Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Promised land.

I have not posted lately because I just couldn't.

These past two weeks have been so incredibly hard for me. I have managed to keep it together on the outside but inside there have been times when I could barely breathe. I am learning that some days are better than others and these past few have been especially tough.

Even though my world stopped at 12:10am on July 10th when my little boy went to heaven, the rest of the world didn't. The clock kept ticking. The earth kept turning.

I came home to a bassinet in my bedroom. Freshly washed baby clothes on top of his dresser. Newborn diapers in a monogrammed diaper bag that I will never carry. For awhile I was able to hide from time... I could sit there in his nursery and cry. I could lay in my bed for as long as I wanted with his blanket in my arms. However, now... a little over a month later... I have come to realize that time does not stop or even slow down for those who grieve.

I am still living. I am still breathing... and as much as I want to pretend it was all a bad dream, I have to wake up and keep going.

Some days are easier than others. Some days it feel like it hardly even happened. Some days I simply try to forget the pain.... however, at the same time, I never want to forget. My memories of those 12 days are the only ones I will ever have of my little boy. I want to hold on to them and soak in every moment... every expression... every detail... even though most of those moments hurt to remember. It is absolutely the worst feeling in the world to want to forget and want to remember at the same time.

When I left the hospital, I returned to a life that is the same as before I had Luke. The same job. The same house. The same people... however, my life has forever changed because he was here.

I am not the same. I will never be the same. I feel like a stranger in my own life sometimes.

And as bad as it hurts and as hard as it sounds... it is okay.

I am okay.
I will be okay.

I am sad that Luke is gone... but I am SO glad that he was here and he was mine. The 12 days I had with him were worth it all... they were worth every tear and every tough day I have had and will have. I would rather have had him for 12 days then never have had him at all.

This weekend while I was in worship, the Lord showed me that my grief is like a heavy fog. It has places where it is very thick, where the air is so heavy that I can barely breathe. Other places are more clear where I can see more clearly and breathe a little easier. When covered in the thickness, it can be terrifying to keep going... to not know what is ahead or what is coming in your direction. In those times, it is easy to sit down and just wait for things to clear. However, I believe that the Lord desires for me, and for you, to pick ourselves up and keep going. To face the thick fog with faith. To not sit and wait for things to get easier, but to press on.

A close friend of ours preached a sermon a few weeks ago about how the Lord promised Joshua that every place where he set his foot would be given to him (Joshua 1:3). Yet, when the Israelites finally entered into the promised land, they became satisfied and settled down. They were tired of fighting... tired of walking... they just wanted to sit and rest for a little while. A little while became years and years became decades. The Israelites could have gone on and conquered so much more land if they had just got up and kept going. They had been promised sure victory, but settled for less than what God had for them because they were tired, unsure and afraid.

We are so often like the Israelites. God has equipped us with the same power that resurrected Christ from the grave... yet, when we are faced with any kind of difficulty or pain, we are quick to lay down and accept defeat. He has given us more, promised us more... yet we choose to sit where we are and feel sorry for ourselves.

Instead of just sitting down and soaking in our grief or self-pity when life is tough... we need to pick ourselves up and keep going because every step we take, no matter how small, we are one step closer to Jesus. It may be hard and we may be afraid but He promises us that He will always be with us. We don't ever have to walk through the thick fog alone.

I never dreamed of living life without Luke. To be honest, some days I don't want to. I wonder how much longer I will have to go on without seeing his face again. However, I know that I have been given life in order to live it in a way that glorifies the Lord. I could choose to sit and let the opportunity to serve Him pass me by... or, I could choose to get up and keep going. It doesn't mean that I won't cry or that I am over my grief. It just simply means that I choose to move instead of sit... to long for more instead of settling for less.

Right now, there are stacks of papers on my kitchen counter. An envelope from Similac sits on my counter giving advice about "late night feedings at home with a new baby" right next to a deed for the grave plot where my "new baby" is buried. Yes, that hurts but that is the reality of my life now without Luke. I cannot change it. I cannot make it stop. The clock is still ticking. The world is still turning.

I could choose to stay where I am... to sit and to cry... but today, I choose to get up and walk and move forward toward the promises that the Lord has made to me... one small step at a time.

Will you join me?

- Kristin


  1. You are such a powerful and strong woman Kristin. I can't say I understand what your going through, because I don't. But, Luke, you, and Benson have been such a blessing in my life. Your blog is so true. God gives us the opportunity and strength to face our battles. However, it's our choice on how much effort we put forth to fight them. Keep sharing your story and know that you all are in my prayers!

