Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Strength & Hope

Like I spoke about in a previous post, I actually knew a good bit about Trisomy from reading blogs in the past. I don't know how I came to find them, but I followed Copeland's life first. I remember being up in the wee hours, during Bella's night time feedings, rocking and reading. I was amazed by her faith and strength. To be honest, more than anything, I was sad and didn't understand how one got through this. And I would just rock Bella and be so thankful for a healthy baby and family. And I'd cry (Chris did not understand why, on top of my baby hormones, I would read these blogs! haha!)

A couple of years later, I read about Hogan too. His dad wrote the blog and it was so cool how he did it. It really celebrated Hogan's short life. Pretty cool to read a dad's prespective. It was through these two blogs that I learned about Trisomy 18. (Similar but a little different than Trisomy 13.) That was pretty huge for me, because when I was told of the possible diganosis, I knew right away that I could carry this baby (even if it was a really hard journey) I knew of and had read of many that went through the same thing.

Over the last couple of years, I also followed more sad and heart wrenching stories. I also had a high school / blog friend loose a child. That of course was a lot harder as it was someone I knew. Watching her faith and strength was amazing, though. Amazing.

With all of these stories, I said the same thing. "Their strength is so inspiring. They are so strong!"
Another reason I was drawn to the blogs of the people I didn't know was to learn. My biggest, darkest fear has always been to loose someone close to me. I've spoken about this with small groups, close friends and my husband. But I've had a pretty easy life. I haven't gone through any big trials. So I've always been afraid of how I would react, how my faith would really play out if I were to have to go through something big.

I am not strong. God is holding me up. Your prayers are holding us up. And I realize now that those stories are not stories of people with incredible strength. They are real people who looked at their situation, knew they couldn't do it alone - and shared their story through a lens of faith. Without faith in something bigger than ourselves, without faith in a God who truly loves me, I may be able to "survive" because I have two other kids to take care of. But I certainly would have no hope, no joy, and this would be much much harder. I promise you this, my faith is no stronger than yours. It's just that mine has been put out for everyone to watch and see how we will react.

Thankfully I knew right where to turn when we first found out. Chris and I of course we devastated, but we thought, "If we are going to go through this, we're giving it our all."

I am learning that being strong and having faith doesn't mean I can't cry. God is quick to listen to my every plea, he doesn't turn away when I'm super short with my husband, he doesn't get angry when I get angry at my kids, he's patient when I don't understand. And I think he understands when I can cry at a blink of a dime. I'm not perfect and He doesn't expect us to be, especially when going through the ugliness of grief.

It's not fair that I have to go to regular appts and have people ask, "Oh, you're having a Christmas baby!" Agggggg, Christmas is my favorite time of year. I am just sad about this. We have no idea what this year will be like. It's cruel that my situation is never far from my mind, clouding so many things and making them seem less enjoyable. I hate thinking about possible funerals when I should be thinking about showers and diapers and decorating another room.

But after dark periods (some shorter than others - although I feel like all of last week was a long dark time), I wake up and realize - I have HOPE. I will meet Hallie one day, face to face, whether that is here on earth or in heaven. And she'll be perfect either way. I can have joy and sorrow through all of this and no one would expect anything different. They go hand in hand:

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. 
Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."
But I say unto you, they are inseparable. 
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed. 
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
-Kahlil Gibran

This kinda seems long & rambly... but my point is... I'm not strong alone. I'm still standing because I have a Father in Heaven who loves me and shows me true JOY & gives me HOPE in the midst of unspeakable pain & sorrow.


lynseyjo said...

You are truly an inspiration (whether you like it or not) :) I hope that one day I am half the loving and wonderful mother that you are. My prayers continue to be with you and your precious family. Thank you so much for sharing.

With love,
Lynsey (Owens) Hackett

Jessica Condrey said...

Thanks for sharing this. I think about you a lot and pray for you often. God is the only one who can give us that hope and peace that really is beyond even our own understanding. Thank God for God!!!

kristymasterson said...

That was beautiful! You are a treasure to me. Your friendship means more than you will ever know.
I love you!

Jill said...

Such a beautiful post Katie. I posted this quote on my blog a bit ago but I LOVE it and it reminds me so much of what you said here. (Love the quote you shared too!)

“Joy and sorrow are never separated. When our hearts rejoice at a spectacular view, we may miss our friends who cannot see it, and when we are overwhelmed with grief, we may discover what true friendship is all about. Joy is hidden in sorrow and sorrow in joy. If we try to avoid sorrow at all cost, we may never taste joy, and if we are suspicious of ecstasy, agony can never reach us either. Joy and sorrow are the parents of our spiritual growth. “ - Henri Nouwen

Continuing to pray for you so often..God brings you to my heart a lot.

ematt said...

Wow! Beautiful!You are incredible!

Nana Julie said...

You know if I could go through this pain & journey for you I would. But what wondrous things God is doing with your life & your words. There is such a peace knowing that we are not in control. I love you and that sweet grandbaby!

Meghan said...

Hi there! You are right, I also am not stronger than anyone else but when you are in this situation you have no choice. You have to find a way to live with what you are given.

Thank you for the offer of the book. I actually just downloaded it to my nook and started reading it.

Talk soon!

Allison Wolfe said...

Thinking and praying for you, Chris and the girls. I cannot imagine what you are going through. You are just perfect, inside and out! Keep the words a-flowing, they are such an inspiration for everyone.

kharner said...

You and your family never cease to amaze me! I can only hope to have half the strength and peace if we ever have to go through something like what ya'll are. Keep up the faith! And you truly are such a motherly role model! Most women probably strive for what have become. God is watching out for you as you know!

Laurie Welborn said...

Laurie and I just read this. You guys are such strong people. I know we don't get to see one another very often, but thank you so much for sharing. We recently went through a miscarriage, and have been astounded, comforted, and strengthened by your story. We wish you the best, and are praying for you.
Todd and Laurie