Vulnerable

Today is a day that I should be celebrating... it's my 28th birthday... I should be sleeping... I woke up at 4:30 this morning to stand in line to register Deacon for preschool... I should be doing many other things, but instead I sit here in front of the computer feeling the urge, the need, to write something.

So... here we are 3 1/2 weeks out from that day that will forever change us. That beautiful, sacred, faithful day where for 4 hours we had our two sons present with us. Dusty and I definitely know the difference of the before and after, and oddly enough, Deacon does too. He asks about Maddox, tells us that he's in Heaven with Jesus, wants to watch the video, asks to see Maddox's blanket and play with his teddy bear... and then the other day he asked me how do we get him back. Yep! He asked, in this heartbreakingly sad voice, how we can get Maddox back. Then he said "want him back NOW"... Through tears that he couldn't see (I was driving), I told him that I wanted him back too, but we couldn't get him back here with us... we had to go to Heaven to be with him. Then he said tearfully, "want to see him now..." Heartwrenching. Confusing. Surprising. Amazing. To imagine that he wouldn't understand any of this... I was so wrong.

But praise the Lord! Because then, in some way, he must also know that I DO want to talk about Maddox. I want him to know about his precious little brother. I want him to know that I do want to share about my second child, about our time, our love, our feelings, and the Lord's faithfulness. I DO want him, and other people, to know that we are really okay... that we are blessed, thankful, overwhelmed with peace, and filled with hope. I want him, need him, to know that although I may act a little different, that I may have a few tears, that the same mommy that loves him so greatly is there, just deeply changed.

Currently, I'm still feeling that home is my "safe zone." I am definitely getting out more and I want to be "myself", but I haven't quite figured out who that is yet. At home I still know who I am, but when I leave... I seem to question everything. What are people thinking? Do strangers wonder why I look sad? Are people feeling sorry for me? Do friends not know what to say? Do random acquaintances even know about all that has happened in the last few months? Do people wonder what I'm thinking? Are they afraid I'm going to break down? Am I making others uncomfortable? Do they want to talk about it? Do they want me to talk about it? Do they think I don't want to be around them? Do they think I'm secretly angry or bitter? Do they know that I wouldn't ever ask for this, but I wouldn't ever give it back? ... The questions circle in my head, and suddenly, I feel so vulnerable.

I know it's early... It's only been 3 short weeks... It's going to take time...

So as it does take that time, short or long, and our hearts heal, we will continue to praise the Lord for His faithfulness. We will praise Him for the miracle that He gave us for such a short time. We will praise Him for the beautiful, amazing people He has put in our path. We will praise Him for the testimony He has given us. We will praise Him for the peace that continues to fill our hearts... that peace that passes all understanding. We will praise Him for the joy as we walk through the pain. We praise Him and simply pray that through all of this, we will only bring Him glory.

Jesus Bring the Rain chorus- MercyMe

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me ANYTHING THAT BRINGS YOU GLORY
For I know there'll be days when this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise you
Jesus bring the rain.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."- John 16:33

Comments

Shane and Devin said…
Oh Kenzie,

I know that what I have gone thru is different that what you have, but truly, I feel that a loss is still a loss. Your thoughts in this post have confirmed that to me all the more. The paragraph when you were asking all of the questions.....I seriously thought to myself, "Am I reading my own thoughts, here?"

I couldn't believe how similar your thought process is to my own. I stayed home a lot too. I STILL do. It was (and IS) safe, comfortable, and there were no chances (other than the phone ringing, which I could choose to answer or NOT) of running into someone who either said too much (ouch) or nothing at all (like nothing had happened). I couldn't stand either scenario. It was hurtful either way.

I will never forget one day, about 7 weeks after, when I went in to a place to get my eyeglasses adjusted, and the lady behind the counter said to me, "Congratulations! I heard you were expecting again!" in this....loud, horribly obnoxious voice that everyone in the whole place (and those down the street, probably) coud hear. I then had to quietly and forcing back tears explain what had happened (talk about awkward), and she began gushing loudly, "Ohhhhh, I'm sooooo sorry!" and on and on. In that same loud voice.....it was really awful. I seriously thought I was past everything, and this brought it all up again.

