Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Waves of Depression, Winds of Desperation

Three months, thirteen days. Still no job. Leads have fallen through, the disconnect notices fly in and holding onto God with all I have, I try desperately to trust Him in His soveriegnty. Cruising along on His waves of grace and mercy I feel like things are going His way and suddenly I feel swept away by depression and hopelessness. Friends come beside me to remind me of His faithfulness and help me see the bigger picture, but as I am engulfed by the wave of depression, I feel myself sinking and am not sure how to breathe. My first thought was that I had taken my eyes off Christ. However, I have been in the Word more and more and I seem to understand less and less. Sounds backwards to me. Like when the storm arose and the disciples were scared. They took their eyes off the knowledge they had that Christ had the power and the control to save them and bring them through the storm. Instead, they let fear creep into their beings and when they cried out to Him, Jesus calmed the waves. Oh how I long to have the waves calmed...

Previous methods of coping and old ways of handling stress have crept back into my thoughts. I don't like the repercussions that come with the former reliances I placed on myself. However, the time taken to kick in was much faster than waiting and wishing and hoping for a release and a refreshment of my faith. I try to shut these ideas out and not give them power but the fear of being stuck in this nightmare forever seems to help me fuel the thoughts of taking matters into my own hands. I will screw things up, but I feel pretty screwed up right now anyhow.

I want to bring God glory. He gave up everything, more than I could ever imagine. So, I refuse to give into temptation. Yet I wonder where the testing will take me. Is it testing? Is it trial? Is it sanctification? What is the purpose and how do I handle it when I don't know the purpose in it nor do I see the joy in the midst of this battle?

I was hoping to type this out and reason through it so that I understood what was happening. I think I just confused my own brain and now I am sad that I couldn't help the confusion.

Oh well....better luck next time!
See ya

Saturday, June 13, 2009

And the storm rages on...

As I sit here in Room 3325 of the pediatric unit at Good Samaritan Hospital, I wonder what God is trying to teach me.  Is it endurance, perservearance, long-suffering?  Is it patience, dependence, or reliance?  Is it all of these things?  Honestly, I don't understand how one person can continue to dig into life after all the tragedy and trials we have been handed.  Since February '08, it has been a constant whirlwind of loss, change and redirection.  Do I continue to steer myself and my family in the wrong direction?  Is this temptation from satan or testing of the Lord?

Grady, the youngest living Kimball boy was hospitalized yesterday evening due to a temperature of 105 after having gone through surgery on Thursday to repair a right inguinal hernia.  Everything was going well and he was recovering, though slow and painful.  We went about our day and I was thanking God for the ease at which Grady appeared to be regaining strength.  He had eaten a little, was drinking well and was in good spirits.  He was lethargic and seemed warm, but he had just had surgery so I was not too concerned.  I decided just to be safe I would check his temp. because though I am always cool, I thought it seemed like his body was getting warmer.  Checking with the electronic ear thermometer, I gasped at the number on the tiny digital screen:  103.2 and immediately stood to find Chad.

I told him the temp. and without a second thought, he told me to get him in.  They ran blood cultures, did CBC testing, started an IV and then the doctor came in to say his recommendation was for us to stay the night and see how things went.  As he pulled the tegaderm away from the incision, Grady squealed at the intensity of pain and tried to commandeer the doctors hand to stop the pain.  Upon removal of the bandages, we discovered redness and swelling and again I was encouraged to keep him here for observation for the night.

So, after just less than three hours in the ER, we were brought to our temporary sleep spot, room 3325.  Diana, the nurse who was just beginning her shift helped get Grady situated and tried to help Grady feel safe.  I had a difficult time watching him writhe in pain and squirm from the irritation of having everyone poking and listening and viewing his sore little body.  I never knew I could hurt so bad for someone else.  There really is something about children being the part of a mother's heart that walks and talks and lives outside her body.  There is nothing more heart-wrenching for me than knowing your precious child is in pain and that there is not a single thing you can do about it.

I guess I have sort of an idea what God must have felt when He watched His only Son writhe in pain on the cross and knew that in order to bring me to Himself, there was nothing He could do to relieve the pain or shorten the anguish.  It brings tears to my eyes thinking of how much Jesus must love me that He is willing to endure that type of beating and death for me when He knew I would screw up and not love Him for several years and not acknowledge the part I would play in His story of my life.  It's not my story to tell.  It's my story to live, but the plot has already been written and the ending is already told.  The hero has already won and the evil one knows of his ultimate demise.

Do I fulling understand and trust the saving grace of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?  No.  Will I ever grasp the depths of His love and devotion for me, a sinner?  Not this side of heaven.  However, knowing a piece of the pain my Father in heaven endured in order to send His only Son so that I could be a member of the Holy Family of Believers for eternity in heaven, there is not a more incredible way I would want to spend my life than as a servant of the Creator of the Universe and the Almighty God of Everything.  How can I give anything less than my life to someone who's Son died so that I could live!?

