Extreme Makeover

I've thought several times over these last few days about what I now have to say... and honestly I'm still not sure. I know that I can't believe yesterday marked one week already. It's been one week since our tiny Maddox entered this world and slipped from it almost immediately. I don't really understand how a week can go by so quickly, and yet... how it can feel like I last felt my child in my arms years ago.

“From the end of the earth I will cry to you when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”- Psalm 61:2

I know what I loved most of my time with him is his touch. The time I spent holding him in my arms, rubbing his little body and telling him how much I loved him. I can close my eyes or look at the pictures and remember his beautiful face, but the memory of feeling him, so little and light, in my arms is something that brings me great joy... and with it great pain. The other night as I cried, I could honestly feel physical pain... I ached to have Maddox with me again. What I would give to be able to hold him. What I would give to have him back to love on, to pray with and to kiss. Oh, what I would give...

“His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

Each day, each moment, has been new and different. Most have been very good, some have been excruciating. I feel safe in my house right now, so that is where I've been. I feel most myself when I am with Deacon as he can so quickly remind me of the "normal"~ playing puzzles, and trucks and trains... he has been my gravity through this last week. Dusty, well, he has been my rock. He has been phenomenal. He has loved on me through the tears, kissed my face, and held me as I couldn't control myself.
...But I have to say that it's funny. Funny because although I've cried many tears, truly I thought I would have cried so many more. I have spent wonderful days watching movies, going to the park, running little errands, potting plants... small things that give me a sense of normalcy. I do have to admit that I have strange feelings when I get out, like I suddenly don't want to be in public. It's weird. It's almost like I've just come home from a war and I need to decompress... like I need time to settle back in. Or maybe it's like being halfway through an Extreme Makeover and I don't want people to see me before my transformation is complete. I guess that is more precise... God has taken me through an Extreme Makeover and I'm not quite sure how to be this same, but completely changed person.

Undoubtedly the Lord has been so good, so gentle through this time of tremendous sadness. I have never once felt abandoned or alone... I KNOW that He hasn't left. He promises that. Joshua 1:5-6- “…I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous…” This sadness that I feel, and is being played out through the rain outside my window, is not one without hope however. I am so thankful for my sweet friends that remind me of that... as Paul says, we aren't grieving as those who are without hope. I am grieving with the assurance that I will see my son again. I know with complete certainty where he is and that is what I cling to through these unsure feelings.

As I talked with Dusty and Alma (my mother-in-law) last night, we discussed the pain. The hurt. The aching and longing to be with Maddox. And then we began talking about God's pain. How much pain He felt as He sent His Only Son to the cross to die for each of us. How when Jesus gave up his spirit, the Earth shook and went dark. How the veil was torn. How it poured down rain. To us, all of those are signs of Our Father grieving. It's the pain and loss of His Son. ...God isn't immune to these feelings of pain and hurt. He knows our sense of great love and tragic loss. He doesn't expect us not to be sad. In fact, I believe He even cries with us. But, through his pain He painted a picture of how to walk with him through the storm. Grieving is good, the pain and longing are fine... as long as we keep our eyes on the One who walked before us, and walks with us... as long as I trust that the child that I gave over to Him will remain eternally whole, and in the happiest, most glorious place imaginable.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”- Philippians 4:7

Comments

Angie Luce said…
Kenzie,

God's strength in you continues to amaze me, and it helps me to praise Him all the better. Your last paragraph especially was so right on. Grieving is good as long as we keep our eyes on Him!! Just as Peter taught us, the storm can rage around us and we can still be safe just as long as we keep our eyes on Him. It's only when we look away that we begin to sink into the waters.

