Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Waiting With Gabriel

This past weekend I finished reading the book Waiting with Gabriel. In this book. Amy Kuebelbeck recounts receiving the probable diagnosis for her son: hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), carrying Gabriel to term, and then the process of his death. Though the diagnosis was different, much of what Amy described was so similar to how I felt... particularly when she talked about feeling like her time with Gabriel was too short, and the pain that she felt when she wrapped up her son, kissed him goodbye for the last time, and gave him to the nurse to take away. Though God is graciously bringing me through, the pain of that moment in my life still burns in the deepest core of my being.

One of the things that struck me in her book was this (I am paraphrasing since I don't have the book in front of me):

"Don't tell a mother who has lost her child that God needed another angel in heaven. God couldn't possibly need that child more than his mother, whose very body is weeping for her child."

So many parts of that struck me.

I was struck by the fact that there's a great truth there: God didn't need Isaac. God is omnipotent, all-powerful... He doesn't need us in order to act; rather, He allows us to be part of the story that He is writing. I still can't understand how God choosing to not intervene and allowing Isaac to die is of greater glory to Him than had He intervened, provided the miracle thousands of people had been praying for, and allowed Isaac to live. But I am learning that my understanding isn't the point; trusting Him is. Trusting that somehow, this is for God's greater glory... trusting Him to somehow make beauty from ashes... and acknowledging that He has and continues to be very present in these difficult days.

I was also struck for the fact that Amy talks about her very body weeping for her son. Here's the funny thing about the body of a woman who has delivered a child that has died: it still responds as if that child is alive. I am glad my doctors and nurses had prepared me for this, because that, too, was one of the most difficult parts of this process. Seeing that my body was responding just the way it should to nurture my child, knowing that this is what I was created to do... and yet there was no child to nurture. I had never thought about it before, but it really was like my body was weeping for Isaac.

I can't believe that in 11 days, we'll mark 5 months since Isaac was born, and 5 months since he went home to be with Jesus. As I have said previously, losing a child makes the whole concept of time so different... 5 months has both felt incredibly long, and like the blink of an eye. Thank goodness eternity is longer...

While the road continues to be a bumpy one, and while I still find myself limping along on most days, I am grateful for God's presence... grateful for the people He continues to use to encourage and uphold us... and grateful that He has Isaac in His tender care. Even though as his mom, I miss Isaac more than words could adequately express, I know that he is safe and he is secure.

33 comments:

Taylor said...

I also read that book and found comfort in the fact that my body, God's creation, was weeping for the child it longed to nurture. Still praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Your words are beautiful as always...continuting to pray for you....

Devon said...

all we can do is trust his heart...and know that he is walking this journey with us. one day at a time, one step at a time.

((hugs))

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Amy's book is beautiful...her story of sweet Gabriel is such a comfort and she has an amazing heart. I have met Amy and contributed to a project she's working on called, A Gift of Time (see: www.perinatalhospice.org for more info.) about families who received a fatal pregnancy diagnosis, but chose to continue the pregnancy. Her work is wonderful and the perinatal hospice movement is so necessary for families in this situation. I remember well when my own body wept...first for my Faith and Grace...and then, for sweet Thomas. When we had our James, years later...I remember standing in awe that there was a baby to nurse this time...and no more weeping body. The tears fell again, as my mother's heart remembered. This time they were mixed with the sorrow for what was missing and the joy for what had come to fill my arms. Waiting With Gabriel is a wonderful, excellently written book. Thank you for posting about it.

Praying for you, friend...

Liz and Will Timmerman said...

I couldn't have said it better myself Stacy. Everything you wrote today rings so true to me. Understanding vs. trust. We must trust that losing our sons IS for God's greater glory, although we may not understand why until we are reunited with our sons. To me it seemed a cruel twist of nature that my baby was no longer here, but my body had no idea. Thank God that time on earth is a drop in the bucket compared to eternity in heaven!

Sending much love,
Liz Timmerman

boltefamily said...

I LOVE that book! Thanks for sharing your heart. There is so much truth in this post. All we can do is trust, but trusting sometimes is so hard. Thinking of your sweet Isaac!

dana said...

praying for you as you walk through the moments of each day...there are no words to completely comfort...but i am praying that as you trust his love for you that he wraps his arms around you...

~ dana

Alison said...

Still thinking of you, Stacy. Thank you for sharing your heart. ((HUGS))

Tim and Jennifer said...

Stacey,
I am a friend of Ashlys and found your blog through hers. I am so sorry for your loss. You are the kind of woman of God that people can only dream of being. We had a partial molar pregnancy and lost twins at 12 weeks, and then we were pregnant again with twins and lost one early, but the other made it. It is so surprising to me how common loss is...especially the kind you went through... its also the hardest thing for me to understand about our Lord. No matter how much i know and read, it still breaks my heart. Your blog is so full of hope and love and I will pray for you and your family...I always say, its such a hard road trying to have a family, but one Im blessed to be traveling. You are a great mother and your son is beautiful....I pray the Lord will bless you with many other beautiful, healthy babies.

Tammy On the Go said...

