Monday, June 30, 2008
So many of you out there in blogland have become very dear to our hearts and we would love to be able to put a face with the name! Please sign the guestbook and add photos! You won't show up immediately because it will be sent to us for approval ... but we'll try and stay on top of it! :)
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Karen called me from Atlanta this evening to let me know what a wonderful time that she's having. Her and the girls are being treated like VIP's and she was heading off to meet Beth Moore personally after she hung up the phone with me. Somewhere in the conversation she mentioned that today was the four week anniversary of Jacob's passing. Funny... I'm so out of it... trying to do everything for the boys and running here and there for baseball and playdates and such that I hadn't even given any thought to the day. So it's been four weeks.... some of you have probably wondered what we've been up to. Well, other than planning a trip to Atlanta for Karen, last week my sister and her two daughters flew in from Texas along with my folks for a week visit. Just about everyday was filled with trips to the playhouse, swinging, painting in the sandbox and of course freezypops!
No fun in the pool though since it was "too cold" for the Texans! As is always the case, as soon as the family from out of town showed up the temperature dropped 20 degrees! (and went right back up as soon as they were gone!) That's ok though because it didn't stop us from having fun! Joshua and Jonathan loved taking care of and playing with their cousins and even let them borrow some dress up clothes!
The girls love their "Joshy" and "Johnny" but they also love their Aunt Karen who bought them their first kit of makeup! What fun they had putting on lipstick and painting up their toes and fingernails. Which of course would later in the week lead to Joshua and Jonathan asking Mommy to paint their nails as well! (YUCK!)
All in all, after all the trips to Chuck E Cheese and Great Nana and Papa's house and restaurants and Aunt Josie's house we had a great visit and just needed a day or two to relax before Karen headed out of town. So that's what we've been up to. Sorry for not keeping you all posted! :) There's a few things that we've meant to get on the blog for you to see as well. We've received so many thoughtful cards and gifts that we could never put them all on but a few caught our eye and we knew you all would appreciate them as well. Someone gave us this cute picture frame the night of the memorial service.
Someone else sent us this in the mail a couple of days ago.
And I thought some of you might be interested in seeing his memorial card that was at the memorial service as well... not bad for a funeral home design!
There's also a video someone made and sent to us that is now located on the sidebar as "Jacob Memorial DVD Video" which was kinda kewl... even though it was set to country music! :) Please don't be offended if we don't specifically mention you or your gift - we appreciate you all!
I was driving home from work the other night and I couldn't help but be amazed at how God has used Jacob's life to touch so many people's hearts and lives. People that I haven't seen or spoken with in over half my life time have interacted with our family on some level (even if it was just online) and have been affected. Good friends from my past have contacted me. Complete strangers have fallen in love with Jacob and our family. Even close friends have become closer as a result of Jacob's short life here with us. And I can't help but think of Joseph in the Bible. Some of you may know the story... basically Joseph gets sold into slavery by his own brothers... gets thrown into jail for refusing to sleep with his master's wife... gets forgotten in jail for who knows how long and eventually God uses him to interpret the Pharaoh's dream and thus he becomes one of the most powerful people in all of Egypt. As God would have it, his brothers end up coming to Egypt for food because of a famine and who do they have to bow down before and request it from? Joseph. Once the whole story unfolds and they realize who he is they feel terrible and are afraid for their lives... "His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. 'We are your slaves,' they said. But Joseph said to them, 'Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.'" (Genesis 50:18-20) I love that line! You meant it for evil, God meant it for good. I doubt that Joseph sat in the pit his brothers threw him into and thought that God had good plans for the pit. Or good plans for him being sold into slavery. Or good plans as a slave. Or good plans for jail. There was probably a lot of lonely sad nights for Joseph where he may have wondered if God had forgotten him. What did he do to deserve this? Why? Those all would have been fair questions, yet later in life he was able to process everything that God had done to bring his situation full circle and he was able to say "you did it to be evil but God intended it for good."
While I still sit in that cold dark lonely place asking those questions from time to time it's good to see a little bit of what God intended. I don't in anyway believe that we've come full circle... we probably aren't even on the circle yet, but still God is faithful and allows us to see how Jacob's life has impacted us and others around the world. And that scares and excites me to think of what else God intends to do in our lives... and maybe yours! Perhaps Satan intended Jacob's life to defeat us - to be evil - but God intended it for good. Some may see a situation like ours to be terrible - but God intended it to be a blessing.
