One Year Later- A Letter
The letter below was written today to my closest friends. I wrote this for them... to know where we are now and to see how far we have come in a year... to know that their support and love has been one of the greatest gifts of all... and to know that Maddox will always be a precious part of this family. I decided after some debating that I would post this to share with everyone about this day one year ago. God has been so faithful and has truly carried us in these trying times.I have thought about the arrival of this day many times in the past year. I wondered how I would feel, what emotions would be like, and quite honestly how our family would look. Well… here we are. We have arrived “back” at what seems like the beginning of this journey and I wanted to share a little of what I’m feeling.
The devastation that took place in our hearts on this day, one year ago, is something that I will always remember. It’s one of those experiences that, for good or bad, will always remain etched in my mind. I now look back on the days prior to this one, the years prior to this one, and seem to remember life being so good, almost care free. It’s strange how things can simply change in an instant. Hearing those words… remembering what it was like to sit in that room… somehow I knew it was real, that it was my life but I was determined not to let the enormity of it all crush us in those critical moments. Today, just simply seeing this date on my calendar brings all those memories flooding back. I now wonder how I ever thought it was possible to forget just one short year later.
As I recall so many things, like driving home from that life-changing appointment with tears streaming down my face and my almost 2 year-old chatting away in the backseat, I remember feeling it all with such an incredible numbness. It was suddenly my worst nightmare… one I never had even confronted until that time… and I realized that life and death literally hung in the balance. But whose life and whose death? Was it my unborn son’s death or my own…? Could I make it through this? What did life mean? Was it in this life that we would truly get him? Or was it our lives that would have to continue on without this precious baby I was carrying inside? Did life for him mean “eternal life” with Christ?
All of these questions flooded my mind, but they weren't what came to the forefront… Instead those questions were to be answered in two short days when we received the initial results. What genetic condition does Maddox have? What do we do? Where do we find answers? What plans do we make? How are we going to get through this? What does tomorrow hold? How am I even going to make it to tomorrow?
On this day one year ago, my mind and my heart were not just broken, they were shattered. I truly think that for the first time in my life I could have just curled up in my tear-soaked bed and not cared if I ever awoke again. The pain and gravity of it all and confronting our new reality was almost too much to bear.
But guess what? God came and spoke to me that night of Wednesday, September 26th, 2007. He spoke through Dusty in those critical moments in the doctor’s office and just a few hours later that evening He spoke to me through six beautiful friends that quickly came, not knowing what to expect but deciding to be there for whatever news was to come. Our amazing God spoke to me through YOU! Each one of you were there… you were standing in the gap, allowing your hearts to be broken at the thought of what we were facing… at the thought of what we were in the middle of. You were there to listen to me talk, to cry, to tell you that we had no idea what to do. You were there when I was more broken than I ever imagined I could be… and God was there. He was there as He allowed your arms to be the ones to hug me, your hands to hold mine, and your tears to express the pain that somehow He felt too. He was truly there among us that night… I can clearly see it now.
God has used each of you so mightily in our lives in this past year. We continue to be so amazed at the love, time, money, service and silent acts that have been such huge blessings to us. I know that somehow God would have carried us through if each of you weren't here in the middle of this… but I can’t tell you what sort of shape our family would be in if that had been the case. He has given each of you an amazing gift of friendship that would be impossible for me to ever truly express. The way you have cared for us is beyond measure and is beyond what I ever imagined possible. Undoubtedly we have experienced great loss this year, but we have also experienced something ever greater in return: the love, service and prayer that can only come from those who trust in the One True God… the One who has allowed us to walk through this blazing fire without dying from the intensity and heat of it all.
I want each of you to know- Christine, Shelli, Lezlie, Katie, Jennie, Christa- that you mean the WORLD to me. You were here with us one year ago, praying, as I cried about the unknown and what was to come… You were there at the hospital just 8 months ago, praying, as I cried over my precious Maddox that entered the world and quickly left it… You were there at the service four short days later, praying, as we shared the blessing of our second son and said goodbye… You have been there day in and day out, praying, as I have grieved, suffered, cried, and sat silent… You have each been there… praying… and I love you more than you will ever know for that! You have been such a tremendous blessing to us, and surely you will be rewarded eternally for it.
Thank you… I love you girls!
"I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds."- 2 Corinthians 7:4