03 August 2008

I am missing my Evie this morning. I couldn't pull myself together enough to go to church, so I'm home instead. I am disappointed to miss church today - to miss a sermon from James, to miss assembling with the body of Christ, to miss the privilege of corporate worship.

I'm so glad that God is also here.

Even if I am missing church, I can still seek my Savior. And seek Him, I will.

Ryan told me this morning that there is beauty in grieving for Evie; almost a way of honoring her earthly purpose. He reminded me that God used Evie to point us to Christ. She continues to do this. In the moments that I am aching for her most, I am always drawn to Him. The more that it hurts, the faster I run to my Savior. And He is a great Comforter.

I am sad today. I'm sad that it's August already - almost 4 months since we said goodbye to Evie. I can't believe it's been that long. She feels so far away. I'm beginning to feel the pressure to feel normal.

I don't.

I don't know if I'll ever feel normal again. Life is different because of her. We are doing so many things because she isn't here - that we wouldn't do if she were: taking vacations we wouldn't take if we had a newborn, using the spare bedroom for spare-bedroom-things, going to parties, staying up late, sleeping in. A part of us - a part of me - is missing.

And I am pointed to Christ to fill the emptiness.

A hundred times a day I think of her. I see what we're doing and wonder how it would be different if Evie were here.

And I am drawn to Christ.

I have so many terrifying memories. Memories so awful that I want to forget them - and when I can't hold them back and I picture those moments I feel shooting pain through my body. An awful ache like I've never felt before.

And as time goes by and the shock wears off, the trauma becomes more real. I wonder if it all actually happened - was it real? I want to feel stunned again. The shock is wearing off and it still hurts.

And I am pointed to Christ - cradled in his arms, carried through the dark valley, upheld with the Truth.

And the fear creeps in. The fear of the horrible things that can happen in pregnancy to me or the ones that I love.

And I am pointed to Christ, and cast my anxieties on Him.

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I recently read a poem about grief. It's a bit long, but it is also clearly written by someone who knows what they're talking about.
Please Be Gentle
By Jill B. Englar
Please be gentle with me for I am grieving.
The sea I swim in is a lonely one
and the shore seems miles away.
Waves of despair numb my soul
as I struggle through each day.
My heart is heavy with sorrow.
I want to shout and scream
and repeatedly ask 'why?'
At times, my grief overwhelms me
and I weep bitterly,
so great is my loss.
Please don’t turn away
or tell me to move on with my life.
I must embrace my pain
before I can begin to heal.
Companion me through tears
and sit with me in loving silence.
Honor where I am in my journey,
not where you think I should be.
Listen patiently to my story,
I may need to tell it over and over again.
It’s how I begin to grasp the enormity of my loss.
Nurture me through the weeks and months ahead.
Forgive me when I seem distant and inconsolable.
A small flame still burns within my heart,
and shared memories may trigger
both laughter and tears.
I need your support and understanding.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve.
I must find my own path.
Please, will you walk beside me?
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I know what it is to weep. I feel like I have been crying for the last eight months. There are times when I don't even notice that I'm crying until my face is soaked and I can't see to complete my task.

God sees these tears.

Psalm 56:8 says, "You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?"

Isaiah 38:5, "I have heard your prayer and seen your tears."

I know that I am not alone in my grief. I know that this is a sinful world, full of pain and sadness - we all hurt. God sees our tears. And, in our grief, He calls us to Himself. May we all, in our trials, turn to Christ. Because there, there is great peace.

8 comments:

The Morrisons said...

I am sorry you are sad today. Praise the Lord for his work in your life! You amaze me, Raechel. I love your honesty, and I admire your strength in our Savior. Love you!

Claire Wise Photography said...

Normal is overrated. Really it is.

love,
C

Bev said...

Every time I read that you are hurting, as the poem says, I share your hurt. I know it cannot be the same hurt you feel, but I hurt for you, for Ryan, and all of us. It hurts to know the ones you love are hurting, and I pray God will continue to bring his sustaining comfort to your broken hearts and give you peace. I love you.

Erin J. Photography Blog said...

Rachel, this is Kristin (Erwins) sister Erin. She may have told you that I too lost a baby last winter. It's such a blessing to read what you are writing b\c you are able to put into words things I haven't been. I am so glad you got to meet your daughter, I did not and I think that is part of what makes it hard for me. I volunteer for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (here is a link to my blog post about it http://erinjphoto.blogspot.com/2008/04/now-i-lay-me-down-to-sleep.html) as a result of what happened to me. It is hard but also a blessing to be able to help others remember what I cannot. So, thanks for being so open.

George Grant said...

R: God's grace is confirming in you a "new normal." It's one in which the sad reality of the Fall is being swallowed up in the glorious reality of Eternity. It's one in which temporary things are replaced by permanent things. Standfast in His sure mercy to bring to pass rejoicing out of lamenting. You are loved. G2

Logan said...

Raechel,

You and Ryan and Oliver have shown such amazing strength through all of this. And I know I can't offer much, but I can offer what I've seen:

When we, as humans, grieve, it's so hard to feel like we are anything but weak. But weakness is not what I, or our entire covenant community, have seen in your amazing family through your tragedy.

Quite the contrary, the three of you have been a physical embodiment of the strength of the Lord throughout this ordeal. You have shown the strength of the martyrs, the strength of the missionaries, and the strength of all the faithful that have known their tears are not in vain.

When I see your smiling face, or when I try my best to speak with Oliver, or when I talk with Ryan, I don't see a family that has been cast down by sin and death. I see a family that was faced with one of the greatest tragedies that the world can offer, but that stood up against it with the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ. That tragedy--a tragedy strong enough to cripple anyone--broke across your family like waves across a rock: it shaped you, but only into something more beautiful, and certainly not into anything less strong.

"O' death, where is thy victory? Death, where is thy sting?"


-Logan

Christine Case said...

I think it is amazing to read this post in conjunction with your post re: Planned Parenthood and the African-American population. Isn't it unreal that some people could treat life so casually, with such disrespect and disregard, while you grieve and scrabble to find "normality" again after losing a precious baby? I know I'm not saying anything earth-shattering...it just amazes me. Raechel, you are an amazing woman capable of many things. May Christ continue to support and strengthen you.

Sarah said...

"Ryan told me this morning that there is beauty in grieving for Evie"

This made me think of something I once heard from one of my spiritual mentors.
"Blessed are they who mourn, for they have loved"
When I first heard it I wanted to scream because I had recently lost a friend at that time, but now I'm like, "yeah I mourn people, because I've been blessed enough to have the chance to love them"