Saturday, January 9, 2010

6 Weeks and a letter....HEADS UP: LONG

I know, I know...I said I would have to stop measuring in weeks, and I will from this point on in writing, but never in my head. Today, Matthew would be 6 weeks old. While 6 weeks seems to have literally flown by (thank God) it also seems to me that just yesterday I lost him. Last night, I couldn't go to sleep very easily...I just kept playing the same scene over and over in my mind--being wheeled out of the hospital, holding all my things, and literally feeling like I would throw up because I could NOT believe I was leaving there without my baby. I don't know what's worse--that feeling, or being put into the car, where Matthew's car seat sat waiting...never to hold him. They both are devastating feelings.

Thinking about those events now certainly doesn't make it FEEL like it's been 6 weeks. The pain still stings like it just happened. I dare say that there will be days for the rest of my life that I will be able to remember this intensity. I realize they won't be as frequent as they are now, but they will exist and I dread them.

One thing losing my mom did for me was enable me to understand what true and seemingly senseless loss felt like. Cancer is HORRIBLE...and does not discriminate. While I knew she had cancer, being told she had died was a shock because she had been treated and we thought we had a little more time. When my mom died, I realized pain and grief I really did not know could exist--and though I was so heartbroken when my grandmother died a few years before my mom died, losing my mother was really the worst thing that had ever happened to me.

And it took a long, long time to feel like I'd make it through. Still, nearly 7 years later, I wonder if I will.

Which is what scares me tremendously. I know what I went through with my mom dying and I know how long it still is taking to feel like I can be at a 'good' place with losing her.

Losing my precious baby boy dying only a few hours after he was born...this is so, so, so much worse than anything I've ever imagined could be. The thought of how long my heart will hurt is just so daunting, and frankly, though I know God says in all things to rejoice--I'm not there yet. I'm able to rejoice in the support and love we have been given. I'm able to rejoice for all the people who tell me their lives have been touched. I'm able to rejoice in the fact I have yet to be angry with God, or really angry period. But rejoice even though I don't get to hold Matthew or cuddle him or even kiss him and see his face? I'm not there yet.

Which brings me to the letter. I've always sort of joked that I would just LOVE it if God would send me a letter and just tell me what to do...tell me what path I should take, tell me which road to go, etc. My rhetoric answer is usually, "He did...the Bible," but in honesty, sometimes I wish the Bible was more clear to me.

So, imagine my interest in the mail I got yesterday. It seemed, at first, like some fund-raising thing, but I was at least caught by what was written in the return address part: "Dear Jesus, we pray that you will bless someone in this home, spiritually, physically and financially. St. Matthew 18:19" Bless Someone In This Home was highlighted in yellow, so that caught my attention, as did seeing the name Matthew.

It's not often I get a letter asking for us to be blessed and using a verse from Matthew.

I opened it, fully expecting to find it to be looking for money, but still...I read...
  • "God has laid your address on my heart. I just feel someone connected with this address needs prayer for God's help. Could this be you?...There is so much for you to enjoy in life when you look to Jesus Christ as your total Answer. God put you on this earth for a reason. He wants to bless you...Remember, God loves you. I want to help you and pray for you."

STILL no request for money, in fact, several times the letter said DO NOT SEND MONEY. This mailing said the sole purpose was to help with problems we may be facing through prayer, and gave a postage-paid postcard to mail this group specific prayer requests we had.

At this point, even John started to read with me, because it was just that startling to us. He asked who it was from and I looked...all I could find was it came from an organization called St. MATTHEWS Churches.

Then I came to the next insert...a closed letter asking reminding us to send our prayer request card so we could be prayed for. I opened this letter and looked at what it said. It was prefaced as being a prayer that had been prayed for us (I know, I many "USes" are there out there that may have gotten this exact letter? Who knows, but it spoke to us.) and it read:

  • Dear Lord Jesus, We pray over this word for this dear one that these words of faith bless someone at this address...Most of your battles will be fought inside the head. This is why your thoughts must be focused on God's new future for you. Think ahead, not behind. God said, "Remember Ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing. (Isaiah 43:1)
  • It then went on to say this is what God wanted me to know: "My Precious child, how I love you. I created you to experience and share my love. Do not allow the things that are happening in you life to come between us. Rather, understand that it is these things happening that should draw us closer together. All that is happening has a purpose. It is part of the teaching I am sending to allow you to be better prepared for even more which will come in this world, and for that which is inevitable in the coming world. My child, in the wisdom of my guidance, you will find the way out of darkness into marvelous light; out of unrest to rest; our of disorder to order. I have steadfastly said, "Fear Nothing Look ever to me and I will be your strength."..."Walk with me and Know I am the Lord and your faith in me is your strength."......I say unto you that all things you have feared are under my control. Rejoice and be glad for I will bring you to the forefront in all these matters. Know that I am your guide in all things and no perils can affront you....Know that I watch over you, for I am the Lord who loves you beyond human understanding and many things shall I do." (Only put that in red to differentiate...I REALIZE it is not literally what God said...please don't email me about it.)
  • The letter then goes on to say that those who have prayed over this also want me to know..."You have not allowed the holy spirit to have complete acquisition to the problem...this has made you too vulnerable, far more than you can see, and it is only through the holy spirit guidance that you will in any way come out are at a place where it is critical that you decide whether you will go with the Creator or let your faith go otherwise. God has big plans for you and Satan will do all that he can to destroy these plans. You are at a critical crossroad in your life and every decision is important....

