Tuesday, December 11, 2007

the best words I've heard lately

I am living in the aftermath. The adrenaline has faded, the events are over, and I'm now in the process of re-entering "normal" life. There are many moments of this journey that I have not looked forward to, and this re-creation of a new normal was at the top of that list. However, even though I realize I'm only a few days into it, I am doing well, and just like everything else we have faced, God is taking care of me. It's hard, but I'm making it.

I was telling Nathan last night that there is a profound weirdness in walking around in a store, knowing that I just had a baby last week, yet realizing that not a single person I pass by has any idea. When Marianna was born, I could hardly walk through a store without getting stopped by half a dozen people who wanted to look at her, comment on her, and ask how I was feeling. The absence of all of that is tough. I haven't yet broken down in the middle of Target or dissolved into tears as I've tried to finish my Christmas shopping, but the reminder of the loss is with me nonetheless. It hurts when I dwell on it, and I know that I could become consumed if I allowed my focus to linger each moment on what things would look like if she were still here, so I have chosen not to allow myself to go there.

My desire is not to suppress my grief, because I believe that grieving Poppy's loss is an absolute necessity for a healthy healing process. But at the same time I know that I can choose to submerge myself in something very unhealthy if my grief becomes something I begin to cling to, refusing to give it over to God to allow Him to take away the hurt in His time. Just as some people hold on to bitterness, anger, and addiction even with the knowledge that it is consuming their souls, I know some hang on to sorrow like a pit bull, refusing to pry open their jaws to allow it to leave. I guess it's just plain old fear that puts that desire into each and every heart that has experienced loss. There is fear that if the sorrow leaves, the memory will leave as well. That if healing is allowed to take place, it will in some way diminish the value of the loss. I know these are lies that Satan plants into each of our hearts, and I am praying, asking God not to let this false reasoning take root in my heart. This is where I am right now.

Because of my surgery, I am not able to lift Marianna or drive for another week, so Nathan is staying home with me this week to help. I am so grateful to have his physical presence for another few days. He has been a rock for me the entire time since we have known, but most especially over the past 10 days. I continue to be blown away by him. I want to share with you the words that he spoke at Poppy's memorial service; they touched me deeply and I hope they will do the same for you.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

the best words i've heard lately too. thinking of you guys today.
Jennifer

Anonymous said...

God's presence in the midst of this is amazing.

Kenzie Stanfield said...

Angie-

What beautiful words that come from your wise husband... that ultimately come from the Lord. You have been given an unbelieveable testimony and how fitting and perfect and right to make Jesus Christ's presence known to all of those out there questioning. For those of us not questioning, we are reassured that He is good and righteous and holy and sufficient through any circumstance. Thank you for sharing where the ultimate strength comes from.

Blessings and prayer,
Kenzie

Whitney said...

I remember feeling exactly the same thing as I walked through the store days after we lost our daughter Katelyn to Trisomy 18 just 4 months ago: none of these people have any idea I just had a baby. None of these people have any idea I am burying my child and living everyone's worst fear.

I also remember the fear of forgetting her. Aren't we lucky to have pictures and video? The videos and pictures of your time with Poppy touched my heart.

My heart breaks for you; I know what that pain in your heart feels like. I will be praying for you in the coming weeks. The first days and weeks without her are the hardest, but it will get easier.

Robin said...

Such wisdom and faith at a time such as this could ONLY come from a God who loves you greatly. You certainly have been given the peace that passes understanding.

Kara said...

God is shining through you and your husband in the midst of this! You are a true inspiration. Prayers are being voiced to heaven from OK for you, Nathan, and your family!

ali said...

what a beautiful passage. i have been praying for you guys and looking up your blog to see updates. i am so gald to hear good news. will continue praying

Anonymous said...

Your words are such a true testimony. Wow, very true, about holding on to the sorrow, and how the devil wants us to believe that lie. So glad you realize that-hold to it......
In my thoughts and prayers,
Lee

Tracy said...

Wow. I know now why you are so blown away by your husband. It seems as though he's blown away by you as well.

Thank you for sharing his words with us.

KARLIN said...

HOW BEAUTIFUL...I CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR ALL OF YOU..

Emily said...

What a precious husband and father. You can hear his love for his family in his voice. What an awesome Christian. There are no words for how touched I am that you shared this with us.
Thank you for your willingness to share your private feelings.
I pray for your whole family & I pray that our Father wraps you all in His loving, healing arms.

Rebecca said...

How beautiful. What you wrote AND what your husband said.

I look at the picture of your precious younger daughter often when I'm work and think of you all.

I'm still praying. I hope to be able to hug your neck one day. :)

Much love,
Rebecca

Laurie said...

"On Christ the solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand." This song came to my heart as I read your post. Before Poppy was born, you asked to be placed upon a rock high above the water to keep you safe. I am so blessed to see you and Nathan there, safe in the arms of Jesus and His everlasting love for you. You have my heart, you've had it from the beginning of this journey, and it hurts deeply for you. I love you guys like my own and I know that you will be okay because we serve such a great God. Nathan, your words were precious, spoken from the heart of a man who has gained the wisdom that comes from going through the fire. Poppy Joy has left footprints all over my heart forever. Thank you for sharing this most intimate time in your life with us, allowing us to lift you up to the one who holds you close to His heart. I have drawn closer to Him as a result and I thank you for this.