Isn't God awesome like that? I don't think it's coincidence that this is pretty much the summary statement of the first book of the Bible. Think about it... garden of eden - the serpent and man did a pretty good job of screwing things up - they meant it for evil - but God intended it for good. Genesis 3 He promises one who will come and crush the head of the serpent - who will redeem mankind and put them back in a right relationship with God. Fast forward a couple thousand years and Jesus Christ hangs on a cross. No doubt the serpent and man did a pretty good job screwing that up as well - they meant it for evil - but once again... God intended it for good! I can only continue to hope and trust in the God who loves me and knows what He is doing.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Next random topic...
Today I went to a wedding shower for some friends of mine from high school. I did not know very many people there but I did end up meeting up with a few girls I knew from high school and met new people. As I was in conversation with one of the new girls, she asked me what I do for a living. I told her I was a mother of 3 boys and began stumbling over my words to try and explain that I have 3 boys- 2 here, one passed- and then it hit me that I had no idea where I wanted to go with the conversation.....she didn't need a detailed overview of the past 6 months of my life but then again, I couldn't just glaze over it either.....so I just blurted out that this was my first time having to try and give an overview of my life since all that has happened. Yet another situation you just cannot prepare for. The one girl I knew from high school knew about my circumstances and very kindly told me that I was doing great...that calmed my feeling of sounding ridiculous... ..she was always a sweet girl.
Forgiveness. Satan sucks. He will do whatever he can to get his filthy mitts on us. Right after we found out about Jacob's terminal condition, both Jason and I recalled a conversation we had with some friends....they were recalling a family who stated that after the loss of their child, they had to forgive people in advance for saying the things they were going to say....there just are people who say things and have no clue how ridiculous it sounds to someone who has just lost a loved one. So Jason and I agreed that we would do the same....we would forgive in advance for the statements that were to come. So where is Satan attacking? Right in this category! But it is very wide spread. On one end, I have statements that were said that I rebuttal in my head and on the other end I have people I haven't heard from and feel as though I should have.....polar opposites and emotionally driven (very unstable). I am not an easily offended person...normally, I am not sensitive to such statements (I usually am the one having to bite my tongue or sticking my foot in my mouth!)....so why is this all of a sudden a sore spot???? Because I made a commitment to be Christ-like and forgive before the offenses were committed.....Satan observed and is now poking at me and trying to get me to take Jacob's beautiful, God-glorifying life and turn it into something that harbors bitterness. I see Satan.....and I will fight with the Holy Spirit that resides in me! He will not destroy my spirit or my testimony and ruin the beauty of Jacob Ryan Fahmer's meaningful life. Please pray specifically in this area for me.
Disclaimer: If you know me and/or are around me and see me frequently, PLEASE do not take my blogging statements and feel you have to walk on egg shells around me or apologize for anything! The very last thing I need is a bunch of people faking in my presence or needing to be comforted because they feel bad.....I am sharing my struggles.....do not feel you can protect me from them by watching what you say or do in my presence. I have to learn. Please allow me to learn and persevere over my struggles....just love me the best you can and do not fear my reactions. Ok? Thanks!
P.S.~ I still smell like maple syrup!....it's been 3 weeks!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Megan writes, "Well, I finally found time to send you some pictures of us being loyal Jacob fans! Here are Finn & Ella being proud supporters! This was not an easy feat trying to get them to stay still AND not fall off the Lounge chair! There is also a picture of me b/c I had to get in there and stop the craziness!
I hope you got my card. I don't know what else to say except that you are both exceptionally strong people and I truly believe God only gives you what you can handle. I think we all know He works in strange ways and is very hard to understand sometimes, but He is always there for us. I am glad you are still blogging, if not for you, but for us too. I know I logged on everyday to get my daily Jacob fix. I miss that tremendously. I know your other 1200 a day visitors miss that too! So, go on as long as you can. Like you said the brain barf is gonna take a long time to all come out! I commend you for how honest you are and my heart breaks for you daily. I haven't had a dry eye either in a while. From one mother to another, I am sending you a big hug."
