Monday, October 31, 2011

Trust

video
Mikayla being "thrown" by her Daddy. She always loved this. And let me tell you, Mikayla was always quite clear on what she liked and didn't like!

You know, the last 2 years have really shaken my world. Everything we have been through has really challenged everything I believe in. That's not to say my belief system has changed. No. If anything perhaps it's stronger in some ways.

The word that kept hitting me this last weeks is "trust". And I mean, everywhere. It popped into my head (invariably this is how alot of my posts come about: a little pop! in the head! Not sure if that's a good thing, or a bad thing?). But it keeps appearing at me: a movie title, a verse, a song... So I've been thinking about how trust has been an issue for me over the last two years.

trust  (trst)
n.
1. Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.
2. Custody; care.
3. Reliance on something in the future; hope.

v. trust·ed, trust·ing, trusts
v.intr.
1. To have or place reliance; depend: Trust in the Lord.
2. To be confident; hope.

Synonym: faith
These nouns denote a feeling of certainty that a person or thing will not fail. Trust implies depth and assurance of feeling that is often based on inconclusive evidence.
Faith connotes unquestioning, often emotionally charged belief


You see, when all control is out of your hands. When you have no ability to change the course of something. Who do you rely on? Who do you trust? That was hard for me. It still is. When the world around you seems to have their prayers answered, when it seems like God is helping pull other people out of their "ditches", it's really hard to trust that at some point He'll do the same for me. Now, I'm not talking blessings here. That's a whole other thing. Let me be perfectly clear here: We have been blessed in abundance. Even through all we've been through, we have been immensely blessed. And I am so very very grateful for those blessings. But we're also talking the life of my daughter here. It was her LIFE I lost. Not my car. Not my self esteem. Not my pride. The LIFE of my daughter. How do you quantify that? Aside from all the good that has come of it, how do you justify the loss of a life? Not easy.

And through trying to trust God in the last two years, and frankly, having been "let down", how do I continue to trust? Why don't I give up? We've all heard this before: "trust is earned". However, based on the description above ("Trust implies depth and assurance of feeling that is often based on inconclusive evidence"), this is not entirely true.

People were often horrified when they saw Russ playing with Miks. He'd hold her upside down, and throw her in the air. But Mikayla? She loved it. She'd pull her squidgy face, and grin from ear to ear. Russ didn't earn her trust. He simple had it. Did you know that babies naturally don't like a falling sensation, which is why when you lower a baby in a bath, they will cry... Because they don't feel secure. But our babies trust us as parents. Ok, I will admit, in part it is "earned", but I think, for the most part, they trust us based in "inconclusive evidence". In my life, in the last two years, based on prayers I have uttered, I don't have conclusive evidence to trust God. Look, before you shoot me down, I realize that there is very much conclusive evidence of God's goodness and the assurance that we can trust Him... You just have to look at the cross to see it. But, for the purpose of my point, go with me on it.

The thing is, that I do still trust God. For starters, what other hope do I have? (that's the pessimist in me)

But its more than that: The last few weeks, I have really felt like God wants me to let go. Let go of the sorrow. Let go of the frustration. Let go of the disappointment. Perhaps even let go of my dreams. He wants me to let go. To breath out all the sorrow of the last two years. And I believe that when I do that, something will happen. I don't know what. I really don't. Maybe it'll simply be a release of any hidden burden I may be carrying, and it will set me free. Maybe it'll be more than that. Maybe, as a dear friend pointed out, it will be me finally forgiving God. And, while He certainly doesn't need my forgiveness, perhaps in forgiving Him, I can break down any wall between Him and I (that I have built), and repair our relationship (only needed on my part), and build a closeness, that perhaps I have lost. And then hopefully I will feel in my heart, the trust that is in my head.

I feel like He is saying "trust me, my child". Maybe when I really embrace that trust, when I feel it warm me to my core, He will throw me up into the air, and catch me again, while I giggle in His embrace.

Psalm 13


How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? 

How long will you hide your face from me? 
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts 
and day after day have sorrow in my heart? 
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
 

Look on me and answer, LORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, 
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” 
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
 

But I trust in your unfailing love; 
my heart rejoices in your salvation. 
I will sing the LORD’s praise, 
for he has been good to me.

I am placing my reliance in and depending on, The Lord, my Heavenly Father.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Sad today

I am feeling sad today, Miks.

