Saturday, May 24, 2008

Life is Good

It was so strange when those words came out my mouth last night. I was surprised. I was taken off guard. And yet it is true. Life is good. Life is hard - really hard right now. But my life is good.

Laura Bush was in town at a book signing for the new children's book she wrote with her daughter Jenna - Read All About It. It is an adorable book! Jose' and 3 girlfriends came along to meet her and get the book signed. We waited in a long line in the rain - how does that happen in sunny California during Memorial Day weekend?

In full disclosure, I should mention the first 5 minutes weren't so much fun. I arrived early and was in line alone. There was a precious little baby girl directly in front of me and a pregnant woman behind me talking about prenatal vitamins and cesareans. Since I was alone I didn't have an escape - I started to freak out a little. I called my husband three times trying to get through to him. Hearing his voice mail was better than the conversation behind me. I felt trapped and then he finally arrived to save me. It was one of those, "Are you kidding me?" moments. There is a huge line and the only infant and pregnant woman I see are directly in front of and behind me. What luck!?!

Everyone arrived soon and the baby and the pregnant lady no longer had my attention. We talked and laughed as we waited to see Laura. We checked out the cute Secret Service men for my single friend. We shared plans for the weekend, recaps about the day and whatever came to mind. It was totally normal. It was so nice.

We met Laura, had our books signed, Jose' went home to watch the Laker's and Angel's games and the girls went to dinner. We were seated in big cushy chairs, still glowing from seeing the First Lady, Diet Coke was flowing, the food was served and looked amazing, three great girlfriends were with me and then it happened. "Life is good" came out of my mouth. Silence. In my mind I started questioning myself, "Did I really just say that? That didn't just come out of my mouth. How could it? Did I forget the storm I'm still in?"

Then I found the answer, "Life is good." Life is really hard - more frequently than I would like. But my life is really good too. I have dear friends that I enjoy and who love me, support me and laugh with me. Enough money to buy books and dinner. I got to meet the First Lady of the best country in the world. I have a husband who loves me. We have a home, multiple cars, jobs and money in the bank. We're healthy and our family members are relatively healthy. I have a great life. There are things that I could complain about - and I do, trust me. But all in all, I have it pretty good. And unfortunately, I don't always remember the great things I have in my life. The good life coexists with pain.

There are so many blessings, even in the midst of extreme loss and pain. I'm grateful. I'm thankful. I'm full. There will be more times when I feel empty - and it could be 15 minutes from now. But right now, I am full and I am happy. The crazy thing about grief is that I can move from happy to sad in an instant - and without warning. It is part of the process. Last night was a turning point for me. I was OK enjoying "happy." I didn't feel guilty. I enjoyed it. I was present in that moment. I over analyzed it, but that is what I do, and it will require counseling to correct.

I typically want to blog when I'm sad so I wanted to be sure to share this happy experience. In talking with a few people who have read the blog they were under the impression that I hadn't left the house and was in a really dark place. I have very low points in my grief, but they pass. Most of the time I'm doing OK. It seems like I have one really bad day a week but the rest of the time I'm able to run errands, etc. My energy isn't what it used to be, yet. Sometimes I don't have the energy to answer the phone, but that passes too. Grief is a moment to moment experience. And even when I'm at my lowest, I know it is only temporary. I want to remember that. But I also want to enjoy the good times - not focus on the fact that they will pass too. Life is such a balancing act.

Thank you to all my new friends in the blogosphere. You are such an encouragement and comfort. I love to hear that people are visiting the blog and to read the comments and emails. They are such a blessing! When I'm having sad moments that support makes such a difference and means the world to me. You'll never know how much they help.

Many of you have heard the Mercy Me song Bring the Rain. The lyrics remind me that God is bigger than our pain. And it is true that because of the pain I'm able to recognize the joy and appreciate it even more. I wouldn't choose the pain, but I am able to see the beauty in the storm.

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty


I just remembered, Mercy Me is performing at the fair in July and we will be there to hear them sing this song. Life is good.

9 comments:

sumi said...

Thanks for the reality check. :-)

Yes, life is good, and that surprises me sometimes.

I love the words to that song. I don't recall ever hearing it, though it's probably one of those songs I hear all the time but never pay attention to the words.

blessings, and lots of prayers and hugs to you...

Corie said...

Amen Sister. Amazing how the good times can catch us off guard. But another opportunity for Praising the Lord for just that..feeling good. I find myself not crying all the time and then there are times I feel like I have been hit by a mack truck. All in all, the Lord will show us His goodness, compassion, faithfulness and love to us during this time. HE IS GOOD. Praying for you. Glad for your good day, hoping for more, praying for it all.

blessedwith5 said...

You are amazing and God is so good! I am so happy for you that you found Life Good - good enough to share! Healing has begun. Thank you for the words to the song.
I think of you often and you are on my prayer list.
God Bless

boltefamily said...

Just wanting you to know I am checking on you daily and thinking of you often! Your blog is so great! It is so comforting to be able to truly identify with others feeling the same unexplicable pain! Sending love and prayers your way!

Love,
Kristy

Kim (marygracesummons.blogspot.com) said...

Dear Kirsten,
I found you after you commented on my blog. First thank you for taking the time to let me know you were praying for me and for letting me share Mary Grace with you. Second...I am so sorry for the loss of sweet Chloe Faith. I have read your story and will be praying for you. You are getting through this storm while glorifying God and I add you to a list of my amazing friends that can do this. Life is good and we have so much to be thankful for....but Heaven is even sweeter with our precious girls there! I am sorry you had to give Chloe Faith up so soon, but I am so happy God chose you to be her Mother because the love you have for her shines through her blog.
I will be praying for you as we keep finding our way through this rain!
With love in Christ,
Kim

Stacy D said...

Kirsten,

Thank you for your continued encouragement. I was glad to read today that you are finally feeling as though life is good. You should get one of those shirts in honor of that (if you don't already... do you know that brand of clothing?)

Anyhow, your story touches my heart, and I am so glad to see God's promise of His perfect peace and sufficient grace being evermore present in yours and Jose's lives.

~ Stacy

Mi Piace said...

Thanks for the comment. How did you find my blog?
i haven't had the chance to read in on your situation yet, but I had to just comment on your first post while it's fresh in my mind.
I love the lyrics to the song you posted. Theyre sweet and comforting words!
Every word you wrote in your post I can understand so well. The feeling guilty for being happy, the feeling like life is great and then 10 minutes later wanting to scream....ALL of it! I'm glad you wrote me so that I could check out your blog and feel like I'm not alone!
Don't be a stranger...

Brynn

Mi Piace said...

It's me again and I just read your story. Crazy how our stories and feelings are so much alike. My baby also had fluid everywhere. My feelings during the ultrasounds were the same as yours.
I loved reading your story! Thanks for sharing!

Alyssa said...

thanks for your constant encouragement. i am so happy that you had a "great" night with friends that filled your hurting heart enough to be able to get those words out that life is good. God's grace and a blessing in the midst of the storm i believe. hoping you have many more moments like this to come...