Unprepared

These last few days have been some that, quite honestly, I was totally unprepared for. I truly have felt so great about everything... about where we are in the healing process, how God has continued to make His presence known, how we have been enjoying this 3rd pregnancy... and then Friday just hit me like a ton of bricks.

Deacon and I had made our trip to HEB and were on our way home with his buddy bucks points and balloon when he suddenly piped up, "I want to send this balloon up to baby Maddox." I was slightly caught off guard because we haven't done that in quite a while and truthfully, I had decided a few months ago that I wasn't going to suggest it because when I did, he usually said no. I replied that I thought that was a great idea and that Maddox would love a balloon from his big brother, but I was stunned. Between the music playing on the radio and Deacon's pure innocence, my heart was jolted back to all that we have just recently been through.

We got home and I grabbed a sharpie, writing on the balloon "We love you baby Maddox! See you in Heaven... Love, Deacon, Mama and Daddy." I quickly found my camera to capture these sweet moments, but between the extreme humidity and the tears clouding my eyes, I could hardly manage the task at hand. We let the balloon go into the sky as Deacon sat down in the driveway and said he wanted to watch until it disappeared. I sat down beside him for a while until we could only see a little speck in the sky. By this time Deacon was on to the next thing, wanting to ride his bike, but all I could do was sit through my tears and stare at the sky. I was overwhelmed with emotion that I haven't felt in some time.

Less than an hour later, Deacon and I were in the car again on the way to swimming lessons. The radio was playing and I was doing okay when he suddenly asked, "Mama, do you have two babies in your tummy? Baby Faith AND baby Maddox?" I instantly knew what his little brain was trying to figure out and I just couldn't believe it. "No, babe. I just have one baby in my tummy. Who's in my tummy now?" He knew the answer and replied, "Baby Faith." "Right. Remember... where is baby Maddox?" The most precious answer spilled out... "Baby Maddox is in Heaven with baby Jesus." I smiled and told him he was exactly right. Then, somehow without warning, he asked a question that absolutely rocked me to my core. He asked something that I haven't let my mind consider... something that I haven't allowed myself to think on at all. (Philippians 4:8)

"Is baby Faith going to Heaven too?"

Even as I type those words my heart is breaking. I can't stop crying over the pure innocence of my oldest son and the profound way that he has again reminded me to get on my knees before the Lord. I can't stop crying because truly, this isn't something I want to think about. This isn't something I can bear to consider... and I don't want his little mind to go there either.

When that question left his lips, tears immediately poured from my eyes. "No baby. We are praying that she will get to stay here with us and not go to Heaven for a long time." There was a pause, and then my tender little boy asked, "Why are you getting so sad Mama?" I told him that I was sad because I would love for baby Maddox to be here with us, but that isn't how God made him. For the very first time I told him that Maddox was sick... I told him that God made him different and that although it made me sad to not have baby Maddox here with us, God's plans are always better. He listened very intently and following my tearful explanation he simply said in a soft, heartbreaking voice, "that makes me really sad too, Mama."

Since Friday I have cried more times than I care to remember. I have definitely cried more than the last 2-3 months put together. I can't believe how the innocence of a questioning two-year-old can overwhelm my heart. I can't believe how it has made me falter a bit... back-tracking on the confidence God has given me to be so joyful and peace-filled these last several months. I am surprised at my ability to suddenly question bringing home a healthy baby in December. I am ashamed that my doubting, my fear, my hurt has returned to the surface and manifested itself in such a visibly mistrusting way.

I know all of this is "normal"... I know that it's okay to be cautious... but I truly believe that it is NOT okay to worry like I have the past few days. It is NOT okay to give my mind over to anything other than God's promises. He knows what lies ahead... He knows my heart and what we can handle... He is my Father and He has a divine plan for us. Our precious Lord has carried us through and will continue to do so all the days of our lives. He has proven His faithfulness time and time again and it is purely my choice to see those blessings or not... I need to choose daily, every minute, to walk in obedience, in confidence, and in the grace that the Lord has poured out on us.

Please pray for my heart as these last few days have been surprisingly difficult. Please continue to pray for the health, growth, and strength of Faith Clare and for protection over Deacon. And if you will, thank God again for the sweet blessing of our precious Maddox. What a promise to know that we will see him again one day soon!