I wonder if you'd been born in a different country, perhaps with more opportunity and access to medical funds and assistance, would you have fared better?

I am so scared that I didn't do enough. I am sitting here typing, with tears streaming down my face, scared that you didn't get everything you deserved... and that it is my fault.

You were the most beautiful girl in the world. Those big bright blue eyes, and that beautiful smile will resonate in my soul for all my days on this earth and beyond. How will I live the rest of my life without you? I am trying to shuffle along, and am for the most part absolutely fine... but as I sit here alone... well... I wonder if God is punishing me for all that I have done wrong in my life? I know that isn't true... I know that God is a good God. And I know that you're in Heaven. And I know that you're free, and I know that I'll see you again. But with all the "I don't know's" lingering in the back of my head... sometimes it blurs my vision of the "I do know's".

My daughter. I can't believe I had to say goodbye to my daughter.

As we take one day at a time, the reality is that as life goes on around us, we're still dealing with the aftermath. One of the realities of your life and death, is the grief that your oldest brother is having to cope with. He's a gentle, sweet soul, who is a deeply emotional- almost old soul- and he is hurting. But he doesn't know how to filter what he is feeling, and a result is his performance in school (poor concentration); and his occasional (sometimes even regular) outbursts of over-emotion, around often the smallest things.

It was one of my other fears from the moment you were born: I was so scared of the repercussions it would have on the boys. What is their view now on life and death? What is their view on family? On having a family of their own? How will this effect them, both now, and in the future? I am so aware of the emotional scars that we all bear... and more than anything, I must protect the boys from damaged and scarred hearts. I hope, and I pray, that I free them of carrying scars that will adversely affect their future and the relationships and decisions they make as teenagers, and as grown men.

We are dealing with it aggressively, so to speak. I hope, along with the love and time we're giving to them and them alone, that it will be enough.

Death may end a life on earth, but as your soul continues to live in Heaven, the wave of your life here on earth, continues to move, both positively, and negatively. I must be mindful of both.

video

I wanted to add this video in... I love your sweet little gentle smile in this clip. Oh, how I miss you...



Thursday, October 20, 2011

What will matter

I came across this on a friends FB update (you can find a wealth of knowledge on FB.. ha ha!).
I loved this... because we spend so much time worrying about accumulation, accreditation, and appreciation... that we forget about what really does matter. In the hard moments, Miks, I remind myself that your life was a Glory Purpose (thank you Candice, via Tes), and that I believe you have touched enough people's lives that you have made an IMPRINT. Wow! 
Forgive me if I have told you this story before: I remember once being asked by a friend (it was a deep conversation... we were 16 years old, and were talking about L.I.F.E.).... he asked me ... "what do you want to do with your life?". My answer was... wait for it.... "I want to make a difference in someones life". He scoffed me off, and told me that I could give someone a loaf of bread and that could make a difference (which is absolutely true, but not AT ALL what I was talking about). You see, I think, deep down, if we have a God calling, and a God purpose on our life... at some point or another, we're going to touch someones life enough to make a difference. Isn't that what the Gospel is all about? Making a difference. As Mr Pollock puts it: "No change... no Jesus".
And you, Mikayla, I believe YOU made a difference in peoples lives. Maybe it was a simple as making mums give their children an extra big squeeze before bed, maybe it was as big as giving their lives to Jesus. And you had no agenda. No airs and graces about you. You, Mikayla, you MATTERED!
WHAT WILL MATTER
by Michael Josephson

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.
Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations and jealousies will finally disappear.
So too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won’t matter where you came from or what side of the tracks you lived on at the end.
It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant.
Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.
So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought but what you built,
not what you got but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched,
empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew,
but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter is not your memories but the memories of those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.
I keep asking myself why I continue to post in your blog when you're gone. Well, I suppose in part it's because this blog was started in the first place because I needed a place that I could channel and sort through what I was feeling, and what we were going through. In that process I got to introduce you to the world, and they got to see into our little world. My need to channel some of my emotions: well, I don't think that's changed. While I have grown so much in the last 1 1/2 years, and I believe I am able to deal with my emotions well as a result, I still feel your loss. I am not sure your story has come to an end, really. Maybe that's it: maybe I just want to keep telling your story, and keeping your legacy alive. Maybe that's a sad way of keeping you alive, or maybe it really is that even though you're gone, your story actually hasn't ended. As Russ said at your service: death has no power over us as a family.
Or maybe I'm just a big mouth, who can't shut up. I mean, I'm just saying.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Packing and crying

Today, I packed your clothes away. I haven't given them away, or sold them... just put them in a box. And it was hard.

