Words

I was looking through some paperwork and found a journal entry from almost four years ago.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18, 2014

When Words Fail

Words are a cornerstone of our lives. We use them and rely on them every day.  Sometimes we use elegant and descriptive words, and other times we use short and harsh ones. Words are used to express and explain. They describe, direct, establish, and comfort. We depend on them as our primary form of communication with everyone around us. The dictionary is filled with more words than one could possibly use in a lifetime; but what happens when words fail us?

Words are empty. They are made of letters and sounds. They are inanimate objects scribbled on paper and carved into stone. They are misspelled,  misused and misinterpreted. Words fail us over and over and over again.

In those times when words fail, what happens next? Sometimes there are deep, deep emotion with no words to describe, explain or convey them.

Today marks one year since our twins went to heaven. A year filled with celebration and tears. A year of relief and a year of loss. I never understood the expression “deep calls out to deep” until I saw those two little boys. On Earth I saw a “mass of tissue”, something many would argue ended there. But in heaven, oh what life I saw! I attempted to describe my emotions and experience with words, but they fall short; words always do.

In criticial and crucial moments we often find ourselves saying things. And that is what those words usually are, just things. As humans we feel the need to reassure, convince, and comfort.

A few months after Steven Curtis Chapman’s young daughter died, his wife said something in an interview that made perfect sense. She said that after they left the hospital they went straight to their parents’ house. They couldn’t go home for weeks. When they finally did they could not handle being alone, but they never had to be. They were surrounded by people who came and just sat at their house. They didn’t talk or try and explain how the situation was going to get better. They didn’t share experience stories or offer words of advice. They were simply there.

I try to be one of those people now. The people who are there, just always there. A person who offers the presence of God to a situation without filling it with words invented by man. There are moments in our lifetime that our hearts replay over and over and over again. Moments of endless joy and moments of deep sorrow. Emotions and experiences are full of substance and depth. Shoving words into it that barely capture a snapshot of the moment cheapens the spiritual impact of it.

And now, here I am again, at a loss for words. The tears are flowing and seem to be endless. My heart is breaking in a way I cannot explain or describe. The waves of grief have been harsh and powerful the last two days. I feel so alone in this ocean, yet my spirit feels an anchor. God’s deep spirit is calling out to the deepest part of mine, whispering over and over. A whisper that has no words. A voice that speaks volumes without any words. And even in the throat-grippingly painful waves of grief where I find myself silent, I know that it is a good place to be. Because even in the silence, God is always speaking of deep things.”

More Than a Miscarriage

I wrote this three years ago today, on a day when I was drowning in grief after our fourth child was gone too soon.

Often times after a miscarriage we are told “you’ll get pregnant again soon” or “at least you weren’t very far along”. Miscarriage is often viewed as a “lesser loss”, but to the Mom, Dad or sibling who went through one; it was the loss of an entire lifetime.

I’m not just grieving the loss of a baby.

I’m not just missing my pregnant belly.

I’m not just grieving holding my newborn.

I’m grieving.

I’m sad.

I’m missing a lot more than just a baby.

I’m missing…..

newborn pictures

my baby’s first bath

breastfeeding

changing diapers

hairclips and headbands

being called “mom”

holding her

hearing her giggle when we stay up late just to make cookies

a first day of school

road trips

late nights and high fevers

potty training

clothes shopping

craft days

seeing the excitement in her eyes when she sees something she loves

trips to the store by ourselves

building forts

reading stories together

makeovers

listening to her practice an instrument

cooking together

sports practices

mission trips

driving lessons

first date

high school graduation

comforting her when she cried

sending her to college

a wedding

grandchildren

I’m not just grieving the loss of a baby, I’m grieving the loss of an entire lifetime.

Between Here and There

This post from a friend on Instagram from C.S. Lewis grabbed my heart today.

I know what it is, to live between here and there. The constant pulling from each side, the ache that is always in my heart.

Twelve years ago I returned from Africa and the the only words I could manage for weeks were awkward. My heart was torn between such a tangible presence of God, a love that I had never before known or experienced, and the “First World” reality I was suddenly plunged back into. Mercy Me’s lyrics “if home’s where my heart is then I’m out of place” were on repeat in my spirit. It was during that return to America that I began to experience what it means to truly know that our home is not anywhere on this earth.

While I was driving today I had a flashback to one of my miscarriages. The pain of it instantly grabbed at me and my throat began to choke up. As I looked back through the years and the repeat losses, I realized that even through the pain there gold to be found, a redemption, a glory that only God could get. I know what it is to love, to love so deeply that a day can seem like a lifetime.

I am an all or nothing person. I never do anything halfway or with a partial effort. My “yes” means yes, and my “no” means no. I don’t love half heartedly nor am I interested having acquaintances. I have never met a person I did not love. Years have been spent in prayer asking Jesus to see people the way He sees them, to see their potential and their gold; never the dirt that is on all of us. My heart is terribly hurt when people are cruel and mean to each other or to me, because I could never imagine intentionally treating someone else that way.

We prayed and fasted for years for our babies, every single one of them. I didn’t experience a loss of something that “could have been”. I was robbed of a child that had been invested into for years. Every day that I spent with them inside me was a blessing, a promise fulfilled, an answer to prayer.

Since I have four little ones in heaven, I know what it is to be constantly torn between their existence in heaven and the reality of my three on earth who need me. Now more than ever, my heart is pulled towards heaven. That love that only He can give us, that fulfillment that only He brings our hearts is more and more on my mind.

Last month I got to visit heaven and hold my kids. Smothering them in kisses and hugs while God stood there, in His mercy, allowing me a moment of a full heart and full arms, before He gathered me up in His and stole me away. That moment, gave my heart peace while His love rushed in and made me want His even more.

As the days go by, my heart aches even more for that complete love. The love that is greater than anything we could ever imagine, the love so big we have no words to describe. The love that gave it all to bring heaven closer to us. The love that is greater than life itself.

That love is what I live for.