Thursday, September 25, 2008

Freedom

It’s been a little while since I’ve settled in to write, and not because of a lack of things to share, but rather a lack of time in which to sit down and write them! I need to give a good update soon, but suffice it to say the girls are great—keeping me entertained, busy, fulfilled, grounded, and exhausted =). Nathan is wonderful, and I continue to be grateful on a daily basis for his friendship, love, and partnership in the parenting venture! But the more detailed account of the day to days around our house will be for another day. Today I have something else I feel impressed to share.

A year ago as we were immersed in the unknown, waiting on Poppy to come, I wrote almost constantly about what was happening. The ups and downs, the things I learned, the emotions that battled it out, raging and subsiding in irregular patterns—all of it was there, post after post, acting as therapy for me as I walked the journey one day at a time. Then Poppy came, and for a little while, I detailed what it was like to walk that road of grief, tinged with joy at the thought that she was now with Jesus. But what I feel like I have not done much of is tell you how the grieving process drew to a close and eventually ended.

I don’t want to say anything on this subject before first acknowledging that grieving is an intensely personal experience, and I don’t think any two roads are ever exactly alike. What I experienced may bear similarities to what someone else went through, but when it comes down to it, only God truly knows and understand it all. For me, I did much of my grieving before Poppy was born. In the months after the diagnosis, I had to deal with that reality on a daily basis, grieving the loss of normalcy, and the loss of not being able to raise the daughter that I was carrying. Then, when Poppy came and went, a whole new wave of grieving washed over me. Burying a child is not something you can ever be ready for, and no amount of gearing up can get you to the place where you have the strength to step up and face it. No, I found that you’re only given what you need right at the moment it is needed. That’s just how God works, and having experienced the peace and strength that comes in moments that seem unthinkable, I have to say I wouldn’t have it any other way.

In the months following Poppy’s death, after the adrenaline and intense sorrow had passed, I realized I was walking in uncharted waters. I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel, but I felt God telling me to give it all to him—the good days, the sad ones, the anger and hurt, the joy and blessings, all the things I didn’t understand and all the things I had learned. I just took it all to Jesus, asking Him to walk beside me, hold me when I was hurting, comfort me when I didn’t understand, wrap His arms around me when I felt the loneliness, and ultimately, take my hand and lead me to the place He had for me. The road I walked was not a straight shot, but it was heading in a direction.

Healing.

Grief is not a place that you park. It is not a destination. I believe that with every season of grieving, Jesus desires us to reach a place of complete, total, life-renewing healing. I don’t have to go through life as one of the walking wounded! Instead, Jesus has given me the freedom to pursue healing, and eventually attain it. I can’t give you an exact day or time—it’s much to gradual for that—but what I can tell you is that now, nearly 10 months later, that the wound is closed, and I feel like the healing is complete.

I really love the concept of healing. I feel restored, yet there is always a mark to remind me that I’m not the same person I used to be. I don’t suffer from a gaping wound, but scar is not something I would replace even if I could. Poppy changed me, and grieving for her was something that I HAD to do. It wasn’t optional. But it was also something I had to release. To continue clinging to the grief would have crippled me in every area of my life, and it would have fallen short of the liberty, free from the bondage of grief, that God desires me to live in.

I wanted to share this because I know the lies Satan tries to spread. I know there can be guilt associated with letting go of the deep-rooted emotions that come with any tragedy. But I also know what God has done in my life. I have nothing to flaunt because nothing was done in my power. It is only the supernatural healing that Jesus brings that I can boast about. That healing has given me new life.

Galatians 5:5 “It was for freedom that Christ set us free.”

13 comments:

Laurin said...

angie luce, what a beautiful account! oh, the Lord is Jehova Rapha, our Healer! How amazing to see His hand of mercy in your life.

Laurie said...

I love you Angie and I love this post. I am so thankful I have had the privilege of walking this road with you from the time of Poppy's diagnosis. All these things you speak of here are the things I witnessed God working out in your life. And you are so right that no two paths are the same and it's in His hands. Your choice to seek after "Freedom" is so evident in your healing. I have learned so much from you through your journey and I am grateful for the knowledge. It gives me so much hope for others that I attempt to encourage, knowing that He offers this "freedom" to all. There is so much HOPE in this post. Thank you my sweet friend, you always bless me and I love you.

Laurie in Ca.

Yvette said...

