Thursday, August 5, 2010

A part of me.

First of all, thank you for all of your emails and comments. We are still going through and responding to them all. The Lord is truly at work. I thank Him for the opportunity to share one our burdens with one another. Please know that you are always welcome to contact us if you feel led to do so...

.. I just want to share with you what the Lord has really showed me in the past few days. I love love love watching Him work and teach me every day. He is SO good.

Last Friday, Benson and I decided to take our boat out. Benson fished and I laid out (and got terribly burnt by the way...). It felt soooo good to get out of the house and just be together outside for awhile. There is something so amazing about just being still before the Lord, surrounded by His creation. However, even in the midst of an amazingly beautiful day - my mind, as always, is filled with thoughts of my little boy. From the moment I climbed into the boat, my mind immediately began thinking about Luke and how he would never be able to ride in that boat with us.... how I would never be able to put a lifejacket on him or rub sunscreen on his little face.... how Benson would never be able to teach him how to hold a fishing pole or cast a line like his Papaw Tommy...

I honestly try not to think about all the things we will never get to experience with Luke but no matter how hard I try, it is a major part of grieving the loss of a child. There were so many dreams and plans I had for his life and for our lives together. Sometimes, I can't help but think about all those special little moments I wanted to have with him...

... the look on his face when his tiny feet felt grass for the first time.
... the way he would have laughed when I tickled his belly.
... the sound of him saying "ma-ma" or "da-da".
... the expression on his face when he first tasted baby food.
... his first tooth, his first haircut, his first steps.. his first skinned knee that I would kiss to make all better.

So many firsts that will never happen.... so many memories that will never be made.

So, here I was...out on the lake, thinking about how many things I wanted to show him. Benson had fished for awhile and we were about to take off to another side of the lake when a little butterfly landed on my leg. I didn't think much about it at first... I poked at it with my finger and was surprised when it didn't immediately fly away. Benson started up the boat and we took off.... and sure enough, that little butterfly held on. We literally went from one side of the lake to the other (for those of you who know Green River, we went from ramp 1, past the marina, past the state dock all the way to the other side of Emerald Isle) going as fast as our little boat would go. Finally, minutes later, when we stopped... I looked down and that little butterfly was still hanging on to my leg. It was then the Lord spoke to my heart...

"Luke is always with you."

I realized then that Luke is a part of me. He holds a place in my heart that no one else ever will. Every where I go, I carry him with me. Every experience I have in my life, I will experience with him. I may not be able to touch him but I can feel him inside my heart. He was there for that boat ride... he will always be there.

In that moment, I realized that I cannot focus my life on all the things that I will never share with Luke... Instead, I need to live my life the way I would have wanted Luke to live his and experience all the things I would have wanted him to experience. I need to live every day as if Luke were right there with me.

During our last day in the hospital with Luke, I remember sitting next to him looking at his sweet little face without all the tubes and wires. While I was sitting there Benson walked over and stood behind me and put his arm around me... and said, "Luke, this is your mommy... and I promise you, I'm going to show her the whole world."

At the time, I didn't really understand why Benson said those exact words and why they were so important... but I do now.

Luke had twelve days on this earth. Twelve days.

He will never feel sand between his little toes.
He will never feel the wind blow through his hair or feel sunshine on his face.
He will never be able to play and laugh with his friends.
He will never graduate from high school or college.
He will never be able to say the words "I love you".
He will never be able to lift his hands up during worship and praise the Lord.
He will never be able to get down on his knees and pray.

But I can....
....and so can you.

We take so much for granted... every breath, every minute, every day. We take for granted that we will wake up tomorrow and see our friends and family.. that we will have another chance to say a prayer or to praise the Lord with all we have. We get so focused on our problems that we forget to live.

We get satisfied with "ordinary"... waking up, living a routine and doing it all over again the next day. There HAS to be more to this life than that. I refuse to believe that God created us in His image to live ordinary, routine lives.  I believe that God has so much more in store for us than we could ever imagine, if we would just allow Him to use us and expect for the supernatural to take place in our lives. He wants to use us to the extent of which we want to be used by Him. We are the only ones who limit His power in our lives because his power is limitless. Romans 8:11 tells us that the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us! It is up to us to decide how we use that power in our lives and to what extent we will let Christ have control and take our lives from "ordinary" to "extraordinary".

During Luke's christening service, Bro Brian Rafferty stood over my baby boy and prayed for his healing. He spoke life into Luke, believing the Lord's will for His life. I will never forget the sound of his voice when he shouted out seven words that would forever be repeated in my mind each day...

"In the name of Jesus..... Luke, live!"

Today, my son is not alive on this earth... but He continues to live in my heart. I refuse to take that for granted. I want to live my life and make the most of every moment. The only life that my baby will have on this Earth is the life I will share with him. Just like Benson, I want to show him the world. I want to take him with me on this awesome journey the Lord has planned for me. He is and always will be a part of me.

