Moving On

Life is good. It is, isn't it? Life is hard and full of disappointment though too. Right? I feel like I've been all over the place lately, oscillating back and forth between those two extremes, knowing they are both true and also knowing that God is still the same in all of it. Let me just be honest and say that lately I have been feeling the weight of life. The weight of a husband that works incredibly hard for our family, but is gone often. The weight of managing a one-income home. The weight of giving my all to my children throughout the day. The weight of Maddox's birthday upon us.

The words have almost left my lips about a half-dozen times in the last few days... "Please pray for me, it's almost here..." and then just as I felt the urge to blurt them out, they disappear. I struggle with the conflict- I don't want to be needy and yet, I don't want to ever feel like we are past it. Maybe that's my biggest fear and therein lies the conflict... maybe I just want to feel emotional because at least then I know that I'm feeling something about my 3 lb baby that left my arms too quickly. Everything considered, I will certainly never forget... but will others?

It's hard moving on... like anything I suppose. Maybe that's why our grandparents speak of the "old days" which such fondness. Maybe those old times weren't even that great and yet they linger in our minds for a lifetime. It seems that God has created us with an amazing ability to retrospectively gloss over the pain and difficulty of a situation and instead allow the blessings of that same situation to linger. I'm so thankful for that ability... and yet, some days the overwhelming weight of it all can still pull me down.

This happened the other night when I spoke to a girl who's father just passed away. I was telling her that I had been praying over her family, for her father's salvation, and that they were really on my heart. I knew that she didn't know me, but then I realized amidst the conversation that because of that, I really didn't know how to explain that I understood the hurt of losing someone you deeply love. I stumbled through it, usually not the one to be lacking words, and left feeling confused, frustrated, and honestly sad. I don't ever want to be "that girl" and yet, after walking away from the conversation, I longed to be known. On some level I know that it is selfish, but I also know that I really wanted her to know our story- to know of God's glory, answered prayers, and beautiful healing. The bigger picture? More than anything I want people to remember Maddox and the faithfulness of our precious Lord. That's Maddox's legacy, God's story, and my ministry. I just don't want any of this to be forgotten... and still life moves on... and so do people.

It's all just so hard.

Instead of allowing the words to escape me again, I would simply ask that you would pray for us in these days leading up to Maddox's birthday. They are bittersweet as I recall the "lasts" that I shared with him before and right after birth. I love each of my babies and while God has overwhelmed us with joy in Deacon and Faith Clare, Maddox is still Maddox and I miss his presence in our daily lives.

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."- James 1:2-4


Shana said…
I am praying for you. I know how hard it is to lose a child and mine didn't make it as far as Maddox but a child is a child. They are all special and deserve to be known and remembered. God bless you.
Rachel E. said…
Praying for you & your family. I'm so glad you shared this with your blog friends.
Stephanie said…
Praying for your family, your strength, and for your continued courage through Him. You are absolutely admirable and your feelings are incredibly justifiable and understandable! Never let the words get away from you that you need prayer, we should all be so
lucky to have others pray for us and to let others know WE know Who is really in control ;)

mrsrubly said…
o kenzie! your sweet little maddox will never be forgotten! i will pray w/out ceasing for your precious faithful family kenzie. atually i would be honored to do this.
Emily said…
Why can't you live across the street? Really. I understand so much of what you're saying and you can count on me to stand in the gap for you. I know it's almost here. I know what it's like to relive those lasts and then to grieve for all those firsts that never came. It still hurts, doesn't it? So deeply. God is good and He will carry you through. You know that. As long as there's breath in any of us - or our children - these babies will never be forgotten and God will receive ALL the glory for their sweet earthly lies.

Thanking Him that our treasures are truly stored up in Heaven...

Emily said…
OBVIOUSLY, that meant to say their sweet earthly LIVES. ;)
karina said…
Kenzie. On some level I feel a deep sisterhood with you, though our circumstances are different. On one level I'm a mom who has lost 3 babies in early miscarriage. On another level I'm an aunt who this last week had walked through the 1st anniversary of my great nephew's birth and death from T18 with my niece. It's hard. A road that Jesus has had to carry me down because I could not do it on my own strength, but at the same time there is anticipation of seeing how the story will unfold as we touch the lives of others. Maddox is a part of Mason's story too.

I will pray for you as you approach the day, that Jesus will carry you and that you can eagerly anticipate how God will touch others through Maddox's story and life. Be bold in speaking the glory of God shone through Maddox.

Much love.
Michelle Jamie said…
I wish I could give you some words of comfort from scripture that only a mother who's lost a child can. I believe God has given me a gift to share in the griefe of others but that doesn't make it the same.