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
A: Jacob loved black and white....he would lay under his boppy that had a zebra print arch over it and just stare for long amounts of time. He loved the contrast of black and white or light and dark. Jonathan always said that "yellow is Jacob's favorite color" so there you have yellow, black and white.
Q: Why did you name him Jacob?
A: I didn't. Joshua did. We had been told for a few weeks that he was a girl. So we had "her" name picked out. Turns out we just had a lazy tech who couldn't be bothered with silly things like reproductive organs! On October 3rd, I not only found out about Jacob's heart condition but we also found out he was a boy...different tech. That night, I told the boys we needed a name for our little man and Joshua just blurted out, "I want to call him Jacob." so we did. It is funny because Joshua's name was almost Jacob.
Q: What are we going to do with Jacob's remains?
A: First thing we are going to do is get them in the same urn!....when he was cremated, the boys had some things they wanted with him and the ashes left were too many for the urn they had offered so they put his remains in 2. The funeral home didn't have the next size so Saturday we are doing catalog shopping for an appropriate size urn....I bet that's not on your "to-do"list. Then what are we going to do with them? Keep them here with us right now. We had his body cremated because I just couldn't stand the thought of his sweet tiny body being alone, in the ground, cold and yucky.....I just have this sad picture in my mind of him in the ground and it just would drive me crazy to have him there and not be able to rub his fuzzy hair, touch his perfect nose, hold his beautiful hand or touch his "pea-pod perfect" toes. And the thought of us moving and leaving him here just didn't settle well with me either. Both options suck....bury or burn. I know it is just his body but I just couldn't commit to anything. So, we decided to cremate and keep the remains here with us until we can figure out what to do. A few thoughts are for them to be buried when another member of the family passes or add his remains to the cremated remains of Jason or me. We are just not there yet. Lovely subject.
Q: Karen, are you going to get a tattoo too?
A: Probably. I just have a lot of ideas....I don't want to come out of the tattoo parlor with no natural skin left. I want his footprint somewhere that others will see it and ask.....Jacob drew people to himself and they just asked. But Jason said I can't do it on my forehead j/k. A dear new friend of mine has her baby girl's foot print tattooed on top of her foot.....I really like that....My friend would have to give me permission to steal her marvelous idea. I also have tossed around "138 days" "Psalm 27:14" and "sunshines" since I sang "You are my sunshine" to him and my other boys....maybe later for that....right now it's about Jacob. We shall see. It's tough deciding what you want on your body for life....Jacob has already given me a scar I am honored to wear on my tummy but I want something for others to see and ask....not many will see that tummy scar....believe me, it's for your own safety. I'll let you know if I do get something.
Monday, June 16, 2008
One thing I fear, is that people will take what they feel a grieving mother should be doing or saying and analyze my life to fit this cookie cutter feeling they have. A grieving mother should be on meds, could be starving herself, could be sleeping all the time, could be depressed, could be withdrawn from the world, could be in deep depressing thought all the time, etc. Now, many of you will read this list and say that I am exaggerating but many have this thought what my actions are an indication of. I have heard many of them, although subtle and just out of concern.....I do not have to explain my every action but just to show you how crazy things can get, allow me to rebuttal some of these concerns that have been very subtly expressed......I have always been a sleepy person, I can sleep at a drop of a dime anywhere anytime....I ALWAYS have been able to (if you know me at all, you know this about me)....so the fact that I sleep in is just because I can; the fact that I take a nap is just because I can; I sit still, I fall asleep....even if it right after sleeping for 12 hours!...I love to sleep! I have two active boys and a busy husband who have so many things under control since I spent the last 4 1/2 months taking care of a baby and now that my baby job is over, they still have everything under control and that means I see more opportunity to sleep. Anyone would sleep more after being up for 4 1/2 months! Weight loss....You could turn this into the next article on the front page of the paper OR you can take into consideration the fact that I sat on my butt with a baby in my arms for 4 1/2 months blogging?!?! Now that I am up and going and I no longer have gallons of milk hanging from my chest, I look a bit thinner than I did 2 weeks ago. So, all the stereotypes and such.......THROW IT OUT THE WINDOW! Can these things become a sin in my life and become a stumbling block....sure...Satan is at work. But I just want to point out that not everything that is happening is an indication that I am dealing with things in an adverse way. I know it is love and support that is coming from people who do not live with me..... just take note. Ok, end of note :)
Today was a crazy weather day. I know not everything in life is a representation or parallel to real life but today, it seemed as though the weather paralleled life. It was a stormy rainy night and then a beautiful morning. Then it stormed again. Then the sun was out. Then the sun was out but it was raining without a cloud in the sky. Then it thundered and rained like crazy. Then the sun beamed. Then it stormed and hailed for like 10 minutes. Then there was a beautiful sunset. Then it was night and stormed more. Life. Sunshine, storms, rain, unexpected hail, all jammed into one day just a few moments for each expression.