  2. I am so blessed to call you family. You are such an inspiration. Just when I think things ate as bad as they can get, I think of you and all you have been thru. Your words of wisdom and courage make me see the world does keep turning and you have to make the best of every day, no matter what. We love you all dearly and are praying for you daily. Much love, hugs n kisses to you and Benson. Lisa

  3. U both always amaze me with yalls words.. Using ur hurt to help others..yall are 2 amazing people who has forever impacted my life..words could never express how grateful iam to yall 3..Luke will live on forever..

  4. You make me tear up every time I read a blog from you. You are such a strong woman. I have no words to make things better, but I know in time through God they WILL get better! I pray that you both fin dpeace in life! :)

  5. I came across your blog several weeks ago. I have been praying for you and your family non-stop since then. Your story breaks my heart but I am so encouraged by your faith. I am a Christian and reading your story proves to me that you are a firm believer and stands strong in your faith.
    I will continue to pray for you!!

  6. Wow. Beautifully said. Keep going through the fog and leaning on the Lord. You have such a wonderful way with words!

  7. I came across a post you had placed on a couple weeks back. Since then, I have been following your blogs, as I can relate to exactly what you are feeling and going through. I lost twin boys due to an Incompetent Cervix at 21 weeks a little over two months ago. I got to hold my boys that whole day and night before it was time to say goodbye.
    There are days where I am so strong and there are no tears to shed and there are days where I am a complete mess and find it hard to hold back the tears. I know on days like those, I have to get up and keep moving and not let my pain and hurt paralyze me. I found comfort in a saying you had posted earlier - that we take our boys with us through life. When I am having a hard time, I say, my twin boys are right here with me in my heart. They are experiencing life right there with my husband and I, they are not alone. That gives me strength.
    I wish so badly this was all a nightmare as well and that my pain will go away - two months late I still wish this. Unfortunately, I know it will never go away, it will be me learning how to work through it and move forward.
    god never shuts one door without opening another - i will be looking for when that door does open.

  8. Thinking of you Kristin, I love you.

  9. The strength that you portray through your storm never ceases to amaze and inspire me. I am continuing to pray for you and Benson, as well as Luke's ministry. Your words ring true today--God gives us all the strength and tools necessary to fight our battles, but we have to draw from the depths of our own souls to stand up and fight them. I believe in your strength and your power to overcome because I have seen your faith move mountains. My prayers are with you.

  10. You're amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I'm with you...I'm tired of sitting around accepting or waiting for defeat. I will continue to pray for God's guidance to light your path. God Bless you and Benson.

  11. You know....I had a few of these thoughts myself the other day. I went to Kings Island with the girls this weekend and realized that I will never get to take my baby to do those kinds of things being that if you have a heart problem you can't ride ANYTHING! Then I go to thinking about other things that he would never get to do. But then I thought to myself that there are so many more important things that he will be able to do for Jesus! He can sing and raise his hands, and pray and my those are so much more important than getting to ride a crazy roller coaster anyday! Thank you for helping me see the small things in life that mean so much! Love you and praying for you!!

  12. Your strength in Lord gives me strength with each word I read. I've never met you but I love you and your family as if you were my own. God Bless you Kristen. Thank you for you words. I thank God for you!

    With Love and Prayers,
    Tammy Antle

  13. Ive Been Following Your blog for a while now. i'm only 16.. so i really dont know what your going through.. but i pray for you everyday!. Seeing you staying with God through all of this.. blesses me.. I pray that you keep up your faith.. :)

    -Hope Willis.

  14. The fog analogy is soooo good. Yes we face the thick fog in trials & lifes problems , then it clears with the help of our Lord! Thanks for your inspirational words!
    Prayers & love,
    Virginia & family

  15. ((((((hugs)))))) a fog is such a good analogy.

    i too got junk mail and emails and general whatnot for months after my daughter died. it is like ripping the band aid off every time.

    but God is good... He is always there. He does see us through not just day by day, but minute by minute! He is THERE. He cares, He feels, He KNOWS!!!!

    He is holding your precious son and loving him... and whispering in his tiny little ear of his mommy's love :)

    i wish i could find the magic button that makes it all better.... haven't found it yet. but minute by minute He is there....... and i know i'll make it.