So, where does Grady fit into all this?  Well, as I have ranted and raved and cried and lamented over the past eighteen months of my life, it occurred to me this afternoon that the reaction I choose in the midst of this pain and suffering should be that of the reaction of God.  I will press forward no matter what the cost because I know that just as I have Grady's best in mind and it was heartbreaking to see them put an IV in his beautiful little hand, God had my best in mind and though it was heartbreaking to see His ONLY Son died such a brutal and tragic death, the rewards and the health that come from initial pain and eventual endurance are priceless to those of us who reap the benefits of the sacrifice.  I am not ranking my observation and emotion of Grady's recent hospital stay nearly as intense as those felt by our Father on the day Jesus died.  However, I believe God has shown His heart to me in a small way this last few days throught the redemptive power of Christ and the unending faithfulness of the God of the universe.

Praise God for His unending love and unfathomable faithfulness.  No one can begin to grasp His greatness and the love He holds in His heart and in the heavenlies for us to one day live in that perfect love of Jesus.  His word tells us, NO ONE can grasp how wide and how long, how high and how deep the love of Christ is for us and the more I see glimpses and receive fragments of the love He has for me, the more I know His love for me is incomprable to anything I will know this side of heaven.

Hang on, Grady!  Momma is praying God will heal your precious body and renew your mind.  I am praying the blood of Jesus to bind the enemy from anymore attacks on you and to continue to use those around us, who we love and adore to remind us of the power and strength and love and joy He has for us when we are ready to let go of this world and hold His hand as He walks us through this life, trials and triumphs, into the life of eternity He has promised.

I love you Grady!  You are truly Momma's Little Champ!

God bless!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Showers of Mercy, Winds of Joy

I jump up and run for the shower.  Everyone is still sleeping so I can get some great time alone with God, without interruptions for milk, snacks, disagreements, etc.  As I am enjoying the warm water, I hear a knock at the door and an adorable little voice exclaims, "Momma, miwk pweeeeaaaze".  I smile, look up to heaven and thank God for the health and joy placed in our little Squirt.  I climb out the shower, get dressed and as I turn the doorknob, I am bombarded by a mad rush of arms and smiles and hugs.  I recognize my immediate calling to get kiddos ready for the day and as I take off on a sprint through Tuesday, I grab my breakfast (diet coke & animal crackers) and head for the boys' room to pull clean clothes out for my boys.

After selecting something comfortable and easy to put on, I run upstairs to help our precious, stubborn, beautiful, strong-willed daughter select her wardrobe for the day.  She is already to thinking about what she wants to wear and informs me that she will be picking her clothes out and I 'don't have to worry about it' because she is a grown-up.  Yeah...  I run into the bathroom, pick up towels and laundry from the morning and the previous evening, run into our bedroom and do the same.  As I am glancing over the room, I see my MOPS copy of Our Daily Bread.  I pick it up thinking maybe I will have the three minutes I need to read over the page for today.

As I turn to June 9, here is what I read....

A Life Remembered

"Daddy, help me."  Those were the last words Dianne and Gary Cronin heard their daughter say as she struggled to breathe.  Kristin, 14 years old, died suddenly-just two days after saying she didn't feel well.  A strep infection attacked her body on Thursday. By Saturday, she was pleading with her daddy to help her.

Before Kristin died, I was scheduled to speak at her family's church in Soldotna, Alaska.  In God's timing, I stood before the congregation the day after her funeral.  Kristin was one of those vivacious teens who loved Jesus and lived for Him-and whose sudden death leaves us with a million questions.

Because I went through a similar loss of my own teenage daughter a few years ago, I was able to offer some advice to this stunned and grieving church.  First, I said, we must recognize God's sovereignty.  Psalm 139:16 reminds us that Kristin's life was the exact length God intended.  Second, I asked the church never to forget her family.  Whether it's two months or five years later, the family will never "get over" losing Kristin.  They will never stop needing Christians who care and remember.

In times like this don't forget that God is in control and that He wants us to be a comfort to others.

When we sustain a heartbreaking loss,
When grief overwhelms our soul,
The Savior who gave Himself on the cross,
Reminds us that He's in control.

II Corinthians 1:4...that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

God used a three minute devotional to catch me by surprise and help me to look at where I was and where I am.  He helped me to see what I have done and who I am not.  He helped me see who He is and who He can make me IF I let Him.  What a blessing it is to know that God works in ALL things...even the papers I get for random things, from random places.

