Saturday, March 21, 2009

Yes, Jesus Loves Me

This past week has been pretty cool. It always amazes me how God not only sent His Son to the cross for me 2000+ years ago but He also sends little love reminders throughout my every day. It's not enough for Jesus that he gives me hugs and kisses from my two older boys and allows me to relish in their successes throughout their every single's not enough for Him to give me yet another beautiful child who I get to feel dance in my tummy.......He goes incorporates our precious Jacob's life in our everyday, not just in our hearts but in the hearts of others. God knows this is a source of encouragement to me and it reminds me how much He cares for me and my family. Here are some examples of how God is still using the life of our sweet boy:

*About a month ago, Jason was asked to speak at a new church plant about 60 miles away from our home. He was asked to speak on the topic of suffering. This past Sunday was when he taught. Now, Jason is a bright guy, wise, talented (I am biased) but his gift of teaching is one from God. I cannot find the words the explain what it means as a wife and mother to see my husband before a group, teaching God's Word that has been so profound in our lives this past year, and using my son's life as an example on so many levels. There are not many daddies who talk too openly about the passing of their child in public or in the home. So to see him up there, tears is his eyes, speaking the Word and words God wanted him to (understatement). I know it was meant for that church to hear and they applied it, but for me sitting in the front row, as his wife and mama to the baby who God used to teach him those things, it was a proud moment.....a treasured one. One that blessed my heart to witness and is a gift a wife and mother will cherish forever. How do I know Jesus loves me? Because He gave me a gifted husband who loves his family and wants to touch others with the life of his family's suffering.... an amazing daddy to all his boys here on earth and in heaven.

*God also used that evening at that church to allow me to embrace yet another mother in sorrow. I had communicated through email and phone with a mother of a sweet baby boy who passed from Trisomy 13 last year. The church we were at was literally down the street from her and she came on out and we met face-to-face for the first time. She sat next to me as we listened to Jason speak. What a support to me to have another person there who I knew felt exactly what Jason was talking about! Any time I get to hug another mama of a baby in Jesus' arms, I just get the is amazing how little you know about someone but yet this one thing we have in common (the loss of a child) can make us feel connected like nothing else can. It truly was such a blessing. How do I know Jesus loves me? Because he gives me opportunities to embrace other mamas and allows our sorrow to be of encouragement to one another.

*Tuesday, as I sat at my boys gymnastics class, I was talking with some other mothers about art curriculum. I shared how the boys have been having art lessons at home for the past year as a service a company provided because of Jacob. There was a mother there who I met for the first time this week and she asked about Jacob's story. She asked me what he passed from so I told her Trisomy 18. Usually, when using this term, I have to further explain what that is but she looked at me and told me that her 4th child (she had 6) passed of Trisomy 18 10 years ago. Talk about an instant bond. She was so interested in the connections I have made through the blog and the support we have received from all other the world. She shared some of the opportunities she has had to minister to others with her son's life over the past 10 years. She commented on how the interent was just not something you used for those purposes when she lost her son 10 years ago. God placed yet another mother here in my home town for me to hug and "get it". How do I know Jesus loves me? Because He gave me yet another mama who "gets it" and has traveled this road and has a beautiful story that touches lives 10 years down the road.

*Thursday I get an email from my "Atlanta Girls" informing me that Beth Moore wrote about our encounter with her in Atlanta in her newest Bible study Esther. Um, wow! As if that weekend could mean anymore??? Here is what sweet Beth writes about our short yet meaningful time together:

"Our purposeful God allowed this final week of Esther to follow a ministry event that reminded me afresh what a beautiful thing women studying together can be. Amanda told me a group of eight young women who'd been communicating online were meeting at the event and spending the weekend together. She knew I'd want to meet them. They have a deep bond none of us would hope to share. Each has buried a cherished infant in the last year. They met through a ministry blog and bonded not only in their loss but in their profound determination to glorify God through their enveloping grief.
They were about my own daughters' age, and I could have held and rocked each one back and forth for a solid hour. Many of them entrusted me with pictures of their darling ones who are now safely and vivaciously in the playful, nurturing hands of Jesus. Those pictures are to my left now as I peck away at the computer. I asked them what they'd have me pray over them, then invited them to their knees so I could lay hands on them and intercede.
How blessed we are to be women. By nature we like to do things together. Work and play. Laugh and grieve. Eat and pray. Live and die. A large measure of enjoying womanhood is enjoying a heart connection with other women."

Now, God took a weekend that I thought couldn't get any more perfect and he made it more perfect! He took my son's story, touched the lives of these 8 women and the world, who then touched the life of Beth, who so devotedly writes and touches the lives of so many others around the world! He just didn't have to do that. How do I know Jesus loves me? Because he encourages me that my son's story is being told by thousands to thousands. He gives me a glimpse of what amazing things He can do with a tiny boy I am honored to mother.

*Friday, we had our 18 week ultrasound for Baby Fahmer #4. I climbed onto the exact same table that I was on when gazing at Jacob's heart and having mine sink with motherly concern. The technicians were courteous of our experience with Jacob yet not overly cautious and dramatic....she was great. We stared at the TV monitor as it illuminated the amazing creation that danced in my tummy. We saw our baby drink, dance, wave, jump.....we gazed as the heart beat at 140+ beats per minute and 4 perfect chambers.....we saw tiny feet and toes dance across the screen.....we saw tiny ribs, arms and leg bones.....we saw a developing brain, stomach, kidneys...we saw facial features with a perfect nose.......we saw BOY parts and clear as day! Yes, Baby Boy #4 :) How do I know Jesus loves me? Because even though we are not guaranteed another moment with this tiny baby boy, God gave us those moments to gaze upon His miraculous creation that is housed inside my body and draws nourishment and strength from my body.

