Friday, August 29, 2014

Pain and Loss

Life sometimes has a way of throwing some pretty nasty curve balls.  Unexpected and tragic events.  Events that make the next breath something you have to think about since you don't realize you are holding your breath hoping things will pass quicker.  We have walked through and are currently walking through difficult times.  Things that make sitting down and dialoguing with your children necessary.  Things that you can't answer because they don't make sense. 

Eleven months ago we got a phone call that sucked the air right out of my lungs.  Someone in our family had taken their life.  Screams of disbelief came pouring out of my mouth into the air. Guttural sobs knowing two little girls would grow up without their mama. Instantaneous spiral of emotions.  Darkness so thick in the moment that you aren't sure how anyone will stay standing. Has time stopped? Tears, why's, confusion, anger giving way to glimpses of redemption, hope and peace.

Fast forward eight months to this spring.  In the quietness of the night, as our children were sleeping again we received devastating news.  This time the life our nephew who was being knit together in his mothers womb was not expected to experience life outside of the womb. Tears, whys, confusion, anger again giving way to glimpses of redemption, hope and peace.

I walked into the hospital this week with anticipation that we finally would see this little miracle, Josiah Emmanuel Holsing, who defied the odds and made it to term.  Anticipation at what God might do.  Emotions so varied you can't even put them into words that will make sense.  How can you feel anticipation when you have been told his little life will be so desperately short? 

I'll tell you how I had anticipation:  my beautiful heavenly Father is how.  I was able to rest in Him.  In knowing that God had worked a miracle in allowing Josiah to be with his parents all the way to week 39 when they were told he shouldn't have made it to week 20.  I was able to celebrate His life knowing it isn't over.  Eternity becomes almost tangible in those moments.  The moments where you feel suspended between here and there - earth and heaven.  So close you feel like you could almost step into it.

I have cried more tears this past year than I have in a very long time.  And this week? So many tears my eyes hurt. My heart aches.  I cannot begin to fathom holding my baby only to let them go so soon. There really aren't answers to give my children.  We talk, we process, we talk some more.  In our finite minds we want to figure everything out.  But sometimes you just can't.  And in those moments you can still proclaim with absolute certainty that God is still good!! In the midst of it all He never changes! He is our steadfast hope! He is our salvation! He is the one who scoops us up and holds us tenderly. 

As one person so beautiful stated to Mark and Hannah: "Because of your hearts, Josiah got to be held in the hands of his mommy and daddy before being handed to the Hands that shaped the world."

Mark and Hannah, I have said it over and over and I will continue to say it:  Josiah was so blessed to spend these months knowing your love!  You allowed him to experience life.  He climbed Mt Nittany with you, went to see fireworks with you, was in countless pictures, spent time in our home with my girls talking to him asking him to move for them. We are so grateful you chose life for him!  And Josiah, I could not be prouder of you!  We love you forever and always!