Friday, April 25, 2014

I Will Praise You in This Storm

                                           I cried myself to sleep last night.

    When I laid down I was not ready to fall asleep.  My mind immediately went to Kyle.  Oh how I miss my baby boy.  It amazes me how I can so deeply miss someone I never truly met.  Yes, I carried him.  Yes, I held him and sang to him.  But he was not there.  He did not hear me.  I never got to see him smile.  But oh how my heart still aches when I think of him. 
    I've heard over and over again, "You are so strong." I understand why people say this. I've "handled it pretty well" considering what I've lost.  I can not, however, take one ounce of credit for any strength you've seen in me.  You may have read my encouraging posts on Facebook, or seen my smile when I mention him in public.  Some of you have heard me give God all the praise for the life and death of sweet little Kyle.  While these things are true and sincere, that is only a part of it. 
    While it is getting easier every day, and my "moments" are fewer and farther between, I am still in the midst of grief and healing.  I don't want anyone to get the wrong impression.  I want to be real and I want you to understand the whole picture.  I still lock myself in my room, clutching his picture to my chest, sobbing.  Sometimes in restaurants I have to fight the tears.  I've even excused myself to the car to pull it together, because even though we're all there, I'm overwhelmed by the fact that a very special person in our family is missing and the people around us don't even know it.  I have to force myself to not let my mind go to  "what if" territory.  What if Kyle had lived?  I would have a 7 month old baby today.  Wow has it really been 7 months!  Has it only been 7 months?  It seems like yesterday....  It seems like a lifetime ago. 
    In the middle of these moments I always wish that my doorbell would ring and that a friend would just happen to stop by and be able to share my moment with me.  Or maybe my phone would ring and someone could cry with me and listen to me and tell me it's okay.   To date that's never happened.  And though I physically have no one to hug me or soothe me I am always pulled out and brought to a place of praise and thanks.  Without even trying, these moments always send me to prayer.  I believe that's because of the ever growing relationship I have with my Savior.  He knows what I need.  He can bring me there even when I don't think to go there myself.  I wrote a few entries in a journal in the weeks after Kyle's death.  I titled one of them "Prayer is my Pain Medicine".  Drugs took care of the physical pain, but nothing could touch the emotional hurt.  Nothing except prayer.  One of my favorite hymns is "What a Friend We Have in Jesus".  The line that always gets me the most is:
"Oh what peace we often forfeit.  Oh what needless pain we bear. 
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer."
    It is so true.  God is faithful to hear us and help us when we admit we can't do it without him.  God DOES sometimes give us more than we can handle!  But he promises he will never leave us and that means he'll handle it with us and sometimes for us.  We just have to ask Him!  If He were not holding me and helping me and speaking to me and if he had not prepared me for this, I would be confused..... helpless....... angry....... hopeless.  But in those moments when I can't do it, I'm sobbing, I don't know how to make the hurt stop, I call out to him begging him to help me.  And He is always faithful.  He begins to speak to my heart.  He reminds me of these promises.....    He's got my baby boy.  I'll see him again.  We'll spend eternity together.  Kyle's life and death has great purpose for the kingdom of God.  He will never leave me to deal with this on my own.  He's just a prayer away. 
    I woke up with the song "Praise You in This Storm" on my heart.  I thank God over and over for Christian music.  Sometimes I don't know what to say, but a song can be the perfect prayer for a situation that I'm dealing with.  Not only a praise to God, but a reminder and encouragement for me.
    I want you to know that I'm not sharing this for sympathy.  I don't want you to feel sorry for me.  I just can't help but share because I feel like God is teaching me so much through this experience.  I don't believe he set out to teach me a lesson, but rather the things I'm learning are just some of the blessings that are coming from an extremely difficult trial that I've had to endure.  I could choose to ignore them.... the good things that are happening during this heartache.  I could selfishly focus on how much this has hurt me and how unfair this has been.  But I would be missing the blessing of God's goodness and mercy and grace and presence in my life.  I will choose to praise God in this storm!  And I know He will be faithful to show up in the midst of it!