I say all that to say that I think there is nothing wrong with staying WHERE it is safe right now, and only putting yourself with PEOPLE who are safe as well. Time will help lessen the sting of what has happened so recently, but, at least for me anyway, that pain can resurface at any time, and any place.

I love Mercy Me, this song especially. I am glad it is a blessing to you as well. I heard Natalie Grant this morning, and as I sang along at the top of my voice, I thought of you and pictured Maddox up in heaven. Both thoughts brought a smile to my face.

I am continuing to pray for you, everyday. Have a Happy and blessed birthday!

Much love and many prayers,
Devin
petebon5 said…
happy birthday Kenzie...i do often wonder what your feeling and as an outsider not knowing what to say other than i am sorry and i here for you..i am sorry that Deacon's heart is hurting because Maddox is not here w/ ya'll where he should be. that does tug @ my heart. however, Deacon has a very strong mommy and daddy and will know all the right things to say when the situation arises. i hope that i don't hurt you or offend you or make you cry i am sorry.
Sarah said…
Happy Birthday Kenzie. I hope that this new year brings many smiles and continues to be full of hope and peace for you.

My son was the same age as Deacon when our daughter was born. My heart aches to hear how much he gets it, and yet doesn't. Like you, I wouldn't have thought he would. I think you are right though, it's a good thing and probably much healthier for everyone.

I pray for you everday. I feel blessed to know your story.
Rebecca said…
Bless Deacon's little heart.

God love you all...

Rebecca
Chrissy said…
Happy Birthday Kenzie
So Blessed said…
I am still praying for your family....I realize that your grief journey is ongoing and so I continue to lift you in prayer. Keep your eyes on Jesus...He is the One who will get you through.
Anonymous said…
Happy Birthday and I love you so much!

KO
Anonymous said…
Happy Birthday to an amazing woman! May God bless you:-) I've enjoyed reading your story. What a wonderful testimony of faith.
-Liz
Jen in Al said…
Dear Kenzie, you are being prayed for everyday. My heart breaks for you but at the same time is praising God with you. all these questions, wanting to be at home or go out, talking about your sweet Maddox with sweet Deacon are all part of your journey. you don't have to move on from them at any particular time. your family is such a testimony of the Lord's faithfulness! Happy Birthday! Love and blessings, jen in al
Happy Birthday Kenzie. I am praying for you. I am "there" with you and have nothing miraculous or profound to give you, I have no answers to all those question as I am looking for them too, I can tell you that I do love you, I will pray for you and God will bring us through and our miracle will continue to be revealed through his faithfulness. You are precious and Deacon is precious. One day, or minute at a time.
Love you,
Kim
Laurie said…
Happy belated birthday Kenzie. You are special to so many and loved. I have been praying for Deacon and after reading this post, I know why. Bless his little-big heart. Children are so pure and honest aren't they?
And you just stay secure in your "safe zone" for as long as you need to friend. You ARE vulnerable and need to protect your heart. All of the questions you have regarding what others think can only be answered by God, He knows every one and you can rest in that as He guards your heart. Be patient with yourself, 3 weeks is hardly enough time to catch your breath, if you have even been able to do that yet.
I am praying for you Kenzie and I love you, your family, and Maddox.

Love, Laurie in Ca.
Anonymous said…
Prayers continue for your precious family! My heart aches for you, but also rejoices with you, knowing that you feel God's peace and that little Maddox is in the best place that one can be!

I can relate to your feelings of your home being your safe zone. I, along with you, am forever changed by a special child. Although my child is still with me, he was born with many special issues. Since his birth I have only felt really safe at home. I didn't think that much about this until I read your posting. It got me thinking that maybe it's because only myself, my husband and our other children really know what it feels like to be going through what we are going through. Out in the 'real world' everyone seems so oblivious of what real suffering is and also what the feeling of real grace is! I have been deeply touched by our experiences with our son who will probably never walk or talk and by stories like yours! I believe that we have been given such a gift in these children! It brings me to tears so often when I think about this gift from God! What lessons our family, your family and others faced with these children have learned! It's a blessing that can be shared with others just as you are doing now so well! It's also a very raw feeling that maybe makes us feel exposed when we aren't in our comfort zone, knowing that we just can't fully relate with others like we used to.