  16. I am so sorry. Truly this is so unfair. I am praying for you and your family. You are an inspiration.

  17. God sure has given you a gift to write and express what all of us need to hear. While I def try my best all days to be led by faith, some days just pull you down. I was with my friend on the happiest day of her life yesterday and felt God so strongly. Then tonight I received a phone call from one of my 16 yr old soccer players telling me she has cancer and it's spread all over her body. And now I'm brought to your blog for a reason. I'm not sure how I'm going to stay strong and be by her side trough this, but I sure have found a lot of strength through you. I thought of you while I was shooting a wedding this weekend. A bridesmaid had a tattoo on her back of angel wings. Between them read: God only takes the best. How true. I continue to pray you find some sort of healing in this time of deep sorrow. Thank you. Heart, Melanie

  18. Many hugs to you. I wrote many of the same types of thoughts over the last few months. We have been dealing with infertility for about 5 years, got pregnant, and just when the second trimester started the baby died. I know it's not the same as a living, breathing baby passing away, but what you said in this post resonated with me so much. I can only imagine how much more intense my grief would be if I had seen, touched, and held my precious baby! Thank you for the encouraging words about continuing to take steps. Some days I just want to sit down and stop. I wish I had something encouraging to say to you - I just hope it is a comfort to you to know that you are not alone.

  19. There is not much I can say that's not already been said, but I want you both to know we here at the Hayes' think of you guys daily and your still in our prayers! We wear our Sexton 3 shirts with pride and hope that someone who is in need of inspiration, uplifting, or just to hear how a crushed family can still worship the Lord, that they will see the website address and go grabbing their iphone or pc to see what it's all about. Thank you for continuing to share what goes go in your everyday life. I pray that each day provides some small glimmer for you both. Much love and hugs, Mindy Travis and Embry.

  20. My heart is just broken for you... just broken. We will continue to pray the knees out of our jeans.

    Writing seems to be cathartic for you and you are so well-spoken. You should write a book--I'd buy it for sure!

  21. I pray that the Lord will continue to bless you with your ability to write about your emotions. You are truly an inspiration and a witness of faith in the Lord. As a mother and grandmother my heart truly aches for your loss, but I do know that your faith in God will get you through the fog. I continue to pray for you and Benson and that God will bring you comfort. We don't always find the answers that we are searching for, but God has a plan and we must believe that God will take care of us! The story of Luke has touched me in so many ways and I am thankful that you & Benson have had the strength to share your story.

  22. I saw a butterfly today while I was at a stoplight. It almost landed on my windshield. I thought of you, Benson, Luke and said a prayer for your sweet family. God bless you both! :)

  23. Kristin,

    I have not been to your blog in quite sometime but tonight I find myself here. I'm so thankful too. Our family has continued to pray for you and Benson over the past few weeks and this really gives us great direction in knowing how to specifically pray.
    I will not pretend to even imagine your grief or pain. I did however want to share with you something God showed me recently in a Bible study that really blessed.
    In this particular study we are reading the book of Ruth. It talks in 1:14 about these women who are weeping but continuing to go in the right the direction.
    The author then goes on to ask "Are you in a season of grief that makes you want to stop or turn around? Have you experienced moving forward with the Lord even in the midst of weeping?"
    Kristin this make me thing of you and Benson. You have been an example to so many of us. Thank you for sharing your ongoing journey.
    I want to leave you with the words the Author shared at the end of the study a few nights ago.
    "Be encouraged. God sees your tears. CRY THEM, WIPE THEM, FEEL THEM, but don't let them stop you. It's possible to CRY and WALK"
    Cry and walk Kristin, You are prayed for.
    Fran Kelley

  24. Dear Kristin & Benson,
    My heart breaks reading your posts, but it also delights in how much faith you have in our God. I want to give you the name and phone number of a lady who makes memory bears. She has made several bears for mothers who are griving their loss. You can send her a blanket or outfit to use. I can promise you she does this will tender loving care. She made me one from my mother's gown. I will always treasure it. Her name is Pam Hamrick and her number is 502-352-9867 you can tell her Liz Baker gave you her name. I will continue to pray for you as God works his plan in your life.

  25. I just found your blog through Baby Ella Dawn's blog and just wanted to offer my deepest sympathies on the loss of your precious Luke. I actually don't even personally know Amy and Jon but they are related to some of our friends. I cannot get baby Ella off my mind and have everyone I know praying. We don't know what God's plan for Ella is but she has already brought so many to their knees before the throne of God. I'm certain your precious Luke had the same impact on more lives than you'll ever know. He was a gorgeous, handsome boy and I pray God will fill your heart with the peace that surpasses all understanding this day. In the Love of Christ, Brenda

  26. Kristin,
    I know that you are very sad that Luke is no longer with you here in body... But he will forever live in your heart... I can guarantee that he does miss you as much as u miss him, but he also doesnt want you to "give up"... Each time you think about giving up just remember that he wants his mommy to be happy and does'nt want her to cry...


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