We have one life on Earth. One opportunity to really, truly live it out loud. To give God everything we've got. Today, I pray that God opens your eyes to realize how special your life is and how special you are. I hope He fills your mind with endless opportunities of what your life could be like if you choose to give it all over to Him. I pray that He gives you the boldness to step out into a radical life of faith and accept the calling He has specifically for you. Accept no excuses - you are never too young, too old, too poor, too uneducated or too broken to be used by God.

Place King Jesus on the throne of your life today.... take risks... serve Him out loud with your whole heart. Live every moment to its fullness, realizing that each second is a gift from your Creator. Dream big dreams, Do big things... Don't ever look back. Make every day worth it.


"In the name of Jesus..... live!"


-- Kristin

26 comments:

  1. Why I read these at work, I'll never know. I sit at my desk and cry each and every time. It's almost unreal how God has used you to speak to me through this period of my life.
    Your words continually reaffirm what God wants me to here at this exact moment. Thank you for not being afraid to let Him use you.

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  2. Kristen,
    This has touched my heart more than words can describe! The words you said made me realize how much I take my life for granted! I do wake up thinking that I am going to see my family and my friends but in reality I don't know that for sure....I believe the Lord spoke to me through you and I thank you so much for saying what you did. I had a brother that passed away 2 days after he was born and I know that he would want me to live every day to the fullest and giving the Lord all of the glory! The Lord works in mysterious ways and there is no doubt in my mind that the butterfly was Luke. Your Luke has touched more hearts then many people have in their lifetime. He truely is a miracle. I love you Kristen and will continue praying for you and Benson! + <3

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  3. Thank you Kristen for sharing Lukes story with the world and your love for the Lord. Your words are a great reminder and have touched my heart. Thank You for reminding me that everyday is a gift.

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  4. I look forward seeing how you are handling things and I sit here at work in amazement that you are so strong. I am so proud of you and you giving your all to God for through him is the only healing that will truly mend your broken heart. You are doing great and I think your idea of a Sexton 4 is an amazing idea.

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  5. Thanks for these great words. This really ministered to me. I'm glad that you're letting the lord use you in this "blog ministry" because so many people are getting blessed by it. Better yet, God is being glorified!!! Love you and Benson hun!!! :)

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  6. These words stirred me more than perhaps anything else I've read from your beautiful family yet...and when I say that, it is profound. Luke has moved me, made me feel things I hadn't felt in quite some time...but this has lifted me and made me feel compelled to share it. I have forwarded these words and your blog link to even more of the special people in my life, not only to help to continue Luke's touch on this world, but to take steps to stop taking things in my life for granted as well. Thank you for reminding me to live, and live fully with the Love of God surrounding me. I wish I could put into words how much you have touched me and how dearly I love you. Thank you for sharing your soul with us, and the message that Jesus is blessing you with.

    --Tonya

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  7. You continue to amaze me! I also feel that the butterfly what God's way of showing you that Luke is with you always. God shows us his love in the small things in life. We only have to slow down & take the time to see it.

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  8. Kristin,
    I read every blog & hear a message from the Lord through your words. I always cry , but tears can be a good thing, a blessing! May God continue to touch your & Benson's heart with His healing touch.Thinking of you & praying for you daily.
    Phil 4:13,
    Virginia

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  9. Beautifully said! Since the loss of my daughter, I feel the fragility and the urgency to get as much accomplished for Christ in this life as I can in my short time here! I feel God showed me my purpose and reasons for so many things in my life through Shyla's life and death.

    Amen!!! LIVE!!!

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  10. Kristin, I check your blog almost daily and to me it's like a little dose of worship service right here on my computer! If there's no new blog I re-read your more recent post, it just fills my heart so much. Thank you over and over for allowing the Holy Spirit to use you and to speak volumes to you and Benson both. I've sat and cried, I even called my husband at work and said you've got to read their blog today...his answer "I already did"! Which is awesome to me because I honestly didn't know/feel like we are quite connecting spiritually like we once did. I read the Bible quite often to learn, to understand, and to be filled with the love of God, but to hear your ministry is so very nourishing. I love how the Lord uses you two in ways I don't even think you all understand. Thank you, I love you both, and am praying for you. You have spoke volumes to my heart!...and obviously my husbands!

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  11. Hi Kristin,

    I was very touched by your story and saddened by your loss, and encouraged by your faith.

    This made me think of something I learned recently--did you know that fetal cells remain in a mother's blood long, long after she's given birth? (They've found fetal cells from children born long ago in women in their 70s and 80s!) I loved learning that; it seems such a poetic way for God to remind us how a mother is always inextricably linked to her children no matter what, and that her child is forever a part of her even after she's delivered him. Luke is indeed always a part of you, both in spirit and in body.

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  12. Your faith and strength is amazing. Having the Lord and sharing helps many people. God bless you as you live each day to the fullest.

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  13. Kristin,

    Your testimony of faith has moved me more than you know. The Lord reminded me of a song as I read your blog and He wants me to share it with you!

    I don't understand Your ways
    Oh... but I will give you my song
    Give You all of my praise
    You hold on to all my days
    With it You are pulling me closer
    and pulling me into Your ways

    Now around every corner
    and up every mountain
    I'm not looking for crowns
    or the water from fountains.

