Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Circle of Life; Mufasa Might Have Been on to Something

From here on out, for the rest of our lives, March and April will be such exciting months for us!
In March we celebrate many family birthdays but we also celebrate our sweet boy's first breath of life... the one that happened 10 weeks before it 'should' have.... but didn't happen one moment too soon.
We celebrate Easter this month... and not only the sacrifice God made for our sins but also the MIRACLE of His resurrection!
April brings with it many more family birthdays and also April 16... the day we met our precious miracle... and the start to the most terrifying, exhilarating, challenging, and joyous year of our lives.
It's this time of year when we anticipate the start of Spring, longer daylight hours, evening walks, ice cream!, flowers....
Even in light of the exciting weeks that lie ahead, my heart has been so heavy... conflicted, even.
For one precious family, March will always bring much different memories... of their sweet baby girl who, born too early, breathed her first breath on Earth in her Mama's arms... and her second in the arms of Jesus.
For another family, March will always bring so much pain... one very normal morning in March, they couldn't wake their sweet baby boy... and that memory will never leave them.
And another family... they are so precious to us... while they will always take comfort in knowing that their baby boy's first breaths were filled with the fragrance of Heaven, his first hug was in the arms of Jesus, and his first sounds were the Angels singing.... and even though they will celebrate his birthday this month and look forward to seeing him again, March brings them heart-ache and pain.

Another precious family in our lives.... planned and prepared to welcome their baby boy into their family through adoption... arrived at the hospital on the day of his birth.... met him and held him... and learned that his First Mama wasn't completely honest with them... about her life and hopes and expectations.... and as much as their hearts hurt, could only make decisions for their sweet daughter and her future... and they had to say 'no'. They know their family will grow and when it does, it will be right... like God planned... but March will always remind them of that sweet boy they expected and lost.

An then yesterday.... a family we all 'know' now.... fought with everything in them to be able to give a special baby girl their love and home... and we fought with them, too. Then, unexpectedly, in a matter of minutes.... their hearts were crushed. And if you were anything like me yesterday... your's was crushed, too. March will always remind them of the baby girl they so vividly saw becoming a member of their family.

For us, March is now one of the best months of the year for all of the miracles is represents.... but I also can't help but remember the boys we had planned to bring home in March, 2 years ago. As much as I believed then that they were our's... that they were meant to be in our family... I also know now that they weren't. They are someone else's.  I am so thankful that they weren't meant for us and I wouldn't want it any other way. But still... I think about them and I remember the physical and emotional pain we lived in for weeks...even months... after their birth. I remember the empty nursery and the precious bedding... the adorable clothes.... car seats... 2 of everything!

We could probably do this about every month of the year, huh?

It doesn't matter that each memory revolves around a single day...the month will still hurt.
It doesn't even seem to matter that each family has HOPE in Jesus Christ and peace in knowing that their babies... their lives... are with Him or live in His hands.
And even though each memory, each heartache, happened to one family... the circle of people who hurt with those families goes so far beyond them.
 It's the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle The Circle of Life

That song has always felt so ... 'Earthy'... 'New Agey'. And I haven't seen the Lion King in years... like, many years. But that song.... it's in my head and even though it's driving m crazy I knew there had to be a reason for it....

A few years ago... right after we brought Hannah home... a friend of our's lost her baby. Every miscarriage is devastating. Heart-breaking. I wasn't sure how to encourage and support her when we had just brought our own long-awaited baby home.. surely our joy only deepened her pain... right?

So I distanced myself. I didn't know what else to do.

She and I reconnected when Hannah was about 6 months old... her baby would have been celebrating a birthday the next week.

She had felt my distance and asked me about it... I explained my 'reasoning' as gently as I could and her response shocked me...

"Yeah, I lost my baby.... and as painful as it was and as much as I didn't understand 'why', I also knew that it was God's plan... one I would understand when He knew I was ready. Seeing you and Joey with Hannah only made me happy... in a way I was thankful that, even though we lost a life, God was showing me through Hannah that He creates it, too! It was a strange circle but seeing you happy wasn't painful... it gave me hope for our future."

And she quoted my 'life verse'...

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you... plans to give you hope and a future."
~ Jeremiah 29:11

It's the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the Circle The Circle of Life

It still sounds strange and new-agey to me but there's truth in King Mufasa's words, too ... words that seem to be in line with MY King's Word.

Those families and their memories will last forever.... and maybe time will dull the pain... or maybe, one day, like us, they'll be able to look back at where they were, and compare that to where they are and know 'why'... and then maybe those memories won't hurt so bad...

But time doesn't heal all pain.

It just doesn't.

And I am SO glad it doesn't!

The circle of life.....

I need those memories and the pain they still bring me today, to be able to fully appreciate and take joy in what is happening in my life now...

'Till we find our place on the path unwinding.

Our path's are unwinding, aren't they?

None of us will look back in time, to the 'March' of our lives and think that, if they could have changed it, they wouldn't.


They'll feel it all over again. They'll hurt again. And cry again.

As I prepare for Hunter's first birthday, as I decorate our house, wrap gifts, and prepare myself for the emotions that are sure to overwhelm me in the next few weeks...

My heart aches...

For my friend who only lets herself break on the drive to and from work.

For my friend who only gets out of bed to take her daughter to school... and then comes home and gets right back in.

For the mom who is still recovering from giving birth to her baby girl.... but who doesn't have her baby girl to hold.

For the family who is solid in their faith and knows how to write about how great God is, even when things don't go as planned.... but who still ask 'why' and hurts so badly inside at the loss of the future they had hoped for.

Nothing anyone can say will make March easier for them...

Not "I'm praying for you." or "It will get easier." or "Just focus on what you DO have."

(Honestly... those well-intentioned remarks almost make it worse.)

So as I prepare for MY last couple weeks of March, that look so very different for us now than they used to...

I'm going to remember that we are all only part of the way around our own circles of life...

the path is still unwinding.


To each of you...

Your hurt is not your own... and it won't go away. 
But you've already gone through despair.
Your story isn't done... and I don't know what April will look like... but I know it won't be March.
 I'm here... and I love you...

and I can't wait to watch you travel soon, through hope and faith and love.

~ Me


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