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?