Saturday, December 11, 2010

Beauty For Ashes

I can't believe a week has gone by already...  Seems like it's going by way too fast and yet feels like forever, just like my pregnancy.  My mom came down to help us clean this morning (our house was a wreck!) and at 11:10, she asked Matt if he could pray... Rachel passed away at 11:10 last Friday.  A whole week...  My mom has never asked us to pray before.  She's prayed along with us by default, but never requested it.  I'm glad Rachel could bring her to the place where prayer is comforting to her.  I'm also very grateful that she remembers details that matter to me - and that they matter to her.  10,080 minutes without my girl...but who's counting?

Things are tough here right now.  We are blessed to have a full house that keeps us busy, but there's no denying the pain.  I feel so inadequate to be what I need to be for everyone right now...but I guess that's not really that different than usual.  I am just so tired of being sad and I know it's not going away any time soon. I feel like if I let myself fall apart, I would never be put back together.  I cry here and there, but only for a minute or two and then I have to dust myself off and keep going.  Everyone else will move on and life will return back to normal, but for me..."normal" will never be the same.  Rachel was a part of me for so long, I hardly remember life without her and I don't know what to do now.

I was planning on going to the cemetery today alone and then remembered I'm not allowed to drive.  In the midst of everything that has been going on, it's been easy to forget that I just had major abdominal surgery.  I had a couple of people, who had c-sections before, comment at Rachel's service that they couldn't believe how well I was moving around just 6 days later.  I guess when you're heart's broken, it's hard to feel anything else.  Although today my pain has been pretty bad.
My mom stayed with the kids for a couple hours (she spends 1/2 her life here at this point) and Matt &  I went down to visit Rachel.  When we pulled up to her spot, I started bawling.  It was so hard to be there and have her be out of reach.  To know she's under there... to know she's never coming out. 

We sat at her grave for well over an hour.  Matt dug a little hole to put some fake flowers in (hopefully they'll weather the winter and keep color on her grave) 

and I read scriptures to her. We prayed and we talked to her. It was beautiful and painful. That same old line between beauty and sorrow that we've been walking this entire journey.

When we first found out that Rachel wouldn't stay with us long, I read a book called "I will carry you" by Angie Smith.  She had said that she marked all the scriptures she read to her daughter in her bible with dirt from her grave.  Today I did that too... a way to always remember the verses I read to her.  A way to always carry part of her resting spot with me.  We found great comfort in God's Word today. 

Matt collected some of the clay from the ground in his hand and took it with him... I was reminded of the picture we're given in the bible about God being the potter and we are the clay.  I wondered, can He really make something beautiful out of my pain?  It's easy to trust Him to mold the "clay" when the pieces are intact, but what about when the pieces crumble in front of my eyes?

What about when it seems impossible for the pieces to come together?  Do I really trust Him?

I do.

I love the spot we chose for her.  It's so peaceful.  Standing on a grave and talking to my baby is far from how I would like things to be, but we are making the most of it... for Rachel's honor and God's glory.  God is taking care of what we can't.  Picking up the pieces we can barely hold onto and gently putting them back together again.  I am so thankful for Him. 

The bible says in Isaiah 61:3:
To appoint to them that mourn in Zion, to give to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.


  1. Stacy~ I know that you don't see the beauty from the ashes, but those of us on the outside can see some of the beauty God has brought out of this situation. He has made you, Matt, and your children beautiful examples for all those watching of how to rest in a God who loves you and is providing even when we can't see it.
    I can remember going to the cemetary and crying, praying, and journaling for hours as well. I love the idea of putting dust in your Bible of the passages you have read to her! That is a beautiful reminder. I am so glad that God's Word continues to speak to your heart.

    I am glad too that your mom is remembering the details. It is so important for someone to be thinking of you during those moments that only a momma's heart ponders.

    I know that when his one year birthday came that the few people who remembered meant the world to this momma's heart. We visit his graveside from time to time, but never miss his birthday every year as a family with a balloon and flowers and take a picture together. That is just one way that we honor his life here on earth. Our children and us talk about him constantly. He is very much a part of our lives.

    Rachel I am sure will be a beautiful part of your lives forever!

    I know we don't even know each other, but you hold a special place in my heart. I am praying for you without ceasing.

  2. Stacy,
    There are no words to say. My heart has broken all over again. I have never been good with words, have never journaled or blogged. But every word you have written in your blogs feels like it is straight from MY heart.
    We are an exclusive group. There have been so many people over the years that want to understand but until it's you, it's simply impossible. I wouldn't wish it on any of them. I have shed many tears since Rachels birth, Dec 3 is etched in my heart with Oct 27.
    Love and prayers from one mother to another.

  3. Stacy,

    We too don't know each other, but as dorie said, we are members of an exclusive group, one of sadness & hope, faith and longing. Those "little" details are so important to us - Sebastian was born at 11:11am on June 3rd and died at 11:17am 3 days later - I mark those times almost daily, even 12yrs later! Now, December 3rd will hold a place in my heart as well.

    Every year we all go to the cemetery to sing Happy Birthday, leave flowers and balloons and mark the day just as we do for our living children!

    And when you said "everyone will move on and life will go back to normal except for me", my heart broke because I remember thinking the very same thing after Sebastian's funeral and how "normal" will never, ever be the same again. I remember being angry that they could just go off and leave the hurt behind, but I couldn't.

    As so many others, I have you in my heart, mind and prayers. Rachel's life has touched more people than you can even imagine - what a miraculous gift she is to us!

  4. From all my heart I wish you deep and refreshing sleep. Never else can you be as close to your girl as in your sleep.

  5. You know it - Rom 8,28 - EVERYTHING!

  6. Sarah, you truely are glorifying GOD with every step that you take on this journey, which has broken so many hearts.

    Thank you, for sharing your Joy, Pain, Sorrow, Hope and Faith with all of us.

  7. I am deeply moved by all you have written about sweet little Rachel. Wishing with all my heart that you and Matt find solace over and over again. Wishing you endurance in these days so full of grief. You are a very loving and courageous mother giving an impressing example to so many people!

  8. God is surely able to pick up all the broken pieces. I like how you marked the verses with the dirt.

  9. I will carry you is a great book, very inspirational :) I read this book after a late- twin miscarriage. You are a beautiful person and show such compassion and understanding! Thank you for sharing your experience.

  10. You have such an eloquent way with words. I am still reading "I Will Carry You" it is an amazing book. I think its so special how you marked the verses you read to Rachel with the dirt from her grave. *hugs*


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