Well, we got there a few minutes late and they have started to escort people to seats that are still available since it gets so packed, (as a courtesy so you're not searching for a place to sit) but we got put right up front. They were the only open seats, so I'm assuming I was *supposed* to be there today. I have not sat in the front row since Rachel's funeral and so the timing was difficult. The Sunday before her birthday last year, the congregation prayed for us... this year, they announced our new baby boy. Trying to reconcile these two extremes in my heart is exhausting. The pain mixed with joy is overwhelmingly complicated. I cried a lot.
I was blessed by other people's efforts to help me balance the two though... I never checked the mail yesterday and on the way out this morning, saw that I got a gift card from my Aunt for Rachel's birthday. Then within minutes of being at church, Nancy handed me a gift card for Rachel's birthday. And I found a card at my seat with a gift card for Rachel's birthday and a gift for Asa from Willie & Cindy. Sue came up and gave me a hug, then kissed her hand and placed it on Asa's head and then on Rachel's handprint.... People are remembering her with me and I so need that. Thank you ♥
I wore Asa in his carrier - he loves to be on Mama's chest and I love being able to kiss him and tell him I love him every two minutes :o) (literally) We sang the "Revelation Song" and when we got to the verse that says:
As I was 'wearing' my rainbow baby - The living color that God has blessed me with - The name "wise King" stood out to me and God started to speak to my heart; bringing a few things that I had been reading this week all together. The next song? Mighty to Save. I've mentioned this one many times for the one line that says that Jesus conquered the grave. That Truth is the only reason I can go on after losing my baby girl... and every time I sing it, I thank God that she's not really left in that grave to rot away, but that she is truly with him in heaven. (I still HATE that her body is down there) Today though, I claimed the other verses, too:
I'm going to be blunt here. I've been FULL of fear, worry, anxiety where Asa is concerned. I'm convinced something is going to happen to him, that I'm not going to get to keep him, and I'm waiting for the ball to drop. I've refused to surrender to God's will because honestly, I'm having trouble trusting that I will like it. (as if I get a choice) As a matter of fact, I have first hand knowledge that I won't always like it.... and with what I've been through, I'm not really believing that it's working together for my good either. I just don't see it - and I'm really sick of people saying it to me. One more mushy card going on and on about how much "God loves us" ("us" meaning themselves, too) and I might puke. Not that I don't believe it, but when someone is hurting and you ignore that by using cliches, trying to sound super spiritual and avoiding the topic, it comes across as rather insincere at best. Those cards go straight in the trash - which, for someone who keeps everything, might tell you how I feel about them.
blah blah blah, back to the point - which that was NOT it. I hate this. But that is a good example of another reason that I am limiting the number of people and who I am around... I seem to have no filter on the things I say and I hate it. I'm just not in a good place. Hormones - no sleep - new baby - grieving and Rachel's anniversary... need I say more? Believe it or not, to some people, those aren't enough good reasons.... maybe those selfish people would be happier to know that it's probably in their best interest to not be around me so they aren't subjected to my mood swings and irrational thinking.
So let me tell you about the reading material that I "just happened" upon the other day. It's a Table Talk Magazine by Ligonier Ministries and RC Sproul. "Ironically" it has a picture of a tree and a sparrow on it (seen Asa's room??) and across it, it says: "Anxiety - and the sovereignty of God." As I've read through some of this, I know that there is no mistake that I'm reading it at this time in my life. I have a few things that I want to share, so I'll probably do a few posts this week on them.
I guess the bottom line is that I can't afford to turn from God now. I know there is a war waging for my soul and I would be stupid to let satan win. My God is faithful. He is with me. He will not leave or forsake me. I don't like the path He's allowed me to have to walk with Rachel, but I wasn't alone.
I just had to stop to nurse Asa and as I did, the music on my blog played through...each song reminding me of a time throughout the last year - right now as I write, "Hallelujah, Your love is amazing" is playing - the song we picked to play on her birthday last year. Where did I find the hope I had? It was given to me by God. Where is it now? Cause right now, I'm pissed. I picked Asa up to burp him, his body warm and squishy - why didn't God allow me to have these moments with Rachel? I hold his perfectly formed head in my hand and sob... why couldn't He have formed her? Why did He create me to be a nurturing mother and then take that role away from me?
And so goes the battle - one I never saw coming. Who am I to question God? I have no place - or benefit - in being upset with the maker of heaven and earth....and yet I can't seem to escape it. I hold this sweet baby boy that I am SO thankful for, who came straight from God Himself - and my heart screams at God "why couldn't I keep her?" and I hate it. I want to feel different. I want to be content - but I miss her more than words can describe and my heart hurts more than I knew it ever could. When will this let up?
I guess that blows the replacement theory right out the window - sorry to disappoint all who thought that Asa would fill Rachel's hole in my heart. Instead the spot he filled only accentuated the emptiness of hers.
Lord, thank you that you take me as you find me - fears, failures, doubts....all my imperfections. Thank you that your mercy and grace are new every morning - and are enough for me. I surrender again to you Lord Jesus...You're all I have. Fight this battle for me - please keep me close.