Tuesday, December 29, 2009

One year ago today....

Well...I'd like to say that a year ago today, this post would be a long, distant memory for which I would feel completely and totally ashamed of myself for thinking and feeling.

And yet...sadly, still somewhat appropriate. Even a little bit ironic, if you will.

We are going back to Shady Grove at the end of January. Our hope is that we will be able to start a new cycle sometime mid-February/March...which I may or may not have mentioned is just about the time of year that we started Matthew's cycle.

Am I hopeful? Of course. I wouldn't be doing it if I wasn't it. Am I apprehensive? How can I not be? I think I put it best in my post last year when I said that optimistic and realistic are not always the best of friends. I think, in light of the past year, I am entitled to say that I have every reason in the world to be nervous, not as expectant, skeptical and yep--even a little bit bitter about the fact that I spent nearly a year feeling like Matthew was invincible and ordained by God...and yet, I still don't have him. Still my arms are empty. Now, though, not only do I have the seemingly-always empty arms, but the gaping, crushing hole in my heart. A hole that will never be filled and has made me a new person: a mother who lost her precious miracle. Now, there is a dimension to my heartache that I never even imagined could physically be possible.

And yet...yesterday, I bought two ornaments that one puts pictures in. I have several ornaments I have bought for Matthew over the past few months, and they really are heartbreaking to look at when I think about the joy I had in buying them and the desperate ache I feel in them now only being reminders of what I don't have. Still I bought two more. One, a train to match his stocking and Granddad's love of trains, for Matthew. One, a sled full of toys, for Matthew's brother or sister. In this, I am once again putting my heart out there and believing that Matthew *will* have a brother or sister and even if it is just a sonogram picture we'll place in that ornament, next Christmas, we will put our tree up and remember the blessing we were given in being Matthew's parents and will celebrate the joy we will have in knowing his brother or sister is part of our life.

I am hopeful.

However, it is not the same kind of innocent faith and hope I once enjoyed. Even though the post from last year obviously shows my frustration, I still had not yet experienced the grief that has stolen my ability to blindly and joyfully jump out, knowing it will all be ok. The reality is that it MAY not. In fact, sad as I am to say it, I think that the facts are on my argument's side: It does not always work out the way you want, even if you are at the very last part of the race. This year, my faith will continue to be placed in God's bigger picture...one that I've learned allows for bad things to happen to good people because the world in which we live is simply a flawed world. My prayer is that should more tragedy befall us, we will be able to continue to give God glory, even though I admit that I struggle on a daily basis with dark, dark thoughts and places. I'd be lying if I said that I was completely ok with this bigger picture because in the end, it's for God's glory--I *want* to be there, but in my heart, I admit...I want Matthew more.
I think God, in losing His son, can understand that.

I think C.S. Lewis sums up my feelings right now... "We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be." I'm not exactly doubting that there are blessings in store...for Matthew was such a blessing, and always will be. I just wonder how much more painful the road to the blessings in store may turn out to be...


  1. I pray that 2010 brings you a brother or sister for Matthew... one that you will get to hold in your arms and in your heart, not just in your heart. You remain in our prayers today and we will continue to pray for you as you take the next step on God's journey for your life and family.

    In Christ,

  2. C.S. Lewis says it very well. I only hope that you, I, and so many others, are finished with the "painful" part, and that 2010 will bring siblings to our precious babies that we can keep for the rest of our lives.

  3. I am so glad you will go forward. I have often bought little items along my journey to motherhood, as a tangible sign of hope.

  4. What a beautiful post Lori! It is unbelievable to me how your hope has not been destroyed. I have read an awful lot of babyloss blogs and yours is such a testament to how God can carry us through pure awfulness.

    It is not your strength that shines through but your Savior's. It is awesome and humbling to behold.

  5. My devotional this morning was about the suffering Paul experienced after he became a Christian. It made me think of you and how God is using your heartache to build His Kingdom:

    Isaiah reminds us that God's ways are not our ways. His thoughts and plans are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8; paraphrased). It's tough to figure God out when He doesn't play by our rules or have the same agenda we have. We forget that God sees a much bigger picture.

