Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Day of Life and Death

February 10, 2001 dawned like any other day.  It seemed surreal that the world should continue to spin and the sun should dare to shine as my entire life was shattering in a hospital room.  It seemed a cruel cosmic joke that I should be on my second day of hard, painful, labor surrounded by the cries of newborns while I was struggling to give birth to my broken heart.  A time of celebration shouldn't be marred this way.  It was 15 years ago.  I was only 25.  I was forced by the tyranny of the urgent to ask questions no woman should have to ask.

Will he be decayed?  No
Will he be a mass of tissue or a baby?  A baby
How will he get out of me?  Labor
Will it hurt like regular labor?  Yes
How long will it take?  A long time
Will you put me in labor or wait for me to go into labor?  Its up to you.
Can you just knock me out and give me a C-section?  No it will cause complications with future pregnancies.
What will you do with him after he's born?  We will examine him and bring him to you to hold.
Are you going to throw him away?  No. 
Can we have him and bury him?  Yes.
How can a baby die inside you right before he is supposed to be born?  A knot in the umbilical cord.

And so after a day and half of labor and buckets of tears, as the world around me celebrated life I gave birth to death and named him Matthew; a gift from God.  I chose to name him "a gift", and that is what he has been.

His life taught me God's goodness is not dependent on my situation.  His life taught me of the value and worth of the pre-born life.  His life taught me that the Lord gives and the Lord takes away.

I thought I had learned the lessons of Matthew.  However, God had more gifts for me.  In total God fashion 5 years later at the very same hospital, during an emergency C-section I gave birth to a dream.  My twinkies;  Jackson and Lydia.  I had wanted twins my entire life and on February 10, 2006 God gave me these two wonderful gifts.

Today we celebrate the lives of two precious people.

Jackson---is tough as nails on the outside and has the most tender heart of anyone I have ever met.  He is quick to seek forgiveness when he sins.  He loves football, Duke, and eating.   He eats all the time!  Seriously, All.  The. Time.  He sleeps like a rock and wakes up ready to roll. He is LOUD.  He is SWEET.  He is Messy!  He is STRONG WILLED.  He is smart and a total out of the box thinker.  He is a rule breaker.  He likes people.  He likes music.  He likes to be outside.  He is built like a freight train.  He is thick and tall and strong.  What a gift!


Lydia----is compassionate.  She cares about how others feel.  She loves to think, to read, and to bake.  She is an amazing writer.  She loves to craft.  She is an early bird. She does not like to stay up late at night.  At bedtime she wants to go to bed. She is quiet.  She is a leader.  She doesn't mind being alone.  In fact she needs time alone and is the most likely child in our family to retreat to her room throughout the day for peace and quiet.  She is organized.  She likes to plan.  She is a rule follower.  She is built like a flower.  Delicate and willowy.  What a gift!

I am so excited to celebrate their lives today!  How on earth can they be 10 years old?!?!  Double digits!!!!

God gave us two.  How amazingly like God.  God gives ABUNDANTLY and yes sometimes God does take away, and it is devastating.  May the name of the Lord be praised.  I learned from this little date "coincidence" how in the details God is.  How much he loves and cares for me.  It can bring me to tears when I think of the unmerited grace he lavishes on my life.  Amazing grace. 

I thought the lessons were learned.  I'm always thinking that!  Yet still he teaches and reveals.  My heart forever has a hole and I think I need my Matthew to fill it but God faithfully whispers to my heart and reminds me....I only need him.  He fills the empty.  He heals the wounded.  He binds up the broken hearted.  His light shines through the cracks in my life.  I need his filling.

The last few years I've learned that all the gifts from Matthew's life have not been what others would consider "good gifts".  I not only learned some important truths about God I also grabbed up some fear issues and an idol along the way.

These last few years I've begun to realize how much of my life has been controlled by fear.  Fear of losing a child.  Fear of catastrophe.  Fear of crime.  Fear.  Much of what I do and how I live is motivated by fear.  Many of my sentences start with, " I was afraid that....."  In the wake of losing Matthew I've gone from loving my children to worshiping them.  My family can easily become my idol of choice.  That my friends is sin.  15 years after that fateful February.  The day my heart was torn and my world was shattered and I'm still healing.  I'm still learning.  God is still binding up this Mama heart.  I was changed that day.  Some of the changes were good.  Some of the changes were bad.  Yet I know  God measured it out and decided it was for my good.  The pain, the loss, the hole, the empty...he named good.

Thankful again for all God's good gifts.

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