There were clothes there that you were given before you were even born that you'd never ever worn. And clothes that you'd worn so much that looking at them was like looking at you.

16 months and 2 days of living.. the proof of your life, packed into two boxes, not even a 1m2.

I wonder sometimes why this happened. I rationalise all the good in it...and some amazing good has come of your short life, I know this. But there is a part of me that will always question our loss.
I guess, when it comes down to it, I just can't believe sometimes that the one thing I had hoped, dreamed of and prayed for, was that thing that I  lost. Not that any other loss would be better... but yet somehow this one feels worse.

Can you ask Jesus why, my baby? Would you do that for your mother? Would you ask Him why? Because no-one can heal this hole in my heart other than Him.

Let it be said that we're ok. We're fine, actually. But sometimes, when I sit down and think long and hard about you. When I try remember your smell, or the sound of your voice... when my whole being aches to hold you, love you and kiss you... in those moments, I wonder how it is that we're just carrying on?

I know, by the grace of God, He has brought us through, and will continue to hold us, and take us through. But this is the strange thing about death: life carries on. It should. And it does. But sometimes... sometimes I just want everything to stop. Just for a moment. For the whole world to stop spinning. To pause. And remember.

Because, I am so scared to forget. I know I will never forget you. But I am scared I will forget the small details of you... the things that made you who you were. The shape of your head in my hand. The feel of your hair against my face. The texture of your skin. The coolness of your feet. 16 months 2 days. Miks, it was gone so quickly... how am I going to hold onto those little things that you did for 491 days, for the rest of my life?

Your clothes are not you. The pictures on the wall do not replace you. All just resemblances, or symbols of who you were for your short time on earth. 491 days for a T18 baby... well, miraculous, really... and LONG. And yet... so very, very short.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Wondering

I am sitting here alone. Just wondering.

Wondering how you are?
Are you happy?
Do you have a little window from heaven that you can see?
Can you see the hole in my heart?

Wondering if I did enough?
Wondering why God decided it was your time to go?
Wasn't I being a good enough mum for you?

Wondering why God chose us?
Why you chose us?
If we were chosen at all?

Wondering how to let go of my daughter?
The daughter I always wanted.
The daughter I had.
The daughter I'll never have.

Wondering how to live each day being a mother who lost a child.
Wondering if I have a big sign on my head that says so?
Wondering if anyone even cares?

Wondering how when Jude's friends come to play, and their mothers ask about the sweet baby girl on my wall, how to explain to them your story on a 15-minute afternoon visit.

Wondering how I will get to tell people about you.

I don't want to stop talking about you!
Wondering if that's some sad way of trying to "keep you alive"

Wondering about that sweet little girl I saw in my dreams 3 or so years ago.
Was it you?

Do you miss us Miks, like we miss you? Or are you relieved?

Wondering how in an instant everything that we knew to be true in our world, could flip 180... when you were born, and again when you died.

I feel this strange sense of emptiness that I can't quite explain.
I am sad, but fine. Really fine.
But who I am just isn't quite bubbling to the top. Did you take the froth off the cuppachino that is me, when you flew up to heaven?

Wondering if I will ever be the same again?

Thinking I won't.

Thinking your arrival changed me for the better. Your departure changed me again. This time, I'm not sure how.

I hear you all the time, even though I know you're not here.

The me that I thought I would be. She's not me, and I am not she.

I have such a happy and fulfilling life. But I have two huge holes in my heart. That will never be filled.
That makes me sad.
Very sad.

I miss you, Mikayla. Every day. Always.

Wondering if you miss me too?




Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mikayla - Who is Like God?

"She was so very special
And was so from the start
You held her in your arms
Now always in your heart

And like a single drop of rain
That on still waters fall
Her life did ripples make
And touched the lives of all

Shes gone to play with angels
In Heaven up above
So keep her special memories
And treasure them with love

Although your darling Mikayla
Was with us just a while
She'll live on in all our hearts
With a sweet remembered smile

Always in our hearts "

Written for Miks from our friends: Texas Rod, Trina & Bridget :)

I am missing you so much, my baby girl.