Christ is calling, through the rain and wind of each day.
Are you listening?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fighting through the Burning Winds

Tonight I went to a website that a very dear friend of mine told me about and I began searching for understanding and company that can empathize with my hurts.  I found several women who have written beautiful poetry and memiors to their precious children.  Here is my answers to one of the precious hurting mamas who helped me feel normal tonight...

How long has it been since you lost your child/ren? Has your grief changed at all? Is your life becoming any easier or is it just harder as time passes?
My precious baby Josiah went home to be with Jesus on August 7, 2008.  My beautiful princess, Cadyn was born into the arms of Jesus just eight months and one day after her big brother, on April 8, 2009.  My grief changes from day to day and though I have days when I think things are beginning to get better, not a single day passes when I don't think about my beautiful babies.  I also ended the life of my oldest son, T.J. on July 11, 2000 due to pressure from his father and fear of not being a good mother.  Every date that coincides with these losses brings back the full force pain and agony of these losses.  I don't think it gets easier, but I think the time that passes helps me see the precious memories I have of the first and last times I held my beautiful children.

How do you feel when you see pregnant women when you are out and about?
When I see pregnant women, I pray.  I don't want anyone to have to feel the pain and loneliness I feel walking through each day.  Many days I feel the loneliness and I feel like I have to drag myself through the thick pain and the deep hole that often engulfs my heart.  I love to know that God is still allowing children to be born and those parents are able to experience the glimpses of joy from heaven.

Whats your therapy in the aftermath of losing your child/ren? Do you go to counseling? Do you do artwork or some kind of exercise or do you simply just let yourself be? What helps you?
My greatest source of therapy would be reading about and writing about my pain and the pain that others share.  I have been in counseling and understand that my precious babies are safe in the arms of Jesus and I don't have to worry about sickness or pain or struggles they may face because the love and peace they are experiencing in heaven is much more than I could ever have provided.  I also love to play volleyball and getting out on the court allows me to release pain in a constructive way.  Finally, snuggling my other children helps me to thank the Lord that T.J., Josiah and Cadyn will never feel pain and gives me peace and joy that one day we will be reunited in heaven when we will spend eternity with our precious Jesus

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sun Shining through the Dark Clouds

Dark, heavy clouds blanket the sky as I look up to heaven asking questions without answers.  So many things seem to steal my focus as I rush and struggle through the day.  How could I ever let go and move on?  Is there any way I can ever stop relating circumstances in my life to what it would be like if my precious babies were here?  There is no way my life will ever be the same.  I love those gifts just as I love my three precious children here on this earth.  I don't have the physical contact with my angels, like I do here with my kiddos, but I know that one day we will be reunited in Paradise and I will be able to hold them and get to know them and spend eternity with them and our family will be complete when we meet in the mansion that is being prepared for us.

Why God?  I cannot handle all this pain.  You are sufficient and Your power is made perfect in my weakness.  So where are you?  Why can I not feel you giving me a hug and empathizing with my pain?  I loved those kids before I ever knew their gender and even when I thought I had come to terms with losing my baby Cadyn, you surprise me and reveal that she was a girl when we originally thought she was a girl.  A heavy fog seems to blur my vision as I fight through each day and wonder if the fog will ever clear.  It has been nearly two months and I still feel like I am drowning in sorrow.  Josiah has been gone nearly ten months and his precious face is as clear in my memory as it was just shy of a year ago.

She said, "I'm sorry, hun.  I just can't see a heartbeat.  It should be here," she explained as she pointed to the lifeless form on the ultrasound screen.  How could this be happening, I thought.  Over and over I have listened and prayed and begged that God would give me the desire of my heart and I would once more carry a healthy baby and be given the honor of stewarding another precious child of the King.  Over and over I have relived that memory and as much as I try to change how I see it, the nightmare never changes.  No, this has to be wrong.  It can't be happening again.  Why?  Not now...not ever!

As I face yet another realization that I cannot change what has happened, I recognize the echoes of peace and soveriegnty that have been resonating in my restless heart and mind.  Christ understands the pain in a different way.  He sacrificed His life in order to save me.  I wonder if my babies sacrificed life on this earth so that I could live.  The lupus and the newly diagnosed struggles with hyperthyroidism may have had something to do with Cadyn and Josiah going Home earlier than planned, yet the definitive answer will never be revealed this side of heaven.  

I know God is going to use each and every fragment of my broken heart to bring Him glory, if only I will let go of the pieces and allow Him to put them together in His perfect will and allow others to benefit from the understanding and serenity that God will bring to my life when I surrender to my Savior and allow His hand to move in my life.  My job is to get out of the way and let God use me as I learn and grow to be more like His precious Son, Jesus.

One day at a time, one step at a time I can see the light shining through the clouds in the midst of such turmoil in my heart and mind.  II Cor. 1:3-4