What a beautiful testimony of our Lord's healing in your life since the loss of your precious little girl, Poppy Joy. The healing of your broken heart has been so evident through this journey. You're right, no two journey's are the same and just because some take longer to get through the grieving process does not mean that YOU have to remain there. We too have felt as though we got through it so much faster than we ever believed was possible. We know people that have lingered for 15-20 years in their loss of a child and I do not believe you can be used to help others if you linger in that place. You sought the Freedom through our Lord and He gave that to you.

I am so thankful I was able to be a part of your T-18 journey and your adoption journey with Adrienne. Your friendship means the world to me, Angie. You are in my thoughts and prayers every single day.

I love and miss you,
Yvette
tristanasher.blogspot.com

sarahdodson said...

Wow. This is tremendous. Thank you so much for sharing that. I'm so thankful for the Lord's healing in your life. What a blessing to read.

Just Me said...

What a great post! Thanks for sharing :o) It is so wonderful that I can hear the joy in your words as you write "freedom", "healing", and "restored"...

Continued prayers to you and your family.
Take care.

Kirsten said...

Angie,

Thank you for sharing this post. I'm so glad to hear you have found complete healing. You share such truth and hope - the promise that is available to each of us if we take hold of it.

I feel like I'm on the journey to healing, with hope that it will come. Hearing from someone who truly understands the loss is such an encouragement. This is the first post I've read like this - so thank you for speaking your truth.

God continues to blow me away - which shouldn't be a surprise. Who wants a god they can figure out? He amazes me every day with His goodness, love, and mercy. I'm so happy to hear of your healing.

God bless you,
Kirsten

The VW's said...

I'm happy for you friend! What a great message! May our Awesome God Bless you and your wonderful family!

Jen in Al said...

Beautiful!!! God is soooo very good! Thank you for sharing the hope that is within you! your precious tribute to sweet Poppy Joy was the second one I watched after seeing Eliot Mooney's. i can't honestly put into words what the Lord did in my heart as i saw your beautiful daughters and your beautiful spirit. Walking with you sweet Mommies has changed me. i am so beyond words thankful that the Lord prompted each of you to share your journey. Thank you for being real. Each of your journeys are not the same. they aren't supposed to be. thank you for sharing YOUR journey. it is a privilege to lift you and your family up in prayer. thank you for that gift, that blessing. praying still...jen in al

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

Dear Angie,
Thank you for such a beautiful post. Even if not there yet, the hope of freedom and the knowledge of His power is enough some days.
I love you and continue to pray for you and your family.
Kim

Allison said...

My sadness is different from yours. But, I find myself still hanging on to my grief, sadness and anger. Thank you for this post. I know He is healing me and this is just what I needed to read today:)

I know He doesn't want me to keep hanging on to it. He wants me to enjoy all the blessings He has given me and Trust in Him all the time, not just when I want too!
Thank you, Thank you for sharing your sweet Poppy and your journey with the Lord!

Love,
Allison

Kenzie said...

Angie-

Girl, you are so beautiful! I love this post and am so thankful that you felt the urgency to share this critical part of "this journey"... not the journey with Poppy, but this journey of life in general. God has given you great healing and a tremendous ability to give everything to Him. I continue to be so inspired by you and the way that you approach all of this. I know that God has absolutely, without a doubt, performed miracles in our life as well... as you have said, the huge gaping wound isn't there... I know that almost all of my grieving is in the past and I continue to cling to the Lord's promises of complete healing and restoration. He is so good and I know we are almost there.

Thank you sweet friend!

I love you and thank you so much for your constant encouragement!
Love you and praying as always,
Kenzie

Stacy said...

Angie-
Thank you for such a beautiful and honest post. I could relate to so much of what you said, as I too, went through a lot of the mourning process right after Joshua's diagnosis. It was in the months between his diagnosis and his birth, that boy did God bring me to a place of surrender and do a work in my heart. And then, after he died, I did mourn again...but it was different.

You are right, no two paths of grieving are the same....but God doesn't change and I believe He desires for us all to be healed. It is possible.

Thank you so much for sharing this. Praising God for the healing he has done in your life and for the encouragment you are to many.

Stephanie said...

I appreciate this post as I am "walking" this journey as well. My baby, Levi was born and passed on April 25th, 2008. We were given a diagnosis of Trisomy 13 at 20 wks gestation. I just don't seem to be progressing. I miss him so much, and don't know how to go on without him. Your post is encouraging to me as it gives me hope that as I continue holding onto my Savior's hand...that he will lead me to a place where the pain is not so great. Thank You!

You have a beautiful family, and a beautiful spirit.