"It was a stormy rainy night and then a beautiful morning": long trials that you don't understand until you are through them and you can see the Son shine after.
"Then it stormed again": you've been through it before so you strap on your helmet and learn what you need to knowing God is faithful.
"Then the sun was out": mission accomplished. Lesson learned.
"Then the sun was out but it was raining without a cloud in the sky": although things are ok in life, you are hit with these thoughts and fears in your mind. Satan's attacks.
"Then it thundered and rained like crazy": it's real. It actually happened to you....what could have never happened to you, is actually happening.
"Then the sun beamed": you embrace it and actually enjoy it and wouldn't change it.
"Then it stormed and hailed for like 10 minutes": something so rare, that usually only lasts moments, lasted for longer than anyone predicted.
"Then there was a beautiful sunset": gracefully and beautifully, the Son shines through and shows His magnificence.
"Then it was night and stormed more": you are left with empty arms knowing the Son is there all along, it is just you that is not seeing Him on the other side of the earth.
Just some thoughts.
In the midst of the crazy weather, both Joshua & Jonathan had beautiful thoughts of their Baby Brother with Jesus. Yesterday, as the gray clouds covered the sky, Joshua said it was like Jacob and Jesus were shadowing us with their hands and he said he saw a really big hand and Jacob's little hand. Today, during all the storms Jonathan said, "Will Jesus and Jacob play bowling forever?"....bowling being the thunder cracking. I love that they think of Jacob up in heaven well and active and enjoying life along side the Savior of the World. They are not sad for their Baby Brother. I love that they can talk about him and verbalize their thoughts of him. They miss him, but they do not weep for him.
So the past few days have been crazy. I have lots on my mind (you couldn't tell could ya?). Saturday was 2 weeks since Jacob's passing AND it was the 14th, his 5 month birthday. Could I find a reason to be sad everyday? Yep. But I don't want to be that way....it just was a hard day. I missed him so much. I sniffed his little outfit that still has his smell on it, I looked over the blog and tried to enjoy "his" writings. I missed him. All these days before had such little significance before Jacob:
Mondays were just the beginning of a busy week; now they remind me of birthdays.
Saturdays were a day of hanging out as a family; now they mark a day of passing.
The 14th was just the 14th (except for September which is Joshua's birthday); now it is a monthly milestone marker.
Jacob has changed the way I think about every day. I pray for the Summons family more specifically on the 14ths because their baby girl not only was born that day (the very same day as Jacob), but she died that very same day. Thank you Jacob, for making me more aware of the needs of other families and allowing me to see that everyday has it's own significance.
Sunday was Father's Day. I was at a loss. I stink at these hallmark holidays anyways, but now, how in the world do you tell a Daddy of 3 boys "Happy Father's day" when there are only 2 boys there to give him hugs and kisses and cards and breakfast in bed?!??! I tried hard but, man was it tough. I am so glad he went and got that tattoo a few days before....it was something new and exciting and all that it stands for.....it helped.
After a family member passes, there are some random things to get used to that you don't think about preparing yourself for....signing cards from your family or taking a "family" photo. What a sad reminder of a loss. Here I am trying to sign a card from our family and everything in me wants to have Jacob's name at the end but who signs cards with dead people's names?!?!?! And family pictures?!?!? There will never again be a complete picture of our family. The suggestion of it makes me scream inside....what can I put in the picture to symbolize that missing family member.
