Friday, December 2, 2016

Safe in His Hands

24 hours left until the day changes to another December 3.

My heart is breaking all over again and for some reason, I'm surprised.

I'm struggling with the changes... a  new house means a different holiday set up - and a different way to represent Rachel in our Christmas decorations.  Since the ordeal with the house is still in full swing, there is still half of it we can't use so we are still in a huge transition, on top of being in a new house.  We haven't even been able to unpack everything yet. :(  I opened a Christmas box to find all these red bows I bought last year on clearance to decorate our fence this year.  I always put the lights, garland and bows up and turn them on on Rachel's birthday.... well, we don't have a fence anymore... and my heart was crushed.

I found a way to improvise and used my long set of stairs to put the lights and bows on and I will decorate her little tree I put down in my garden tomorrow... I feel ok about it.  I think it's Rachel worthy ♥ But it is hard to have so many ongoing and unsettled changes at the same time as her birthday.
Photo courtesy of Asa :) 

Isaiah helping me with the lights

I am trying to plan out what I want to do for her 6th birthday and my mind goes in a million directions.  I want simple, but meaningful.  Huge for my heart but little for our pockets.  Ordinary like my other kids get, while unique like she is.  And I have a couple of ideas, but am so nervous that my family is not going to be into it - or will forget its about Rachel... or lose sight of how much this hurts and what it means to me.

And once again, it just feels like a huge burden on my weary shoulders.  I'm told I don't carry it alone, but you wouldn't know it by the weight of it.  It takes my breath away multiple times a day, like a stack of bricks hitting my chest.  And in a strange way, I'm just as afraid for her day to end as I am for it to arrive.  It feels so much like when I was waiting for her birthday. Before I know it, the 3rd will come to an end again and we'll be onto the next celebration - her little sister's birthday and then Christmas - and my heart will still be on the 3rd, but I've come to know that the 3rd is not a day everyone else's world stopped.  And still won't.  It's mine.  It's my broken cart on the amusement ride.  I want them to shut the whole ride down and tell everyone to get off and eat fried dough with me, but it's not going to happen - they all have carts that are working just fine.

Everywhere I turn, there are signs for things going on on Dec. 3.  It's because it lands on a Saturday this year and it's killing me.  I never expected a Saturday birthday would be harder, but it IS.  Every Christmas time kick off activity is happening this Saturday... If you want to make a wreath, decorate cookies, meet Santa or attend a community fundraiser - Saturday is your day.  When what I want is for the world to stop and let me go at a slow, introverted, thought-filled pace.... and I already know it's not going to happen.

I have a feeling this December is going to define the tightrope of joy and sorrow like never before.

This is the first year since she died that I feel excited about Christmas.  This could be in part because a friend of a friend asked if she could be our Santa this year and is getting each of the kids 4 gifts that she is going to wrap and bring to me labeled!  So all we have to do is stuff the stockings.  Taking away the stress of all of that work is a huge relief to me right now.  So I think that plays into it.  But it's also just part of where I'm at in my missing Rachel... she truly has become part of me in a different way this past year.  I am not convinced words will do it justice, so I won't try to explain it, but I'll just say that I feel so much peace around thoughts of her as a general rule.  I truly have a piece of me in heaven and a piece of heaven in me.  It's a gift.  She is a gift.

But in the middle of starting to feel exited, I have these thoughts - feelings - emotions - memories... that are kicking my butt and I'm just so sad all of a sudden.  I'm pretty confident I will get past it and enjoy Christmas.  I will love watching Eden Joy turn one on Christmas Eve... I will do all the traditions I always do with my living kids and do my best to include my Rachel... I am just praying that God will do something to make it more than a survival test, but that He will encourage me in the ways He does best through these next couple of weeks.  I am so fragile right now.  But I'm safe in His hands.

My friend Darla sent me this video last year for Rachel's birthday week and it just came to mind as I wrote those last words.

I am safe in His hands.

And He has me.  He has this.  He won't let me go.

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