Wednesday, December 29, 2010

21 Weeks - still perfect

I knew it would be a different Christmas.
Our first Christmas without Amelia. sigh
Maybe it was a bit of a self fulfilling prophesy,
but it was indeed a very difficult Christmas.

Christmas Eve Tim and Noah were both very sick.
Puking, diarrhea. Let's just say it was a messy morning.
Determined to spend the holiday per our Lorang family tradition  - we headed out to Tim's parents for soup, presents, cookies & Christmas Eve service at Mount Olive as a family. Sadly, Tim and Noah did not make it to church. As for me, the entire day was an emotional roller coaster. Between the morning sickness(why do they call it that when it lasts all day long?!?!), attempting to play nurse to Noah and Tim (sorry guys, I tried), and just plain getting through the day without Amelia, I found myself completely drained by 6:00pm.

All day long I felt as if I was watching myself carry out my day, my heart and mind separate from my body. I'm not quite sure how to explain that....

When Tim told me he was going to take Noah home and not go to church, I felt my gut twist up into the tightest knot. Selfishly, I was terrified of spending this service without them. Can you imagine being terrified to worship? on Christmas?!? Truth is I was counting on them. If I felt sad I was gona' squeeze Tim's hand. If I started to feel self pity I could look at Noah be reminded of the ways our Lord has blessed us through our children. How was I going to make it through this night without them?!?!

It was supposed to be Tim, me, Noah and our new baby girl squished into "our pew" between all of Tim's family.But it was just me in the pew with Tim's sister, brother in law and their two grown children.

I was terrified.

There I was, "alone" on Christmas Eve-

For the first time, in a long time, I felt like a stranger in my own church. Like some sort of misfit. Maybe it was better this way. Maybe it was best that I did not have Tim or Noah to lean on. Maybe it was best I didn't have my daddy's shoulder beside me in the pew to lean on. God plan was for me to come to church on Christmas Eve just as I was;
Broken and Alone.

It was a hard service.
Tears flowed and I found myself unable to sing the text or even hum the tune as the congregation sang "Away In A Manger."

To be honest, I hardly heard the message.
I could blame precious children's chatter in the pews around me,
but it would be misplaced.
I simply lacked focus.
I was focused inwardly,
distracted by self pity and heartbreak.
Grief is ugly.
Some days it just finds me
and I feel so powerless against it
I HATE it.

There was no magic moment or point in time during or after the service that my heart suddenly softened
or the tears threatening the edges of my eyes dissipated.

But it still happened, Christmas still came.
God's grace still found me, my heart still heard his voice.
Christmas was still perfect.
Christ is still perfect.

God is so good...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

20 Weeks - Baby's First Christmas

We never lose the one we love, they live on in our hearts.

This ornament was a gift from my dad's sister (and husband) Ellen.
They gave it to us as a memorial gift the day of Amelia's funeral.
We loved it then.
We love it now.
We'll love it always.

I can't believe it's Christmas - already.
I can't believe she's not going to be here...
there are no words.

Christmas in Heaven
by Wanda White

I see the countless CHRISTMAS TREES
around the world below with tiny lights like
HEAVEN’S STARS reflecting on the snow.
The sight is so SPECTACULAR please wipe away that tear
for I am spending CHRISTMAS WITH JESUS CHRIST this year.

I hear the many CHRISTMAS SONGS
that people hold so dear
but the SOUND OF MUSIC can't compare
with the CHRISTMAS CHOIR up here.

I have no words to tell you of the JOY their voices bring
for it is beyond description to HEAR THE ANGELS SING.

I see the pain inside your heart
for I am spending CHRISTMAS WITH JESUS CHRIST this year.

