The truth is, yes, I am afraid. Actually very afraid.
I am afraid I will just stop functioning. That my kids, my husband, my home, my life will keep moving…but me? That I will just freeze. Unable to move forward because of the hurt and the pain.
I am afraid that there will not be one second of one day that I am not thinking of his face and missing it. Deeply missing it. I am afraid I will not be able to handle never being able to touch his cheeks again or kiss his toes. That I will just never be okay again.
I am afraid of Gideon’s memory, that it will only ever cause me pain.
I am afraid of what it will be like to watch his life go from him. Not being able to save him, do anything for him…just watch him leave me. Helpless.
I am afraid of living everyday life. How will I get back?
I am afraid of having my milk come in and not being able to nurse. For me, nursing my children has been one of my greatest joys of being a mom. My milk will come in and I am afraid it will be a constant physical reminder me of what I cannot do.
I am afraid of not being a good mom to my kids or wife to my husband because I feel too sad.
I am afraid of having baby weight and no baby to show for it.
Yes. I am very afraid of all of these things. When I let them, they take hold of me and send me sobbing to my knees. And yet, even still, there is hope. Always hope.
I cling desperately to the fact that I can look back, on my darkest moments when we first got the diagnosis and see that even then there was joy. Someway, some how there was joy. I even have a smiling picture here and there. That even in the midst of the darkness there were flashes of light that kept me going.
My life raft is knowing that over and over again, when I get to the brink of sadness and despair, God’s promises have been there. God has been there, and in real tangible ways He literally has picked me up and placed me back on my feet. He has done it before and so I have hope that He will do it again. Even if and when some (or all) of my fears come true.
This weekend we had Dawn Strouse from Chanda Photography come and take belly/family pictures of us. She does this as a charity to families losing their little ones and she will also be in the hospital with us taking memorial photos of Gideon.
Back in December, the mere mention of pregnancy photos sent me into hysterics. How could I document this? This is too painful to photograph, there was no way I could do it. But what I was not capable of then, through time, prayer, and God’s strengthening I am capable of it now. These pictures remind me that even in the midst of deep sorrow, there still can be joy.
Once again I will cling. Cling to knowing that even if my worst fears do come true (and I know now that sometimes they do)…even then God will be there and over time He again will make me capable of things I might not have always been. Even then there can still be joy in the midst of sorrow.
I don’t know what the following weeks will bring. I don’t know what it will be like or what I will be like. I do know that I will not be alone. I have prayed specifically for God’s armies of angels to surround us in that hospital. That Gideon will know only peace and love and that somehow we will get through it. I have no doubt that that prayer will be answered. More hope.
During these past months I have become enthralled by the story in the Bible of when Peter walked on the water. Peter wanted to be closer to Christ, he wanted to know Him more and so Peter asked Jesus to call him out of the boat. Away from the safety of the boat in order to move towards Jesus. I have prayed that exact prayer before, and I meant it. Still do. I just had no idea what getting out of the boat would really be like. To really trust God to help you do something that seems impossible for you to do on your own. I feel like everyday is a walking on water level task.
And like Peter I start to sink every time I take my focus off Christ, even for a second. It says in Matthew 14:29-30 “Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Peter, I feel you brother. There is no doubt that the wind is powerful. Even greater are the waves and the real true threat of them overtaking me. All my fears? They are real, understandable, and undeniable. The Bible never said Peter imagined the wind and the waves, they were actually there. They are seriously, literally here. And they will be for all of us at some point. For me, there are only two options 1. Sink, drown and die. or 2. Fixate my eyes on God.
Here I stand. Counting down the days to Gideon’s arrival, fixated.