I realize (for those of you who have even continued reading) that this is obviously a pre-printed letter and probably mailed to thousands upon thousands. As I said, though, it spoke to me. As if God Himself was speaking directly to the questions I have been asking and the thoughts I have been having. And that it came from St. MATTHEWS churches, a group I have never heard of, and when going to their website found no money-grubbing...just lots of different ways to tell people that God loves them and there was hope in Jesus....well, that sort of spoke to me as well.

Like I said, I always ask God to just write me a letter. Who of us is to say He didn't use this group to get His letter to me?


  1. lori,
    your post brought tears to my eyes because all i kept thinking was that this is just so like God to do something like that. after jonathan's story was in our local newspaper, it spread like wildfire and we heard from strangers all over the united states who were praying for us. some people sent us scripture they were praying, some sent us books, etc. i can't tell you how timely some of the scipture was, or how much God spoke to me through some of the books that were sent. i just don't believe in coincidence anymore. i realize how easy it is for God to use whatever means He wants to give us a message that we need to hear. i am so thankful that He loves and cares for you and me enough that He would speak to us in such a way (even if He uses a pre-printed letter. ;))
    with love and prayers,

  2. Awesome!! I truly believe that God did use this letter to speak to you matter how it was sent!!

  3. That's pretty cool! I'm not sure what I'd think if I got something like that. He does work in mysterious ways! I always tell God I'd like a neon sign. If the doorbell rings and there stands a neon sign, I may scream and run! :)


  4. That letter is amazing! God must've known it was what you needed - the Bible does say He works in mysterious ways!

    And the fear of how long it will take to recover emotionally scares me too. At first I did not want to heal, and I fought against it because I felt like if I didn't feel the pain that I was somehow letting her go. But then I realized I need to heal, for me, for my husband, and for Madelyn. I know it's going to be a long journey though. I'm so glad I have people like you, and so many others, to walk this road with me. (Although I do wish you weren't on it at the same time.)

  5. Smiling :) God speaks thru His Word, and thru others when we most need to hear it.

  6. there are no words for how heart breaking it was for me to read how fresh your loss and grief are. it is all just so unfair. Matthew was beautiful. I am so very, very sorry, and pray that you will feel moments of strength, especially in these, the toughtest early months. I know how dark a place the early months were for me, and pray that you are spared those depths.
    Sending prayers for peace in your heart.

  7. Lori,

    *tears* many tears as I read your story. I'm so sorry that you are on this road of suffering and so sorry you have to be part of this sorority of baby lost mama's. I only wish I could take away your pain and the pain of all of us walking this path. The only good comes in the wonderful support from a loving community of women who offer love and support along the way.

    I do find it amazing at how the "signs" appear out of no where, just when we need them most.

    Thinking of you today and remembering your sweet Matthew always.

    Much love and many prayers,

  8. I love to hear God speaking to people! It is amazing isn't it how He reaches us when we thought He wouldn't. Walk on dear ones, baby steps, one at a time!

  9. Lori,
    I have seen the work that God does through others and it's nothing short of powerful and amazing. Trust that this was intended for you at this time in your lives. The signs you have been shown since Matthew's death is proof that God is with you and He clearly wants you to know that. Considering your faith and the countless people that are praying for you, it's no wonder He's showing up in a BIG WAY.
    Thank you for sharing.

  10. Wow. God is just too cool, isn't He? I'm sure thousands of others got the same letter, and thousands of others are going through their own tough times. But what matters here is YOUR pain, your heartache, and to know that God cares about you so much. I don't think it was anything but a true God-thing. Like hearing that perfect song on the radio when you just switched to that channel. God knows what He is doing, continue to trust.

    And, from experience, you will have days for years (I'm on year 8) that will hurt like the day he was born.But you will survive them. Just have a cry and let it be that way for that day. ((hugs))

  11. I've been to your blog before, haven't I? Shame on me. I didn't connect you to your blog.

    It's been 10 months for me, and it still feels like it happened yesterday. I can relive those moments in the hospital very easily- mostly at night too.

    I lost my father, almost a year to the day I lost Ella. Before losing Ella, it was the hardest thing I ever went through. I've been grieving for two years now. Sometimes I wonder if thing will ever start to look up and the people I love will stop dying.

    The scripture is beautiful. Thank you for the inspiration.

  12. Oh Lori -- I asked God for an email while we were waiting and the next day He sent me one -- a Bible verse on waiting. Yes, true!!! He does use the most amazing ways to communicate with us when we listen. I am so glad that came for you just when you needed it most.

  13. Truley amazing and touching!

  14. Oh I am 100% certain that God DID use that letter to communicate with you... BECAUSE that's what YOU wanted. God does speak directly to us when we REALLY need it. Ofcourse a LOT if times we *think* we really need to hear directly and personally from God but ofcourse we don't and the contrast of when we TRULY do need it is HUGE. I'm sure God was speaking directly to you. God has spoken to me directly in the past as well. I'm so happy that you have that letter!

    (I also think God wants you to focus on Isaiah!)

  15. OH LORI,
    this made me bawl.. and I disagree.. this letter was STRAIGHT to you from God.. don't deny it, don't ponder it.. DON'T question it... It's God!! Thrills my heart... I have prayed that God would reveal himself to you in ways that you were amazed at!!! God is SO GOOD!!!
    Praying for you and rejoicing with you... love you so much and think of you so much...
    Prayers, love and ((((big hugs))))... to you..
    Love ya,