Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Safe In His Arms...

These last few weeks have been very emotional. Last week was Matthew's half birthday--which is why I wanted to make sure I wrote his birth story and John wrote about his life and death--so we could remember. I had always planned that since Matthew had a late November birthday, we'd have to celebrate his half-birthday so the poor boy would get to have a pool party or something fun and summery and not a dreary, cold and crazy-time-of-year party where kids probably wouldn't even be able to come to birthday parties and not a lot of outdoor options.

Last week was very hard. I have a therapist I speak with by phone once a month and just love. Last week was the first time we talked since I'd found out I was pregnant and so we were talking about that. She herself has suffered a 2nd-trimester miscarriage, so she can really understand a lot of what I deal with. We talked about how it was suggested (by someone else) that to take my mind off of things, perhaps I should focus on the new baby's room.

Thank God for this woman. She said, "Lori...dear Lord. I lost my dog two years ago and it took me a year before I could take his little bed out of the kitchen. I CANNOT imagine how you must be feeling as you contemplate what you need to do with Matthew's room and whether or not it is a nursery or Matthew's room."

She gets it. It IS Matthew's room. It is not just a nursery for an unknown baby. A new coat of paint and new bedding will not make that room anything different than what it is--MATTHEW'S ROOM. Maybe had he lived, and we had another baby, we'd have moved him into another big boy room and we'd have redone Matthew's room to be a nursery again, but that's just not how it is.
It's Matthew's room and I'm not ready for it to be anything else.

More, Linda reminded me that I'm in a really, really unique and tough position. Losing Matthew only happened 6 months ago...I am still deeply grieving the loss of my precious, precious boy.

At the same time, I am pregnant again...and trying to build another relationship with a precious, precious brother or sister.

To do both at the same time is hard.

Very, very hard.

And it's not just another relationship I am trying to build--for that just naturally comes along when a mother realizes she's carrying a sweet little life. It's the fear and the sheer terror I have that something is going to happen to this little life that I am already so in love with.

I know too much.

I've seen too much.

I've had too much happen.

The counselor that John and I see weekly talked to me last week and said, "You act as if you expect you may not bring this baby home."

Yep. I may not.

She then went on to say, "Well...what about your faith, though?"

And I said, "What about it?"

Because really, what about it? My faith doesn't mean that I get what I want. My faith doesn't allow me to just name it and claim it.

Crisis and tragedy are often the catalysts for one's faith being tried and defined. I am certainly no exception.

My faith is still being tried and defined, but I have had some proofs given to me thus far.

My faith assures me that I will survive. Whatever happens, I will survive. I am being held and am not alone.

Someone commented the other day that they didn't know how John or I put each foot in front of the other.

It's certainly not us doing it. This is how my faith has been proven. It's only through the grace of God that we breathe...we continue to walk and eat and survive.

I'm praying that my faith will allow me to cherish every second of this sweet baby's life...no matter how long it may be.

But I'm human and am still scared. In Sunday School a few weeks ago, we talked about how many like to claim that the safest place to be is at the center of God's will.

There's no doubt that Christ was at DEAD CENTER of God's will...and I dare anyone to read of what crucifixions were like and then tell me that was safe. It was not.

The glory in that is that He ultimately survived. And that's putting it mildly.

So, when I have little fears (or big ones), I just stop myself from letting it get big and as a friend asked of me, I give it to God. Right there. When stressing about the heartbeat, in my head, I say, "God--take this from me right now." I do this about 4087 times a day.

One day I will share some of the amazing things God has given to me through the words and actions of various people. Right now, I just keep them close to my heart as I feel like they are special for mostly John and me--comforts and reassurances that are priceless to me.

Friday, one of these amazing people told me that she'd heard from God, "This one, she will keep."

So in addition to giving it to God right then and there, all weekend, when I stress, I say in my head, "This one, she will keep."

And as I've been doing this since Friday, it's helped. Like I said, I do that a billion times a day, but it helps.

