Friday, October 23, 2009

THANKFUL FOR SOME DISTRACTIONS


LOU AND JOJO BY ONE OF THE LITTLE TREES WE PLANTED LAST FALL AFTER SAMUEL DIED.

I LOVE THAT IT IS CHANGING COLORS RIGHT NOW BEFORE WE WILL CELEBRATE HIS HEAVENLY BIRTHDAY...

THE BUNNIES ARE GROWING AND ARE SOOOO CUTE



I just wanted to thank those who have been praying for me. I have needed it and praise God, He has given me some peace these last few days. Right now the house is quiet... we have our friends the Tiews four kids here with us for the next couple of days. So it is quite an accomplishment to have it quiet with 8 kids in the house. We are thrilled to have them here. The kids have had a ball together today.


I went to MEND, my infant loss support group, on Tuesday night. I knew I would be a mess, I felt it just brewing. But it was just what I needed. That morning I had woken up just feeling miserable, and shortly after getting up I got a call from a girl that usually goes to MEND but wasn't able to make it that night. She was checking in. She lost her precious daughter Tatum last Feb. It was SOOOOO nice to talk and express my feeling to somebody who could relate. She said later she knew God had prompted her to call and I was so thankful.


At the MEND meeting we talked a lot about anniversaries of our losses. Many had just had their babies heaven going anniversaries this past month. It was so good for me to hear what they did, how they coped. But when it came my time to share, I of course was a mess. We have lots of plans for what we will do next week, but it was so good to share and sort out some of my feelings. Truly, I don't know where I would be if it weren't for that support group this past year. I know I have said it before, but the comfort of knowing you are not alone in your feelings is HUGE... and knowing it is normal. The reactions of others leaves me feeling pretty not normal many days...


There were a couple of things that people said that were so profound and were just what I needed to hear. I know that there have been lies that Satan has snuck in and convinced me of and that hasn't been pretty some days. I am ready to kick that nasty Satan to the curb. I remember one of my first appt.s with my counselor, we talked about expectations. Honestly, it is something I still struggle with, how I expected or thought others would react to our loss.


I think I am a pretty empathic person in general. Sometimes though, I don't think some of what I expected wasn't too far fetched. Sure initially when Samuel died, we had a few neighbors stop by those first couple of days. After that I didn't see or talk to any of them for at least 4 months. That kind of shocked me. Our church did provide meals for a month which was a HUGE blessing and which I appreciated greatly. But, what I really needed was to know someone really cared about us, I needed people to be with me. I can remember 2 people from church who came over to see me, brought a meal and actually stayed to visit with me... 2 people. That was it, for 6 months, that was it. Because I didn't have family here or a support system in place... I was left to grieve alone, just me, my husband and kids. And I am sure you know by now, I grieve much differently than anyone else in this house:) It was an incredibly lonely 6 months. People that talked to me the week before Samuel was born at church, some haven't said more than 5 words since. We were so thankful to have the Tiews who were at the sem with us, here in Tulsa, and we would call and have them out when it got bad, we were so thankful to have them to spend Christmas with. We needed it.


It is so interesting to me the effect someone's grief has on others. There truly are very few who can handle it. I know what it felt like to come to church, even as the "almost Pastor's" wife, and to know people were watching me, but yet wouldn't approach me. I can't tell you how many times Greg would come home and ask, "Did so and so talk to you? They came up to me and asked how you were, I told them to come talk to you, did they?" Ahhhh no, week after week that was the conversation. Anyone who knows me knows, I am an open book, and I love to talk about Samuel... so had people asked, we would have done some talking about my precious boy.


Praise God, we turned over a new leaf around the 6 month mark. There was a group of women who started meeting with me to do a small group study and it was great. They have been so good to let me be me, and to be alright with that. And really it was a good thing to connect with them. I hadn't been to our church, yeah the one where my husband was preaching, for at least 6 weeks. I just couldn't go there. I felt worse there than anywhere else. I can't fully explain it, but that was the way it was.