So, to the many who ask "How are you doing?" Well, I have no idea. I am doing well. Processing. Readjusting. Believing God's plan is so big for Jacob and I am just trying to be used by God in the biggest way possible. I refuse to let Jacob's death lead people to believe it had a adverse effect on anyone. It was a beautiful life and now I need to find my niche of communicating his life to others. I know it is about God and his goodness and His Son Jesus Christ. It's just that Jacob made God so much easier to talk about. When I had Jacob with me, everywhere I went, everyone would come to me and ask questions ....he radiated God's love and people would see this different beautiful baby and I could share with them the amazing goodness of the Lord. Now, I no longer carry the physical "amazing tool of God" in my arms. I have to find a way to radiate God's love so that others come up to me and ask questions about what is different about my life that they see beaming from my empty arms. I want to share. I want to tell his story. I want others to believe and be saved. I want Jacob's life to impact eternity. I want to be a tool. I will find it. I am changed and I will show it....in time.
I am soooooo encouraged to read some of the comments of how our story has changed people's lives. There are some comments that you all have not been able to read because the commenter asked for us to keep it private. Reason for this is because of some of the personal content they did not want the world to see. We have respected their wishes but I would like to share the themes as they come up so that it may be of encouragement to you as well. A mother commented about how she aborted her trisomy 18 baby a while back and recently found herself online searching trisomy 18. She came across our blog and after reading about Jacob and seeing his full life, she saw the life that was ended in her womb. Although saddened, this woman was humbled enough to change her way of thinking. It will not bring back that baby but it may save others. How can that not be an encouragement. What is done, is done. Now go and sin no more. Wow. Thank you Lord for using Jacob. You allowed me to carry him, birth him, love him and share him to change the world. Thank you. It is stories like these that just reinforce my thoughts of how perfect Jacob was made.....he was made perfectly to reach others who could relate in some way. There were no mistakes and there is nothing about that Baby Boy I would change.....because if I did, his impact would be less than what God has planned.
Next thought: I am going to Atlanta with now 7 other moms who have lost babies. I don't know how many times I've said it, but it has come out of my mouth a ton of times, "I have no idea what I would say to me" meaning that I have no idea what I would say to a mom who's baby just passed away. Now, I am headed to Atlanta to face 7 of them! I am soooo looking forward to it, but I feel so out of it. They have all been part of this whole blogger thing way before me and it seems they know more about each other and even me than I do them.....it is silly thinking, but it's thinking.
All these thoughts, no solutions....and that is ok. When I think, I "brain barf" as explained before and I do not expect solutions...I just vent....Jason is a problem solver and he is at work so he has no idea I am posting this jumbled mess!!!...there is no denying that this is a jumbled mess so all you bloggers who always comment that "it's not a mess" and "it made sense".....THERE IS NO WAY you're commenting that this time!
Thanks for being there and "holding my hair back."
Saturday, June 14, 2008
So I went and got a tattoo last night to remember Jacob by. A buddy of mine's soon-to-be brother in law owns a very upscale cool tattoo place called ArtNBody. When my friend explained the situation to him he got us right in and did an excellent job and took good care of me. The tattoo is located right below my left wrist.
What is it?
It's biblical Hebrew and it says (reading from right to left) "ya`aqob beni" or "Jacob, my son." I wanted something permanent that will always remind me of him and will spark conversations with other people about him and what God has done through him.
Why the wrist? Why in Hebrew?
First off, the Hebrew just plain looks kewl! Of course it's also the language that most of the Old Testament was written in. Jacob was named after Jacob son of Isaac from the book of Genesis in the Old Testament so it seems only fitting.
Isaiah 49:13-16 (TLB) says "Sing for joy, O heavens; shout, O earth. Break forth with song, O mountains, for the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion upon them in their sorrow. Yet they say, 'My Lord deserted us; he has forgotten us.' 'Never! Can a mother forget her little child and not have love for her own son? Yet even if that should be, I will not forget you. See, I have tattooed your name upon my palm, and ever before me is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins. Soon your rebuilders shall come and chase away all those destroying you."