And the obsessive song going through my head for the last 36 hours?

The chorus from Phil Wickham's song 'Safe'. Over and over and over. In my sleep and every time I wake up as I toss and turn.

"You will be safe in His arms
You will be safe in His arms
'Cause the hands that hold the world are holding your heart
This is the promise He made
He will be with You always
When everything is falling apart
You will be safe in His arms"

I just know safe doesn't always mean safe in the way that I want it.


  1. Sweet Lori, you amaze me. How is it that you continue to be one of my most faithful encouragers when you are walking a journey a million times harder than my own? I am humbled that a relationship forged through your grief has become such a source of blessing to *me* when I wanted to reach out encouragement to you. Thank you, dear friend!!! {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{HUG}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    As for faith and bringing a baby home, when I was pregnant with our Big J., I said "if" up until the moment he was born and breathing well in my arms. My mom challenged me on this as well, asking when I would start talking about "when" rather than "if" but I simply couldn't. During labor, as I was pushing and his head was crowing, I absolutely froze, had to be reminded to even breath. Even though we had prepared a nursery, had baby showers, purchased diapers and all of that, it wasn't until he was physically being delivered that I truly let myself feel the first surge of hope and awe that we truly might leave the hospital with a bring home baby!


  2. I imagine if/when I am expecting a rainbow I will feel the exact same feelings...if Matthew would have been "moved" to a big boy room, can that room be the new nursery? I mean who says you can not just make your own rules...I like the words "this one she will keep"....it is very comforting and I do pray for you everyday and all the rainbows coming/or yet to come into this world that God will allow them to come home safely....Again I will say it Matthew's birth story was like I was there holding your hand, and I wished I could have been to comfort you and know you were not alone....He is a lucky boy. 6 months is still so fresh and juggling both happiness and sadness can not be easy as I can only imagine....im here for you always

  3. WOW! Thank you for speaking right to my heart today! You are so right, our faith doesn't mean that we get what we want, but it does mean that we are able to have "faith" that God is still in control! God answers in 3 ways: Yes, No, and Not now. But He always answers.

    I was praying this morning for peace and an answer about a specific situation this morning and when I turned on my radio this was THE very first words I heard...the songs to this song! Thank you for posting them and allowing God to use you to confirm what He had already told me! Your blog and Matthew's story are such a blessing!

  4. Just wanted to let you know how beautifully written the birth stories of Matthew are.I know how your emotions must be so mixed and difficult right now.Know you are on my mind often and my continued prayers are for you,John, Matthew and this precious new life !

  5. Once again, I know too well what you mean. I keep just asking God to help me cherish every single day with this baby, although sometimes I still don't believe there's really a baby growing in there.

    As always, praying for you and Miney!

  6. Wow you're amazing. Quite the example that I want to follow!!! Thank you so much for sharing how your getting through this!! I have been thinking if you guys so much since you shared Mathews story.

  7. Brendan and I celebrate not our children's half-birthdays but our own!! We're exactly (3 years and) 6 months apart, so on Nov. 27th, I get a half-birthday present, and 6 months later, so does he! (Well, not so much anymore as child-related poverty has set in!)

    I think that some people feel that it's therapeutic and healing to go through a loved one's things soon after their passing. I have a family member who would have found it intolerable to allow the room to remain as it was, not because she loved that person less, but because that's how she copes. Perhaps it's another one of those individual things. (I must say, though, that anyone who reads your blog would know that that's not how you would see it; it's just not your personality type.)

    As always, lifting you up in prayer.

  8. Being pregnant after losing your child is very hard. You constantly wonder if everything is going to be ok. Will you be able to bring this baby home? Fears, worries...they can be big BUT God can be bigger than any of those. It isn't always easy and I find myself still saying "if" even though I trust God and I feel that we'll be ok. I just can't bring myself to say "when" when I don't know what the future holds. All I can do is hope and pray that what I long for will happen and I have to put my faith and trust in God that no matter what happens we will be ok.