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."- Philippians 4:6-8

Comments

Laurie said…
Sweet Kenzie,

I know that the tears that you have cried over the past two days have been the exact number that the Lord has meant for you to let go of. Bless Deacons little heart for being so open and honest in his innocence. I believe he is helping you to heal though it may not feel this way now.
I am praying that the Lord gives you the assurance that Faith Clare is just perfect and the peace in your heart to go with this truth. And Philippians 4:6-8 is the scripture I would have given you, but the Lord has that covered:) Bless your heart for loving and missing Maddox so much. His footprints dancing will always be felt on our hearts. Such a blessing he is!! Asking Him to wrap His arms around you right now and that you feel His huge hug.

I love you, Laurie in Ca.
Anonymous said…
Hey Kenz-

It was so great to see you guys this weekend and spend time with you. You and Dusty are such incredible parents. Deacon's sweet innocence just melts my heart and when I read about how you handled his questions, I am truly in awe. I am so thankful that God gives you the wisdom to share the truth with Deacon that helps him understand.

We love you guys so much! Jess and Brent
Tiff said…
Kenzie,

I have been reading your blog for some time and was overjoyed when I heard about baby Faith. What a sweet gift.

I will pray for you guys. God will not waste your pain.

Tiff
Christa Mc said…
oh kenz.. crying with you. love you, christa
Rebecca said…
Hi, Kenzie,

I agree with Laurie. You were supposed to cry those tears. AND you are right that worrying won't do any good.

But it's been less than seven months since Maddox died. Less than SEVEN MONTHS. If you WEREN'T crying your eyes out sometimes (days, weeks), I'd worry.

For what it's worth, I'm proud of how you responded to Deacon. He asked some very grown-up questions, and you answered them in ways it seems like he understands. Good for you, Mama.

I love you even though we've never met. I can't imagine how hard this is, but I'm GLAD I can walk beside you even in this very small way.
Darlene said…
this is such a precious post. Deacon has me crying with his sweet words too.
Thank you for sharing your transparent heart, and thank you for pointing your heart back to the promises of God.
Darlene
Anonymous said…
You are such an amazing mom!! The fact that you face all that you've faced and been in the deepest grief but yet have been able to keep the promises of God so present in your mind-wow. God is working through you. My husband and I are going to pray that God will strenthen and give you peace right now.
Nicole
The Nichols Fam said…
Wow Kenzie. God bless your sweet heart and your sweet Deacon. I will faithfully pray for your requests while also thanking the Lord for a beautiful sweet soul and mother such as you. Much love,Gillian
Emily said…
Oh sweet Kenzie.

My heart aches for you more than you know. Much of the reason it took me at least six months to truly feel hope and joy again was because of all the innocent, heart breaking questions that my Hope asked. Mattie, like Deacon, was just young enough to understand enough but not old enough to ask the really hard questions. Hope was... and is. And the scariest part about the mere possibility of losing another child is imagining seeing that beautiful little face devastated again and fighting once more just to make her smile. It's too much. And that is why you are right - it is wrong to continually give our minds over to anything besides the Lord's promises.

Just as God was faithful to permeate the time with Maddox with joy and peace, He will do the same with Faith Clare. He has always known the number of her days, too, and He will not fail you now. You know that. If you have to remind yourself 90 times a day, there is grace for that and your Lord loves you just the same.

He is your strength and your song. Be gentle with yourself and ask Him to fill you with all you need now.

I can't wait to meet your Faith. She is going to be breath taking and even more incredible than we can dream! :)
Choofy Mama said…
My heart to yours, mama. I completely understand, as we are expecting our 3rd baby, our post-loss baby, after our daughter was stillborn @ 41w in 2007.

our oldest is now 3.5, she was just 25m when Catti died.

For the first few weeks of my pregnancy, she asked me 54839 times a day if God was going to let us bring baby Eli home, or if he would have to go to heaven like Catti did too.

It scared me, it rocked me too, it made my mind go places I felt completely unequipped to.

I have replied to her that we will pray everyday that it is God's plans for this baby to come home with us for a long time, but that only God knows what will happen. I don't know what else to say, how can I guarantee anything?

*hugs* and prayers to you. Mairi sends balloons to her sister often.

JEN
boltefamily said…
I am praying for you Kenz, I have stood where you stand right now. I have answered those same questions from an innocent child and I know how hard it is to stay focused. I will be on my knees for you my friend! I love you and cannot wait to see baby Faith!