So I am back to the expectations. I do forgive people who weren't there for me like I would have hoped or maybe still are too uncomfortable to talk with me. I don't want to hold it against them or harbor any bitterness towards them. I do forgive, but why is it so hard to forget it? I guess it is when it continues... but I know I need to be ok with that too. I do know that I don't want to be a hindrance to anyone else because of my grief. I would hope that eventually my story would be an encouragement to others. I didn't chose this journey, it was chosen for me. I do want to make the most of it. I would NEVER in a million years written my story to be what it has been this past year, but it is what it is. I want God to use it... I want Him to use Samuel's precious little life and legacy for His kingdoms glory. I just don't see or know how he will do that at this point. But another thing I also have learned is that I do NOT want others to feel how I felt. I want our church body to be the body, supporting, loving, and caring for one another wherever they are at and however long they have been at the church, one day or 50 years. I don't ever want others to feel so alone. Those of you that have lost babies know how lonely and dark the nights can be... you know what I am saying... but I don't want the days, especially the days at church to feel that way for others. I don't know how I can help that, but I have been praying that God would plant a seed in my heart or my hubby's for how we can help others heal.


I know I can be a rambler. With all that being said I hope I can at some point articulate what some of the girls said at MEND that had such a profound affect on me... And I do hope that now that I put it out there some of the feelings I have had about people's reactions to me and my grief, I hope to not mention it again. Not the grief part, because that will be on going... but the hurt feelings part. At this point... I am tired... and I need to hit the hay... but first I need to get to a couple of loads of laundry and do my bible study for tomorrow.... No rest for the weary yet... you would have thought I would have put off the blogging, but for me, it is kind of like good, free, therapy:)

2 comments:

Sherri said...

Sara,
I just want you to know that you and your story ARE an encouragement to others - especially me. I read your blog and I am reminded of the big picture. You don't pretend to know what God has planned for you, but you are so aware of it, and so reassuring to me that God will use every drop of sorrow and pain for His glory. I am telling you, sweet Sara, that God is already using you and your story (thus far) for His glory. You may be faithfully waiting for a lot of things, but please know that you being an encouragement and a HUGE blessing to others is not one of them. As I think about my Amelia and what losing her has churned into motion in my life - I wonder constantly about how her life might affect others, if at all. I know that, that will be up to what God does in me (and my family). I trust that hope will well up in me when I think of her. Hope and gratefulness instead of the ever present sorrow.
Ashes to beauty - those are the words that come to mind when I think of my life. My prayer is that God turns my sadness and sorrow into something beautiful, something only He can fashion. What a great thing for you to make a difference in your church - to help your congregation to be more open and loving to those who need it most. Sometimes I think of how grieving and understanding how to help those who are grieving is a life skill. A life skill that is seriously lacking in a lot of people (me included). I feel the desire to encourage people in being more proactive. I can't tell you how many people have told me, "I wanted to say something or do something for my friend - but didn't know what or how..." I know that you have experienced this too. I just want to shake those people! (in a good way)
I see that you are serving our great God through joy, pain, and all that is between and it is a witness to me. It may seem to you as though you are a "weaker" person than you were before. Forgeting things and feeling not like yourself, shy almost, and not as "on top of it" as you were before. Tears come to my eyes when I think of your strength, and it is obvious that God has made His strength fully visible to others through you. His strength is so real - in our weakness. Thank you for being a light for Christ. I don't think a little boy named Samuel could be more proud of his momma.
I am blessed by you, and I am kind of a rambler - hope you don't mind :) My prayers and love are with you in the days ahead.
Sherri

Casadeboggs said...

Oh friend, I'm certainly praying for you. I know that your way with words is such an encouragement to so many, and I know the Lord will use that - Samuel's little life is being used.

I'll call you this week ~ have fun with the Tiews.