Hey guys! Kyle and I were asked to share our testimony, and therefore the story about our Gabe, this past Sunday. Our pastor has been doing a series called "Scars" all about the hurts and brokenness that we all go through. We have been looking at how hope can be found within the despair. He thought it would be appropriate for the church to hear about our journey on the week that he would be sharing about how Christ died for all of us. It was such a great experience! Yes, we were nervous, but we know that our story touched many lives on Sunday and that made it all worth it!
Our story was shared in two parts. The despair part of our story was shot earlier in the week and shown as a video to begin the sermon. Then we went on stage (for TWO services!!) and described the hope that was found even in our despair.
Link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBkfyvv6qYs
Then I shared the following: "The main question [in this sermon series] is 'Where is God in your story?' and we would say that He was everywhere in ours. Even in the beginning, we fell in love with the name Gabriel before we realized, or even fathomed that our son would become an angel. God's presence was so close to us. Along the way, we were given many opportunities to take control of our situation: to terminate the pregnancy, to be induced, and to schedule a c-section and plan the day we would meet our son. We were tempted, but God was right by our side whispering, "This is out of your hands" and "It's not your decision to make." There were even a few miracles along the way. My entire pregnancy Gabe was transverse (side to side) and at the very last minute he moved into a breech position, which allowed us to have him naturally and avoid a c-section, which would have made our time with him that much more difficult. This truly was a miracle as he had no amniotic fluid around him to move. And, it's not uncommon for Potter's babies to pass away during pregnancy or in labor, but Gabe was born alive. And he lived for two hours. Family and friends were able to spend time with him."
Then Kyle added "Before all of this happened, Meghan and I would have called ourselves Christians. We would have said that we trust God and that God is good, but now I feel like I didn't really mean it before. It's like, until I had to trust God with something big, something that really mattered, I didn't really know what it meant to trust Him. One of the biggest changes in Meghan and I is our perspective on life. We have this eternal perspective now. Our lives here on Earth are so short and temporary compared with the eternity we will spend in heaven. Because of that, we don't really sweat the small stuff and our hearts are focused on loving God and loving others. I hope that in all we shared that people don't get the impression that God has fixed everything and put a smile on our faces everyday when we wake up and that everything's perfect, cause it's not. We still have days where we wake up depressed and you can still catch us crying during worship at church, but the intimacy with Christ and God's realness are something we wouldn't trade for anything."
We are so thankful that we were able to share Gabe's life with so many people. It's awesome to be able to talk about how God has seen you through the most difficult thing you've ever had to endure. We hope our story has blessed you in some way. Thanks, Meg
Wow. It feels weird blogging today. I really can't believe it has been seven months! For my sanity, I try not to think about what Gabe would look like or what he would be doing at each month, but on angelversaries, sometimes it's hard not to. Maybe starting to crawl? Looking more like Joel? Or maybe even ME!!?? I wonder if (or how) I will recognize him when I get to Heaven. Will he show me around? Will he stay a newborn for me to cuddle and snuggle, or will he be a handsome young man? I know no one knows, but it's fun to dream.
Today has been so great so far, emotionally speaking. I haven't felt despair or depression. There is nothing I can do to bring my baby back, so I am left to just look ahead and learn to live my life without him. Not to "get over it." But, to constantly be aware of my new normal.
It is so comforting to know that my heart doesn't ache today. Yes, there will be bad days. Yes, there will be something that will trigger my sadness out of nowhere. (Why is the new assistant on The Office named Gabriel??!!!) Maybe even tomorrow - but, for today I am feeling pretty okay.
I went to Gabe's gravesite today and took a picture of how it is decorated for spring. As only another grieving mom would understand, this is one of the few things that we can do to feel like we are "taking care" of our lost ones. This time I went shopping with my lovely mother-in-law. We carefully visited many stores, looking for just the right thing to honor our baby for the season. I never want his site to look junky, but I want it to show that it is the honored space for a very loved little boy. We found pretty things and playful things. I think it looks absolutely perfect.
Wishing you all a Happy Spring!
If you live anywhere near me and are searching for a church, please consider Life House East. We are located inside the Leitersburg Theaters, which are set to re-open next month. I have never in my life felt so at home at a church. This is truly where we belong and where we feel called to be. I am involved in lots of things, which really makes you feel a part of what's going on. Kyle and I are in charge of the nursery, which they call Babies Rock and I now attend the Momz Rock lifegroup on Tuesdays.
The church service this morning was incredible. Pastor Patrick is doing a new sermon series on scars. I totally agree with the idea that "everyone has a story." And, I totally agree that we should ask ourselves "Where is God in my story?"
Lyrics to Addison Road's "What Do I Know of Holy?"
I made You promises a thousand times.
I tried to hear from Heaven,
But I talked the whole time.
I think I made You too small.
I never feared You at all - No.
If You touched my face, would I know You?
Looked into my eyes, could I behold You?
What do I know of You,
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood,
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?
I guess I thought that I had figured You out.
I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about
How You were mighty to save.
Those were only empty words on a page.
Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be;
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees
What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame?
And a God who gave life "its" name?
What do I know of Holy?
Of the One who the angels praise?
All creation knows Your name,
On earth and heaven above.
What do I know of this love?
