Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Kitchen Dance

Notice:  I've copied and pasted text here and I don't have the time or energy to figure out why it's all discolored and weird so just ignore that!  thanks! (that's some serious growth for this "Type A"!!) 

Today I kept finding myself sad.  I wasn't crying, just feeling kind of down.  I couldn't put my finger on why - until I noticed that I had posted like 3-4 things of Eden... her trying to stand, walking with a walker, and her big, beautiful smile... and I kept writing or thinking how much I miss Rachel.  It's not like that is new, but it was a bit heavier than usual.

I realized the why and wrote this on facebook:

It just dawned on me why today is a hard Rachel day... the hundreds of back to school posts... Rachel would be 5. She'd be in kindergarten this year. Yeah, I'd probably be sad if I was sending her off to school. I get that. I'm a crier. But wow, I'd give anything to be sad in the can't-believe-my-baby-is-growing-up kind of way. It sure beats the can't-believe-my-daughter-is-dead tears that even plague my tears of joy watching Eden and her siblings grow. I'm thankful for a heavenly perspective, but some days I just wish I could go back to the simpler days where watching them grow was the most "sadness" I knew as a mom. Where today, I would post a picture of my 5yo, holding one of those signs like everyone does now.. big smile, new dress, pretty shoes in a size 5, backpack on.... I miss her. God, I miss her.

Shortly after that, one of my favorite songs came on the radio and I called the kids in to dance and sing with me.  I had Ezra for the first song... Lauren Daigle...

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what You see

I’ve tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty Warrior, King of the fight
No matter what I face, You’re by my side

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So, in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation; the rock on which I stand

Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go, You’ve not already stood

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

 When I sing about Him not moving the mountains or parting the waters - all I can think about is Rachel.  And when I sing about His plans being good... Him knowing what tomorrow brings... that NOWHERE I go is a place He has not already stood... I think about how much that hurt.  How painful it was to wait for her death.... to bury her... to have so much of the world watching and judging as I did... and to know that He knows that pain and that He cares about mine even though His was even worse... wow.  

So at this point, Eden had asked me to hold her and Ezra and Sam (and Des) were in the kitchen being spun around by me and Eden was dancing with me.  The next song was Broken by Lifehouse. I remember as clear as can be hearing that song on the way into the cemetery one day not long after Rachel died and I literally was, as the song says, 'barely breathing'....

I'm falling apart, I'm barely breathing
With a broken heart that's still beating
In the pain there is healing
In your name I find meaning
So I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on, I'm holdin' on
I'm barely holdin' on to you

I remember blogging about it - I blogged every day, sometimes more than once a day then just to process what I was trying to carry around... my very heavy, broken heart.

I held Eden tight and just fell apart, dancing in our new kitchen.  I'm so thankful I have her - and I honestly still can't believe I do... but every great once in awhile, feeling her in my arms just breaks my heart for Rachel all over again... and yet, she is EXACTLY who I need in my arms to help me get to the other side of that brokenness.  So often when I'm holding her, I think of the verse God gave me that first week when we found out Rachel was going to die - that He will bring everything to completion... and I feel like Eden is bringing us full circle back to Rachel in so many ways, I can't put words to it.  She makes me feel like Rachel is so much closer - even though at times it hurts. It's like she is being used to break me again, so I'll heal more completely - like they do with bones if bones don't heal properly....

I cried through the rest of the song and she just put her head up against my face.  She is so, SO sweet and she knew I was sad and was comforting me.  She is a smart little lady, at only 8 months, I'd say she is going to be a compassionate person.  

The last song was Live it Well by Switchfoot.... it's a new song, but this has been my mantra since I found out about my brain aneurysm - life is short and not a day or even an hour is a guarantee, so live what you have well...  

The combination of the three songs hit me so hard... the reminder of how God doesn't always do what we want but that I can TRUST Him anyway in the first song, followed by a walk down memory lane of how bad it hurt when He allowed me to go through what I did with Rachel in the second song... and then ending with a reminder to make the most out of what I have right now.....

I am not sure I have a real great way to wrap this post up...  all I can say is that if I am honest, I've been too preoccupied for too long... like a big fat Martha, running around to get things done and not taking the time to sit at the feet of my Lord... and I so desperately need Him.  I need that communion with Him... I need to hear what He wants to say to me... I need to open His Word more often and soak it in and I need to find a way to do that realistically in the midst of this beautifully crazy and busy life I live.  And, it's been entirely way too long since I danced in my kitchen and I think I need to do that more often, too.
Reaching for me while she was dancing ♥

Carrying the Nail With Me

Well, that's a record - 2 months since I last posted....

In the last two months, I have packed up our old house, moved, and unpacked in our new home. (maybe half the boxes!)  It was no easy job and I don't want to do that again any time soon!

I always assumed leaving the house Rachel lived in with me would be hard.  It was - but not as I expected - mostly because for one, I was way too busy to have time to think and for two, if there was ever a time that she feels near me, it is now.

If you've been reading along my journey, you know what I'm talking about when I reference Rachel's nail.  It was a nail that was in my living room wall that, for a very long time, had her little purple dress hanging on it.  I didn't take it down because I felt like it would be as if I had lost hope in the possibility of her healing.

I finally took the dress down, but left the nail.  Here and there, I would hang other Rachel things on it, but the nail never came down.  It was the last thing left - that and the bouquet of daisies I left for the new owners on the counter - when we went to leave that Friday morning.

I turned around, pulled it out, and stuck it in my pocket.
If that nail represented hope in her healing - then why does it need to be left in that house?  I believe with all I am that she has been made whole in heaven with the Lord.  Her healing was in fact granted to her, and to me....  She is safe, happy, complete.

So, shortly after we moved into our new home (that has "Rachel" written all over it in so many ways!) I took the nail out from my pocket and hammered it into the basement door... ironically, in the center of what the details in the door outline as a cross.... and I hung the Hope star I hung the night before the day she was born.
It looks Christmas-y, and that's fine by me.  Christmas has brought us Jesus, Rachel, Eden...and HOPE!! 

I carry the hope of her healing with me every day - it's how I survive being without her.  I didn't leave her - or that hope - there.  I took it with me and will think about it and remember it every single day of my life until we meet again.

Ezra's 3rd birthday party - our last family photo in that home!
The last thing we did before we drove away... Rachel bear is on my lap, but you can't see it.
Seems fitting - she is with us, but you can't see her - I also like that Eden is playing with her ♥
Rachel's nail was safe in my pocket - and we are surrounded by the bulb fundraiser flowers I bought when we were raising money for her playground.
It won't be long and these photos will feel like forever ago.  We have loved and lost and grown so much in this house.  The day we moved in, we would have never seen any of that coming.  What a long, hard road.  But I know so intimately how desperate we are for Jesus, in all our weaknesses and failures - and how generous and merciful He is.  I hope I always remember how I felt sitting on that porch that morning, the humid air, the nervousness of selling this place we loved so much or the excitement over the new house we were about to buy - the laughter we had as Matt pushed the button and ran to get in the photo... being surrounded by my children, 3 of which I probably would not have if we were able to keep Rachel.  It's amazing how God unfolds our lives, a little at a time... and all we can do is take it one moment at a time and try to make the most of each of them.

So, here we go - on our next adventure.... thanking God for every day we get together and for the nail, the cross, and the hope that gets us through the days we have to spend without each other.