Friday, October 24, 2008

At the end of me

Life has been crazy this month in all areas. Yet, God is faithful and He is revealing how He is ever present, protecting, providing, and guiding us on this journey.

October 15 was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day - a day to remember babies who have died from miscarriage, stillbirth or early/late pregnancy loss. Kristyn (Joseph's mommy) & Lyndsey (Lauren's mommy) co-founded the Orange County Walk to Remember and Jose' and I participated for the first time. It was incredible. They did an amazing job and it was such a blessing to "walk for the steps our babies will never take." They did so many things to make the day special - it was a huge blessing. There were 700 people at the event, including the Saddleback Empty Arms Support Group, St. Joseph's Perinatal Comfort Care, and Krista (Macy's mommy) - people who have become integral parts of our lives. People we didn't even know a year ago, whom have impacted our lives forever.

It was a strange feeling to be at the Walk to Remember and feel thankful. Doesn't that seem strange? To feel blessed in the midst of our grief? And yet it is true. It is a miracle. To feel such peace, hope, and comfort is new for me. I've never felt it to this degree before, and I'm incredibly thankful. It has been hard. Receiving support, love, comfort and help has been very hard for me. I'm the kind of person that prefers to look like I have it all together. Unfortunately, needing help was equated with weakness in my mind. I had a different set of rules for myself - it was important for everyone else to receive help, but it wasn't acceptable for me. I'm so glad that twisted thinking has been crushed. Thank you Chloe for leading me to the truth.

Our experience with Chloe brought me to the end of myself. I didn't have anything more to give, no energy to wear the mask, no strength to stand alone. I had to receive, rely on others and reach out. And I'm so grateful that I have been forever changed by the experience. Life is so much better when we don't try to do it on our own. We are designed for fellowship, unity, togetherness - not to walk this journey alone or in our own strength.

One of the important lessons I've learned this year is that I disagree with the cliche "God never gives us more than we can handle." In my experience, God absolutely allowed something in our lives that was more than we could handle - so that we would rely on Him and others. We could never have gotten through 2008 in our own strength - we have relied on so many people who have carried us through the dark days.

I'm so grateful for the people who have been God's hands and feet to us in our grief. Who have read the blog, posted comments, sent letters, called, given heart felt hugs, asked how we are doing, told us they love us...those who have cared for us. Because they have been there for us, we have been able to reach out to others that are hurting. I'm grateful for that. It has been a blessing to walk with others who are on a similar journey.

September was a difficult month. October has been amazing. If you know anything about what is going on in our lives right now, it is anything but easy. There are major life challenges in our careers, finances, church, relationships, etc. We are thankful for the blessings we have and the way that God is refining us and adding such richness to our lives

We are grieving the loss of Tony, a staff member at our church and an amazing man. Please keep his wife, Lisa & 20 month old daughter Isabel in your prayers. God is comforting the grieving, but the loss is enormous and painful. Please pray for the family and our church - that God would be glorified on Earth through Tony's life and death.

I wish that I could have gotten to this better place (in my marriage, my emotional health, my spiritual life, relationships, perspective...) without the pain and loss. Unfortunately, it wasn't possible without coming to the end of myself first. At the end of me, I allow God to take over, and that is when beautiful things happen and things begin to "fit" even when life is chaotic. God is so amazing - His ways are certainly not my ways. And even though I don't always like it, I'm so glad. He is good. He has plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Praise report - 4 of the mommies I met in Atlanta who experienced pregnancy loss are pregnant. What a blessing to see hope confirmed!! Please keep Kenzie, Emily, Chrissy, and Kim in your prayers.


boltefamily said...

SO true Kirsten! God most certainly gives us more than we can handle. That is how we learn to lean on Him!

Great post!

Kenzie said...

What a beautiful post about the hope we have in the Lord... and coming to the end of ourselves before we fully rely on God. Why is it that way? I wish it hadn't been that way for our families and yet, I wouldn't take the beautiful blessings of seeing God firsthand either... I know you feel the same.

Thank you for the prayers for us! You are beautiful and amazing! Praying for you and all the things going on right now.

Love you!

Sharleen said...

I couldn't agree with you more Kristen! Praying for you!
Also praying for all the pregnant mommies you mentioned.

Chrissy said...

Continuing to think of you and to pray for you the same. Amen to your post!!! And thank you for the continuous thoughts and prayers!

Taylor said...

The last little statement in your post SO encouraged me... the other words did as well! We lost our first son in June. He had Trisomy 13. We also had to go through fertility treatment to conceive him and are currently trying again. We miss him every day and have been forever changed by his life. Thank you for sharing your story.

Carla Burlando said...

Amazing writing about coming to the end of ourselves. So true! The statement "God never gives us more than we can handle" is simply not true in my experience either. I decided when we lost our son (Trisomy 18) that it was more than I could handle...alone. But fortunately we don't have to do it the end of us is Him. Thankyou for your post. I will read back further and find out more about Chloe.