Saturday, February 27, 2010

Relearning the Truth

This grief has really jolted me and thrown me out of coarse and I feel like I have to relearn some important truths and relearn the basics. I even feel shaken in the simplest things, even praying. I found myself praying the other day but I wasn't sure even how to pray for someone who needs healing, because God doesn't always heal. Shouldn't I always try to pray in God's will? So I had to get back to the basics. Does God want us to be heale?. Well obviously he doesn't always heal on earth but if he doesn't heal on earth he always heals in heaven. And because we live in a fallen world we should always pray for healing. He didn't want death or disease but it is the consequence of living in a fallen world. So I should always pray for healing when someone needs it.

We live in a fallen world (Genesis 3) where there is disease and death and God allowed it. The Bible doesn't always make it clear why he allowed it but I believe its because he knew what was more important, a relationship with him and unfortunately it has ended up allowing suffering which I believe God hates immensely. But without a choice to choose between good and evil, I believe we would end up like robots and God loved us so much he wanted a relationship with us so he allowed our suffering so that we could have a choice and have a relationship with him. And he will redeem the suffering one way or another in his time sometimes on earth but sometimes not until we are in heaven.

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or
mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed. He who was
seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "write
this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." Rev 21:4-5

So I feel like I have to relearn some important things. I hate how my grief has turned me into a an ugly, angry, depressed person who doesn't even know how to pray. My emotions go up and down. Michelle at My World explains what it's like so well.

But I am a child of God despite what my grief feels like at this point. This may sound familiar if you ever read Beth Moore's book "Believing God." Ephesians 1:3-8 points out that "I am who God says I am."

I am blessed in the heavenly realm with every blessing of Jesus Christ. Everything that Jesus Christ was blessed with is what we are blessed with.

I am loved beyond measure.

I am chosen before the creation of the world. God chose me and adopted me in love as his child even though I feel so ugly from my grief. I have the most perfect father in all creation, God, and He loves me no matter what I do or don't do. He loves me no matter how ugly I feel. I am accepted. Despite my ugliness he still wants me and loves me. There's nothing I can do to make God love me more and there is nothing I can do that would make God love me less.

I am redeemed in grace through the blood of Jesus Christ. Despite my horrible sins, I will never have to pay the price and I will never be held accountable for my sins because I have been redeemed and Jesus paid for all of our sins with his blood on the cross. He chose to suffer and die for me so that I am free from the burden of sin and it allows me to live eternally. And I am forgiven for all the horrible sins I have commited. There's nothing I have done that will make God love me less and he has forgiven all of it.

So despite my ugly grief I am going to choose to believe that I am who God says I am and I am going to claim these truths for myself.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

So Easily Hurt

If you knew me before all this happened (only a very few of you are still reading this) you might have described me as someone who is not easily offended and who's feelings don't get hurt easily. Well that's all changed. I don't like that it's changed but I feel like I have and there's not a lot I can do about it. I especially am hurt if someone doesn't acknowledge that Gracie lived. I won't say who it was but someone very close to me had the opportunity to acknowledge Gracie's life but then actually pretty much denied that she was ever present.

The scenario was Applebees for dinner, I was playfully kicking Gavin's chair to get a rise out of him, as any "youngest sibling" type would do. Gavin said with a sassy tone (as is his usual almost 3 year old tone with me lately) said "stop it mommy." Then the other party said "is mommy giving you a hard time." So I laughed and said "you both don't know what its like to be the youngest." The other party said, "he is the youngest." I said "no he is not the youngest." The other party said, "he's the youngest right now." I said "no he is not the youngest right now." The other party then said,"is their something you're not telling me." (as if I was pregnant and hadn't told anyone) I tried to ignore the huge infarction but the hurt welled up in me all night and into the morning.

Then to top off someone who usually prays every night for Gracie, substituted Gracie's name for Grandma.

Am I the only one that's going to remember her? Am I the only one that thinks of her everyday? Am I the only one that loves her as much as everyone else in my family? I am the only one in the family that attempts to show my love for her by doing things to keep her memory alive and recognize my love for her.

And so I'm praying that God would help me with this because I'm so hurt and angry and I feel like there is a huge wedge. I don't want to feel this way but I do. In fact I don't like these weird reactions of mine. I feel like it is a very ugly way to be. I hate how the grief has changed me and how I'm all about my grief. I feel like it has taken over the core of who I am and I don't know where I'm going to land.

I read about Lynette Kraft from "Dancing Barefoot on Weathered Ground," she's a beautiful lady who has 9 children, 6 living on earth, 3 in heaven. Her story gave me some hope that one day I will like who I've become again. She quotes Psalms 30:11 in her side bar, "Thou has turned for me my mourning into dancing." I am inspired.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Gracie's Name in The Sand

Christian's mom Carly wrote Gracie's name in the sand at Mullalo Australia and you can see it here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Recipe for Healing

I ran across still Life 365, incredibly artistic people wrote their own recipe for healing. So I thought I'd give it a shot.

