I remember back when I wrote about losing our twin, about how we have a choice in how we live through our lives when bad things happen.
I still believe that, believe it or not! Yes, we have gone through a very terrible situation. No parent should have to say goodbye to their child, their baby, at any age or a any stage. Does it hurt? Oh my LORD, yes. Has it gotten better? Honestly? No, it really hasn't. The pain in my heart and head, the pain that squeezes my chest so hard every morning when I wake up and all day as I think about Jackson, that hasn't gotten better at all.
But you know what? I have gotten stronger. You know when you work out really hard, and you really want to die because it hurts or its too hard, but you push through it and at the end of it all, you feel proud of yourself because you made it through? You can tell your body is stronger, still hurting, but stronger? I feel like that at the end of the day. Every day. I'm proud of myself for making it through another day without my pregnancy, without my baby swimming in there, without Jackson. My body is put through a kind of hell every day, but I beat it and I endure it and at the end of the day I am still here and I am proud of myself.
I read stories of women who have endured a pregnancy loss all the time. I do find that reading about woman who have gone through it helpful. But sometimes, I come across some stories that worry me. These women are bitter, and scared, and after 3 or 5 or 10 years they are still so broken hearted. Too afraid to move on. To afraid to try again for another baby, a rainbow. Of course, I understand them! Could I be that way? Absolutely? Do I want to? No way.
Again, I think we have a choice in this matter. We can't undo it. Nothing I do will ever bring Jackson back to me. Nothing I do will change how time has unwound in my life, our lives. It just happened. Nothing will change that. But I have a choice!!! Could I lay in bed everyday, totally heartbroken, refuse to eat or shower, and be a hermit? Oh, that would be so, so easy. That may even be the easy way out!! Do I have a good excuse? Heck yes I do.
But do I want that? No. I want a life. I want to live. I know that getting out of bed and just going downstairs to make coffee is a victory! I know that going to the grocery store is a win! I know that seeing my family and friends, and going on vacation and actually having a good time, and all of that normal stuff is me punching death in the stupid face! You can NOT and will NOT bring me down.
Some days are still harder than others. Even on vacation. Last week in OBX there was a night where I got in bed and I just sobbed uncontrollably. Shaking, painful, sobs. Poor Dave, he thought I was mad at him, and he asked what was wrong. I think he knew after a bit, when I couldn't calm down. But he makes me say it. It's so hard to do. It's so hard to admit and get out, when usually I am strong and doing well. I miss Jackson, I want him here with me. Of course, Dave knows. He misses him too. He, my parents, you (probably) just want to take the intense pain away from me. It makes it hard for them to see me in such agony. I tell him, there is not a minute where I don't feel this way. I am just strong enough now not to show it. It's always the answer to the question, "What is wrong?" Always.
I do ok most of the days now, I really do. But it still happens. I let it come and take over my body for a few minutes, or hours, and I let myself cry and shake and get snot all over the place, and then I gather it all up and let it go. I choose to walk away from the grief. I feel it, and I journey through it, and I let myself think of all the things that could be and would be if life were different, and I feel it, and then I tell it to get out. I'm done.
This strength that I feel is from Jesus, I am sure of it. The women that I read about that can't seem to get passed this, I pray for them. Maybe they don't allow Jesus to come and walk this road of grief with them. I know that without Him, I am not strong enough. It's just not physically or emotionally possible to get through something like this without Him!! I am human. I am not strong. But in Him I am, and that makes me feel joy again, it makes me proud, and so humble and thankful that he is carrying me through this. See those footprints in the sand up there? I took that picture last week at the beach and thought of that Footprints poem. When I see those prints, I don't see mine, those are His. He is truly carrying me through this time.
I listened to Hillsong's Oceans (Where feet may fail) a lot last week. I sat on the beach so much, watching the sunrise or the sky over the ocean as it set. The water does something to my soul that I can't quite explain. Anyways, this song is one of the most beautiful songs ever, but right now as I walk through this grief, it means so much more to me. There is a part of this beautiful song that she repeats over and over...
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
That first part where she talks about trust without borders....oh man. I get that! I get it!! My trust in God has to be without borders. Even though we've lost a baby, no wait...TWO babies, I still need to trust in Him! No matter what we go through, what life throws our way, we need to trust. No, God doesn't want this stuff to happen to us, but He gets us through it and knows that I am strong enough in Him to endure it. He uses things like this to speak to my and my heart and my soul and hopefully He will use it to reach other people through us, somehow. He will use Jackson to bring glory to Him! Somehow! He is taking me deeper than my feet could ever wander right now. My feet are failing! I know my faith is being made stronger too. Without borders...no matter what happens, we still need to trust God.
That is beautiful and terrible all at the same time. Because once you realize that, you realize how fragile life is. You realize how easily it can all change in such a quick moment. You realize you are not immune to sadness and sickness and tragedy in this life, just because you have faith. Faith doesnt work that way. It doesn't keep you from losing a baby. But you know what? God will get me through it. If I continue to trust Him in difficult times, no matter what and without borders, well...who knows what will happen but it will probably be good. Maybe even amazing.
As I was in the throws of severely painful contractions early that Thursday morning, contractions the docs said I would probably never feel, I heard a voice. I am serious. This voice, with no doubt of whom it belonged to, kept saying this over and over to my pain...
Your blessings will be abundant. Your blessings will be abundant. Your blessings will be abundant.
It gave me some comfort in the pain. But I remember saying to the voice that I didn't want the blessings. I wanted the pain to go away. I wanted my baby to be alive. I wanted to go home and forget this happened. It was breaking my body and my spirit and my heart all at the same time. But that voice helped me through. It helps me through now. I remember having glimpses of life with those abundant blessings during the pain, images that flashed through my mind as it was being whispered to me...images of me getting through the grief, and of loving Dave, and being with my family, and holding a happy, healthy baby.
Who knows. It could have been all the pain medication giving me hallucinations, but I know that isn't it. I know that voice, and my heart knows who it belongs to. My blessings are abundant and will be. No, it doesn't take away the pain, or change the past that I wish so desperately would change, but there are still blessings in a life with grief. They are more evident too. I trust Him and I trust myself to continue to make the choice of moving forward, not backward, as much as I possibly can. I choose that life! And I trust my God no matter what happens.
Trust without borders...