Love, Prayers and (((HUGS))) for you and Marianna forever,

Laurie in Ca.

Jaclyn said...

I am deeply touched and I stand in awe of you...i stand in awe of our God. Your faith inspires me and continues to teach me now. Thank you for sharing this love story.

Steph, Bryan & Owen said...

I've been reading your blog though I don't know you at all. Your journey has been an inspiration and I think of your family everyday.

Emily said...

What a precious daddy Poppy has.... :)

Anonymous said...

It was so good to hear your words Nathan. What a blessing.

Jeanne

Kim (marygracesummons.blogspot.com) said...

Dear Angie,
The love of Christ and of your family and of your girls is overflowing in you and Nathan and it is beautiful. When I read your words I hear Jesus - his peace and his love and his promises. You continue to bless me.
May the Lord continue to wrap his arms around you and may you continue to rebuke the lies that satan tries to use on us daily.
I pray for you still.......
With love,
Kim

Marsha said...

Dear Family in Christ,
We don't know each other, I found you all through a prayer request on another blog. I've just spent the past hour reading and watching the amazing testimony of precious Poppy Joy. I've felt like I've entered into holy ground. Thank you for sharing her with all of us. Her life and death have touched my heart. Your testimony through all this bears witness to a God who is kind, mericful, faithful and loving. I know He will not desert you now as you all mourn her passing.
May God richly bless you this Christmas time, and grant you peace and true joy.

Jessica said...

Nathan, I was so blessed by your words! You both are in my prayers!

Devin said...

Angie,

I ache for you. I pray for you.

Emily said...

I love, love, love the new picture on the right. :)

So Blessed said...

How precious is your family's testimony to the amazing grace and love of our Father. May you continue to be comforted and blessed as you rest on His many promises...and on the support and care of all the people who lift you up in prayer.

Candi said...

Angie,
I don't remember how I came across your blog but I have read it and my heart goes out to you. Poppy is such a beautiful baby. I lost my daughter Avery two months ago today. She was born with a lethal form of Skeletal Dysplasia and passed away just moments before she was born.
After reading this post I wanted to let you know that everything you are feeling is normal and you are not alone. I went through the same emotions and am still trying to cope. I know that if it weren't for my faith and trusting in Him I would never have made it this far.
I remember 2 weeks after Avery was born I was in the grocery store and a woman stopped me on an isle and said to me " you look like you have children, can you tell me where the glue sticks are". I politely pointed her in the right direction and walked off with tears running down my face. Avery is my only child and although I felt so happy that to a stranger I look like a mother, I was reminded that I am a mother without a child to hold.
I want you to know that if you ever need to talk or if you ever need anything, I may be a stranger to you but I will be here for you. I have met so many other Mommies of Angels in the past two months and being able to talk to them has been such a huge help. Please vist my blog if you would like and feel free to email me anytime.
My prayers are with you that you may feel peace and understanding.

-Candi
cprisbrey@yahoo.com
www.babyhoustonstory.blogspot.com

Kim said...

Thinking of you often and praying you are well. How are you healing, physically?

Chrissy said...

Thinking of you often...

Jessica said...

Angie,
Thank you for your card. For you to be writing thank you cards right now is proof enough of God's grace upon you. You and Nathan continue to inspire me to daily keep my eyes on the cross. You are a living example of iron sharpening iron. Thank you again for your words, and I was so touched, also, by Nathan's words at the memorial service. I am still praying for you all often.

Love,
Jessica Fiveash

Brenda said...

Hi, I got to your blog from Connor and Boothe's. I don't know them either bur found them trhough another blog as well. I live in Memphis, Arlington really and was touched by all of your posts. Poppy was indeed perfect and precious and I thank you for sharing her pictures and story. We have a 10 month old daughter that I look at every day and say, "we are so lucky to have her and that she's healthy" b/c I know so many parents who cant enjoy the same. I am so glad you had time with her and that God is giving you the strength you all need to keep on loving her and remember her. God bless you!

Anonymous said...

I want to say that in all of blogdom you are so inspirational. You show through Christ how to handle tragedy. What a lesson I will never forget, as I journey with my children and whatever comes our way through the years. How will I teach them to handle difficulty? I will think of you and we have never even met. Your life and faith direct us all to Jesus. The words of your father have blessed me also and I have written them down. My own father died when I was thirteen. When he said something like, do not doubt in the darkness what God has shown you in the light, it spoke to my soul. You face is glowing with what could only be the grace and strength of Jesus. NOt many pregnant women are so beautiful in labor and certainly not when faced with what you and your family have gone through. I can see His peace on your face. My He be especially close to you in the days ahead. May He uphold your heart & enable you to leave a legacy of faith to your daughter with the hope of being forever together with Poppy. How beautiful to have a Christian family to come around you. Merry Christmas, COlleen

Dee Dee said...

God continues to bless and strengthen me through your family. Thank you for staying firmly fixed on Him and His purposes. Praying for your precious family.