I whatched this video the otherday and there is one part in that video i thought of while reading your post. I hope it is of some help to you!
Lezlie said…
Love you, my sweet friend. I think of precious Maddox much more often than I ever say.
Laurie in Ca. said…
Oh I love you Kenzie and I am praying you through. I will never forget Maddox and the blessings of praying for him and you. Asking HIM to lift you up:)

Love and Hugs, Laurie
Kathy said…
Praying for you and your family as you celebrate the birth and home- going of your precious son Maddox. He has taught us so much as you have so generously shared with us Kenzie.

May the Lord continue to use and bless your sweet family. I know He will hold you close and that you will experience His peace that passes all understanding.
Andrea said…
Remembering with you. Praying for you. God be glorified. :)
Kirsten said…
Sweet Kenzie,

Oh how I relate to what you shared. You are in my prayers as always. Maddox will never be forgotten. He has touched so many lives already and He continues to through you. There are lots of people praying for you. I wish I could give you a big hug.

I've been thinking about all of the Atlanta girls a lot lately and I thought it was just because I hadn't had a chance to check in. But now I know, God was putting you on my heart because of the birthdays. He has arranged prayer coverage you don't even know about. :o) He will carry you through this. Love you!
Jennifer said…
I am SO glad to read this post b/c I have been thinking about you as the 23rd is approaching & wondering how you are feeling & how I can better pray for you & Dusty!! I so wish I was there to give you a hug in person, but know you are loved and thought of from "afar" (Nashville;) )!
I love you sweet friend & our family has been marked forever by sweet Maddox's short legacy...Yes life moves on all too quickly, but know that we haven't forgotten! Love you sweet friend! Come visit us soon!
Kenzie, I don't comment often but have been following your blog for 2 years now. I thought of you on Tuesday when a friend of mine lost her perfectly healthy 5.5 month old son. She went in to get him from his nap and he had passed away. I thought about how her strength reminds me so much of your own strength. Always wanting to do more for others but afraid of asking for that same gift back. People deserve to know your story and should no your story. Your story is one that Jesus wants you to share to show His glory to others. I will be praying for you and for Maddox. Thank you for writing so truthfully what you feel. It touches so many of us.

Devin said…
I've been thinking about you so much, Kenz, as Feb. approaches....

I think the hard thing is sometimes that you don't (and, by that I mean a generic "you", as in "ALL people") always want to be the one bringing your loss up--it's nice when OTHERS remember, you know? When they recognize you are hurting and they pray for you (and let you know they are) without you having to say, "Oh, I'm just sad these days because I'm thinking of the baby I lost...."

I know it is like that for me, anyway. People do move on, and we do to--God gives healing and it is important to LIVE our lives. But, just because you remember the past (and you always, always will!) that doesn't mean you aren't living today, in these moments too. Am I making any sense? I just mean that just because you remember and weep for your Maddox doesn't mean that you are living in the past, you know? You certainly aren't doing that.

We will always remember--they are our children! That's the only way it's supposed to be. :)

Love you friend--I got your email and I am glad you were blessed by the 'tribute' for the babies. We should meet our girl any day--I'll make sure to keep you updated.
Madaline Jane said…
Thinking of you and your family, Kenzie!

Cathy said…
Oh sweet Kenzie, please know that I will be praying for you and your family. Even though you know Maddox is whole and happy, that doesn't take away your ache and longing to mother him. The hard part is to leg go.. you faithfully did but you keep telling all about sweet Maddox.
Autumn said…
Thank you for being so honest and not glossing over difficult emotions. I am sharing many of the same struggles, and it helps to know I am not alone. I am praying for you as Maddox's birthday approaches. I think of you and Maddox often, perhaps because our stories are so simliar. Maddox's life has touched so many...he will not be forgotten.
Mego711 said…
Hi Kenzie,
I will be lifting you and the family up this coming week. Scott and I were just talking about your exact post during Christmas break. Extended family members have moved on but you are still walking/living your day to day without your baby boy. And God has been good to sustain and heal and provide strength but you can't help but to look back and look ahead to what is missing in the family unit. And yet the entire time you want people to see Jesus is the one who can give us that hope,strength,endurance and not have your loved ones passing go without someone questioning how paper thin life is. Because ultimately we would love to see that somehow these little ones that have gone too soon can touch lives to save souls for Christ. And that we can be there ready to give an answer for the hope we have in Jesus!
Be strong and courageous Sister! Press on and into Jesus!

