The Good, The Hard, and the “Date”

Everyday seems to be a series of mixed emotion.  Joyful, yet sorrowful.  Unknowing, yet peaceful.  Trusting, yet vulnerable.  Understanding, yet so so confused.  This emotional cocktail upped the ante this week as we finally booked a date for our c-section. The date is set for Monday, March 31st.

A flood of thoughts, feelings, and prayers filled my heart as I hung up the phone with the doctor…none of them matching each other and none of them sat fully in any one category of “good” or “bad.”  As I teetered back and forth I realized that this entire journey has been such an acceptance process for me to realize that its okay to live somewhere in the middle.

Here are some examples of what I mean:

The Good:  I do feel a bit of relief now that a date has been set.  It gives me something to count down to and plan with.

The Hard:  Never before has it been so clear to me how little I am in control of.  So while we put that date in the calendar my prayer still remains that God’s timing prevails above our own plans.  If that means bringing Gideon earlier, so be it.  If that means bringing me to March 31st and getting a phone call that my doctor has typhoid fever and will not be able to bring Gideon into the world for two weeks, then so be that too.  To hold lightly to the “good” is a difficult thing.

More Good: I look forward to every precious second, moment, or hour I get with my son.  I am going to smell him more times than I can count.  I am going to kiss those cheeks a million times.  I am going to touch his feet, his hands, his head, his arms, his legs, and his belly over and over and over.  I am going to pray for time to stop and I am expectant that God and a legion of His angels are going to be with us in the room that day.

More Hard:  I cannot imagine saying goodbye.  My countdown of days is not as simple as counting down to meeting my son, it is also a countdown to losing one.  My heart, mind, and soul struggle deeply over this.

I cannot imagine not being able to do this with Gideon all his days too, just like I get to do with this little guy.  My heart has never been so in touch with heaven as I am truly tested to remember...God's shoulder is pretty awesome to fall asleep on too.
I cannot imagine not being able to do this with Gideon all his days too, just like I get to do with this little guy. My heart has never been so in touch with heaven as I am truly tested to remember…God’s shoulder is pretty awesome to fall asleep on too.

Still…More Good:  There is a small piece of my heart that is holding out for a miracle.  I believe that nothing is impossible for God, and that He can raise Gideon to life again.

And Yet…More Hard:  I don’t think that is what God’s choice for Gideon will be.  I believe He can but I don’t believe He will.  I see everyday the impact Gideon’s life has had on my own and on others, and there is an deep sense inside me that knows his little life was meant to make an impact with a short powerful punch.

The Final Good:  God has been so faithful in answering our prayers, I know He is not going to start now.

The Final Hard:  Not once in this process has God answered my prayers the way I expected Him to.  The day before our diagnostic ultrasound on November 21st I was heavy in prayer.  I often journal my prayers and the final thing I wrote was, “No matter what happens God, I pray that tomorrow will be a celebration!”  It took me a long time to be able to look at all of this as actually being one.  In the beginning I would cry “Lord, my prayer was so simple, why could it not be answered??  A celebration was all I asked for and instead…this?!?”  Gradually, through the days, weeks, and months God opened my eyes to the fact that He did indeed answer my prayer.  In fact never before have I seen or been a part of more of a celebration of life than the celebration that has erupted due to Gideon.  Never before have I seen the life of an unborn child take captive so many hearts, its a celebration I am honored to be a part of.

celebration

Over the next few weeks Dave and I will be planning and praying, planning and praying.

If you are a fellow planner, like I am, please in an oh so gentle and erasable way pencil in Monday March 31st for the date of Gideon’s arrival and Sunday April 6th for his Celebration of Life that will be held at Lake Forest Church, Huntersville NC.

If you are a fellow prayer, pray for God’s powerful hand to protect our family during this intensely spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional time.  Pray for Gideon to come exactly the way God had planned before the beginning of time, and pray that our time with him might be powerful, joyful, and full of God’s divine strength and peace.  Pray for my children as they meet their baby brother, one that I know they already love and wish to hold onto forever.  Pray that we get through this, with battle scars yes, but ones that have brought us closer to each other, closer to God, and hopefully have brought you closer too…closer to fully seeing all the power that comes in a journey that depends only on God.  For there is nothing else more reliable to hold onto in a time like this.  No matter the good and no matter the hard.

8 thoughts on “The Good, The Hard, and the “Date”

  1. Still, prayers are lifted. May each moment with your sweet Gideon be forever etched in your heart. May you remember the lively kicks and gentle nudges. May you forever be able to recall the sound of his strong heartbeat. And more than anything, may you, Dave, and each of your children know that you are lifted up in prayer daily as you travel on this journey. What a comforting feeling to know that though Gideon’s life may be short on earth, it is eternal and that all he will ever know is LOVE. –(Nurse) Taylor Smith

    1. Taylor how sweet your words are to me. And how right you are in the hope of eternity. Gideon has truly given me new eyes at the brevity of this life for all of us. I pray even now he knows how much he is loved and how amazingly God has used him. Sooooo you want to work at the hospital March 31st 😉

      1. I wish that I was cross-trained for Labor and Delivery so that I could be a part of your experience. What a gift it would be to hold the babe that has moved mountains in so many people’s hearts?!

  2. Maria, please know that we are praying for your family as you go through this. We love your family very much and it saddens us immensely to know that you are all facing such a difficult situation. I know God is carrying you through it all and will continue giving you the strength until you have reached the end of this journey. Your blogs are so beautiful and so touching. Thank you for sharing your story with us; a story that I know will some day be a comfort to others facing this same situation.
    Please know that we are here for whatever you may need.
    Ileana (Chris and Mike’s friend)

  3. Maria Darling – I wonder if you can truly comprehend the impact that you and Gideon have made on so many peoples’ hearts and lives. The words have not yet been written to describe the the good, the hard, the hope and the love, that your deeply painful, honest sharings have given to me and the many, many folks in my little corner of the world: from nurses at both hospitals, Drs. Hospital and Sarasota Memorial; from members of so many churches, from the East to the West coasts; from Knights of Columbus and Al-Anon; family members both near and far. No matter where I share your story, your faith, your courage, your honesty, your willingness to let us in to your heart, your allowing us to be an intimate part of this journey that God has taken you on; you have been a beacon of Christ’s light and inspiration, and the ripples are spreading farther than you can ever imagine. I recently shared your story and the family tragedy we are experiencing and a soon-to-be Mom (2 weeks to go) told me how much your story meant to her – how inspired she was to hear your courage. Gideon has been brought to life,has touched the hearts and has wrapped his fleece around so many people who love him.
    A few days ago, I opened my bible and found a yellow slip of paper from years ago to remind me to pray for Maria, Colossians l: 9-14. It fits today more than ever: “We ask Giod to fill you with the knowledge of His will, with all the wisdom and understanding that His Spirit gives. May you be made strong with all the strength which comes from His glorious power, so that you may be able to endure everything with patience. And with joy give thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to have your share of what God has reserved for His people in the kingdom of light.”
    Grandpa and I love you dearly. Gram

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