Many signatures represented two or more people...we were overwhelmed with emotions and the people who shared them. Grown men, some military men to boot, in tears. Doctors, nurses--people who certainly had better things to do with their time than to come and grieve with us--strangers who just felt for us and wanted to share their hearts. It was truly amazing. My precious little son being the reason that someone who didn't know God just may have...

But something that we all found really and truly amazing, was one of those things that normally one might look at and go, "Um, yeah...that's a mud puddle."

However, in light of the fact that so, so many of us were hurting and questioning and wondering, we found this sight comforting and awe-inspiring. Who are we to say that God couldn't use a mud puddle to give us comfort or send us an angel? Perhaps you may feel the same when you see the picture...

While our brains may be unable to comprehend the majesty of God, perhaps He sends us something we CAN comprehend...like an angel being with us at Matthew's funeral.
This 'mud puddle' was outside the church all morning... I choose to believe.


  1. May the Lord sustain your strength to continue to believe. May Satan have no power over you. You will see your son again someday. This too I believe.

  2. Amazing post Lori. I believe angels are all around us always and clearly this angel wanted you to know you were not alone and that there is indeed, a bigger picture. Your strength and faith in God is inspiring to me. I understand that you don't feel strong, inspiring or brave, but one day you will look back on these posts and realize just how brave you were. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your entire family.

  3. Dear Lori,
    I check your blog daily. I always wonder how you are managing and I wish a hug could reach though the web and comfort you a tiny bit, even just for a minute. For some reason, I never comment... not since you lost Matthew. It was too hard to not know what to say.

    But today you posted on my blog. How a woman can have such strenght as to share in the anticipation and excitement of others after feeling such a deep loss of her own is incredible. It forced me to comment - saying the right or wrong thing... I guess that didn't matter anymore - you need to know just how many embrace you during this time.

    We have traveled many paths together from different parts of the country. It has been a blessing to share this part of your journey with you most of all. Not because it ended the way you wanted, but because it didn't. In the valley, Christians need others walking through it with them. Other Christians walking and carrying them.

    From one mother to another, you are a very brave woman and I wish your hurt could be repaired here on earth. Not here, but one day, the void will be filled - with Matthew. From one sister in Christ to another, you are loved.

    May God bless your family during this Christmas season. I know it must be so hard for you.

    Love in Christ,
    The picture - truly amazing. BELIEVE!!!

  4. Believe. Just always believe. I came across your blog through the LaJoy's blog, and I felt I had to comment on your blog. On August 1, 2003 my sister gave birth to a still born son. My sister, asked "where is God in this?"- and like your amazing angel wing picture, he made himself known. My mom and I wanted to get her something with his birthstone- something she would have forever. When we set out looking we had no idea what to get, the very first store we went into and the very first thing we set our eyes on was a butterfly necklace, with Jayden's birthstone, and my sister's birthstone. We knew we found what we were looking for. We decided we would give it to her after his grave side service. During his service there were butterflies everywhere. Every size, every color. It was breath taking. My mom and I cried because we knew of the butterfly necklace. Right after the service my sister came up to us and said "did you see all the butterflies" we smiled and said yes we did. We gave her the necklace, and she always wears it close to her heart- where she, and our family will forever carry Jayden. So I guess what I am trying to tell you is believe. Always believe. With every butterfly we see, we see him, and we believe.
    I am so sorry for your loss. I'm praying for you and your family.

  5. Heaven is here. Heaven is everywhere. Like frequencies we are unable to hear.

    Lots of love to you

  6. Heaven is real, and Matthew is there, playing with Jesus and waiting for you. I pray He continues to show Himself to you, and that you can feel His arms wrapped tightly around you. They are... hold on!!!

  7. Before I even finished your blog, I looked at the picture...I didn't see a mud puddle...I thought it was a stone carving of an angel's wing. It is amazing how God reveals Himself.

    Lori, this will not be the last time in your life you will question God, question your faith. We all go through it, and sometimes it is incredibly tested to the point where we almost lose it. Some do. Holding onto that little string, amidst all the questions, is what will help you to the other side.

    Love you girl.

  8. Lori,
    Right on.
    We must BELIEVE in times when it seems nothing make sense.
    Because there is a bigger picture, and yes, among some of the biggest tragedies & sorry emerge victory and joy.
    An ancient proverb says,
    "Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly".
    The story of your Matthew, and the strength you are finding, you will find your wings and fly.

  9. Wow, I did not think that anyone else saw what I did...I noticed what I also thought looked like an imprint from an angel's wing, but didn't mention it to you or anyone else that day. I am so glad that someone else had the courage to share it with you. What an amazing picture.

    I choose to believe.

  10. I have gone through all of these emotions. The cycle of emotions has become like a trusty old friend (well, enemy would be the more appropriate term) in my life, in that I know it will always be there. I know God understands - He created our human emotions, and it is only natural that we should question after going through something like this.