Love your Sister in Christ- Megan in Utah!

ck out At your feet by Casting Crowns..just meditate on it. Kutless too, I'm still yours. Two songs that touch my heart. God is ABLE!
Christy said…
Saw your blog link on Jennifer's tweet. I will be praying for you this week. Our youngest are a week apart. We also have suffered several losses. My prayers for you and your husband because it is never easy. Hold onto your faith!
rkcampbell said…
I came across your blog and read your post and just want you to know I totally understand where you are coming from. It will be 8 years since we buried our son, Micah. I don't want people to think I'm dwelling on his death, but I will never forget him. And why would I want to? Unless a person has been through this, I don't think they can fully understand. So many times, I just don't say anything at all. And then I feel like I've betrayed my son's memory. It's not an easy place to be. I will be praying for you. May you feel God's comfort & peace in the coming week.

Sara said…
Wow, almost 2 years without your precious Maddox in your earthly arms. My sweet son Samuel joined Maddox in heaven about 9 mos later... Maddox was there to welcome him. Everything that you said resonates deep in my heart.... it is so hard and for me a daily struggle still wanting to talk about him, share him with others... why does it seem like there are so few that are up for truly walking the road with us? I had just moved to this town 3 mos. before losing Samuel. Praise God,he has been faithful to bring friends into my path.

Kenzie, sorry to ramble on about our loss. I found your blog and a lot of your Atlanta gals blogs about 5 mos before our loss. I know that God was preparing me for our loss by watching all of you ladies walk your own journeys... It blessed me beyond measure. Thank you for writing with honesty and deep love for your 3 kids.

I will be lifting you up before our Father as we approach the 23rd. Maddox and you have blessed many lives by sharing his story here.... Thinking of you and your precious boy!
Kenzie - Its been a long time since I have commented - but you remain in my thoughts and prayers. I love your family photo in the last post - to see the joy in all of you is priceless! God is faithful and His love is amazing!

Hugs and much love in 2010!
Julia said…
will be praying for you guys as Maddox's birthday approaches. honestly, i can't say i know how you feel, because I don't. and to be completely honest, I don't know how you handle it. I'm not sure I could endure something like that.

I hope this doesn't come out the wrong way, but I truly believe that God chooses certain people to endure these situations because HE knows you, your heart and how you will glorify HIM through it all. does that make sense? I hope it didn't come out the wrong way.

Many blessings to you, sweetheart and your family!! Lots of love from Indiana!

Betsy said…
Sweet Kenzie, as others have said, never hesitate to ask us to cover you and your family in prayers. It is through these prayers that God continues His works thru Maddox and you.

I OFTEN think of sweet friends I have known through the years and their precious children they have lost at different times in their lives. Unfortunately, I am no longer in touch with these friends to be able to tell them how I continue to remember them and their children and continue to be blessed by God through having known them and walking with them and praying for them through their pain. And so it will be with Maddox and your family. Many, many years from now Maddox and your family will still be remembered by many people you didn't even know, but God used Maddox, you & your family to reach out to and touch. And although they might not be able to tell you, know in your heart that Maddox will NEVER be forgotten by the thousands of people who God and Jesus touched through him and your family.

Prayes are covering you not only now during the weeks before and after Maddox's birthday, but for many, many years to come.

Love your sister in Christ (and Theta)
mrsmarkdave said…
Kenzie -
I read your story on Saturday night. When I was finished, I was sitting on my couch sobbing. Uncontrollably. I could hardly even breathe. My husband asked what was going on and I couldn't even speak to tell him.
Yesterday at the gym on the elliptical machine, I was telling my mom about your story. I told her that in this video (I watched on youtube) before the birth you wouldn't know what these people were about to encounter or even that they knew what was to come. And after the birth of Maddox, you would never know that these people had just said hello and good-bye to their baby in almost one breath. They were so full of joy and gratefulness for the short time God had given them their little baby even in the midst of deep, deep sorrow. I could almost not even tell my mom without crying. I had to keep pausing and holding my breath to keep the tears from falling. Then I told Mom what you said about him opening his eyes and seeing his earthly father and closing his eyes and seeing his heavenly Father. My mom stopped rowing and looked at me in complete shock. My mom - well it takes a LOT to move her. (I often tell her she has ice flowing through her veins) This story moved her.
So, I'm thinking of and praying for you in the days to come, and Maddox will never be forgotten. Especially by the One that really, truly matters. And He is taking good care of Maddox now while they wait for us all to join them in eternity someday.
Thanks for sharing your story and giving us all a glimpse into your strong faith. It is possible to have the Joy of Jesus even when your heart is absolutely broken. You are living proof of that.

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