18 January 2009

I've really been missing our Evie-girl this weekend.

As some of you know, this Friday (the 23rd) marks the 1-year anniversary of the day that changed our family forever. It was the day of our routine ultrasound that became anything but routine. It was the day that changed our lives forever.

Few days in our life together have been as pivotal as that one.

The day our son was born was monumental. It made us parents. It meant that it wasn't just about us anymore. Life would never be the same. Shoot, a simple car ride would never be the same!

The day we started our life in Tennessee (moving from Illinois) was definitive. We had moved away from the familiar in search of something different. We knew we wanted something more, but weren't sure what it was. We made new friends, bought a new home, joined a new denomination and wove ourselves into a community of people that would one day carry us through some of the hardest days of our young lives. That day prepared us for days to come.

The day Ryan left his job and became self-employed was terrifying. Working from home was a bold step into the unknown, which has changed the way we operate our home, our parenting, and even our marriage.

But, the day we learned that we wouldn't get to keep our Evie was by far the most remarkable. It was our crisis of faith - where the rubber meets the road. Would we trust God with this? Would our marriage survive? Would we ever, ever be the same?

The answer two the first two questions is, by the grace of God, "yes".

The answer to the latter is "no".

The truth is, I haven't been to a children's clothing store yet without my throat getting tight and my heart hurting as I pass the little girl clothes.

I may never see little girls that were born in the spring of 2008 and not immediately think of my own baby girl. I can't help but be reminded that our Evie would be teething or crawling or beginning to babble.

I know I'll never look at Oliver the same. I'll never stop pausing mid-day or while he's sleeping at night just to hear his healthy heart beating.

Try as I might, I won't ever say goodbye like I did before Evie. It's a silly thing, really, but sometimes when I say "goodbye" or "goodnight" to Oliver, there's a moment where I'm afraid it might be my last. I suppose it's because I've actually said a final goodbye to one of my children. That moment is all too familliar.

It has stayed with me. I will never be the same.

There are other things to that are different. I will never take life for granted. In any of my pregnancies, no matter how early, I have learned to praise God for, and to savor, whatever time he blesses us with that particular child. Life is precious, no matter how little.

I hope differently too. I have a hope that I will see my girl again in heaven. (Man, I just can't wait for heaven!) I also have hope because I know that I am not alone in any of this. God has been there during all the sleepless nights and medical procedures and parents' worst nightmares. I know, because I've seen Him there.

That day last year changed us. It has shaped us. It does not define us, but we will never be the same.

But the truth is, I don't want to be the same.

There has been a lot of pain in this past year. Agony, really. But, in that agony, there has been a deepening of my relationship with Christ. A bonding with my husband like I have never experienced. An appreciation for the gift of life that I never fully understood.

I don't want to be the Christian that I was last January. Or the wife or mother. And even though this Mommy's heart aches for her baby girl, I exalt the name of the Lord with the prophet Isaiah for his perfect faithfulness to our little family. He is good!

Isaiah 25
1 O LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done marvelous things,
things planned long ago.

2 You have made the city a heap of rubble,
the fortified town a ruin,
the foreigners' stronghold a city no more;
it will never be rebuilt.

3 Therefore strong peoples will honor you;
cities of ruthless nations will revere you.

4 You have been a refuge for the poor,
a refuge for the needy in his distress,
a shelter from the storm
and a shade from the heat.
For the breath of the ruthless
is like a storm driving against a wall

5 and like the heat of the desert.
You silence the uproar of foreigners;
as heat is reduced by the shadow of a cloud,
so the song of the ruthless is stilled.

6 On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare
a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
the best of meats and the finest of wines.

7 On this mountain he will destroy
the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;

8 he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
he will remove the disgrace of his people
from all the earth.
The LORD has spoken.

9 In that day they will say,
"Surely this is our God;
we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the LORD, we trusted in him;
let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation."

Friends, I want to ask you all to pray for our family this week. It will be a sad week, as it marks the beginning of our final eleven weeks with Evie Grace. I am going to be working on a small project that I want to share with you all. I know that it will be hard (both manually and emotionally). I'm hoping that I will be able to share Evie with you in a way none of you has known her. Please pray for me.


The Morrisons said...

Praying, Raechel. Thanks for sharing. Praise the Lord that you can see what He has done this year. That takes extreme faith and courage.

Christine said...

You will certainly be in our prayers. I remember the day you shared it with us all. I sat on our bed in our little duplex and just cried. I can't believe the strength that has been asked of you this last year, and you have beautifully risen to the occasion. Thanks for sharing the passage from Isaiah, too. Too often I get bored there (or rather I do NOT get bored reading the Bible, ever!), and I'm glad you were able to draw out a particularly promising batch of verses.

Tracy said...

As always, Raechel, you inspire me. Thank you so much for posting that passage from Isaiah. <3

Pam said...

Just this morning I saw a precious little girl with cigarette burns on her tummy and my heart broke. I don't understand all the whys in this world but I know God so I don't need to know why. Thank you, Raechel, for sharing your faith. Jerry and I are praying for you and we love you very much.

Brittanie said...

I found your blog because of the whole April Rose thing (I have been following Angie and Jennifer for a while though). I couldn't help but stop in my readthrough of your blog (which I have been doing in pieces since aforementioned thing), and comment here. I love this post. In May of 2006 my first baby, Cora Rei, was stillborn. I have since had two more healthy children. On those days I am missing Cora most, I go back to that moment, that ultrasound that confirmed a still heart, that day I held her...

I am not the same person I was. As much I miss my Cora even still, I am grateful for the person I have become, the person she taught me to be. I have a much greater, very personal relationship with my Savior that I did not have before then. You said it so beautifully. I am forever changed, but I don't want to go back to that person that I was.

Anyway, you may see more comments from me.

(hugs) to you!