Recipe for Healing

Fresh Air
Reading other Blogs
Virtual Friends
Intimacy with God
Honesty with God
Chleo (a cuddly cat)
Gracie's Name

Go for walks and runs outside in the Sunshine, Rain can be substituted if Sunshine is not available. Breath in full breaths of fresh air into your lungs and sweat. Write what you're thinking and if possible feeling on your blog, more intimate details on your journal. Read and relate to other bloggers on their blogs and on facebook. Make friends with these people. Pray, tell God all about it, be honest ask for help and wait. Hold Chleo like she's a baby until she can't stand it anymore. Paint the kitchen, divide it into smaller doable parts than your used to and don't kill yourself trying to get it done. Find something that you can complete imediately and get it done. Burst into songs of praise when it flows. Rest and cuddle with your husband and son and think about how blessed you are to have them. Since you can't see your daughter find as many creative ways as you can to see your girl's name. Rock your son every night and sing to him and your daughter.

So Special

Today is the anniversary of my Grandma Wach's death. She made the best fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy and apple pie. One of the many favorite memories of my Grandma was when everyone was getting cell phones, and they had just got a cordless home phone, and so trying to keep up with the technology she tried to take the cordless home phone in the car with her but couldn't figure out why she couldn't call anyone. She's up there right now with Gracie holding her. I miss them both very much.

Jenna Bella's mom Franchesca made this lovely Hope Collage for Gracie. It is so meaningful and beautiful and I just love it:) I've also ordered one of her handmade memory boxes and can't wait to see it. Franchesca has such a gift in her art work.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

my New Normal

Just found this on a blog today, Butterflies for Alexandra, and can relate to every word. I hate it that these are my new normals and I don't want these new normals but I have most of them whether I want them or not.

Author Unknown

Normal is having tears waiting behind every smile when you realize someone important is missing from all the important events in your family’s life.

Normal for me is trying to decide what to take to the cemetery for Birthdays Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, Valentine’s Day, July 4th and Easter.

Normal is reliving that day continuously through your eyes and mind.

Normal is every happy event in my life always being backed up with sadness lurking close behind, because of the hole in my heart.

Normal is staring at every baby who looks like she is my baby’s age. And then thinking of the age she would be now and not being able to imagine it. Then wondering why it is even important to imagine it, because it will never happen.

Normal is telling the story of your child’s death as if it were an everyday, commonplace activity, and then seeing the horror in someone’s eyes at how awful it sounds. And yet realizing it has become a part of my "normal".

Normal is each year coming up with the difficult task of how to honor your child’s memory and her birthday and survive these days.

Normal is my heart warming and yet sinking at the sight of something special that my baby would have loved, but how she is not here to enjoy it.Normal is having some people afraid to mention my baby.

Normal is making sure that others remember her.

Normal is after the funeral is over everyone else goes on with their lives, but we continue to grieve our loss forever.

Normal is weeks, months, and years after the initial shock, the grieving gets worse sometimes, not better.

Normal is not listening to people compare anything in their life to this loss, unless they too have lost a child. NOTHING. Even if your child is in the remotest part of the earth away from you – it doesn’t compare. Losing a parent is horrible, but having to bury your own child is unnatural.

Normal is trying not to cry all day, because I know my mental health depends on it.

Normal is realizing I do cry everyday.

Normal is being impatient with everything and everyone, but someone stricken with grief over the loss of your child.

Normal is a new friendship with another grieving mother, talking and crying together over our children and our new lives.

Normal is not listening to people make excuses for God. "God may have done this because…" I love God, I know that my baby is in heaven, but hearing people trying to think up excuses as to why babies were taken from this earth is not appreciated and makes absolutely no sense to this grieving mother.

Normal is wondering this time whether you are going to say you have three children or two, because you will never see this person again and it is not worth explaining that my baby is in heaven. And yet when you say you have two children to avoid that problem, you feel horrible as if you have betrayed your baby.

Normal is knowing I will never get over this loss, in a day or a million years. And last of all,

Normal is hiding all the things that have become "normal" for you to feel, so that everyone around you will think that you are "normal."

Valentine's Day!

We're laying low at the Miller home today. We didn't plan anything extravagant because of our budget crunch, paying for the medical bills that did not bring us a healthy baby (ok I guess I'm a little bitter over this especially paying a doctor who tried to make us feel dispicable for allowing Gracie to live.) I am grateful for most of the medical care I recieved and I realize that if this had happened to me in a third world country, chances are I would have died so I am thankful for being alive. The one thing I was looking forward to today was going to church but then Gavin started getting a cold and a terrible cough so we decided not to spread the germs and stayed home. We exchanged cards and have been invited over to my inlaws for lunch. And I did get to sleep in because Laiman got up with Gavin, and I should be grateful for that.

The lovely picture of Gracie's candy is from Bryston's mom, Jenn at The Blue Sparrow. Check out her blog post of all the lost babies she made candies for. So sweet of her to recognize all these babies. So sad that there are so many.

