Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My Lesson on Time

I have a lot to catch up on.  Before I get into all the blessings from our 4th annual vacation in Maine last week, I want to back track a bit to the weeks after the race, but before vacation.

First, I guess I'll analyze my computer-free time. :o)

It was awesome.  I have found, in spite of myself, that I actually hate the computer - and not just because it doesn't cooperate and goes slow when I want it to go fast.  I hate it because it robs me of my time and time is something I can never get back.  I always knew this to be true, but I honestly didn't see how much so until I had it out of my life.

My house is cleaner, my kids are happier and my morale higher.  I went to bed earlier and got up earlier.  The hours in the day, while still a little less than needed for my life, seemed to go further which helps me to not be overwhelmed. The computer and the internet are great tools, but if I'm honest, most of the time wasted on it is useless.  I have developed many great friendships through this blog and could only have friends across the country and across the world through the internet.  I'm so thankful for that - it's truly a gift.  And at the same time, I miss the 'old fashion' ways of the telephone and letters.  I think so much is lost in technology - and as much as I have needed the comfort and encouragement I have found here (as well as been able to give to others here, I still long for more intimacy with friends - to hear their words and see their faces - and feel their hugs.  God gave me the first glimpse of this the day after Rachel's Race when Tienne and her family (who drove from Ohio to come to the race) came to church with us.  I was SO blessed to stand next to my friend and sing praises to God together.  It seriously brought tears to my eyes.  I've been emailing with her for almost 2 years and that one hour together far outweighed all of our emails.  I will cherish that memory always.

On the flip side, if I can make my blog a separate entity from the internet, I have found that not blogging doesn't kill me as I thought it might, but it does leave me with a heavy heart.  I see God in so many places that I just want to jump on and write about.  I want to share all that I see that confirms what I know to be true, but struggle to believe so often - He is alive and so is she.

I continuously went back to God these past few weeks asking if He really didn't want me to share things that were happening and I continuously heard,  Be still and wait.

Before I left on vacation, I stopped by my friend Terri's for a few minutes.  She introduced me to a friend she had there and within a few minutes of us all talking, I was in tears sharing my heart with them.  I felt like a complete blubbering mess, but I trust God will use it.  I had not realized all that was waiting to spill out, and honestly I don't even remember how I started on the topic... but before I knew it I was telling them about that week of not blogging.

My words; unprepared and honest, still ring in my mind.  I said something to the effect of  "I  spent the last week packaging up t-shirts and cards and little notes for people who couldn't make it to the race.  I spent hours gathering things and pressing daisies (left over from race day) to minister to these people and to share Rachel with them.  I wanted people to know that I was thinking about them, remembering babies they had lost and that I appreciate their friendships and support.... meanwhile my children are waiting for me.  My babies are growing up way too fast.  I don't regret working to bless others, and I do believe that God called me to this ministry when He gave me Rachel and took her away, but I remembering hearing Billy Graham talk about how he worked so hard to reach so many people, while his very own children - his first ministry - were left behind.  I don't want to have that regret."

It was a sunny, warm day.  She gave me a hug and I went back to my van and I could sense the relief I had from sharing what God was speaking to my heart.  I needed to hear myself say it.  And therein lies that 'theraputic aspect' of my blog.  This is where I tell my story. It's not meant to be a place for me to get feedback (especially from people who are not my friends to begin with) and it's not a place capable of nurturing the friendships given to me by God here.  It is however something I feel very called to do and need to continue until I hear God say otherwise.  In the end, as much as I am humbled to be able to share the amazing things that God does even in the midst of my most horrific pain, this will still leave me wanting.  I sit here alone, unknowing who is caring enough to read still or who I may or may not be helping and nobody reaches over to hug me at the end of a post as my tears fall. I sit, heart poured out, alone.

Originally, early in my journey, part of why posts were better than talking is because if people were unsure of how to respond (they usually were and so often only hurt me more) they didn't have to and I wouldn't have to sit in the awkward silence or run away and hide to cry.  But honestly, that awkward silence seems to follow me around anyway these days.  And maybe it's just me.  But not writing makes her feel further away.  I'm aware that if I wasn't blogging, most people would be unaware that I still hurt and it would make me easier or more comfortable to be around, but that's ok cause I'd rather feel distant from them than her, if that makes any sense...

So, I guess what I'm saying is that through this time of quiet, I have been revived in my heart for my home and for what God has called me to do here.  I've also been, once again, reassured that blogging is something He wants me to be doing, while facebook and email need to bite the dust. And I'm thankful to also be happy about that.  I will still post my blog posts on facebook (sharing Rachel's life and my journey through her death was the only reason I started using FB in the first place before I got sucked into the vacuum!) at least for a while - but I hope to use the computer as a tool to minister to my family and others - not as a way to try to maintain or create friendships, because a friend is so much more than emails and status updates.  However, I do have a few friends that I will stay connected to through email because they are long distance and have become very dear to me and I do still plan to answer each and every (minus the really mean ones that don't deserve a response) email I get in regards to Rachel, as I always have.

And there you have it.....  He spoke in the silence like I asked, responded in a way I didn't expect - and as promised, gave me the desires of my heart. (by that I mean He changed the desires in my heart to match HIS!)  He has gently convicted me of changes I need to make - as well as graciously reminded me of the many blessings I am surrounded by and how fleeting time truly is.  No matter how many minutes I get with any of my children it will never be enough.  I don't want to waste them.

So, I'm back - ironically more like how I started.  Me, my blog, the story of my amazing God and beautiful daughter, and the way my family here goes on without her because of Him.  This has been a hard, messy and beautiful journey but God has continued to show me that He will never let go no matter how hard I fall or fail  - no matter how off course I get - He always lovingly directs my path and for that, I am forever thankful.

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Thank you! ♥ The Aubes