Its needless to say that I am, not at all, a morning person. I am a spoiled rotten Mommy who sleeps until 8 most days (mostly because my husband is amazing and partly because he is afraid of me before that hour). But next week? On Tuesday…I need to see the sunrise. I need to be awake at 7:46, the time Gideon was born. I feel the need to honor Gideon’s only 90 minutes with tears, and at the very least, my awakeness! So here’s to setting my alarm clock for 5:30 am. Is that even when the sunrises? Remind me to Google that.
These days are surely interesting ones. With one foot in joy at the news of a completely healthy baby boy growing inside my belly and the other still firmly planted in grief, missing and loving my one true Gideon that can never be replaced. Yes these days are complicated ones, but then God is constantly teaching me through them. Always teaching.
This morning I had to accept the fact that I am pretty sure Gideon’s tree, gifted to us by our precious friends, is sitting dead in my front yard. I have been denying it for awhile. I kept waiting for the first signs of life to show on its limbs, “Come on…just give me one bud…just one leaf! The tree can’t die too! I can’t take the tree dying too!” But alas, spring has sprung and nothing. Just dead tree limbs reminding me of how awful I am at gardening and how real and close death remains.
I frantically call my Dad to ask him to help me get a new one, I text the friends who gifted us the tree and confess that we’ve killed it, and then I cry…cry because how emotionally attached I was to the idea that at least the tree will remind us of his life. Then comes the whisper, the gentle sweet whisper of my God who always shows up when I need Him to…”Maria, you must hold loosely to it all. All of it.” All of it?
What about my kids? What about my husband? What about my house? What about our comfort? What about our never can be replaced ever in the whole entire span of a lifetime hand and footprints of Gideon? What about the also never can ever be replaced platter that has Gideon’s feet along with my other three kids? What about our security? What about our health? What about, what about what about what about…
“All of it, hold loosely to it. Hold firmly only to one thing…ME. The rest will then be okay too.”
Fact is, I’m pretty sure I convinced myself that Gideon’s last traces of being were represented in that tree. I think I needed to lose it for reality to jolt me into place…Gideon’s last traces of being can never die. He is in me. He is in my children. He is forever in the hearts of all those whose lives he touched, and no lack of watering can ever take that away. Not only that, sweet Gideon goes where we go. Its like my daughter said, “Every time I see a beautiful sky it makes me think of Gideon. Like he is right here with us.” To God’s provision, whether it be in skies, or friends, or miracles or mail…to that I will firmly hold.
And then comes God’s provision in all of the above…through my miracle mail today from a friend. Like I said, today was an emotional day. Its funny to me how God notices what I need before I even realize I need it. After driving around to carpools and pickups for what seemed like hours, I went to grab the mail. Out came a mysterious package from a name I did not recognize, what I thought was a medical bill, and another random seemingly junk mail item.
I stared at the package for, what was probably, an awkwardly long amount of time. Again with my crazy brain, I think I really believe God sends me mail. I open it up. Its a beautiful GideonBlue wrapped package with a note, “Dear Maria, Hi! I follow your blog and have been praying for you for the last year…My heart feels with you since I’m a believer, Mom of four, and lover of babies. I know this anniversary of Gideon is HARD. I’ve sent along a little something from the store I work at for baby Samuel’s arrival.”
Sweet Jane, words cannot express how perfectly needed and timely your gift of encouragement and love arrived. So perfect! And in fact, little Samuel’s first precious gift. The first sign in our home that a baby is actually coming, that it just might be happening. Jane, you are simply the bestest!
The other two pieces of mail? Well the “medical bill” was actually a small check from the doctor reimbursing us for an over payment (say what??? that happens?) and the “junk mail” was a rewards card from Dave’s work from a job well done. Now God is just showing off. I love when God sends mail.
In this life, in my life, there holds a series of victories and a series of losses. None really outweighs the other and many of them seem equally as important. Some lay me out and threaten despair and hopelessness. Others perk me up and give me small things to get me through the next moment or day. Through all of it is my Maker, weaving His perfect story through both the heartache and the rejoicing and its because He is fully trustworthy that even the losses will not remain.
Next Tuesday, March 31st is Gideon’s birthday. Have I mentioned that I cannot wait?? Okay, yes, I think I have mentioned it plenty. And don’t forget to #GideonBlue your Gideon Blue wearing! Yes Nana, you can email me the picture too to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the awesome name of Jesus, who loves you and me enough to die and live again…may both your losses and victories be divinely woven because you’ve gripped tightly most fervently onto Him.