I cried throughout the entire song this morning. I wept. I bawled. The line "Then I caught a glimpse of who you might be, the slightest hint of you brought me down to my knees" really spoke to me. Kyle and I were discussing on the way home from church how the experience of losing Gabriel has brought us so much closer to God. It has made Him, and our relationship with Him so real. And, we know that others who have not been given the priviledge of suffering, and therefore seeing this new eternal perspective, do not see things the way we now see things. We are so blessed.
I also loved the line "What do I know of Holy? Of the One who the angels praise?" Of course, this made me think of my angel. Wondering what that eternal perspective is all about? It's when you realize that everything about this life here on earth is temporary. It is so small. The goal is to get to Heaven. It is what we should be focused on everyday.
The easiest way to think about it is trying to imagine making a timeline of your life. The time spent on earth will look like a dot compared to the everlasting life we will have with Jesus. So, in a lot of ways, none of this really matters. Does that mean we should give up? No. Keeping loving people. Keep telling people your story. And don't leave out the part about Jesus.
Blogging this afternoon in hopes of releasing my emotions, and thus, feeling better. Just found out that a fellow Potter's Momma has experienced a miscarriage just months after losing her angel. Wow. Really? We really have to endure even more pain after the worst thing ever happens to us? I hate that this life is awful. But, I know it is. I know that we are all fallen, and that if this world was perfect, we would have no reason to seek our creator, our messiah, our comforter.
My hubby and I just got netflix and I was watching the series "30 Days" from the guy that did the movie Supersize Me. Great show. The episode that I can't stop thinking about was one where they had a proclaimed athiest move into a christian family's home for, you guessed it, 30 days. That would be the one question I would ask an athiest: Why? What in the world is the point of anything/everything if we just live and then die? The athiest woman was very kind, a good mother, a woman who believed in the golden rule. But, so what? What is all that good for if you think we just die and that's it?
Ok, sorry, tangent. Back to grief. Gosh, it sucks. As bad as I've been feeling lately, I know that it is all normal. I was warned by many who have been in my shoes (the only real people to listen to) that I should be careful, because once I started to feel better, I would probably take two steps back. Well, that's exactly how I would describe it, too. I was doing so well!! Kyle's doing better, but maybe that's just because I have taken back ownership of "biggest griever" in my household once again.
So, what else should I discuss... Everyone keeps telling me how nice it is outside today. It's sunny and 60 here today. I just hope they are right when they say that the warmth and the sun will improve my attitude and lift my depression. Gosh, that would be great. I know Joel loves to be outside, so at least he'll be a happier camper.
Ok, feeling a little better. Just needed to cry my eyes out one more time today I guess. Thanks for listening...
I just wish people in my life would know how to be supportive. People, if you haven't been in my shoes do not judge. It's really that simple. Thank God for my amazing in-laws, who keep me sane with yummy wine and sincere concern. That is all for tonight. Really feeling awful lately. Physcially. Emotionally. Achy. Tearful.
I don't know why I thought I could hang out with two six month old male babies yesterday and have it not affect me.
Hello everyone. Just wanted to finally get on here and give you an update on how we're doing emotionally. It has been six months and one week since we had to say goodbye to our angel. I feel like my emotional state has been much improved since about five months. Kyle, on the other hand, has spent so much time and energy taking care of Joel and I, that now that I'm starting to feel better, his emotions are catching up to him.
He has had mono for about a month and a half now, and is starting to feel better physically. But emotionally, (his words) he is not 100 percent yet. My heart just aches for him; I know exactly how he feels. And, he's not one to talk about himself to others, so not many people know that he is depressed. So many people have commented on how sad and ill he looks, and how he's not acting like himself, all the while they are crediting his mono with these symptoms. Kyle doesn’t have the heart to tell them that it's because his body aches with sadness.
I have been doing my best to help Kyle through this. Talking with him, going into my counselor-mode, sharing songs and videos that have helped me. Lately, the thing that has been helping me the most is a book that another Potter's Momma graciously mailed to me, called Holding on to Hope, by Nancy Guthrie. The book is written by a mom who lost her daughter, and includes an eight week study on the book of Job. I have highlighted almost the entire book. It has really been speaking to me...
"Job's story is about much more than his suffering. Somehow, along the way, he discovered God in a way he had never known him before... And so it is in our sadness that we discover a new aspect of God's character and reach a new understanding of him that we could not have know without loss."
It talks about how going to church and worshiping can be difficult. It discusses the gratitude that we learn after a loss - that our child was a gift from God, and that we are lucky to have had any time at all with them. It goes into detail about the blame we feel, where we put it, and where it should go. It speaks about suffering and how it is not meaningless. "If God has allowed suffering into your life, it is for a purpose." And, so far, my favorite chapter is on eternity. I love the line where the author says, speaking about her own daughter, "I don't believe it is a tragedy that Hope had the opportunity to be spared from the evil and pain of this life and instead be in the presence of God." LOVE THAT!
If you are reading this blog because you have had a loss, I strongly recommend that book. There are lots of books out there for miscarriage, but if you have had an infant loss - this book is just what you're looking for.
So, say a small prayer for my husband. And all the husbands who have to go through the tragedy of losing a child. It is a very difficlut thing to go through, and we often forget that the Daddy suffers too. In love, Meg