I too can't believe it's been just a week. I am praying for you all!
AimeeMaier said…
Kenzie,
As I have said before, you're faith in God amazes me! You are forever changed by Maddox. We are forever changed by him. I look at his sweet pictures and I am touched by his angelic face. I know you wish you could see that face every day, but God gets to see it now. You have this connection with Maddox that will never go away. You are bonded together forever. He is waiting for you and wanting you to live your life the best way you know how. And that is through Christ. You are an amazing woman and you have been made over by our Creator (The Extreme Makeover King). ;0) I will continue to pray for you and your family.
In Christ,
Aimee
Emily said…
Oh, how I praise our Father for the way He's holding you safe in His hand. Your words are like fresh air, the hope that fills you flows from them. Hold fast to Him, for He is surely holding fast to you. And thank you, THANK YOU, for the illustration of God's grief. How appropriate that the storm was so great when Jesus died. I know you literally feel that storm raging in your heart and I am praying for God's gentle hand to calm the storm, again and again and again. Play with some boy toys with Maddox for me... Barbies and baby dolls and dress up clothes are the forte around here. ;)
Chelle' said…
Kenzie- I'm so glad you posted tonight. I've been checking back, praying for you all each time I visited your page, in hopes to hear from you.

Maddox's picture is perfect. Just like him. I pray often that you are reunited with him in your dreams... that you can hold him, feel him and REMEMBER the physical just as you will always remember the love you have for him.
Laurie said…
You have not once felt abandoned or alone. What a testament to His faithfulness to never leave nor forsake us. Bless you Kenzie and Dusty and Deacon. Your faith is just the most tender and beautiful thing in the midst of the storm. One week, it is hard to believe. I pray your memories of Maddox's birthday are a sweet fragrance to your soul daily. He truly is amazing and beautiful, just perfect. He touched my heart so deeply over these past months waiting for his arrival. I thank the Lord for lifting you up and gently carrying you through this time and the time ahead. You continue to be in my prayers daily and your words bless me so much.

Love, Laurie in Ca.
Anonymous said…
Words fitly spoken...good stuff coming forth from you. I have not lost a child, but remember well the nauseating grief over losing two friends to cancer and then a friend's preemie baby, all within a few months of each other. Our Father continues to do a mighty work through you moms, and your writings minister life and healing to many situations. Remembering you in VA.
Lori C. (have read for many weeks)
Mandy said…
Beautifully written. I so relate to your Extreme Makeover analogy but never really thought to say it like that. God's peace be with you. I know the longing you feel and the sadness but you are so right that we will see our babies again and what a glorious reunion that will be.

Praying for you.
Mandy
GA
www.madelinegracehopkins.blogspot.com
Elizabeth S said…
I have been reading your blog for some time. I found it through Emily's. Anyway, your baby Maddox was so beautiful. I guess I should say is so beautiful. And your words touched me. I am in awe of your strength.
Seabolt said…
Kenzie,
You do not know me and I can honestly tell you I am not sure how I came about your blog. I can understand the pain that you are going through. My husband and I lost our twin boys almost 4 years ago at 5 1/2 mos of pregnancy. I believe that is the hardest thing we have gone through but God has brought us through it. Some days it feels like we just lost them and days it seems like ages ago. You and your family will be in my prayers. Know that Hayden and Evan were waiting at the gates for your precious Maddox.

We will see our boys again...

May God's Loving arms surround you and comfort you...

Jennifer Seabolt
Kim said…
I have been checking your blog regularly-you express yourself beautifully and just know that it is such an encouragement to me and eveyone else that reads it. Your faithfullness is overwhelming to me and I'm thankful it is getting you through something of this magnitude. I am sorry for your pain.
Kim
Sabrina said…
Kenzie -

Your words you continue to write are truly inspirational. As we continue everyday to build our relationships with God you have been one of the many pieces that help us grow in faith. I can't even imagine loosing a child but I can relate with grief. Your words reminding us of the pain that God must have felt when he gave up his son makes it easier to work through the grief we feel. The loved ones that go before us are safe and happy in our eternal home watching down on us as we continue to live out God's wills for us during our time on this earth until we are reunited once again. Continue to trust in God and he will continue your healing. He loves you unconditionally.

love and blessings
Sabrina and Tom
Anonymous said…
Oh, Kenzie.
You couldn't know how much I needed to read your words this morning, as I have begun to feel anxious as the day for M's next surgery draws near. The things you share, just one week after losing Maddox (!), are such a blessing to me, reminding me that God can calm the fears that I, myself, can't.

