Sunday, March 15, 2009

Missing My Other Boys

March and May are bittersweet months for me, especially March. And this year March snuck up on me. I didn't realize all that was going on inside me until I saw the daffodils. And then it all came rushing back. Powerful and overwhelming. I tried to forget it, gloss over it, and rebury it. But I can't. I know my Savior will make something beautiful from these shards.

You see, I love Spring—everything about it, but as the daffodils bloom I'm reminded of two precious little ones I have waiting for me. They're safe in Jesus' arms.

Here's my journal entry from 10 years ago in March:

“Elijah is his own special miracle.

Just 14 weeks after conception and Elijah was so perfectly formed. I was able to count his little fingers and his tiny toes as I held him ever so gently in my hand. With his eyes beginning to open and his mouth open there was no mistaking his identity--he was my son. So longed for. It didn't matter that he was Baby #5 for us—we knew the joy children bring with them and we couldn't wait to get to know this special baby, with the unique personality God had given him. Each baby is unspeakably special and so cherished.

Elijah was a gift from God...but for some reason God sent him over five months early and as I held this precious child in my hand, I sat in awe of God... His little ribs and plump belly reminded me of all I would miss in the coming months and years...

We only had Elijah with us for 14 weeks, and then, as even now, we treasured him. His absence is felt deep within us, and we know there will always be one more than is with us here. Elijah is his own special miracle. He is forever imprinted on our hearts.”


When I lost Elijah, it took me several weeks to recover physically. Emotionally I healed much faster. Seeing him as the miracle I did (and still do) soothed the hurt and ache. The following year, almost 14 months to the day, we miscarried another little one, this one at 18 weeks. That time around, I bounced back physically without any trouble, but emotionally I took a heavy hit. How thankful I am that I reached for my Bible during those days! This is what I wrote in May, 2000:

“...'Safe in the arms of Jesus' has taken on a whole new meaning for me and resting in God's sovereignty has kept me securely anchored. Reading God's Word has truly been a balm to my ragged spirit. In the midst of my grief my Bible reading brought me to Habakkuk and I found my spirit crying out with him, 'Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice int the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds' feet, and makes me walk on my high places.' (Hab. 3:18-19).

Through the blackness of my grief I saw the candlelight of God shining through. As I turned my focus from my loss to God's light the blackness began to recede. Yes, there's still grief, but grief without blackness is bearable. I long for my two boys who are safe in the arms of Jesus and I weep for them, but God's light and comfort are here, surrounding me. As a result I was able to sing through my tears 'My God how great Thou art!' and mean it with every fiber of my being! Worshiping God has made my feet sure and steady as I climb this rocky path, and this rocky path is bringing me into the Sonshine.

'...Then sings my soul, my Savior, God to Thee,
How great Thou art—HOW GREAT THOU ART!'



Just so you know, 8 months later we learned I was pregnant again and when fear threatened to choke me I had a verse to cling to—one I had found immediately after singing 'How Great Thou Art' when I was fighting tears that first Sunday back at church. It was Isaiah 41:13 “For you are the LORD my God who has declared, 'Do not fear, I will help you.'” Throughout my 36 week pregnancy I clung to that verse, knowing that even if we lost that baby too, He would help us through the grief. But there was only joy when Isaac was born 4 weeks early. And he's still a joy—just as our four other children here are.

One of my Faithwriter friends, Peter Stone, wrote a story that is simply wonderful. It was hard for me to read through my tears, but it was so worth it. There's healing in his story. ~ This Is Not The End ~ Thank you, Peter, for posting that story. The timing was from God.

He will cover you with His pinions,
and under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

~Psalm 91:4

9 comments:

  1. Dear Patty,
    I read this post with my heart in throat, so sorry to see that you lost two special little boys, and could so relate to your comments about taking a heavy emotional hit. This is what I wrote in my diary a few weeks after the loss of our first little one. 'On Monday night at bedtime, my wife said that she was sick, and tapped her chest, "Sick in here." That she was overcome with doubts and fears, that God wouldn't do anything more for us, that He wouldn't do anything more about giving us children."

    So wonderful to see how God gave you Isaiah 41:13 to cling to during your next pregnancy, and how He came through for you. It was Joshua 1:5-9 that the Lord used to restore the faith of both my wife and myself.

    And thanks so much for linking to my blog, that has blessed me so much. I grieved for eleven years after we lost our first one, and the grieving actually got worse, not better, after we had Hannah and Timmy. Especially after Timmy, as when he was born and found to be an almost exact clone of his older sister Hannah, I kept thinking what it would be like for our first one to be with us too. To have three living children, all so similar, would have been such a joy. But praise the Lord for healing me of that wound so that I grieve no more. (The heart strings still get pulled, though.)

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  2. I'm so sorry for your loss, but I am in awe of your faith. Praise the Lord for His ability to bring glory from pain! Thank you for sharing your story.

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  3. I can only say that my tears are with you, and my joy because you know where your little ones are.
    love and hugs, Sherri

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  4. Dear sister, my heart aches for you and rejoices with the hope of Heaven at the same time. So thankful that though you experienced a deep and painful loss, you made faith in Christ your gain. Thank you for sharing His hope with me.

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  5. Oh, sweetie - what a difficult time, and what a mighty God. I am holding you up to Him. This, I know, will minister to many. Praying, my sweet Peejers!

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  6. God is so good to visit us where and when we need Him. He is always there. We have not gone through these waters but we understand difficulty and fear. I praise God for His comforting Word in your life. He has your little ones safe in His care!! We will see them one day, Praise His Glorious Name!

    We were told our youngest would not live to 7 years but Praise God he had open heart surgury when he was one and now will live to see his 8th birthday!

    May God give you a blessed spring, enjoying your daffodils and knowing your little sons are well taken care of.

    Thank you for sharing your comforting verses.

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  7. My heart is broken for you, Patty. What a testimony you share with us. Beautiful.

    I am praying this Spring the Lord will hold your heart & hand...

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  8. Patty, I just don't know what to say. I've had two go on before too, and I think there is a part of us that will always bear their loss and absence. But you are so right, the scriptures bring healing, hope, and strength. Thanks for sharing this part of your journey.

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  9. Oh wow, thank you so much for this!

    I have never suffered a miscarriage, but I have known the sense of loss that comes from burying my dreams of "normalcy" and accepting special needs. The verses you mentioned are a comfort in my case as well. Thank you for this post.

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