Sunday, May 11, 2014

Hope Anchors the Soul

I think about blogging all the time...  but I feel like even when I have things I *want* to write, I can't find the words to say whatever it is I might want to say.

And maybe I feel a little like a broken record...

Or maybe like I can't be as profound as I would like....

And I don't want my blog to be dry.  I hate reading dry writing.

But today I might have to be a bit dry in order to get this post out "on time" since I sent out the Save the Dates for Rachel's Race and this post was "supposed to" go out first.

Each race, I have had a theme of sorts that I base things off of.  The first year it was "43 minutes in our arms, always in our hearts" and had her hands in the shape of a heart as the logo.  The second year, it was "Too Precious to Forget" and the logo was the dandelions scattering seeds.  The big dandelion represented me and the little one her, and the seeds, her legacy.  We also gave out little cards to all the baby loss families that said "Some say you're too painful to remember, I say you're too precious to forget"

When I started planning this year's logo, I originally had something completely different than what it turned out to be.  I'm not going to tell you in case I decide to use that one in the future, but it was all figured out... until God put a verse on my heart.  I did what I always do when something hits me like that and messaged my amazing friend Lisa telling her what I was thinking and within a few minutes, she had come up with a super cute way to incorporate Rachel's feet into my vision.  Lisa didn't have the computer program needed to make the logo shirt friendly so my friend Jenn came to our rescue and added all the technical stuff and finishing touches to it.  And it. is. amazing.  I am so happy with it and so excited for how it will encourage people.

But before I share it with you, I feel like I should give a little summary of what year 4 after losing Rachel has brought in comparison to the years before.

Year one, I was overwhelmed with emotions... really high ones and really low ones.  I cried all the time.  I was still very much being carried by people around me and feeling like God had given me purpose through my pain and was using Rachel.  So while it hurt like crazy, I felt like I had beauty in it all.

Year two was still very emotional, still cried a lot, very packed with purpose, very obvious in how far she was reaching and God met me in every low moment in such amazing and real ways - usually through sending someone my way, at random in public, who would share with me that they knew about Rachel.  But I started to struggle with trying to figure out how to continue on with the regular stuff you have to do in life as a now bereaved mom.

Year three... well, I think that brought some type of insanity.  I was constantly swimming against the current.  I cried less, but everything felt hard.  I couldn't make sense out of anything.  I quit everything.  I hurt people and dropped relationships.  I was angry and disappointed.  And in hind sight, I really think it all goes back to the fact that I had absolutely no way to prepare myself for how long this pain would stick around.  It's not at all what I expected, not that I really had a picture of what it would look like, but I guess I thought it would be really hard and continuously get a little better each day until it was just a memory that was hard but worth it.  And I know that is what a lot of people *expect* which doesn't make it any easier to not put that type of pressure on myself... I just felt like I was completely failing at the entire thing... the grieving part, the non profit part, the being a wife, mom, daughter, sister and friend after the loss of my child part... I couldn't see through it.  It was my hardest year.

So as year four started after Rachel's 3rd bday in December, I didn't know what to expect... and on most days, I feel like I do better than last year (not that that would be hard to beat!)  I finally feel like I enjoy being around other people, even if they are talking about the weather... something that until just recently I couldn't stomach.  I feel like I'm out of my 'fog' a bit and things make sense to me again... like the 501c3 paperwork...  but I have come to this hard realization that I am never going to ever get back to a life that feels even a little normal.  I've heard it said a million times... you have to find a new normal...  well, to be honest, that really stinks.  Sounds nice and all, but I feel like I don't even know who I am.  I feel tired of being who I have become.  Even though I know with everything I am, that I AM better - it's not easier, but it's better.

So, while each day and in every season of life throughout these past almost 4 years, I have been at every possible place in grief I could have been, the One Thing that has not changed is that my hope in the hope in hope in eternity and God's promises have been my anchor.  It's the reason I can turn up my hands in surrender to God's plan and His eternal purposes.  And some days, it's the only thing that keeps me going....

This years race is going to be all about that's firm and secure.  Our hope in Him.

Hebrews 6:19We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,
On the shirts, Jenn made it so that her hand and footprints will be actual size!

And a couple days after deciding on this verse for the theme, Desirae gave her life to the Lord one Sunday afternoon in a parking lot when her & I were out together...I was telling her afterwards that once you are a child of God, there is nothing that can separate you from His love.  Nothing.  And as we were driving home, we heard this song for the first time... and we both just looked at each other and smiled...  You should listen to it!

Us 3 Aube girls are truly connected in a special way - we are all alive in Christ.  Nothing can separate us.  Not from each other, not from the love of Christ....  Not death, life, tears, drought.  Nothing.  He is the anchor for our souls.  And Hope in Him does not disappoint.

And so there you have it... much longer than I expected, but I also started writing this at 9am and had to put it away and now I'm finishing it after midnight.

If you are planning to come to Rachel's Race this August, but have not signed up, would you consider helping us reach our goal to have 43 people signed up by Mother's Day (that's today now!)  I believe we are still about 17 people off.  There is a button to register at the top of the blog on the right.  Thanks!

Thanks again to Lisa for turning my anchor idea into a really cute piece of Rachel and to Jenn for helping us create it.  I'm so blessed to have you ladies as friends and am thankful for how you use your talents to bless others.

Happy Mother's Day to all my beautiful friends... including the ones who celebrate with empty arms.  May the hope of heaven anchor your souls.

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Thank you! ♥ The Aubes