You've reminded me that He IS safe, and will hold her safely as I hand her to others to care for her. And that He will also hold me.

I continue to pray for God's blessings on you as you somehow manage to bless US by allowing your Maker to mature you in this painful time, and then share your experience with us.

I am so grateful for you, and for the words you share here ... particularly these: "I have never once felt abandoned or alone." Evidence that God is proving His arms are a secure place for you.
connie
So Blessed said…
What a beautiful testimony you have given with your writing today. I am so blessed by your faithfulness. God is using you in a mighty way in your journey. I pray that you will continue to feel upheld and comforted by His loving presence.
boltefamily said…
Kenzie,

What a great post. Sometimes it is so hard to find the words, but you do it beautifully. It is interesting, my post this morning seems a bit related to what you have written. Last night I was reading from Matthew and came upon this verse....

"Jesus took Peter and Zebedee's two sons, James and John and he began to be filled with anguish and deep istress. He told them, "My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and watch over me." Matthew 26:37-38

It amazed me to think that even Jesus felt crushed with grief. He no doubt knew that the greater plan was good, and yet was overcome by a grief so crushing he compared it to death! We can be assured that even when no one else seems to understand, He does! That is a great feeling.

If you haven't read it I highly recommend the One Year Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie...she too has lost a child, actually two. She has a great perspective on grief and how to grieve with hope.
Bonn Rubly from SBC said…
Kenzie,
what a precious video! i am speechless just beautiful amazing...i too admire your faith strength and your spirits. i just want you to know that families like yours is an inspiration to me.
Jarboetwingles said…
That was beautiful. Your words and the video (although I couldn't hear anything I'll have to get that fixed so I can watch it again :) I have a friend who has lost 2 precious boys and what you said about an extreme makeover has made me have a better grasp of the transformation that comes with such a loss. It was a real light bulb moment. Not wanting anyone to see until the transformation is complete, I think we can all relate to that. Not wanting to show how vunerable we are or let people see our struggles and stumbles. I hope you know that your willingness to share your makeover will make me a more compassionate and prayerful friend.
With much love and prayer
Amy
Kristin said…
Kenzie,

You said it the best... "I know what I loved most of my time with him is his touch. The time I spent holding him in my arms, rubbing his little body and telling him how much I loved him. I can close my eyes or look at the pictures and remember his beautiful face, but the memory of feeling him, so little and light, in my arms is something that brings me great joy... and with it great pain. The other night as I cried, I could honestly feel physical pain...".
So much of what you write is how I felt back in Nov and Dec. Going out in public wasn't the best, especially since I'd almost lose it when I saw very pregnant women or newborn babies. I hunkered down in my home and made it known I didn't want phone calls or visitors...for the most part. Family and a couple very close friends helped through those first few weeks. Enjoy Deacon and the "normal" times you can share with him, as that's been my experience also with my 2 little girls. Thank you for reminding me of the undoubting love and pain our Father has for us. Praying for you...
Kristin Edwards
Kelly said…
Wow, Kenzie! There are no words...this is an amazing post!
Lissa Lane said…
It is amazing how quickly time passes by. It seems like just yesterday I was holding my beautiful daughter as she passed to the Lord. And here in reality it's been almost 7 months. Going into 2008 was extremely hard for us because we felt like we were leaving her behind.

Please remember, Grief is a journey and at times is like a river. You'll be going along great! Smooth sailing and then BOOM a HUGE wave will come and just overpower you and leave you shaken and sobbing and screaming 'Where are you Lord!'

Also please remember Even JESUS at one point said 'Father Why have thou forsaken me' God understands what we as bereaved parents are going through. He's lost a child also. He cries when we cry.

I also want to reccomend a book 'Grace for Grief: Daily comfort for Those who Mourn' It's a daily devotional book with enough scripture to get you through the entire first year after your loss.

God bless you are in my prayers
meela said…
Wow, thank you so much for sharing this. You have spoken my heart. And, I have to say, I love home now too. It is so good to have a place to feel safe, with people who understand and are going through it too. Going out in public can wait.

Thank you.

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