I can't begin to tell you how excited these boys were to meet and spend time with their brother. We all just thought we would have a whole lot more time with him than we did. Tonight at bed Caleb was praying and he thanked God for all of the time that he got to spend with Samuel.
I have to admit that being at church has been difficult for me since Samuel died. There are many pregnant women and lots of little babies. But that isn't all of it. It has been hard to sing the words to many songs without losing it. So much of what we sing just doesn't coincide with how I am feeling. Greg keeps informing me that I can't rely on my feelings. God is who His word says He is. I can take Him at His word. That is something I just keep having to remind myself of. Sometimes it does bring me comfort to just listen to others sing the words when I can't sing them myself.
Kleenex has become a staple in my purse these days:) The tears flow so easily and often. The kids and I were in the front row. Eventually Greg came down and sat with me, he could see I was having a rough day. It was so nice to have someone sit with me and hold my hand... besides the kids. To think that the Lord collects all my tears. He must have quite a large container. The kids told me the other day that God must collect at least 2 gallons of tears from me a day.
In church today one of the scriptures was talking about how with the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. Many people try to comfort me by telling me that we will be reunited with Samuel in Heaven one day. That is true and at times it does bring me comfort... but honestly in my own human mind sometimes Heaven just seems so far away. This verse brought me comfort today... maybe the many years that it may be until I get to see Samuel again can be like a day instead of seeming so far off. Then again we never thought Samuel would be taken so early... we never know when it will be our turn to join him:) I have to admit I have never longed for Heaven like I have in the last month. I wish it wasn't my son being there that would make me long in such a way for my eternal home.
We will get our first real taste of what life will be like as a Pastor's family at Christmas. It will just be us here, I think we may try to see if there are any people who don't have family here to come be with us on Christmas Day. I realized Greg will have church at 5:00, 7:00 and 11:00 on Christmas Eve. I guess the 11:00 service lasts almost 2 hours. So I am trying to figure out what I can do to make Christmas Eve special with just the kids and I while Greg is gone. Anyone have any neat ideas for me? We will really miss being with extended family but I am actually excited to start new traditions that will work for our family and Greg's job. I certainly know that I am not the only one who will not have their husband with them on Christmas Eve, there are many people who have lost spouses or whose spouses are over seas fighting for our freedom.
I have felt a little unsure and sad about how Christmas will be just not having our baby here with us. I was so looking forward to celebrating and having a newborn in the house for Christmas. At times I have thought, I don't feel much like celebrating at all. While at the sem, I had the blessed opportunity to learn from a very wise lady named Myra. I will never forget her telling us ladies that she had been talking with someone who was sad about celebrating Christmas because this woman had lost a loved one recently. She was very compassionate, but also said that the Christmas is about celebrating Jesus and that Jesus would be there with her and Jesus is enough. It is ok to miss Samuel and the fun we would have had with him. But I am trying to make that my focus that Jesus is enough. He is enough to sustain me and give me a hope for the future. His birthday is certainly worth celebrating even when we are grieving the loss of our child.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,"declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
I am learning so much about what people go through when they grieve. It is such an up and down journey. I can be feeling fairly decent and then the weirdest things can just bring it all back, fresh, raw, deep, sorrow. It is amazing how so much makes me think of Samuel or relates to him in some way. That may not make sense to someone who hasn't been in the situation of losing a loved one so close to them. I wouldn't have thought it was possible to feel some of the things I have felt. There have been many moments of feeling just hopeless. This verse is one that I cling to then. Even though I may be feeling hopeless, God tells me he has plans for me... plans to prosper and not harm me, to give me a hope and a future. So I will trust HIM.