Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Imprints Left Behind

Today I had an appointment for Eli. I chatted in the waiting room with other moms and dads talking of typical things like ages, personalities and as always, why my very tall children were with me instead of in school. This particular time, a mom was genuinely interested in the idea of home educating and how one does it. She has 20 month old twin girls and a 3 month old baby boy...rather ambitious enquiry if you ask me.

Our turn came and went. A nurse returned to give me some paperwork and asked a very common question.....Do you have three children all together? I have been confronted with this question many times over the last seven years and each time I make a choice. The choice to smile and say I have three or to go on and explain that I have given birth to four children and been pregnant six times, loosing two of them at twelve weeks. Right after Jonah was born and died I was compelled to always include him in my responses. As time went on it became a choice. Most times I can sense if someone would be interested or not. Sometimes I have judged incorrectly but not today.

I took the chance responding to the nurse and explained that I actually have given birth to four children, one of which died shortly after birth. It is at this point that you get a clear picture of how the conversation will go from here. She moved closer to me and attempted to sit next to me but my bag was in the way, I quickly moved it. She sat next to me and expressed her sympathy and sorrow for me. It was amazing really. The door opened so easily and God was at work through this little boy again. How often I have found a complete different response. Other times the person begins to fidget with their hands.....a sure sign of discomfort, they instinctively move slightly away from me, express their sympathy quickly and excuse themselves. I don't blame them. The death of a baby IS unnatural. I do find that those who have hurt much themselves are the ones who move closer. As a culture and by nature we run from suffering, pain and discomfort. I know I still do on many levels.

She gently asked me how my son died, I explained. She took the time to express her thoughts on how difficult it must have been and how one gets through something like this. I agreed that it was/is difficult to the core and then began to tell her about my Saving Grace, my Hope Within and the One who Sustained me through the darkest struggle of my life. I began to tell her though my son is dead in his body, he is not dead as we think of death but very much alive. That his death and the gift of that suffering has opened my eyes to things I could not see, to comfort I hadn't known and truth I was yet to believe.

Jonah's short life brought much grace into our lives as God worked it all to good for His glory. This little boy we will never see grow up, nor hold or talk to on this earth still leaves his imprint here. He opens doors for me to share about an amazing Savior that would otherwise remain closed. It also blesses me to talk about his life and how he is so much apart of our family, still today. It makes me think of a foot print left on the beach. There was someone there, but you don't know who it was or anything about them.....just the evidence that they truly exsist.

Thank you Jonah for still speaking seven years later into my life and the lives of others. And thank you God for using the short life of a small boy to turn this heart and the heart of others toward you.

This is his legacy.


Jorge and Karen Silva said...

Wow, thanks for sharing that! You are SO GOOD with words!!

The VW's said...

How wonderful to be able to share God's grace and word with others through your son! This must make you feel so good! It must be so difficult to lose a child(ren), but to know that their life is still bringing great purpose must make you so proud! God's purpose in your special children is great! I'm so thankful that you were able to feel this wonderful purpose today!

I'm so sorry that you have had to suffer these great losses. My heart really goes out to you and others who have had to face such a loss! I pray that God gives you many more opportunities to share His love and the story of your children! God Bless You sweet friend!

Leslie said...

Beautifully written, Sandi. Thank you for sharing that story and how you honor Jonah and Jesus when you're given the opportunity.

Stacy said...

WOW. I think it's great you tell his story, and share your Sustenance through it all.

Love you!

momma's heart said...

I found your blog through Joy and The Flourishing Mother.

I lost my first child at 21 weeks gestation. The cause was unknown--a pathologist briefly looked at him and saw no outward abnormality. Giving birth to him in a labor ward while having to hear many healthy fetal heartbeats was very, very hard.

At the time, I was surprised that my faith wasn't helping me more. One of the nurses could sense that we were Christians, and she said "I'm sure your faith must be helping with this." I said, "You would think so, but it still feels as terrible as anything I've ever imagined." I lost another child, my third, at only ten weeks gestation. That was not a regular birth situation, but still traumatic and very sad. Most of it occurred at home. I was more prepared for the emotional pain, and so the anguish was processed differently. My faith helped more.

The first loss was almost nine years ago. There is no longer a sting when I think about it--unless I really allow myself to relive the whole thing. Mostly I can only see the blessings that the experience brought. It changed me in ways that never would have come about through any lesser tragedy. I can't speak for how it may have changed others--only God really knows that.

And now my husband is unemployed, and we recently had our fourth (well) baby. Another really challenging time. But through the unemployment situation, he found out about and was awarded a grant to go back to school (computer tech) school, to hopefully earn more money. We were barely making it before he lost his job. He starts school next month, and is working part-time right now.

Anyway, as we navigate through this situation, I again see the blessing and the benefit--sooner than with previous hard times.

So I must assume that all these difficulties strengthen us in ways no other situations could have brought about.

I find myself being able to live out "count it all joy when you face trials of many kinds" like I never thought possible. There are ups and downs--but more ups.

I still face challenges in my mothering that feel huge, and I'm still learning to count those "all joy". That is very, very hard. Strange how mothering challenges can feel bigger than major life turmoil, isn't it? I think it must be because the big, big things eventually pass. Mothering brings blessings everyday--but also challenge. We must face our own flaws and our sins each and every day, as we try to do our best.

I saw on another blog that you are going through something hard right now. My heart goes out to you! I will pray.

I also saw once on Joy's blog that you struggle with computer time vs. kid time. I do too. Will pray about that, too. It seems to be harder for me to stay off the computer when other big, big things are going on. It is an escape.

Take care! Bless you.