    I'm desperately seeking
    I'm frantic believing
    that the sight of Your face
    is all that I'm needing

    And I will say to You..
    It's gonna be worth it
    It's gonna be worth it
    It's gonna be worth it all..
    I believe it!!
    It's gonna be worth it
    It's gonna be worth it
    It's gonna be worth it all!

    Love you Kristin! Thank you for allowing the Lord to use you, the words & revelations that the Lord has given you has ministered to me on many levels, thank you so much for sharing how the Lord is speaking to you!

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  14. Wow. I have been following your story for some time, but this post just hit me. There is so much truth here. I am still processing-thank you thank you thank you for continuing to share your journey of faith and grief and life with us.

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  15. Thank you for this!

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  16. This post touched me more than any other, Kristin. I couldn't help but to smile and cry all at the same time. God is with you always, and so is Luke. I don't know what else to say other than to thank you for sharing your beautiful story. May God continue to bless you and Benson. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  17. Our first child never knew life. He was stillborn even though I had carried him 10 months. As time goes on you will see how God will use your loss. We did . God gave us two more healthy children ( they are 35 and 36 now). We will be excited to hear when you become pregnant again ( that is if you post it here) and will be so happy for you when we hear that child has arrived healthy. God never puts on us more than we can bear. As you, I am looking forward to the day when I see Douglas face to face in heaven. He is there with Luke now and they are happy and healthy. God bless you both.
    Pat

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  18. You are the most amazing women. You touch my heart and lift me up daily and remind me of what life is all about.It is not meant to be easy but we are here to live the best life and be the best we can be and love as much as we can with the little time we are given on this earth. Honor God - he never leaves us or forsakes us. Your son will always be with you I am so glad you realize it and know how important it is for you to live a great life.Thank you for sharing your journey with so many of us who are strangers to you, we pray for you and your family and you have truly given so much hope to so many of us.

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  19. Kristin
    I have never met you, but through your blog I have learned so much about what it means to have a relationship with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I am fairly new in my Christian belief and I pray that I continue to grow and learn to turn it all over to God. My heart aches for you and the pain you are experiencing. I will continue to pray for you and your family. May God's grace continue to work in you and may he bless you with Luke's spirit. You, Benson & Luke have truly touched so many lives with your unselfish love.

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  20. Thank you for blessing me with this today!

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  21. Thank you for this post. I cannot tell you how I look forward to reading about your amazing journey and how it touches me and moves my heart. I have felt outside of God's love for a time, and now am reading the Bible again, and spending more time in his presence. As a previous responder said, this is like a little worship service in the middle of the week. Thank you for continuing this blog. You and Benson are inspiring to many. Thank you and keep yourselves in His arms.

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  22. Donna from SeviervilleAugust 12, 2010 at 12:20 AM

    The posting about the butterfly was so touching. God has His ways of comforting. All that God flooded into your spirit about your sweet baby was another way of God's comfort. Like that song Amazining Love, God never ceases to amaze us. I just want you both to know that I am still praying. I pray that as you go through the grieving process that God will flood your hearts and minds with the kind of healing that only He can do. Hold tight to God and each other.

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  23. Beverly Marcum StrangeAugust 12, 2010 at 1:24 PM

    I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face as I read this post...as a mom, I can sense the longing in your heart for your baby boy, and I selfishly admit that these posts have been reminding me of all of God's blessings in my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you for giving me perspective and even though my days seem tough sometimes with two small children who require so much of me, I hold them tighter and kiss them til they push me away and then once more because I am SO thankful. I'm so sorry you have to feel this pain but your lives are a testimony to many, like me, now. I am going to keep reminding myself of my blessings and for that, I am so thankful to you for sharing your story. I will continue to keep you in my prayers, and I think you are right, God is going to do GREAT things in your life!

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  24. Your post was beautiful and bought a tear to my eye. I love your faith in our Lord. He is an awsome God and it is the best feeling in the world to know he is always with us.

    Your son is beautiful and what a great head of hair. I'm so sorry he is not in your arms right now. You are such a great Mommy.

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  25. Kristin,

    I have followed your blogs for a couple of months now. I am amazed at every post you have made. I realize how many things I take for granted everyday. I want to live a faithful life like you and Benson are. Your family is in every prayer that leaves my mouth. Continue to be strong and faithful, and remember that the Lord has a plan for everyone, and this is all a part of his plan for your life. And I agree with the last post, you are a great mom.

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  26. You had asked me in the hospital that night, "does it ever get easier"? If you remember, I was not really able to answer your question.
    But Kristin, it will, not now, not yet, but I promise it will be "manageable". The tears will subside (some), but the memories will ALWAYS be there.
    You know that there were one set of footprints in the sand... allow yourself to be carried, until you are able to walk beside Him.

    Hugs and understanding sent your way.
    Call or text anytime. I will cry with you.
    Rhonda
    www.TheRichinsKrew.blogspot.com

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