I pray daily for you and all the families of children with Trisomy 18. Please know that you are thought of often! Thankyou for continuing to share Maddox's story and for sharing your heart! So many have been touched by him and you!

God Bless You!
Heather said…
We are thinking...... "Wow, she has amazing strength, amazing grace, amazing faith - God's glory is shining through you! AND.... I hope I can handle adversity like that if God allows it to come my way....."

Your vulnerability makes you real...hang in there sweet one!
Chelle' said…
Happy Birthday Kenzie. I want you to know in this time of grief that I, and many others, have not forgotten baby Maddox. We've not forgotten your family. And we certainly have not forgotten your grief.

We think of you often and pray for you even more.
Jesse's girl said…
Happy birthday, Kenzie! I hope you were able to celebrate. I'm sure Maddox was celebrating...celebrating his Mommy's life. The day she was born. The number of years she has blessed this Earth. The fact that she was born, and chosen specifically to be his Mommy. Yes, I'm sure he was celebrating you.

Still praying for you and your family.
Hilary said…
hi kenzie,

i've followed your blog for some time now and today it struck me when i realized i am just two months older than you. our lives are so different, yet we both worship the same God and He created us just a few weeks apart. halfway across the country, staring at the manhattan skyline from my bedroom window, wondering if God has it in my path to become the wife and mother I dream of one day years down the road, I have cried and prayed for you and your precious boys. happy birthday.

blessings,
hilary

www.hilaryandthecity.blogspot.com
Anonymous said…
There is nothing more to say. The others have said it so beautifully. Please just know my prayers for you are many times a day.

May God continue to bless you with His peace and love.

Happy b-day, every day.

Cathie in CO
Alison said…
I have been thinking and praying for you and your family. Thank you for being so honest and truthful. Continue to know that many love and are praying for you...We have never met, but I check in on you regularly. May God Bless you!
With love,
Alison
boltefamily said…
Happy Birthday Kenzie!

It brought tears to my eyes to read your words this afternoon. I can remember after Isaac died wondering how much Luke understood. we were amazed to find that he understood so much more than we gave him credit for. I love that he openly talks about his brother now. Sometimes I will be talking to him telling him how much I love him and Ben, and he will always say, AND ISAAC! You also love Isaac mom! It always brings tears but they are tears of joy. Isaac brought such a deep love to Luke's life and has forever changed him also. Just as you said, I would never have chosen this for myself but I would NEVER give it back. That in and of itself speaks of the glory you are giving to God. You are so aware of the blessing Maddox is, but that doesn't make it hurt less.

"Blessed are those who Mourn. For they will be comforted." God knew that in our brokenness we are able to know him on such a deep level. I will be praying for your family and for sweet Deacon!

Love,
Kristy
Heather Paulsen said…
What a beautiful, honest post..thanks for sharing your lovely heart.

heather
meela said…
Happy Birthday...a little late. It was a blessing to read your words tonight. Thank you.
Andrea said…
Hi Kenzie-
It's hard to know where to begin - I came to your site through Nathan and Tricia's blog and have had you in my thoughts and prayers since the day before Maddox's arrival.

It so amazing to read what is on your heart and how the Lord is protecting you and growing you. To see that it is possible to experience heartache and still the love and grace which God offers us all (indeed, it seems in those moments you know it all the more).

This may sound completely crazy as we've never met or talked, but if you ever wanted someone to talk to and sort through some of these questions you've shared, I am here for you (my email is bea813@cox.net). I'm not sure if it would help talking to a complete stranger or not, but I wanted to offer that in case you felt the need. I have a blog and a website too, www.in-vocation.com if you wanted to check it out before reaching me.

I stand in awe of the work God is doing in you and your family - thank you for having the courage to share that with others.

Warmly,
Andrea
Kenzie,

Thinking of you tonight and celebrating your life and testimony on your birthday ...
Laurie said…
Hi Kenzie,

Sending you hugs, love and prayers today. Asking Him to pour out His love and peace over you and your family.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

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