In these verses Isaiah is recording a dialogue between Israel and God. The people in Jerusalem felt as if God had forgotten them and their city. But God replied that He certainly had not forgotten Israel. He could not possibly do so because He is like a mother to the nation. Furthermore, the nation was inscribed, as it were, on His palms. Therefore whenever He, figuratively speaking, lifts up His hands He sees the nation’s name which reminds Him of her. Interesting isn't that God says that His people are inscribed on His palms? The imagery is clear to those of us who know that Christ hung on the cross by His palms (which history tells us that the wrist was considered part of the palm in Jewish thought and that the Romans hung people on the cross below the wrist bone to avoid the body ripping free from the cross - not to mention that it was prophesied that not a bone of Christ's body would be broken). Isaiah foreshadowed the crucifixion 700 years before Christ! Are we not inscribed on the palms of Christ? He will never forget us, leave us or forsake us. I don't want to forget Jacob. Everyday I will be reminded of him and of the love that God showered on our family through him. Already the boys are interested in it and will continue to remember their brother through this writing on my wrist. Joshua ran in and woke me up this morning and said, "Come on Dad! Wake up! Let me see your tattoo!"
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I happen to be a Princess of our Heavenly Father (The One True King) and although it seemed as though My Father said "no", I have 6 other princess friends who stamped their feet and pouted to God for me and He sent one of them to me this morning to tell me I could go! I received phone calls and emails about ways to get tickets. One of the moms is taking care of getting the ticket so I booked my flight to Atlanta and I am on my way.
A total of 7 moms.....representing 8 babies.....although my stomach turns that I have this in common with these ladies, I am encouraged in so many different ways.
Because we found out about Jacob after he was born, I haven't had much time to read up on these babies, until now....I knew of them and read posts here an there but never dove into their lives....because they all made themselves known to me through Jacob's' blog and I visited briefly to become mildly familiar with them. But they all know me...they know everything about the last 5 months! And I am excited to learn more about them and where they are now. I am the newest member to this stinky club and I have lots to learn and there will be a pool full of wisdom to draw from. I am exited. Thank you ladies!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
It is kind of weird having you all not know what goes on every day in our home....I miss trying to think from a 4-month-old's perspective.....Jacob sure was funny.....me, not so much.
Last week was preparing for the service Thursday....getting things printed, organized and together.....it was beautiful but lots of work (THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT!). Friday, Jason and the boys hung out with Jason's family and I went out with some friends who drove in from Delaware and then hung out with my family. Saturday, I went to my cousin's baby shower and then my sister Juli (from FL) came back to my house to visit for a bit before having to leave town. Sunday, we made an attempt for church. We drove there, had some issues with Jonathan and finally got him into his class. Joshua went into his class and the first thing out of one of the other kid's mouth was "I heard your baby brother died." The teachers were chatting and didn't field it for him....it seemed so loud to me and just rang through my ears....I hurt for Joshua but he just trudged through and ignored it. Then as we were on our way to our class, we were stopped at least seven times.....nothing bad, just questions like "How are you doing?" and statements attempting to be encouraging.......our church has been amazing and I do not make these statements to make it sound as though they are at fault.....it was just the first place we have all been as a family while dealing with this all....it could have been any other crowd. It is us, the sensitive and hurting, that magnify everything. I've always said "I don't know what I would say to a mother who just lost her child" so I understand that people don't know what to say and want to support us in some way. But, I was tired. We never did make it to class. I broke in the hall and pleaded with Jason to take me home. He asked if I was sure and I was and he went and got the kids, I canceled our plans for the day an we headed home. I needed to be home with my family....something I hadn't done in a while without craziness. For the next few days, we just hung out as a family, swam in the pool and enjoyed being a family.
So, it's been 10 days since Jacob passed. We've had our ups and downs just as life normally goes but it seems as if there is this super sensitive button....my Jacob button. This button is always triggered....sometimes it is as if someone just bumped it a little bit and then other times it is as if someone smashed their fist on it.....regardless, it is always triggered, tugging on my heart. I have realized that many people's advice to us is that "it gets easier". I am not really sure what this means. My son is gone....there is nothing easy about it. This is hard and there is nothing that is easy about it.....and although time passes, my arms are empty and that is not easy. Monday birthday parties are no more....that is not easy. My nights are no longer on the couch with a snoring 6 pound baby boy.... that is not easy. I sleep at night only to be awakened by my own dreaming of holding my baby boy.....that is not easy. My nursery closet is no longer full of needed feeding tubes, syringes and formula....that is not easy. I have dirty laundry in a basket that after being washed, will never be dirty again....that is not easy. What will get easier? I am a mother of three beautiful children with only two to hold......I do not wish those two away, oh, but how I long to hold all three.....that is not easy. Jacob Ryan was God's tool and has changed me forever.....I don't want it to get easier. I want to learn what God has for me in this season.....so I don't have to repeat any classes. I am changed. As a mother, I hug longer. I stare longer. I spend more time listening. Jacob has given his brothers a better mother.