I think this may be one of the most powerful blogs you have written...not being funny. There may be a book in your future..just pray about it.
love you girl

Brenna said...

I haven't read this book yet, but your post certainly makes me want to seek out a copy. Beautifully written, Stacy. Thank you.

Julie said...

Another well written post and speaks to my heart today. I, too, remember that moment when I saw my children for the last time. Something so very hard to do. And I never thought about it that way - that my body was weeping after they were gone. So very true...and so very hard.

Praying for you today.

A2 said...

We will continue to keep you and spencer in our thoughts and prayers. thank you for continuing to allow God to use your story for His glory.

David said...

Still reading and pray, please don't ever stop sharing. Your words are truly a blessing

Kamaile said...

Thinking of you.

Kelli said...

Beautifully said. God has blessed you with the gift of writing. Praying for you often.

Susan said...

Amazing faith!
Still praying...

Anonymous said...

You are such a strong and wise person.

Miss V said...

Thank you for pointing out that even though the Lord is with you (and guiding you through this) that as a human, you still hurt. You still mourn for your son and it's still hard.

You said it best when you said it's not about understanding but in trusting. I need to remember that during difficult times. I didn't and still don't understand why the Lord decided that my father-in-law would pass away from liver cancer even after receiving a transplant. But all He wants me (and my husbands family) is to trust Him. He's in control and He has a plan, we don't need to understand but trust.

Praying for you today.

Anonymous said...

Our small group is doing the video series to John Ortberg's book, "When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box" and in one of the video segments he said something so profound I had to write it down to share with you. He said basically, "God never wastes a hurt..." It just struck me so deep in my core. I can't explain, but deep inside I know it's true...so I think we can all take comfort in the fact that our loving and magnificant God doesn't want us to hurt, but when we do hurt it's for some divine purpose.

I realize that may be cold comfort when the hurt is fresh and new, but hopefully knowing that God loves them and wraps His arms around them through the people in their lives who care about them gets them to a point where they start to see the brief glimpse of the Master's plan.

Kendra S-L said...

I am confident that God is glorified by this post. Please just know that, Stacy. God is glorified even in our weakness, even in our despair, God is sovereign. Keep on trusting....

jen said...

Stacy~

All I can say is, "Amen, Sister." Your words ring so true! I, too, remember all those same feelings that you read and quoted about. Even five years later, this mom still thinks about those very things and longs for the day she will be reunited with her son in Heaven. Continuing to pray for you!

Jen

lottfam said...

Haven't had much time to keep up on your blog, but know that I still think of you and am praying for you, your husband and your families . . . so glad you are finding encouragement and God continues to show you He is there for you in a difficult time.

Erika said...

stacy, what a beautiful post- and so true! one of the sympathy cards that made me most angry was the one with the poem about how "god plucks little children for his garden because he needs them" or something like that...i thought to myself, "God does not NEED my children"- not more than I do!

I also love what you say about our bodies responding as if our children are still alive...so true, so true...

thank you...

sean said...

about that quote. the book is right. god doesnt need that child more than his mother, but that child came to you and lived with you for that short amount of time, because you needed him, his work was dont, now your job is to figure out what to do with what came from his life. and it looks to me like you are with the playground, aqnd many other things to come im sure, with your soul searching, all of these things are because of him, your son, and to me that shows that you needed your child more than god needed him, that is why he gave him to you, for as long as you needed. and i know that your next child, will be so beyond appreciated and loved and you will be a better mom for having issac in your life, even for that short time.

Susan D. said...

Stacy, you wrote, "Thank goodness eternity is longer..." and it struck me as SO true. I will get so much time with my son one day, I just wish it wouldn't hurt so much until I get to be with him again. Thanks for writing this, I will also have to look into her book.

The Knight Family said...

Still praying for you very very often.....

~Cindy from Tennessee

~ shi ~ said...

I pray for you daily! Many Hugs! Shi~

Rebecca Louise. said...

Beautifully written Stacy - as always :) It brings such comfort xxx.

Anonymous said...

How true--I think the body weeping is a great description. I am still so sorry you are being asked to carry such a burden. I pray your faith only deepens throughout all this. Please know we still think and pray for you, your family, and beautiful Isaac daily. Much love, Jill

Nicki said...

I have never seen your blog before until this day. I can not imagine what it would feel like to be in your shoes. Your faith in God has been so incredibly uplifting. I don't know how you do it. Your little Mr. is so beautiful and in my opinion, looks just like you. I just had my third misscariage two weeks ago. I was no where near as far along as you were. My children never had names or anything that I even knew was from them. I have no idea why God would do this to me, or you, but the only thing I can do is put my trust in him. I pray and pray and pray. What is meant to be is meant to be. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Your blog is beautiful. I will be praying for you and your family.

Beth, Dave and Cori said...

I've not been able to check your blog for a few weeks, but I continue to pray for you. Every time I come here I just think how absolutely beautiful your son is!

Chelsea Pang said...

We're going on 6 months since Grace was born...I totally appreciate what you've said that the mother's body still responds like the child is alive. That is so true and weird! Yet so normal.