    If we follow Paul's journey, we find God working through the rejection, the trials, the prison time, and the shipwrecks. God used these hardships to position Paul. Not for fame, but to increase the Kingdom of God. Paul witnessed to the Pharisees through his rejection and imprisonment. People saw God's power at work when Paul survived the storms, when the snake bite didn't kill him, and when the jail shook, opening the doors and loosing chains. The Lord used these difficulties so others would witness His power and believe.

    Paul allowed God to use him as a vessel. He didn't sit on the sidelines, full of self-pity and doubt. Instead, as Acts 16:22-31 tells us, after being stripped, beaten, severely flogged, thrown in the inner cell of a prison and his feet in stocks, Paul prayed and sang hymns to God. Others around him were listening. The power of God came in such a way, that the prison guard begged Paul to tell him, "What must I do to be saved?" He replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus" (NIV).

    God doesn't waste our pain, our rejection or our "shipwrecks." He uses them to bring about His plan—to position us so that others can see His transforming power at work in our lives and believe in the living God.

  6. Lori,

    I just found your blog and have to say I am heartbroken about your Matthew. His loss is just so unfair. As I look ahead to 2010, I know it is hard to to see hope and happiness and my loss is not as new and raw... but I do hope we all find a little bit of hope and happiness in the new year.

  7. As you know, our God is a God of HOPE and I'm glad to see that spark of hope still there for you. I know you will be frightened and scared, but I'm glad you are moving forward with the idea of trying again. I think it's a good thing (but who am I to say). I have not suffered the loss you and John suffered by any, any stretch, but our journey to E. was a long, long road filled with days that my heart physically ached, I was physically sick and thought I couldn't go forward one more day. Nothing in comparison to where you are, I know, but heartbreaking all the same. I spent a lot of days asking God why He took us the places He did if He didn't want us to be there. Some of it, I'll never know this side of heaven, but perserverance paid off and we have our sweet E in His time and HIs way. I honestly feel in my soul that you will have another child. I'm still holding on to the green dress -- just in case it's a girl. And I still have the gift I was going to send Matthew, which I will also keep. Either way, little Ennis baby has a gift waiting. Your words are beautiful -- just like you!!

    AND speaking of beauitful ... I saw a commercial on TV and I'm certain it must be your twin (only taller). What was it for???? Hmmm... ok, the man and woman are skating and he keeps falling and then he gives her some gift and her legs fall away and he catches her. Some hokey Christmas jewelry commercial I'm sure, but EVERY time I see it, it reminds me of you -- she has your complexion, your hair, your lips. Maybe you've seen it.

    Sending love and hugs.

    Word verification: folebach as in, "It's always good to have a plan to folebach on." Ok, groan, I know. :-)

  8. I have experienced some of what you are going through (infertility, doc appts, miscarriage through etopic, then years of infertility and more doc appts). I feel that your last paragraph is well put. I always wanted God's plan above all else, it just took my heart longer to want it than it took my logical head. It is hard to hear people say it will all work out, because there is no guarantee.. I understand this, and feel that you are in a great place with God and your emotions. Know that I am praying for you... and think you are doing a great job handling all this emotional mess.

    (I started reading your blog through Cindys, and I have 3 children I adopted from foster care.)


  9. These *are* dark days; dark thoughts and places are part of it.

    Discouragement and even hopelessness at times have been the biggest challenges for me in my (acknowledged very different) situation. One of my favorite quotes -- anecdotal, not biblical -- comes from a women's devotional book from the late 1940s: "The devil once offered to sell at auction all his tools save one -- discouragement. 'For,' said he, 'if I have that, I can get along very well without the others.'" (Helen C. White)

    Your "tangible sign[s] of hope" (from Jeanne) are a beautiful realization that, as Maria said, God is a God of hope.

  10. I am so thrilled you are moving forward. I will be thinking of you and praying for you guys. I think of Matthew daily and I hope 2010 will bring more joy and love to you without the sorrow this time.

  11. "optimistic and realistic are not always the best of friends"

    This is wonderfully worded!!! {hug}

    Praying for you as you set out on the next chapter of your journey.

  12. Lori -

    My wish for you is that 2010 will bring you hope and joy.

    Much love, J