Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Miracle Miles Wasn't The First

on june 18, 2013 we realized we didn't get the miracle we were all hoping and praying for.

noah died. he was not healed of his fatal disease.

every single moment during those 12 days noah was so, so sick, i wanted so badly to believe that he would recover, would get to come home, would become a living testimony of the wonderful, amazing and powerful God we prayed to. i specifically remember one time in prayer weeping the words, "....heal noah, and we'll give You all the glory." with every shred of faith i could muster, i poured my soul out to God. repeatedly. i begged. i pleaded. i surrendered. i believed.

i had hope. maybe too much.

the miracle, as i imagined, didn't come.

like any other relationship in my life, when i'm hurt by someone i shut down. i shy away. i close them off. i'm afraid of getting hurt again. so obviously when The Biggest, Most Important Relationship of My Entire Life and Being seemingly turns away, doesn't intervene, and allows for the greatest disappointment i will ever know - my darling, {desperately long awaited, all i've ever wanted} boy's death ... it shattered me.

it is for this reason, to this day, i sort of avoid God. He's there. i know. i just don't look at Him straight in the eye. or speak to Him directly, let alone ask for anything. too risky. i've already presented my most sacred petition and was met with, from where i stood, silence.

but last night something beautiful happened. i prayed for someone i love very much who is hurting. i still wasn't able to ask God to change her circumstances or give her this or that or whatever. but i just was silent for awhile. still, in His presence. listening for what He had to say. for her. for me...

and i felt love. i felt peace. and in a war-torn, mess of a heart - that's a miracle.

miracles are so tricky. there is so much more i don't understand than what i do.

as i go through this confusing faith journey with a God i love but am not really on speaking terms with, i have become more and more convinced that prayer isn't about asking as much as it is about simply receiving what has already been given.

and what i know for sure, (and don't quote me on this, i'm a bible school drop out) is that a miracle is so much more than an answered prayer - a glorious, praise God, Hallelujah(!) moment. i mean, it is that. however, i have come to understand, and know firsthand, that a miracle is whenever God shows up and answers a prayer i didn't even know i had, or wanted. because He's pure goodness. pure Love.

when i was pregnant with miles he acquired the nickname, "miracle miles." and while i 100% agree and have completely embraced that truth, i never forget he wasn't the first.

it would have been easy to say noah's life was a miracle had he been healed from ACD and were still with us today. but it would be impossible for me to deny the millions of miracles that have occurred because noah lived at all.

relationships, two specifically in our immediate family, that were filled with (speaking for myself) misunderstandings, bitterness and brokenness, completely restored. healed to a point of no recognition. pure miracle.

countless stories of people who's lives are changing and faiths deepened.

a greater clarity (like the type of clarity i know and feel down to my bones) of what friendship and love of others LOOKS like, in action. because it was shown to us.

the pure fact i'm still alive and not bitter beyond recognition. 

....for these and the millions of other seen and unseen, known or never known reasons - noah's life was a miracle and his legacy continues to be a miracle. 

a miracle, no matter how grand or how slight, is but a glimpse. a peek into heaven. a reminder that this world, with all it's pain, retirement plans, and superficial bullshit, is not all there is. there is so much more. beyond what we could ever possibly know right now, on this side.  

so God, this is my humble prayer: show up. and may i be brave enough to have the eyes to see where.

"miracles are your memorial,
the promise of wonders to come"
-greater than all, hillsong

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Just Doesn't Feel Right

there are some things about grief, and how it manifests itself in my life, that i don't even notice until it's brought to my attention.

i had the "ah-ha!" moment in support group a few weeks ago. one of the other mothers in our group mentioned offhandedly that she hasn't really worn any color since her baby girl died. i hadn't even noticed. but it was true. every time i saw her, she was wearing black or gray. and you know what she said about it?

it wasn't really a conscious decision that i made, 
wearing color just didn't feel right.

hearing that, i may have very well gasped. like so many other times in our support group, i heard words only heard in my heart coming from her.

up until very recently, i hadn't really listened to music at all since noah died.

when i drove in the car, the radio stayed off. silence.

i had no idea of any new albums being released, let alone make any sort of effort to get my hands on them. completely out of touch in that whole, entire scene.

i don't even really know where i would find my iPod.

leading worship. listening to worship music. what was once a huge part of my life and my identity. gone.

this was not a conscience thing. i never said to myself. i'm just not going to listen to music anymore. that's that. it wasn't like deciding to become a vegetarian. i had no reasons or justifications. i obviously didn't even really notice it was happening.

music just didn't feel right. almost offensive even.
maybe i felt just too vulnerable. like salt on an open wound.

grief is so weird. it changes you. changes you in ways that most of time you don't understand.

as i've been thinking about it... like, what in the world? why did she stop wearing color? why did i stop listening to music? i'm pretty sure it comes down to how we experience life's beauty. for whatever reason. and how we are physically unable to, in certain ways, when we are literally heartbroken. i guess our souls make decisions for us sometimes when we're trying to survive.

simply said - it's just not as easy to experience joy now. at least not in the ways it once was experienced, before our worlds were shaken off their axis. and in the places where sweetness and light naturally show up in life (ie. color or music) - grief does what it does. and smothers joy wherever it can.

i still have joy. it's just different. it looks different. feels way different.

because i'm different.

when a woman buries her child, 
everything she does is colored by that experience.
there's a hole in her soul that changes who she is.
-iyanla vanzant


lately, by some miracle, music has quietly, without fanfare, crept back onto the scene.

sufjan stevens' carrie & lowell,
mumford and sons' wilder mind,
bethel's we will not be shaken...

they're speaking my language.

dark. often mysterious. with rays of hope.

as is my soul.