Sunday, February 28, 2016

Losing Oliver: Part 3 - The In-Between {Scriptures for Miscarriage}

 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” –Isaiah 43:2

These photos show me snuggling with Oliver and his bunny.  Once home my boys were fascinated by Oliver's bunny and blanket & Bruce especially has been spending a lot of time hugging them. They know it is a stuffed animal and not actually a baby but seem to understand that it is special.  Bruce says "oooh, so cute" before giving the bunny kisses.

Dear Friend who asked me how I am doing - I sincerely apologize for not having an answer.  It's a question I do not know HOW to answer because I am entering the In-Between.  I am okay or great or devastated depending on when you ask (as in it changes hour to hour).  Dear Sweet Friend - THANK YOU for asking.  It means the world to me, it really does. 

Today is Dean's 7th Birthday.  A very good day celebrating the source of so much joy!  All 3 of my sons' birthdays are in February.  Today I grieved from the knowledge that Oliver will never celebrate a birthday on earth as his brothers do.  So even in the happiest of moments, sadness can creep in.

In an instant it hits - the in-between.  The place where you are neither fully happy nor completely sad.  It was a wonderful family weekend - I am reminded why I love being a mom so much.  It is in this moment I realize the "honeymoon" is almost over.  Kinda like the Sunday night blues (anyone know what I mean?). 

I had this exceptionally long week preceeded by a heartbreaking weekend.  One amazing thing to come out of losing Oliver is the outpouring of love and support from others.  I've taken the week off from most of our appointments and obligations.  Another thing that has been wonderful is having Dan home from work this week.  Tomorrow Real Life begins.  Routine. Okay, it's just a few therapy appointments and a Bible Study I love attending, but it involves an alarm clock and wearing a bra.

While I welcome the distraction and do NOT want to wallow in pain or live in The Dark Place, it IS difficult to end the "honeymoon."  That first week after a loss people show so much love and support that the following weeks feel somewhat empty.  Dan going back to work feels lonely.  Going to appointments and acting like a normal person is an epic challenge.  The whole world keeps moving while I still feel like my whole world has ended. (Not every second of every day - but parts of each day.)

Not that I am not grateful for all I DO have - there are not words for how blessed I know I am.  But there is a deep, lasting sorrow that remains far past the first 7 days after the loss. Oh, and then comes The Telling.  For those people that do not already know I am no longer pregnant it will eventually come up.  And The Telling is the biggest trigger of all - I either sound closed off (because I am trying to save the tears for a more appropriate time and setting) or I sob uncontrollably in a place I should not.

The kids are reacting appropriately (for the most part - mixing autism with feelings of grief and loss can be a challenge) and coping well.  This is our new reality. We don't want it to be but it's important I help us all accept this truth. 

It took almost 3 days for me to talk to God again after Oliver was born.  Even then, it was only to tell Him I was struggling with prayer right now and needed Him to carry me.  To draw me near and don't let go - because I wasn't capable of seeking after Him in these painful moments.  As the In-Between approaches I realize I now need Him more than ever.  The strength to push through in the coming weeks will come ONLY from God. Going to His word is what will sustain and comfort me.

In church today I found myself unable to sing the worship songs.  I was so angry with myself for feeling so angry with and abandoned by God.  I think anger is the wrong word - but certainly a hurt.  He's a big God, He can take it. He forgives me.  He meets me right where I am at.  I was reminded of this Psalm of David:

"How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
... Look on me and answer Lord my God...
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. 
I will sing the Lord's praise, for He has been good to me."
-Psalm 13:1-2a, 3a, 5-6 NIV

Even David, who also lost an infant son BTW, had times where he grieved so deeply he questioned God's presence in his life.  But David still rejoiced in the Lord.  I too will sing His praises - even in my darkest moments.

“I am worn out from my groaning.  All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.
My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes.
Away from me, all you who do evil, For the Lord has heard my weeping.
The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.” 
 -Psalm 6:6-9
God accepts my prayers even when all I am capable of is prayers of weeping and sorrow. 

"And this is the confidence we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us."  - 1 John 5:14
God hears my prayers!! He IS listening. 

“The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” – Psalm 34:18

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid." -John 14:27

“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” – Isaiah 46:4

 "I call on the Lord in my distress, and He answers me." -Psalm 120:1

"The Lord Himself will go before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged." - Dueteronomy 31:8
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." - Psalm 46:1
James says (1:2-4) "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may mature and be complete."
I may not ever know the Why behind Losing Oliver (even Job did not know the why behind his tremendous sufferings) but I strive to find the What.  What does God have for me in this? What should I learn? Gain? Give? If nothing else, I do know that there will one day be enough healing to comfort others as I have been comforted.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purposes." -Romans 8:28
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Compassion and God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ." - 2 Corinthians 1:3-5