The struggle for me right now....not to be run by fear. I went to the grocery store today by myself. I haven't been much of anywhere by myself since I drove away from my house 10 days ago leaving behind my 4 boys....I didn't realize the fear that I had inside me. It sucks. That is not me. I am not a fearful person. It is crazy what Satan will play on. He saw me drive away 10 days ago and he saw how I came home to only 3 of my 4 boys.....he seized the moment, contemplated his attack for 10 days and hit me hard as I drove to the store today. He hates the fact that there are people who are brought closer to Christ because of God's Hand in our family. Satan is looking to tear me down though and I am so thankful for the "God View" that God has given me to spot Satan's ploys. Satan wants me to become a hermit unable to reach others and live a beautiful testimony of God's Unfailing Love.....he wants me to fail in the truth that my strength comes from Above. Man, he is good at what he does. But My God, the One who has given me the strength to praise His name through the worst storm, Who now holds my baby boy in His arms, is better at what He does and He will prevail.
I was invited to join 6 other blogger moms who have lost their babies. They are going to the Deeper Still ladies conference in Georgia. As soon as I was invited I was excited about the opportunity not only to be fed the Word by these amazing speakers but also to be hugged by these other mom's who know way too well what I am going through....it just would be so healing. I looked up the tickets.....Sold Out. Did Satan win this battle?...God is in control and those ladies are going to have such a blessed time and God will be glorified.....so no Satan is a big loser even though I will not be there.
Wow...and I thought I talked in circles before things went all crazy on me....So, I am not sure where I am going with any of this.....that is why I always hesitate to write....I am just brain barfing....(you like that mind picture, don't cha)
Do I wish I could go to Atlanta?....YES! Do I understand God's timing?....not all the time but I will obey...there are times as parents we say "no" and our children do not understand why....that's just how it is. Do I feel major spiritual warfare?....YES!....it's scary.....I have to be solid at such an easy time for weakness. Am I up for the challenge?....YES....if it will bring me, my family and friends closer to God and help lead others into a relationship with Jesus Christ, then I am up for it.....
....strap on my armor and charge ahead without a thought of what is left behind.
(someone get the Clorox to clean up this mess!)
Jun 7, 2008
A New Son and a New Name
First an introduction. Simon Jacob Pollock was born on June 6, 2008 at 5:30 in the morning. [This is where weight and height would be inserted.. but I’m not really sure why people give those stats, so I’m leaving them out.] He looks just like a Pollock. Below is his very first picture.
Now for the story of his name.
Simon’s name was not always to be Simon Jacob. Just a day earlier it was to be Simon Clayton. Clayton was a family name and so initially we thought it made a fine middle name for Simon. The hours surrounding his birth would change all that. On June 5th we traveled to be with friends who were celebrating the death of their young son Jacob.
I say celebrated, and not mourned, because celebration definitely characterized the event. The Fahmer’s believe, as do I, that a child who has not sinned is not subject to the demands of the Law and therefore the Wrath of God (not the case for the rest of us who have knowingly transgressed the commands of our loving heavenly Father). It was a celebration because he is in heaven where he continually get’s to behold the face of the Lord Jesus and is free from the suffering that characterized his short life (138 days).
Jacob Fahmer was born with Trisomy 18, a life shortening condition (you can read his whole story here). His life was short, by God’s own choosing, but it was not without value or significance. He, like,all creatures made in the image of God, brought a certain reflection that is not limited by length of days. For one, the Fahmer’s life has forever been changed, by the gift of his life. Secondarily, I believe (and you can read testimony for yourself in this post and in others on Jacob’s blog) that people have been caused to consider their lives and their God. What other purpose and hope can one have?! What else is lasting and enduring, than to have the effect of causing people to reflect on their standing with the Eternal God.?!
