Monday, September 6, 2010

Bitter sweet crown of thorns

We spent this last week in Maine, near Camden, on our much needed annual vacation.  We went last year and we had perfect weather all week long.  The week was so uplifting, when I came home, reality hit me like a ton of bricks. Everything was perfect right down to the s'mores and I wanted to stay there forever.  Just me, my family, and God's awesome creation.

This year, it was really hot, too hot to do most of the outdoors stuff we basked in last year. And too hot to use the woodstove - no s'mores! :o( The pond that the cottage is on had a high bacteria count and they were recommending nobody swim there - no swimming and no fishing!  This pond also happens to be where the cottage gets all of it's water...that's right, no showers all week.  90 degrees, 6 months pregnant and no showers for a week....  Minus the one sponge bath Des & I took and then we took turns washing our hair in a pan of water we boiled.  This was actually our 1st history lesson of the school year because we got to experience firsthand how the people used to do it in the "old days" :o) We had our challenges, but we got exactly what we needed up there (God always provides!) and I was never so glad to come home.  I love our home.  I think God was protecting me from the let down I experienced last year - another perspective thing.

Being up there was hard for me this year.  If I wasn't thinking about the baby, I was thinking of Corey (our friend who passed away the day after we found out about Rachel).  Corey, Jill and their girls vacation at the same cottage every year and had paid part of our way this year as a gift.

Our first morning there (before I knew all of the things that would go "wrong"- and before I knew there was about to be a hurricane!) I wrote these words in my journal:

We're at camp in Licolnville.  I never expected I would feel this sad.  Our trip last year was so uplifting, I expected to have that same feeling come flooding back...but I have this constant weight of sadness that follows me everywhere.  I can't escape it, my heart is broken. God, how do I do what I need to for my other kids while this dark cloud lingers waiting to pour on me?  I feel the impending loss and wonder how I'm supposed to do this.  Will the sun ever truly shine again?

I finished writing and decided to read some of the book I'm reading by Angie Smith.  She was talking about how even our Lord suffered here on earth.  I had underlined these words from her book:
"In every thorn in the crown they forced on His head, there is a truth I need to allow to settle on my brow.  We serve a God Who is aware of our suffering"

A couple of hours later, we decided to go into town.  We started down a hill towards the water to see the sailboats when I decided I had to pee...not the kids, me!  Rachel must have shifted onto my bladder!  So we turned back and went toward the public restroom.  As we were walking down that street, my eyes were drawn to a plant with little delicate yellow flowers on it.  I said that they reminded me of Rachel and went to see how much it cost...when I picked it up, the marker said "Crown of Thorns".  I was brought to tears by how loudly God speaks.  I have been begging Him to continue to remind me that He is with me - and does He ever!  The minute I read the name of that plant, I was brought back to what I had read a little while earlier.  He is aware of my suffering.  As I looked closer, I noticed that under the pretty flowers were big thorns that I had not noticed at first.  They were hidden underneath the delicate flowers that reminded me of my little angel.

The crown of thorns that Jesus wore was beautiful, not because of what it was, but because of Who He is.  Rachel is my crown...for now...and soon I will have to lay her down.  Not without the underlying thorns, it will be painful, but Jesus is aware - He knows, He wore his crown too.

I called Jill to ask her to look up how I should care for the plant since the people at the store had no info on it and had never heard of it before.  I wasn't sure if it needed water or not and I didn't want to kill it before I even got it home. She looked online and it said that this plant gives it most beautiful blooms in the winter...does that surprise you?  With how God has been moving, it didn't surprise either one of us - we figure it will probably be at it's best on December 26th - Corey & Jill's anniversary and also the day we're hoping to meet Rachel face to face - and possibly the day she'll meet Jesus face to face too.  When all my other flowers are buried beneath the snow, this plant will be showering us with blooms - at one of the saddest times in our lives.  A crown with thorns... always bitter sweet.

We decided to pack up early since hurricane Earle hit and it was a constant downpour all night long.  We got 1/2 way through packing when the rain stopped, the sun came out and the weather was suddenly perfect.  We decided we were too far into packing to turn back and that we would still head home.  A storm that was supposed to last for days, was over in hours - out of the blue and the sun was shining. 

Will the sun ever truly shine again??  I think so.


  1. After Uncle Dale died I subscribed to an E-Letter on dealing with grief. I just opened todays and it was about "perspective". I don't think they would mind me sharing it;

    When it's hard to look forward and it's painful to look back, you need a new perspective, a new focus. And that focus is in the moment. Right now.

    Notice the weather, and if you can, take a long walk.

    Listen to your body - is it hungry? Are you feeling clean, and well-cared-for?

    How about nurturing your passions? Reading, painting, fishing - whatever it is, think about it - or better yet, do it.

    But, whatever you do, stay in the now. Don’t look back, and don’t focus too far into the future. For your power resides in the now.

    Quotation for the Day
    "And you would accept the seasons of your heart just as you have always accepted that seasons that pass over your fields and you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief." ~ Kahlil Gibran

    Love you always................ Mom

  2. Hey Stacy. I just wanted to say thank you. And that I love you. And that I am still praying. All the time.
    Love, Beka

  3. It's SO hard for me to read about the pain you're going thru, pain that I wish could be instantly relieved, but it's SO good to read about our God who is good all the time...and who is so obviously and passionately caring for you thru your pain! I just wanted you to know that the ways in which He speaks to you and shows Himself to you go far beyond and minister to my heart and I'm sure many others!
    Praying for you constantly...
    Sara S.

  4. This posting is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing! I think that Jill had given me something by Elizabeth Eliot about the thorns...last year. If you're interested, let me know and I'll locate it.
    The photo is gorgeous. Isn't it wonderful how God knew just what you needed during this week, and just as you needed it, right down to being happy to be home.
    Praying for you,
    Sarah L

  5. Stacy,

    Thank you for sharing your story with me and allowing me to rub your belly today at WIC. You are an amazing woman.PLease know that my family and I are praying for those on your request list. Your display of generosity today for a mom in need was such a beautiful act, I could only hope to do the same given the oppurtunity.
    PS if you need anything you have my number!!

  6. I briefly met your family at the Sumner Restaurant in Somersworth. I wasn't your waitress but was floating near by. I felt drawn to your family. I was given your by the midwife I am training with. I have sent the info to my classmates, as your strength is inspiring. I feel our paths may have crossed for some deeper reason. I would like to offer my support as a Doula and give you my email address- . You and your family are in my prayers. Please feel free to contact me.


We so appreciate your words of encouragement!
Thank you! ♥ The Aubes