Repost- "Lord, give me the wisdom to not waste all of this!"

Today is a little surprising... I guess you could say it caught me off guard. Even when I woke up this morning, my first thoughts weren't on the fact that indeed today is a Wednesday, that it is the 23rd of the month, and the end to our Bible Study class that began the day that Maddox was born. Those emotions, the memories, didn't resurface until I stepped through the door of the church. Then, like a huge wave, all of a sudden everything was rushing back and I could barely walk. I thought I was going to be physically sick. I felt totally overwhelmed.

In an attempt to be "normal" I made my way upstairs to find my precious friend, one of the few who could really KNOW what I was feeling. She cried with me, and then suggested I take a little time for myself with God. That was just what I needed.

I made my way back downstairs and outside in the courtyard to have some alone time with God. As I sat there, thinking about the last 13 weeks, I was drawn back to the book of Job. As I read it again, I kept thinking about his overwhelming grief. To not just lose all his possessions, but his 10 children! I am mourning my one infant son that never took a single breath... and he lost 10. Talk about heartbreak and loss.

As I reflected on his words and actions after immediately hearing the news of his family, I felt such a sense of awe. Job stood up, tore his robe, shaved his head, and then fell to the ground in worship. Did you get that? FELL TO THE GROUND IN WORSHIP! When I'm in the midst of these feelings, do I fall to the ground in worship? Then those words of brutal truth... "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised." (Job 1:21)

As I continued, I quickly came upon another piece of this story that I had never given much consideration. As Job was covered in flesh wounds from his feet to his head, his wife, surely seeing her husband in such grief and misery, told him to "Curse God and die." His response... "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?" ... Oh my goodness. There it is again. That reminder that I needed... This is an all or nothing game!! This is the point where you are either in OR you are out! Can we humbly accept both the good and the bad that the Lord allows for us, or are we somehow going to push God so far that He doesn't even seem to be part of the equation? In my mind, that isn't even a question in need of a response.

So here I am, exactly 3 months from when Maddox entered this world and quickly slipped from it, and I am still praying, and now living, the words I wrote. The Monday those words were written I didn't know I would be within 36 hours of meeting my son face to face. Those words, this prayer, "Lord, give me the wisdom to not waste all of this..." is still on my lips today and will be into the foreseeable future. I don't know what God has in store for us, but I trust Him, and I trust in His faithfulness. He hasn't let us down...

Written January 21st, 2008:

Tonight in the quietness of my house, my mind is skipping ahead. My thoughts are drawn to this very time in two weeks when Dusty and I will be checked in to the hospital and awaiting morning to meet our Maddox. I keep wondering how I will be feeling... what my thoughts will be. How anxious will I be? How excited, scared, overwhelmed, at peace will I be? I know this sounds ridiculous, insane probably... but regardless of all the questions, I know that we will be okay. The Lord, the Creator of this very child I think so much about, assures me over and over of that very thing... I will be okay.

Dr. Young just started a series a few weeks ago on the book of James. Honestly, it is one book that I really haven't previously spent a great deal of time in, but one that is full of "uncommon sense" (as Dr. Young says). As he spoke two Sundays ago, with a title called "Suffering Produces Character", all I could think of was this is meant for me. This is meant for right here, right now. And he began...

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

And then he said something that is written at the top of my Bible, and will hopefully remain etched on my heart forever... "Lord, give me the wisdom not to waste all of this!"

For some reason, we have been called to be Maddox's parents. We have been blessed with this child that doesn't conform to worldly standards of perfection or health. We have been given trials of a sort that I could have never imagined before that diagnosis day. And it would be so easy to ask why. Why us? Why now? Why this child? Yet, through the dark days we've walked, and the darker days to come... that is now my prayer. "Lord, give me the wisdom not to waste all of this!"

I don't want to waste a minute of the joy that Maddox has brought to our lives. Not a minute of the time he will grace this earth. Not a minute of time being completely overwhelmed by intense grief and sadness that I can't process. Not a minute of not "seeing the forest for the trees." Not a minute to be able to stand witness to the incredible blessing of His people surrounding us, loving us, praying for us, and ministering to us. I know it sounds crazy... like I'm setting myself up for failure... like it just won't be possible... but I don't want to waste this opportunity to love, to witness to others, to be a living testimony to God's faithfulness, compassion, grace and healing. He chose us for this, and if I'm going to walk through a valley of this magnitude, then you best believe I will not waste this. I will not walk out unchanged, lacking more than when I entered in. I have a long way to go to spiritual maturity, and yet, the perseverance to get up and continue on this road each day will bring me closer to that goal.

