It’s an honor to have the chance to share some thoughts about Gideon and this road we are on. Its also a blessing to share with you our journey through the toughest season of our lives. Here are 7 observations and lessons I have learned in this season:
1) A roller coaster – each day on this season has been unpredictable. Will we dwell on the inevitable? Will we find peace with God? Will we just not feel like doing anything? Will we remember the blessings and live for today and not think past it? The pain is definitely constant, it’s not easy to forget for sure. But, you have to do something to get through it, so you look at the blessing Gideon has brought and the preciousness of the kids you have. Every time we feel like we just can’t take anymore, God always steps in. It’s crazy how that has happened time and time again.
2) Grieving looks very different for the two of us – Maria has days of crying and deep sadness often. As her husband, I want to love on her and help her, but many times I feel helpless in that. Often times I feel bad that I don’t have days like that. I want my wife to see that I am hurting too and she wants to know that I am. And I am…it just looks very different. Sometimes I have days where I am just mad at circumstances or people for no reason. I have always been one who doesn’t get overjoyed about our children until they are born, so I’m sure when Gideon is born, it’s going to hit me the most.
3) The outpouring of love – it’s truly amazing how many blessings we have received from other people during this time. Cards, time spent, constant check-ins, random gifts, many prayers, meals, love in so many ways. I am just in awe of you, of how you have carried us, of how when we feel like hope is lost, a nice note or a cookie cake just shows up out of nowhere and reminds us that we are not fighting this alone. Seeing how much you care has changed me a lot as well. From my perspective, life should be this way more often, where we ask how each other are doing, give random gifts, pray for each other often, and just look out for each other. It’s naive to think that we don’t all struggle with things every day, and we long to have someone care about what we are going through. So thank you, you have been more of a blessing then you can even imagine.
4) Contentment and acceptance – because of the hurt I feel inside on a daily basis for my wife and child, I began looking for bursts of happiness – maybe seeking a new job will provide some happiness, maybe getting a new car, maybe going on an exciting vacation, maybe joining a new sports team, maybe training for and running a marathon, maybe drinking, maybe maybe maybe maybe…I have spent time pursuing each of those things. But, I have had to realize that this is the season we are in, none of those things will satisfy or take that hurt away. Instead, I have found true peace in daily time with God, to see with His eyes and not my own, and to just focus on today. Not to worry about the worst case scenario that tomorrow might bring. Once I came to a place of acceptance, I saw God at work and I knew He is with us and teaching us so much about ourselves. Teaching me how to be a better husband, dad, and man. The days are heavy, and the road has seemed long, but I know I want to walk it with God, it’s the only hope we have.
5) Living for today – I tend to over-analyze everything, to the point that I drive myself crazy often. I think through everything, even if it’s the order in which I need to do my morning routine or exactly how events will play out in descriptive detail, I mean it’s crazy. I also think a lot about events coming in the future, I think about where I’ll be, who will be there, what will they be thinking about, what do I need to bring, what do I need to wear, what type of impression will I make, etc etc etc….again, driving myself crazy. I have had to try very hard in this season, to focus on today and let tomorrow take care of itself. As I sit down to pray each morning, I try and just pray about today, see the blessing in today, and make the most of it. This has taught me a lot, I don’t really have a choice to think past right now. If I do, if I think about precious Gideon, surely I’ll lose it.
6) True belief in Heaven and never-ending life – this thought has brought me through many days. I have always been a firm, tangible believer in eternal life and Heaven and that death is just a step you take into Heaven if you trust in and believe in God. And, I know that God has a place there for babies. So, I often hear, “that doesn’t make this any easier right?” The truth is, it makes it a whole lot easier for me. Maybe it’s my literal-thinking mind, but I believe this. I believe that if you are 26, 85, 4, 100, or 2 hours old, if you have put your trust and faith in Jesus (if you are old enough) that you simply take that step into Heaven, eternal glory, you are made perfect, no more suffering or pain, you live forever! What a great hope we have! Gideon will not have to experience many hardships in life, he will get to be with God right away. It’s almost like God is reaching his hand out right now, and I take great peace in that. As parents, we are truly called to take care of our kids while they are ours, and our duties with Gideon will be much shorter, but one day we will rejoice with him.
7) Loving your wife in all circumstance – Many days during this season I have had to carry this family, and it’s a true honor. I can’t imagine what Maria feels, how she wakes up every day. I am in awe of her strength that I know only God could provide. I have gained a new appreciation and a new realization of how much I love my wife. She is amazing. Especially with kids, it’s easy to let life just happen and not remember why you chose to spend the rest of your life with someone. This season has been a wake-up call for me for sure. I pray that as husbands and wives, you love each other every day like the day you got married. Tomorrow is not promised, and we are blessed to have someone to walk alongside and live this life with.