God has done so much for me, but this is just a glimpse of the goodness He shed on a heart that is mending. I know Jesus loves me because of the tiny things He just didn't have to do, yet did to say to me "I do love you."

"I love you too, Jesus. Thank you."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fighting Drama

So, in talking to some mothers who have lost a child, I found that I tend to refer to this Baby #4 as "the child after"....just meaning a child after a loss. My tendency to get wrapped up in drama comes out more than I like. I am not a person who enjoys drama....ask my dear friend Kelly who's jaw hits the floor when I get straight to the point on things just to avoid what I categorize as drama. Anything that is unresolvable yet repeatedly brought up, anything that has a solution yet the solution is avoided to continue to wallow, anything that requires tiptoeing around the point causing time to be wasted, anything that most likely won't happen yet is openly and emotionally fretted, and I am sure I can think of others but my list would be quite dramatic then, wouldn't it? So why do I find myself falling into these dramatic feelings? Because that is just what Satan wants. He wants me to waste my precious time meddling over things that I can not possible know, he wants me to avoid bathing things in prayer because he doesn't want me to trust the Lord, he wants me to get caught up in dr appointments and testing so that my trust no longer rides on the back of the Creator but rather on the results from test tubes and technicians. Since finding Jacob's heart condition, beginning his blog, and his experiencing his death, my eyes have been opened to so many sicknesses, genetic "disorders", diseases, "malformations." So what has happened? In my moments of weakness, I have allowed my knowledge of what is out there influence my thoughts in a way that is unproductive. I allow "drama" to creep in. I see where others have difficulties in carrying their "babies after" and I think that I should have those same difficulties....drama. God has always protected me from certain difficult moments that happen after a child is seeing that mother playing with her baby when I cannot hold mine, like seeing those 3 boys when I am allowed to gaze on two out of three.....I see how they could be difficult moments, but God has given me a very special peace and allowed me not to struggle with these moments....thank you Jesus! But now, the past is not a struggle, but rather the future. I find myself seeing a mama ready to pop out a baby and I just hope to get there with Baby Fahmer #4.....why? I have never lost a single child before birth! I find myself being funny about going to the hospital where Jacob was born.....why? With God's strength I've been back there, went into the very room I stayed in the ICN, and gazed upon yet another precious baby with Trisomy 18! I find myself nervously anticipating the 18 week ultrasound.....why? I had no issues with a single pregnancy until I was 6 months with Jacob! I do not want to be paralyzed by moments that resemble my darkest days....instead of being paralyzed, I want to see how God has molded me through those times and made me who I am today. The facts remain: I was at that hospital when I found out what difficulties lie ahead for my son, my son died in my home on this couch, I sat in my parent's van as I received the news of my son's death, I kissed his sweet face for the last time standing in my driveway. Those are the most difficult moments I have ever encountered. But does that mean we find a different hospital, move from our home, burn our couch, never ride in my parents van again and never play hockey and basketball in our driveway? No! I will not allow those days to cause panic and discontentment in the present. God did not give me those moments at those places so I can be haunted, anxious, and struggle.....those are NOT things of the Lord. Do I think of those moments and days and wonder what in the world happened? Yes. Do I allow them to dictate my current actions out of fear? No. I will avoid the unproductive drama that I so easily slip into, and I will take what I have learned and be productive for the furthering of the Kingdom of God. It is a struggle at times.....memories of my sweet boy are all I have...the good and the tough....and I will not allow Satan to take a single one from me and use it to against us in the present. God gets this victory.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Be an Encouragment!

Hi All! My sister's friend Alana (yes, this is my sister's real life friend) is on a mission to send encouragement to a fighting child. Please read the email I received and is a real chance to make a difference to a fighting young child. Get involved, get your kids and family involved, get everyone involved and make a difference.

"Hey everyone (literally!) My friend Kristy's son Conner is nine years old and recently found out he is having a recurrence of cancer. This time there are numerous spots on his spine, and treatment will be intense. I talked with Kristy this morning and she has requested we help encourage her little boy who is battling cancer for the second time in two years. Please pray and ask God to give you a scripture verse that would encourage Conner and his family. Write it down (do not e-mail it) on an index card or colorful piece of tag board and mail it directly to Conner at the following address:

Conner Newcomb
35 Hobbes Lane
Rochester, NY 14624

PS: Kristy said she would love THOUSANDS of verses to decorate his walls, so don't hesitate to send one (or more) along!
This is NOT a hoax or a chain letter. It is my [Alana (Helfrich) Brown's] real life friend, whose real life son is facing this illness in Rochester, NY. If you are not familiar with the bible, you can visit and do a word search about comfort, healing, etc; and see what you find! I know God is faithful and will help you help Conner!!! PASS THIS ALONG TO ANYONE WHO WOULD HELP!"

Please pray for Conner and encourage him by sending God's Words to him! Thank you!