Monday, May 18, 2009

The Source

I can't remember if I mentioned here or not that I am "training" for a half marathon that's coming up at the end of this month. I use the term training very lightly. Last time I ran a half marathon, I trained for real; this time, I think I will be able to finish the race without walking. Anyhow, on my long run days, I have a lot of time to think. On Saturday, I was thinking a lot about Isaac, like I usually do. One of the things I have had a hard time with was that there was nothing I could do for him to make things better... I couldn't fix his tummy, I couldn't grow his lungs. As a mom, it's hard to feel so helpless when it comes to your child. But the Lord then reminded me that I was able to do something for Isaac...

Through God and His infinite wisdom in creation, I gave him life.

Not just in the decision to carry him to term, but the fact that my body physically kept him alive. I am amazed that in God's design, He has orchestrated such an intimate thing between a mother and her child.

As Isaac's birthday was approaching, I wrestled with the anxiety of knowing that when the doctors would cut the cord, that he would be cut off from the source that was giving him life.... that if the ultrasound and fetal MRI images were correct, and if God didn't intervene, that he wouldn't be able to survive on his own. In many ways, there was a part of me that wished I could have been pregnant with him forever, because I knew he was safe in there. In my womb, he had what he needed to live. You see, he was connected to the source of life.

I was thinking about how our lives are no different. One of my favorite passages is John 15, particularly verses 1-17:

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.


The whole image of the vine and branches thing really works for me; but after having Isaac, it became even more profound... the fact that literally, a branch not connected to the vine will not be able to make it. I know it sounds obvious, and it is, but it hit me in a whole new way.

You know, walking through the loss of a child with faith in God is still an excruciatingly painful thing; but at the end of the day, there is hope... hope in the fact that I know Isaac is alive and well in heaven. I couldn't imagine walking through this without that hope.

I've appreciated so much the comments and the e-mails I have received from my readers. Many of you have commented on my faith being an inspiration, but want I want you to know is this:

Apart from Him, I can do nothing.

Apart from Him, there would be no hope. Apart from Him, there would be no place to lay my burdens. Apart from Him, this would all feel more out of control than in already does... and there would be no moments of peace. He is the source... of hope, of strength to be able to walk (even if it is with a limp), and of love.

So I would encourage you... get to know the Source of life and of love itself.

21 comments:

Cynthia said...

I always marveled that there was a life growing inside me too. I wonder how those who don't believe in God can question when there are miracles all around them.

Thinking of you and praying.

Anitra said...

Beautiful post and an awesome reminder! I love how God has used you and your precious son to teach others about Him. I thank God for Isaac's life that has inspired us on how to better glorify God. Isaac is a true light for Him!

Kristin Ross said...

Thank you for this daily reminder. :)

Devon said...

what a beautiful analogy...thank you for sharing.

as always, thinking of you...

April said...

I believe that all things - start to take a more real & true meaning after your faith is put to the test. After the initial heartache and clarity starts to return (not without heartache however), the colors start to become more vivid. You will be a changed person from the short time you were granted with Issac - relive your memories everyday so there will never be time that you feel distant from your baby.

As I read on another grieving mother's blog - http://racheltenpennycrawford.blogspot.com/ ,

Healing is not measured by the degree of pain that is felt - but by the amount of hope that is given.

I always enjoy reading...

The Fabulous Ms. Beth said...

That verse has always spoke volumes to me. After we lost our son we had struggled with our relationship with God. We veered away for a small bit, and although we prayed, we didn't frequently go to church. When we went back to church, John 15 was read. I cried because I felt that God was speaking to me directly. I prayed that I would once again bear fruit. Within a month after coming back to church, and hearing that message I became pregnant with my sweet baby girl. Although I miss my son every single day, and it took a long time to "bear fruit" again.. I know that God heard my prayers and answered them. Hugs to you mama -- Isaac has touched my heart and I pray for you each day!

Laura said...

The second passage you quoted was exactly what our minister preached about in church on Sunday, and was exactly what I needed to hear. Reading it on your blog reinforced it for me.

Cheryl said...

Stacy,

You are an inspiration to me. You have shown me what a Christian woman looks like when she has devoted her life to God. Not perfect, but better. Thank you for this,

Cheryl

Holly said...

For sure, we are nothing without Him. He is my everything!

I love that saying that April posted in her comment.

Bluebird said...

Beautiful Stacy. Your story and imagry made this passage much more real than it ever has been for me before. Thank you for sharing.

Lorraine-bo said...

Good Word. Good encouragement. Good God.

As always, I appreciated your thoughts and how you remember that everything relates to God's Word because everything connects back to God.

Sonya said...

This passage of scripture is wonderful! Thank you for sharing. I thought I would let you know that I have been reading "A grace disguised" and I think it is a fantastic book and I have gotten so much out of it. I think I will be sharing it with my parents when I am done reading it. Thanks for the recommendation

Rebecca Louise. said...

I just loved this! xo.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Beautiful, beautiful truth...I love how you shared about the Source of our lives...

Love this post...thank you for always sharing your heart so beautifully, sweet, sweet friend...

Love to you,
Kelly

P.S. Awesome that you are training to run the half marathon...good for you, girl!

Seraphim said...

Your story and your faith is pert of the reason I am going back to university to study theology. Thank you sweet Isaac for calling me closer to God and to wanting to know and understand Him better, and thank you Stacey for writing so beautifully.

Tim and Jennifer said...

amen sista. what a great word. i can't imagine going through what you have not knowing Christ.

Rachel Tenpenny Crawford said...

Hi Stacy,
I lost my twin daughters in July. You can read about them on my blog waiting for morning www.racheltenpennycrawford.blogspot.com
I ran a half marathon in November (it was my first). I did it for many reasons, to help my body heal, to give myself time to think, to pound out some of my grief on the pavement...and I am so glad I did it. It was not a cure for my pain, nothing is, but it was one step in the process. I am not "healed" yet as I probably never will be, but I have hope. Like you I know that apart from Chirst we can do nothing. In Him I have hope, in Him I have strength, in Him I put my faith. I hope you kill your half marathon! From one half marathon running mom of a baby in heaven to another -Rachel Crawford

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

A beautiful post that touched me.....You are a wonderful writer.

I have started the posts from our most recent "Grandparent Disney trip" with a look into the eyes of my little guys from this "Grammy"! Stop by when you have some time.

Nicole said...

Beautiful post! Best wishes for the marathon! Holy cow girl!

Kelli said...

You always put words to the feelings of babyloss mamas so much better than I ever could. I appreciate the inspiration and the wisdom. My faith remains in part because of the beautiful way you can describe living through a loss. Thank you.

Laura said...

SO beautiful...pruning is so painful, but you are a branch that is so beautiful. I hope someday our branches will cross! Thankful we are all part of the same tree!

Wish I was running with you....I'm running a half in September! Come to the mountains and run!

xox