Sunday, September 2, 2012

"Delay Is Not Denial...."

....but death sure is.

That's what I wanted to scream this morning at church.

I need to preface that statement with the fact that I LOVE the church I attend.  The pastor is amazing; young (2 weeks older than I am, so yes, YOUNG!), honest, relevant, evangelistic and not afraid to tell the truth.  There has not been a single week in over a year now that we've been back in Jacksonville where I've listened to him preach and thought, "Yep.  That's just what I needed to hear this morning."

Today was no exception in many ways, but I also found it a hard sermon to listen to.

It was on James 5, and specifically, on patience.

Now let's be honest.  I'm married to a wonderful man.  Who readily admits that he's as ADD as they come.

I taught elementary school children for over ten years.  Little guys.  Little guys who take a lot of patience.

I spent nearly twelve years trying to bring a child into our family, and though I admit I had the occasional pity party now and then, I have to say that I don't think I did too much complaining and was pretty patient.

When doing IUI or IVF cycles, I don't even really *want* to test before I am supposed to.

I *think* I am a pretty patient person.  Even being a military spouse—though God knows there are SO many things I just wish I knew about for planning purposes—I don't really worry too much about them because I've learned that I can't change them and worrying about them doesn't do anything but make me ill.

Which is sort of what Jason, the pastor, was talking about.  Being patient especially about things that are out of our control.

Another reason that our pastor is so great is that he is really open.  He shares his life and lets us all know he's no different than the rest of us humans.  He's often shared of his and his wife's struggles with infertility—16 years, which included the adoption of two little boys and the birth of a little girl they conceived with the help of IVF.

He used that example of being patient this morning—and he said, "Delay is not denial," as an example of how being patient allows God to do what will be done in His time.

Jason is so right.  Delay is not denial.  They, and many others who suffer through trials that eventually 'work out' with a somewhat happy ending are proof of that.

But while delay may not be denial, DEATH IS!

When Matthew died, I was denied.  I was denied the opportunity to kiss him and feed him and put him in cute outfits his dad calls "Man-Dresses" and show him baby lizards and watch his face light up when the bubble making machine goes crazy.  On the way to church, Natalie Grant's "Held" song came on, and as I always do when I hear it, I cried.

"To think that Providence would take a child from his mother while she prays is appalling..."

Yes, it is.

Not only were there 12 years of delay in my life—longing of my heart—when we finally, finally, FINALLY got to the end....

...there was death.  DEATH.

God and I still talk about that a lot.  Listening to Jason this morning just gave me a few more talking points.

Lest anyone think this is yet 'another' downer post (for the recent apparent outpouring of 'downer' posts, I guess I apologize.  I am a big believer in just not reading if you don't like something, but whatever....),  it's not.

The morning ended with the song "Beautiful Things" by Gungor.

Truer words could not be spoken:

"All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all?

You make beautiful things...beautiful things out of the dust.
You make beautiful things...beautiful things out of us."

There are no good explanations.  There's no reason I can accept.  There a million conflicting things and beliefs and questions that run through my mind every day.

But this, I know.  God can and does make beautiful things out of ANY situation.  Not replace people, but create new places in our feelings we didn't even know we could have again.  He took the horrible, terrible ground that was my life after Matthew died and showed us joy again.  He gave us the most amazing little boy in the world.  Matthew's little brother and Trey's big brother.

Our sweet, sweet Samuel Luke.
So grateful.

Sweet boy helping Daddy brush his teeth before church this morning!  I adore that smile.  Literally, melts my heart.


  1. This sermon would have hit a nerve with me too Lori. Much love to you and your family. xoxo ~Lindsay

  2. The song 'Held' makes me cry every time. (((hugs))

  3. Your post has me in tears right now.

    Love you girl!

  4. Two of my favorite songs. Both make me cry. Much love to you.

  5. lori, you've commented in many posts lately about the fact that people are apparently accusing you of complaining too much, of not being grateful for what you have. i am always struck by this when i see that a BLM is chided for expressing grief, frustration, longing, ON HER OWN BLOG.

    i don't know who's saying these things to you - if it's through comments here, or in real life, email, or through FB. i can't imagine that it's other BLM's, and really hope that it is not... which makes me believe it's a non-BLM, and that thought really makes me angry. who are these people who would dare to say such a thing? how easy it must be for someone who has no photos of a dead baby in their house to be so judgmental. are these the same people who can decide one day, "oh, i think i'd like to have a baby," and 9 blissful months later have a happy birth of a healthy baby? the same people who constantly complain about their children? the people who have absolutely NO idea how grateful THEY should be for their fertility and their children?

    when angie first did her "right where i am" project last year, she wrote a line in her own post that i quoted in mine, to the effect that her blog makes her sound like she lives her life immersed in grief and negativity, but the blog is just where she processes that part of her life. you have EVERY right to feel the way you feel, and to EXPRESS that here, on YOUR blog.

    i am so sorry that anyone makes you feel that you don't have that right, or that you have to apologize for it. while i don't know you in "real" life, the very strong impression i have of you through this blog - yes, the one where you complain and grieve your matthew! - and through FB, is that you are a VERY happy, positive, person, and you inspire ME to try to be the same.

  6. I have not blogged in awhile, but come back to it from time to time. I love having the space where I can focus on that part of my life and am grateful you have your space here on your blog to talk about your life and the emotions you are feeling in the moment. I don't see you on a daily basis but I don't think of you as a complainer. In fact, you are a friend I am happy to have met even though I wish it were not under our circumstances being what they are. Thank you for sharing your hear with us and always being honest.

  7. Stopping by from IComLeaveWe.

    I just read your story that was in the news and I was in tears I admit. So much of your story rings true for me.

    While I don't suffer with infertility, I did have reasons for waiting to start a family, and when we made the decision to get pregnant, it was as though our dreams had come true.

    We went into the hospital when I was 9 months pregnant because my water broke. After a 25 hour long labour, and a csection because our son was stuck, he didn't take a breath. Like your sweet boy, they were able to resuscitate him, but he didn't make it in the end. He was 3 days old when he died, and I wasn't there.

    He went to a bigger hospital too, and shortly after he was transferred I started hemmorhaging. I lost 4L out of 5. I almost died. I did not get to leave the hospital to see my boy because I was not well.

    I am only 6 months down the line from my loss, and we haven't started trying for Finley's little brother or sister yet. But I just wanted to let you know that I understand some of your pain. My husband is in the military as well.

    In response to this post specifically...I often wonder what I did to deserve having my son long enough to love him, but never getting to see him grow up. It's as though we've been denied the life we were meant to live. I can understand why the sermon hit a nerve.

    I'm sorry that this comment rambles.

    Sending lots of love,