As I type this I can see I need an attitude adjustment and to snap out of this negativity. I'm going to try and look for the joy in this day without my baby girl somehow. The sun is shining now, maybe I can soak some of it up.

I'm gonna make pancakes with strawberry jam for Gavin and I know he will like that.

Oh and if you think of it can you pray for Grace's mom, Megan. She lost her Grace 4 weeks ago and she is going back to work tomorrow, she's a nurse who works with high risk pregnant women and labor and delivery. I know it seems impossible to do this so would you send up some prayers for her, to the God of the impossible.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gracie and Grace's Balloon Release Ohio

I can't tell you how satisfying it is to have someone recognize Gracie this way. My friend who lost her baby Grace 4 weeks ago also sent off a balloon for Gracie. We can just picture them friends up in heaven swinging on swings together, gigling. A lot of people don't get these balloon releases but I'm so thankful that Megan and Ryan do. Thank you so much:)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

2 months ago today

It was 2 months ago today we lost Gracie. Someone who I met through reading her web page, a stranger to me before all this, Pearl's mom e-mailed me today to share her condolences at the 2 month mark. Very thoughtful and kind of her to remember this and go out of her way to share kind words. Thank you Laura!

The top picture is Gracie's butterfly that Ella's mom made for her. You can see it on Ella's butterfly parade here. Thank you so much Bree for making this beautiful butterfly for Gracie. It means so much to me and is so satifying when someone recognizes her life and my grief.

And the 2nd photo of Gracie's name in the snow was made by Grace's mom, a dear friend. We have been able to support each other in our grief even though she's hundreds of miles away, in Ohio. Thank you so much Megan for recognizing Gracie in this way and being such a good support through all this. Where would I be without you?

Dear, Gracie, I love you so much sweet baby. I hope you're up there enjoying every minute, meeting and becoming friends with other babies, like Grace, Pearl and Ella. I will not lie it has been so hard to live without you down here. I wish I could hold you, and hold you and dress you in sweet baby girl things and smell your sweet baby smell. I wish I could see you smile, hear you laugh and see you grow. One day I will.

Stll Wrestling

Ok, so I'm still wrestling with God. I know you're probaly thinking with all that God has taught you through this why do you still question him? And I do I still ask why, especially in the really dark moments, where sadness overwhelms me and everything that has ever comforted me has left me. And I think Why do I have to go through this? It's not just temporary grief, it's grief for the rest of my life. My grief counselor told me today that I'll probably always have sad days, but that I will learn to live through them. It's horrible and I say to myself why didn't God heal Gracie? What good could come of him bringing her into my life and then taking her away before she could even take her first breath. It seems so heartless and how could a loving God allow this. It really does shake your faith to live through this. It has changed the core me. And then Laiman told me maybe if God could accomplish his purpose for Gracie just in the 26 1/2 weeks that she was here with us maybe it was merciful of him to take her to heaven and not heal her, even if she was healed on earth she's still better off in heaven. That was just the thing I needed to hear and I don't ever want to forget. When I get in the dark, again, I plan to read this statement. Another thing that I should write all over my walls so I don't ever forget it. I'm able to fit this statement in with the loving merciful God that I believe in.

The other thing that God revealed to me was through another blogger who wrote about being a wounded healer. Most of my healing so far has been through God using someone who has been through this to speak the truth to me and provide comfort. Not everybody gets to be a wounded healer.

Here's a quote written on the looking for blue sky blog:

Abbas Child by Brennan Manning"In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive
the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and
shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for
others. As Deitrich Bonhoeffer said, ‘Guilt is an idol. But when we dare to live
as forgiven men and women, we join the wounded healers and draw closer to
Jesus.’ The Wounded Healer implies that grace and healing are communicated
through the vulnerability of men and women who have been fractured and
heartbroken by life. In Love’s service, only wounded healers can serve"

So I guess I can live through these dark sad spells that flash through me knowing that I may one day be able to help someone who's been through it. My sufferering is not futile. If I'm not able to accomplish God's purpose for my life without going through this then I'm not going to fight it. I'm going to get through it knowing that I wouldn't be able to help others as well if I wasn't wounded also.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Blessed Assurance- Third Day

Your Hands by JJ Heller

I have unanswered prayers

I have trouble I wish wasn't there

And I have asked a thousand ways

That You would take my pain away

That You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand

How to walk this weary land

Make straight the paths that crookedly lie

Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking

Heaven stands

When my heart is breaking

I never leave Your hands

When You walked upon the Earth

You healed the broken, lost, and hurt

I know You hate to see me cry

One day You will set all things right

Yea, one day You will set all things right

When my world is shaking

Heaven stands

When my heart is breaking

I never leave Your hands

Your hands

Your hands that shape the world

Are holding me, they hold me still

Your hands that shape the world

Are holding me,

they hold me still

When my world is shaking

Heaven stands

When my heart is breaking

I never leave You when...

When my world is shaking

Heaven stands

When my heart is breakingI never leave...

I never leave Your hands