Here is my precious Anna and Greg just before they headed off to the daddy/daughter dance tonight in town. She was just beaming and so excited. It was just precious. I am so glad they get to have a little alone time. I can't wait to hear all about it after they return. My little girl is getting so big. It freaks me out sometimes, and then I will look over and see her sucking her thumb and I just smile... I just love that little girl.
Here is my disclaimer.... I know that I have terrible grammatical usage. (Heck, that is probably not even the proper way to say what I just said:) I know that I home school.. heehee. I know how to write and talk correctly when I need to. I often wonder what people think as they read my blog. I just want to say, that I write like I am talking to you. I write like you are sitting across the couch from me sipping tea together. That is me... my blog is me... I just wanted to get that out there.
Praise God, the stress level has really come down in this house over the past couple of days. I am so thankful, yet I know a month from now we will be anxious again as we wait and see again. So for now I relish the peace, the calm, before the next storm.
Can I just tell you how blessed I am. I am sooooo very thankful for the friends the Lord has brought into my life in the last 9 or so months. Life was incredibly lonely and isolating when I first moved here and especially after Samuel died. I had just moved here from the seminary community where I had amazing close friends right upstairs, right next door, right at my disposal. I really feel like God had to strip me of every other person in my life that might be able to support me. I know that I had wonderful people all over the country that prayed over me, called me and loved me from afar. In fact many of these people made a point to make special trips to come visit us. I was sooooo incredible grateful for that. But at the time just having people all over the country on a daily basis praying for me didn't seem like enough. I needed the physical presence of people, here with me, to carry the burnden I was carrying. I can see now how really feeling like all I had was Him, forced me to only rely on Him. I know that may sound silly, that He stripped me of all else, but it is how I feel, to know that He is all I need. In the deepest, darkest moments He is enough... He is enough.
I was talking to my counselor about all of this when I saw her this past week. I know I grieved especially hard and deeply for the first year. I still grieve that hard and deeply many days, but it doesn't last as long and thank God it has gotten better. But I clearly want everyone to know that this grief journey over losing Samuel is an ongoing thing. I will always miss him... I still think about him everyday... a lot of the time of every day. He is as close in my heart as any one of my other kids. I still love to talk about him, look at pictures of him, relive my few short hours with him. It will be an ongoing process for many years I am sure.
I know that many thought my grief was over the top... worrisome to them. I had some tell me literally that I needed to fake it till I make it... I had some talk to me and tell me that the way we dealt with Samuel's loss with our children was wrong. I had some say I should just think positively and I would feel better. Now being 15 months down the road... I know with EVERYTHING in me that this is how I HAD to grieve. This is how my journey had to be. I had to feel it with every ounce of my being, talk about it all, live out all the aspects of the loss that I was dealing with... I wanted to grieve fully and well so that it wouldn't come back to bite me. For me, I finally felt I turned a corner a little after Samuel's first birthday in Heaven... but having walked the road myself, I would NEVER judge how long someone else's deep intense grief should last. That might take some one else 6 mos, or 3 years... each persons journey is their own... I will NEVER judge someone else but rather come along side of them and offer them what ever support they need for the journey they are on... I know there can be loving offerings of advice, but if I haven't walked in their shoes, I know I will always tread lightly knowing if I haven't experienced their situation... maybe advice is not mine to give... just support. I say all of that knowing full well that God knew the number of days my Samuel would live on this earth and knew the journey I would take and who would take it with me and how they would take it with me. I didn't like a lot of it one bit, but now looking back, I can see Him working through all of it. The lonely times, the isolating times, the times He seemed silent, the times He flooded my soul with peace, the times he pushed me along, and the times that He carried me.
OK, off my soapbox...
Back to my feeling blessed. I am just amazed at how He has worked. He has blessed with me an amazing group of women from church to meet with on Friday mornings. These women ( I will post a picture of them sometime:) are so wonderful... they have prayed for me, let me cry and have cried with me. I am so thankful to have women who support me, women I feel close fellowship with, women I can learn and grow with, women here who I can confide in... It is such a blessing.
He also brought us a wonderful small group. We have a lot of good laughs but we also enjoy growing together too. I love to see my husband being free to cut loose... I don't mean that in a bad way, but I have seen clearly this week the stress that He is feeling over the whole Hope situation. Woooh! He needs some cuttin' loose time. I was so touched last night to find out that one of the men from our small group was at work Thursday with a group of his co-workers praying in the office for our situation with Hope. I know both our small group and my women from my bible study were anxiously awaiting the news of how that all turned out.
Then just 2 weeks ago I finally met a friend...Lisa... We have many mutual friends, but came to find out that she literally lives a mile from me out here in the country... What are the chances of that? Her Grandma, has been friends with my parents for the last 40 years. It has been a blessing. She put her kids down, I get mine ready for bed and have been able to head over to her house... just over the hill and through some woods, to visit for a bit a couple of different nights. Truly, I am amazed that God blessed me with someone that lives so close that I have a lot in common with. I am just a little sad that it took us both a year to discover we lived so close.
I know all of these things are new, unexpected gifts from God. I am so thankful. I love having people that make my church body feel like a church family. I love how God can just knock your socks off with His sweet surprises... I love how He does that... amidst stress and sorrow, he gives great treasures along the road. I have learned by going through the fire that He is enough... I know with all of my heart that He is enough... enough to carry me through all we will go through in this life... I know and feel so incredibly blessed to have those amazing friends across the country,that will stick by you in the muddy of life. But let me tell you, it is a treasure to have friends physically present too... What an amazing gift that I thank God for today!