As we celebrated Jacob’s “home going” my wife began to experience the pangs of labor. We gathered our children, said a few quick goodbyes and headed home (a hour and 15 minutes away). On the way back, we could see that labor was beginning to set in. My wife’s contractions were becoming regular instead of fading away. At one point I looked over to my wife and said “If we have this child tonight I want to call him ‘Simon Jacob’”. My wife gave a quick nod of agreement.
Why the change?
I don’t believe in coincidence. I believe that God orders our days, our death, and our birth. It was not a mistake that my wife went into labor at Jacob’s funeral. It was God’s plan. It’s not just the timing of the event that leads me to see God’s hand, but also my understanding of God. God brings life and death together. He did it when His Son was crucified. Jesus’ death brought forth eternal life. The Creation testifies about this every day. You have to be blind not to see that God has ordered death to life. Plants & Animals that die and fall into the ground and nourish the next generation. A simple walk through the woods could teach this to the attentive eye. All through the Creation death and life are caught up together to point us to the revelation of Jesus’ death on the Cross and Resurrection three days later.
This is the story I want to characterize my life and the life of my family. The story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. He is embedding that story in our lives, even through the simple “happenings” of life. Jacob’s death.. Simon’s life have been tied together in a narrative that God is writing. I am happy simply to see it, acknowledge it, and worship because of it.
Simon Jacob – because God brings life out of death.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Overall the service was incredible. We had many people tell us it was the "coolest funeral" they'd ever been to. It was "inspirational" and "beautiful." If you were there, please feel free to comment what you thought of it as you sat there... except for "it was stinkin' hot!" I know, I was sweating for like 5 hours straight! If you missed some parts because of a barking dog or a crying baby make sure you go back and re-watch that part on the video! :) If you didn't stay for the reception afterwards and we didn't get a chance to talk we'd love it if you shot us an email or posted a comment to let us know how Jacob impacted your lives... it's part of what keeps us going these days!
So many people came up to us after the service and told us how "inspirational" we were... how they admire our "strength" and "don't know where we get the strength." And at the time we didn't do a very good job of deflecting that praise or answering that question. We had hoped that it was evident from the service where that "strength" comes from. We politely said, "Thank you" and continued on because we were weary and tired and missed our baby. But looking back we don't wish to have anyone be confused or misguided. We don't wish to have anyone think that somehow we are "special people" who have been able to do something extraordinary of our own power. One of the songs sang at the service states, "I look up to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." We aren't strong or inspirational. Honestly, we are broken, weak, hurting people with all the same heartaches, temptations, trials and failures that each of you has. The only difference may be that we have trusted Christ as our Savior and pray that the Holy Spirit would guide our every action to bring glory to the Creator who made us. He is our Rock and our Shelter. Our refuge in times of storm. "The name of the Lord is a strong tower the righteous run into it and they are safe" (Proverbs 18:10). "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint" (Isaiah 40:30-31). Philippians 4:13 states, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." We want our actions to show that there is a God who loves and cares for us regardless of how terrible life may seem. We want that to be appealing to you because we would want you to know God in a personal way so that He may guide and strengthen you as He does us daily. To many "religion" is about a church or a set of rules or some mysterious unknown or some thing that you have to do. And, really, that is what "religion" is. And it amounts to nothing. But a relationship with Christ is not a religion. Religion tells you all the things that you have to do to please God. It's you attempting to reach up to God and pull yourself up by your bootstraps. But with Christ, it's about God reaching down to us and lifting us to a place we could never attain on our own. Knowing that there was nothing we could do to earn favor with God, He sent His Son to DO it all for US! We must simply realize that we all fall short of God's glory (Romans 3:23) and because of that we deserve to be separated from Him forever through death (Romans 6:23) but while we were still sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8) and if we would simply call out to Him in faith He is faithful and will save us (Romans 10:9-13). That's it... no churches, no programs, no secret writings, nothing more for you to do than believe... it's a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9) that will transform your life forever! 1 John 5:13 states that there should be no guesswork involved - we may "know that we have eternal life" by "believing on the name of the Son of God." If you haven't done that would you do it now? Simply call out to God by faith and ask Him to forgive you of all your sin because of what Jesus did on the cross for you. He loves you and is just waiting for you to ask Him to do it!