Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Holiest of Days

"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High 
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 
I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'
'Because he loves Me,' says the Lord, 'I will rescue him; 
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 
He will call on Me, and I will answer him; 
I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 
With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.'"
(Psalm 91 - Noah's Life Verse)

one month ago today. june 18, 2013. what a day. it was the day we found out there was nothing more the doctors could do to help noah get better. it was also the day noah traded life support for life everlasting. and we had the privilege to be there when it happened. it was the holiest of days.

if i had only one word to describe that day it would be - joy. i know that sounds insane. (and to be honest, i probably am only a couple tweaks away from insanity at any given moment these days.)

but after 12 days of being separated from the one living under my heart for 9 months, what other word can you think of to describe this?

joy because of love. and please take note of noah's daddy's face in the background. he knew how much that moment meant to me and was so joy-filled for me. love.

watching my son, my heart, lying on that NICU table with tubes, machines, and IVs day after day, feeling like it was everything i could do not to grab him and run to where it was safe, where there wasn't pain or fear - and then, finally, he was in my arms again. joy.

obviously i wished with every fiber of my being that i was holding him because he was healthy and going home, but holding him as he was going to his ultimate home where he'll be completely healthy (like wholly redeemed type healthy) was beyond what i could fathom. it was overwhelming.

just looking at this picture again makes my heart burst.
oh, i love that boy so much.


there really would not have been a more sacred way to say goodbye to our little boy. we were so blessed.

more tender moments from that "going home to heaven" day...

noah getting baptized by our beloved pastor kendy

kisses from daddy

taking care of some dry skin

on this holy day of joy we also wept....deeply. we even felt bone-chilling fear. but i truly feel like God put sort of a bubble around us during that entire day - graciously protecting us from the intense heaviness of reality. shock is a gift sometimes. it allowed us to be in the moment, to enjoy our boy. because we were essentially being introduced to him and saying goodbye all at once. we were desperate to take in every detail. his itty-bitty fingernails. the way his upper lip sort of peeked out over his lower lip. his hair that went from the top of his head to his sideburns to his eyebrow, without any break. the way he just personified peace.

but shock wears off. as time goes on, layers of the protective bubble are removed one by one and the devastating reality becomes much more apparent. it's so very frightening. every day we're living in a world without noah in it. a car seat once installed and ready is now a glaring reminder of who is not here. a vacation planned months ago with him in mind now feels empty and void - he was supposed to be there. our loss seems to slap us in the face at every turn.

in it's purest form, we just miss him.

but i find great comfort in the fact that all noah knew during his 13 days on this earth was love. he got to skip all the brokenness of this world - the heartache, the pain...  (my dear friend, chris martenson, called him a "line cutter." i love that. the rest of us are stuck in a line waiting to go where he is now... lucky boy.)

so, although i desperately want him here with us, this mama's heart finds a kind of peace knowing that he doesn't have to worry about any earthly crap.

because i would have protected him from a dodge ball in 6th grade PE if need be...


  1. Oh dearest love, I weep as I read this. Thank you for opening the door on this holiest day. Your writing is deep and beautiful, powerful. While Noah had only a short time in this world, I remark at God's choice of parents. He chose YOU to be Noah's mom and dad, and He made no mistake in that. You and John are beautiful, devoted, parents, with a love that only comes from the Father. The Almighty made no mistake in choosing you. I love you. I love you. I love you.

    1. i'm so thankful that even though you were far away, you always felt so close. and through this blog you were able to get to know our sweet noah boy just a bit more.
      i have a hard time understanding God's choice. because although i am overwhelmingly grateful that we were blessed with noah as our son and God chose us to be his parents - that also means He chose us to be parents who would lose a baby. right? and i don't understand that. because then that takes me down a road of why us... and blah blah blah.
      the only problem i have with these mysteries is they're so mysterious!!!

  2. It is a holy experience just to read this. McCayla, John, I once heard Jeanine Bailey, who lost her sons to CF, talk about how she and Ron were blessed to be able to focus only on the present - the precious privilege of loving their sons without the silly preoccupation with what will happen next that most of us waste our time on. You got to do that on one very sacred day, and for you to share some of the small details that made Noah unique, beautiful and unforgettable is a huge gift. We love you, we celebrate your family, and we thank God for all we are learning from your gracious sharing.

    1. thank you, thank you. my heart is filled with gratefulness for you and your kind encouragement.

  3. McCayla,
    This is one of the most beautiful things I have read. Your heart just pours out and we can all feel your love. You are most the most courageous person that I know!

    1. wow - thank you so much, emily. that is so very sweet of you say.

    2. (especially because i definitely don't feel very courageous!)

  4. Thank you for posting this, McCayla. It's a powerful, beautiful read. You and John have shown incredibly bravery and have endured what no parent should. I really am in awe of you guys.