Love,
Kristy
Mom said…
We love you and believe God is also working through Deacon to help you contemplate questions that may have cause you distress later on down the pregnancy path. Your answers to his questions and comments are so insightful and appropriate for his age. It has helped him make sense of this loss. We pray for your strength and peace EVERYDAY! When I get stressed or begin to panic, I try to remember this verse to calm my fears . . . Be still and know that I am Lord! We love you guys!!!
Love always,
Mom and Dad
My story is different, but I remember when my Noah came to the hospital to see Alex, he walked into my room with "Christmas" on his face, and scanned the room looking for Alex, he creid when he learned he would not see him. I can see his face so clearly still, it breaks my heart right now. Its so hard to know our children see how hard life can be, and to know that their hearts hurt. You are such a good momma. What a precious day it will be when you get to see Deacon hold baby Faith!
Sweet friend,
I just love you. I feel your heart crys and I will keep on praying for your every need, your every worry to be taken by our Father who holds you in the palm of His hand. Sweet Deacon, what a precious boy, what a wonderful mommy he has.
Baby Faith is bringing your family so much joy, just as her little brothers Maddox and Deacon has. Just keep letting the blessings and your joy override any of the worries and before you know it, you will be looking into the eyes of your precious, perfect baby girl. Tears can do so much good, so it's okay let them flow.
With love and prayers,
Kim
Christine said…
You continue to just inspire me with your realness and honesty. I am praying for Faith and can't wait to meet her sweet face. Know I am praying for you and love you!
Christine
Karen Z said…
Kenzie,

I am praying for you and your sweet family as you go through the grieving and healing process and as you wait until the day you get to see Faith. I just want you to know that your words were a wake up call to me as I read them. I've been in a doubting mood since yesterday afternoon thinking about our situation and all of things I think I should be doing and can't right now or those things that I wish I might have done differently leading up to the days when Nolan will be born. But you are so right that we are not to worry. I know that and you have reminded me to give it all to God in prayer! Thank you so much for your testimony on this blog even through your struggles. You have already helped me tremendously. I know that our God has a special place in heaven for you one day!
Karen
petebon5 said…
oh kenzie! i am so sorry. i am crying with you. however i am proud of the answers that you gave sweet deacon! you and dusty are such great parents and i so admire both of you. i am praying for you sweetie. i can't wait to see sweet baby faith!! hold your head up high! it's ok to cry.
Melody said…
Kenzie,

Your little Deacon never ceases to amaze me. What a sweet, gentle boy! It is heart-wrenching that a two-year-old would have to ask his Mama those hard questions, but what a blessing that you were able to answer as you did. If his words could make me cry, of course they would bring on a few tears from you! I am thankful that Deacon has helped the grieving of baby Maddox in his own special way.

I can understand how hard it must be to trust God with baby Faith, and I'm sure there have been (and will continue to be) several anxious moments. You are right to meditate on God's word (Phil 4:6)and hold tight to His promises.

I think of your sweet family often, and continue to pray for all of your babies.
Christie Wingo said…
Kenzie - it was so nice to visit for a little while today and get to watch the boys play. Even though we don't get to chat often, it's always such a comfort to catch up - we always seem to pick up right where we left off. I will certainly be praying for your tender heart. You have amazing spiritual focus and it will sustain you when times are tough. Don't be too hard on yourself - God understands where you are.
Mrs. H said…
I love the balloon idea. My daughter and I were just talking about doing that to her little brother in heaven. The question your son asked is exactly what my daughter asked when we were in the hospital after just losing our baby! She said, "Is the next baby you have in your tummy going to die too?" Oh how my heart broke with that question.
bookworm said…
Kenzie,
Praying for your heart and Deacon's.
(I'll e-mail some time soon...)
Iric said…
crying sometimes isn't a bad thing.When I read the story,I want to cry too..
You will be OK.You are good parents!
Are you busy these days?Did you see my e-mail.?
Devin said…
Kenzie,

I remember writing about this...how you have so many bad days, then the good days start to come, and then the bad days are fewer and fewer, then become really few and far between....but there will always be bad days. There will always, even years from now, be times that you think of Maddox and won't be able to hold back the tears. That is normal! It is certainly okay to shed those tears, while praising the Lord for your little boy and the impact he had on so many.

I am thankful for the response of your heart, knowing that this 'worry' isn't where you should be, but instead having total faith and trust in Jesus. It is so hard for our human nature to do that all the time...but it is where we should always want to be, you know?

Bless little Deacon's heart...the answers you gave were truthful but simple, and it touched my heart to read what you replied to him. Such innocence at that age...I wish I could bottle that in my boys, I just love it.

You are always in my prayers, and will continue to be!