  9. Lori,

    When you stated that God has spoken to you and touched you through others ~ I got chills. I think that your post today has done just that for me. Just thought that you would want to know how amazing I think you are.

  10. Hugs and lots of prayers always! <3

  11. I sat here reading your post just nodding my head....every word...been there...am there right now. I know some of our friends probably looked at me as being such a downer or even depressed when I found out I was pregnant again and fully expected that I wouldn't be allowed to keep this child either. I couldn't picture a future with this child - I couldn't allow my mind to go there (I still can't sometimes) because my reality (and yours) isn't the typical reality. Thank God for hope - without it, I'd be a complete mess. Even when I am overcome with fear...feeling that I'll have to say goodbye to Collen as well...I can still cling to hope.

    Love you, friend :)

  12. Hey< Lori - can't even imagine how hard this time is for you -- you are doing the usual amazing job thinking in a "all of life" manner.... thinking of you!

  13. Thinking of you and that precious little one you are carrying today. Praying for peace and comfort. I love how you said that having faith does not mean that we will not have trials even fears. I think often people believe that if you have faith you should have no worries. I am glad God is your strength. Bless you! xoxo

  14. You are AMAZING!!!! I know you are fueled by God's will that you have the energy to get thru each day but MAN I am always impressed by you Lori! :)

    I'm not doing well. I need some of your strength to find it's way to me. I am OVERWHELMED with worry. Please pray that I can find peace with the challenges that lay ahead for my family. Thx. :(

  15. Lori , you cannot know how much I needed to read that today - I feel like my soul was screaming out for those words... in some ways i know how you feel... im only 7 short months into my loss and then on a whole new "ride" as it were, being pregnant again. I sat and actually cried when you were talking about your faith got you through - walking , one step in front of the other.... i never looked at it like that before, but yes it really does doesn't it. and "this one she will keep" really sang to my heart - only god knows , but i can hope and hope with everything i have that it is true. you are an amazing lady... thankyou.

  16. I coined the term "cautiously optimistic". I felt it necessary for my sanity to be ready at all times for the bubble to burst. That way I had my guard up. Was that the best way to be? Who knows but it's the only way I could make it without ending up in the funny farm during my subsequent pg's after losing the twins. "if" is easier than "when". We do know too much. I think if you aren't ready to change Matthew's room to the new baby's nursery, then don't. There's no rule. I think I'd have a hard time changing it myself.

  17. Sweetest Friend,

    *tears* I know someone meant well by saying "work on the nursery", but bless their heart, they have no idea...non what so ever, as that is not distraction, but painful. I'm so happy your therapist "knows" your pain, as its nice to have someone to talk with who understands from experience. I still have Christian's little u/s photo wrapped up, sitting on a chair in my office...it's been there for a year and I can not even think of unwrapping it. It was to have been a present to my mother...one day, right?

    Keep facing your fears sweet friend and keep talking them out...just as you are doing. What therapy it is to release those emotions. And, do you have any idea how many lives Matthew is touching, consoling and healing...MANY :)

    Much Love as you journey on. Lifting you up in prayer in this moment.


  18. Lori, truth, truth, and more truth in your post. Your writing is beautiful and you always say things so perfectly! That song is to me, breathtaking. I've seen him in concert, and his voice is even more beautiful in person, how I love that song! God is good, and He is faithful, but you're right, faith doesn't mean I get what I want, but it does mean that I will make it through whatever is in front of me! Sending you love and lots of prayers for baby Ennis!

  19. I love that song, It always seems to come on the radio right when I need it, and many times when I didn't know I needed it.

  20. Though I have not been where you have as far as being pregnant after losing a child, I feel I can understand your fears. IF we get pregnant again, I know that I will have those same fears as part of those fears are why we are hesitant to have another child. I think you're right in all that we can do is offer our fears up to God no matter how many times a day we must do that. I am keeping you in my thoughts. As always, an amazing post!

    love and prayers