Am I saying that I won't be sad and grieving? NO. Am I saying that I won't shed immeasurable tears? NO. But I do know that the Lord is standing so close that I can feel Him and, like the Footprints poem says, I might not be doing the walking, but He is carrying me. He has held each tear I've cried in His Fatherly hands... and I'm sure the tears up to this point won't surpass the amount that are to come. But He knows my heart. He knows that I love this child, more than myself, and that I have already given his life over to the Giver of Life himself. Not because I don't desperately want him here with me, but because that's also what we did with Deacon when we dedicated him to the Lord. We gave him up. ...It's like what Abraham did with Issac, what he was willing to do in faith... and ultimately what God the Father did with his only Son, Jesus Christ. I can honestly say, without fear or reservation, that I know each life here on earth is not our own... and Maddox is no exception. Our Father has great plans for this child's life, whether that means him not taking one single breath here in this world, or that means 20 fabulous years of blessed time with him ahead. Either way, Heaven is still at the end of the road and that is the best promise yet.

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." James 1:12


Christa Mc said…
thought of you all day - love you
Lezlie said…
Kenz - Think of you and Maddox every day, but especially today. Thank you for sharing your heart. Love you. Lezlie
Kenzie, You are amazing....thinking of you today and understanding that although we share so much in common...I do not know EXACTLY how you may be feeling. I am praying for your every need to be met right where you are!
With love,
P.S. beautiful picture.....worth it all
Yvette said…

As I wrote in my email this morning, I woke up thinking about you sweet friend, realizing it was the 23rd! I have been praying for you most of the day and will email later tonight.

Love, Yvette

P.S. I love this picture, it is precious.
Corie O'Brien said…
Think of you today. I am sometimes amazed to think that our boys went to see Jesus the same day. How I came across your blog is providental. Some day I know we will meet and yet until then I will continue to pray for you on this journey. As I think of Larsons dates, Maddox will be in my thoughts also. What a faithful mommy you have been to express your thoughts and emotions so well. Thank you for sharing.
Thinking of you today. This road is filled with so many raw emotions. I somehow thought that 3months would be easy...easier....I thought wrong.
Beth said…
Thank you for that...beautifully written. Praying for you.
Oh Kenzie you are amazing.

What a precious picture of you and sweet Maddox.
Emily said…
Thought of you all day, my fellow 23rd mommy. You bless me like you just do not know....
Angie Luce said…

I know I've said it before, but I've got to say it again. I love your heart! You are living such a beautiful picture of what I feel like God wants from us. You don't ignore the grief, but you give it to Jesus.

I am praying for you as this three month marker comes to a close.


boltefamily said…
Thought of you yesterday! What a beautiful reminder on the 3rd month that beautiful Maddox has been in Heaven. I am so glad you have such great friends around you that help you take the time you need!

Much Love,

Hollie said…
Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us! Praying for you and your family!
Jen in Al said…
thank you so much for sharing this. as i sit here with tears in my eyes i am amazed and humbled. amazed that God's word is still so true, as true today as it was for Job so long ago. humbled that before the foundation of the world He chose His children. thank you for the beautiful reminder that joy in the Lord sometimes HAS to come in the most painful packages. i heard someone(i can't remember who) say that Joy means "joined with God". Wow! i just love this picture of you with your sweet precious Maddox! Beautiful! your heart has touched my heart more than i can say. thank you for being so real, for loving Jesus the way you do, for being willing to share it with "blogland". loving you and covering you in prayer, jen in al
Jen in Al said…
Happy Birthday sweet Maddox! jen in al
Laurie said…

Once again, your words have blessed me on the important things in life. The Lord is giving you the wisdom not to waste all of this. It is already ministering to so many who need to hear this today. Maddox's life is made perfect because God chose you and Dusty to be his parents, and you followed Gods plan. Praying for you every day as you walk this road. May you experience great joy as you miss your precious boy.

Love, Laurie in Ca.
Melody said…
I love the picture of you and your boy. I think about you often and pray God continues to provide peace during this time of grief and growth. Thank you for continuing to share your heart.
Laura said…
So beautiful Kenzie! Thinking of you this week...ONLY 3 months. You are so brave...
Devin said…

For some reason, your 'repost' was more beautiful to me than it was when I originally read it over 3 months ago. You have such a beautiful, Christ-centered heart.

Thanks for this have a way of helping ME keep things in perspective. "The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away....blessed be the name of the Lord!"

Becky said…
God's presence in your life is very evident. You are not wasting all of this. You are reaching people you don't even know, and you are giving God all of the glory. Your heart is pure, and Jesus is carrying you. I pray for peace over your family.
Love, Becky in GA
Susan said…
Oh what a crown you will wear my sweet Kenzie!

Your testimony brings so much GLORY and HONOR to our King.

My life is so enriched because of you. Thank you for giving me HOPE.

I know that with God all things are possible, you live this before us all each day, especially on days like these♥
Anonymous said…
Wow, Kenz! Reading your old post brings back a flood of emotions from the first time I read it. Your faith continues to inspire. You have been in my thoughts all week. Looking forward to seeing you guys soon! Love, Jess
Thinking of you heavy tonight Kenzie. Praying for you with love!

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