Dev
Laura said…
Kenzie,

I so remember days like this when I was pregnant with Lucy...she was born 1 year after Pearl! The rollercoaster is incredible but you are doing well in resting in His arms and going with each turn of the ride.

My older 3 kids asked me all the time if Lucy was going to die too. Even when we brought her home with us my 6 year old said, "well, it's good we got to bring her home with us, then we won't be so sad if she dies." I cried the rest of the day after that comment. Deacon is grasping concepts that most adults will never understand. He had a longing in his heart for eternity that nothing can ever take away. I'm sad my kids have the same perspective, but am also so thankful. Keep talking with him...more comments and questions will come after Faith arrives. There will be such a wide range of emotions for you too. I am praying for all of you.
Sending love-
Laura
Tina said…
Reading your post just brought huge tears to my eyes. It is amazing what a sweet 2 year old can ask, isn't it? Love the pictures. Prayers for you and your family!
Corie said…
Thank you for sharing such a precious story. I know how sometimes the words our children speak are so powerful. I find myself stumpped by their questions and answers! My children are 8,7, 5 and 3, so their questions range and the answers different. It is certeinly challenging to me yet causes me to seek my Father more and more each day. He is so good. I know how hard it is to give them an answer to things that we don't always have the answer for. You have been such an amazing mommy to Deacon, Maddox and now Faith. They are so blessed to have a mommy like you thats desire is to Glorify God in all that you do, love them the best you can and answer them the best you can. I have been praying for you over the months and am looking forward to following your story with your little girl. Thank you for the precious pictures. It brings tears to my eyes and a smile to my face. Deacon will be an incredible big brother to Faith. Continuing to pray.
Iric said…
I just want to say,I read the story again. I have to read again and again,so that I can understand everything. Now, I understand. What a hard question. It's too hard to answer .kids' questions. Your answer is true. Remember the day we talk about God?you said if you pray for it, things will be OK finally. So don't worry about that. Hard time and hard question are gone, things are going to be Ok. By the way, I love the ballon idea,Deacon is so kind to send the ballon. Just wait , be patient ,and a great is coming , she will with you for a long time. Baby Maddox is in the heaven with baby Jesus.
The pictures are beautiful ... May God grant safety and peace and healing to your heart and your precious ones today.
Betsy Levenson said…
Children can see things so much more clearly sometimes because they don't have the clouds and fog of doubt and fear. Deacon was able to voice his concern - a concern you hadn't let yourself think about. But as you yourself said, God knows your heart and what you can handle and I truly believe that God knew you needed to voice that concern, cry those tears and experience that "falter" as you called it. We wouldn't be human - imperfect - if we never worried, never feared. But God is right there saying "remember I am here - I know you - I have plans for you - I am with you always".

Praying for your concerns and singing God's praises for Maddox, Deacon, Faith, Dusty and you.

Betsy
Susan said…
Oh Kenzie,

I'm so sorry. I was so deeply touched by this story and your son trying to understand things.

I wonder if God is as moved when we question Him about things we'll only understand when we are finally with Him.

I hope you are doing better now.

(Hey, your blog looks beautiful)

Praying you through,

Susan
Judy said…
I am a new reader to your blog.. I can't remember how I found it but I want you to know that I am lifting you up in prayer as tears are streaming from my eyes. Although my story is different.. I know the yearning of holding a healthy baby in your arms... I tried for 8 years to have a second child and m/c after m/c my little girl would ask .. Mommy, when will God give us a baby? It broke my heart that I couldn't give her the one thing that she desired... I never gave up though and knew that somehow someway God would provide.. and he did.. a miracle baby.. totally healthy.. sleeping tight right now as I type.. Please know that my prayers are with you and yours.. and especially on those days when Deacon asks those innocent questions.. but yet your heart aches and tears stream...
May God continue to knit your precious miracle and bring her to earth to live a long life...
Krista said…
I am so sorry for what you are going through with your PTL and the loss of your little boy. I came across your blog on CF husband and was in tears almost immediately. I lost my son, Henry James at 17 weeks 7 days last December due to a cord accident. Recently my 4 year old has asked me some of the same questions about me having other babies in my tummy (I am not yet pregnant again, though we haven't been preventing it). I told him that there aren't any other babies in my tummy. When I aske dif he wanted there to be he responded with "yes, I want to have another baby, but I want this baby to stay here with us, I don't want it to go to Heaven to live with Henry". I too was instantly brought to tears--the innocence of a child simply amazes me!
Krista

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