Truth is, yes. I am afraid.

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.

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him."  Psalm 28:7
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7

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.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."  Romans 12:12
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12

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.

"Our mouths were filled with laughter,     our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations,     “The Lord has done great things for them.” 3 The Lord has done great things for us,     and we are filled with joy."  Psalm 126:2-3
“Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.” Psalm 126:2-3

9 thoughts on “Truth is, yes. I am afraid.

  1. You will mourn. A lot. But you will also smile again–and when you do, don’t feel guilty. You have a wonderful, beautiful baby that is God’s special creation and design inside of you right now and soon will join us out in the world–even if just for a little bit. God isn’t to blame for our babies’ physical problems, but God can and does use the pain in our lives for a great design. Does that sound hard to you right now? Sometimes it sounds really hard to me. You love Gideon, and he loves you, and God has His arms around your whole family no matter what! And it will hurt a lot, but you will smile again–and you will smile without forgetting your baby. We don’t experience joy again because we forget the pain; we experience joy in spite of it. I hope the next couple of weeks can be a joyful time with your unborn baby!

  2. Maria, You are truly beautiful from the inside out. Unconditional love was never more beautifully chronicled. Thank you Gideon for loving your family and sharing that love with complete strangers.

  3. Maria I am in awe everyday of how strong your faith is. How you find God in every situation. It is so easy to find him in the happy things that happen in our lives. But to find him in the saddest, most earth shattering and painful times…that is so Hard and the truest test of faith. Your strength as a woman, a mom and as a family is inspiring. I pray for you all everyday that God will be with you, comfort you and help you through this. I pray that God and all of our family that have gone home before him will greet Gideon and keep him forever safe and loved.
    Love you ❤ Cuz,
    Michelle

  4. I am so very sorry you have been chosen to walk this journey ….. definitely not one any of would choose if given our own choosing. I realize there are no words one can say. I am guess that you may already be familiar with this author, but if not …. definitely a woman you would love to know. Her name is Nancy Guthrie. She has several amazing books, but my favorite is “Holding On to Hope – a pathway through suffering to the heart of God”. She and her husband lost two precious babies and there is no denying as you read their story, only God could have ordained such a course. Definitely doesn’t make sense and beyond our comprehension …… but oh how His Might and His Faithfulness are made known. You will love her honesty. She and her husband have retreats for couples who have lost a child. I have some very close friends who went to one and they say life was restored to places of their heart that they never thought would breathe again.

    I already see His Faithfulness and His Might being displayed and woven through your heartwrenching walk. Gideon is making footprints on all of our hearts and we will never be the same.

    1. Thank you Mary, yes, I cried through and clung to every single word of “Holding Onto Hope.” God has sent things to me in intervals and Nancy’s books was one of the things that was given to me at just the right time. The retreat sounds amazing, thank you sharing that, I am going to look into those!

  5. Maria

    Know that we are all praying for you and the family at this time and have been throughout. God is allowing you to touch so many through the sharing of your pain. As much as you will miss having Gideon with you each day know that God will guide you through this and make you stronger for it as you are able to minister to others that will need your wisdom and understanding to help them make it through. Much love and prayer to you all.
    Cousin Patty

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