I can't tell you of the SPLENDOR
or the PEACE here in this place
Can you just imagine

I'll ask him to LIFT YOUR SPIRIT
as I tell him of your love
 as you lift your eyes above.
Please let your HEARTS BE JOYFUL
and let your SPIRIT SING
for I am spending CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN
and I’m walking WITH THE KING

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

19 Weeks - more heartache

I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
Psalm 130:5

Carry each other’s burdens,
and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2

So far this week has been filled with a lot of heart ache and waiting on the Lord.
The heart ache has not been my own
but heartbreak for some very special baby loss families
who are losing their little rainbow babies.
These families both lost their precious son & daughter
to anencephaly this past year.
We walked through the darkness side by side (and still do)
as we faced carrying our precious babies to term
knowing full well that they were never ours to keep,
but God's precious gifts to us
to care for for just a short while...
We all found out we were expecting again
within days of each other.
I was so moved at God's grace at work in each of us.

It is tempting to lose hope
and gain bitterness at a God who would allow such heartache
to continue
and to multiply.
I am tempted to cry out It's just not fair!!
I am tempted to question God,
but I know the Truth.
Part of me hates the truth,
at least the part of it that includes Satan.

And still, there is just one place
to take this grief and heartbreak.
Broken, I find myself at the foot of the cross,
and always.
I'm thinking I will just pitch a tent here. :)

Seriously though, please say a little prayer for these 2 families and all those trying so desperately to keep hope alive following so great a loss. I will be.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

daytime nightmares

It is daytime but it's completely dark all around us.
I am standing outside surrounded by women
and we are all waiting for something,
we are all hopeful and desperate
we have all been here before
but started our journey in the light
not the darkness that surrounds us here.
No one speaks
but we all know why were are gathered here in this place
we don't have to speak,
we just wait

Suddenly I feel a warmth in my hand
I glace down to see a small star cradled in my palms.
It's my turn...
Go, run as fast as you can the women surrounding me urge.
Go, go, you must go now!
I can't believe I got my star! - how long have I been waiting?
has it been moments, years?
I start to run, faster and faster.
My sides ache, my chest throbs.
All around me are women walking, jogging, running
some have stoped to check on their stars;
are they still a glow?

And then it starts to rain.
We all desperately try to keep our little stars dry
and glowing.
Some women hide,
some run faster into the darkness ahead,
others begin to wail.
They cry out for help, for light, for their star...
I can't even bare to check on my star.
Is is still a glow? I'm not sure.
I decide to just run, not look back, not look down
it's still warming my palms, so I just keep running

Some of the women beside me stop suddenly
they look panicked,
I gasp as see,
their stars are no longer lit.
They must return and wait
for another star to carry,
they are the broken hearted, broken again.
I reach out for them, just come with me,
your star still has some light, I say,
I can see it!
It just has to glow...
I long to return with them, but my feet only move
faster and forward.
With just the star in my palm to light my way,
all I know to do is pray;
Glow little star, please glow.

I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed
Genesis 26:4

In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “LORD Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”
As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”

“Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”

Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”
1 Samuel 1:10-17

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


As you can see we have a bit of news to share!
It's still very new.
It's still really unexpected.
It's still a bit scary.
It's still really exciting!

I have never been very good at keeping secrets.
I had hoped to wait to reveal until we were further along
or until we had passed some very big milestones
but I just can't.

As you can imagine my emotions are all over the place with this pregnancy.
It is such a blessing.
But it is indeed a bittersweet blessing.
This child's due date is Aug 4th, 2011.
One year, to the day, that we buried our sweet Amelia Grace.
Amelia was due Aug. 2nd  *sigh*

This is not how I would have planned it.
But then again,
nothing in my life lately is quite how I planned it,
but it is as God planned
and that's good enough for me.

Amelia - my first, my only...
you're going to be a big sister.
love you, miss you...

Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the LORD and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the LORD remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the LORD for him.”
1 Samuel 1:17-20

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

18 weeks - left undone

Has it really been 4 months since we kissed those sweet lips?

It has come to my attention that there is still much left undone.
It's December
and the holiday panic is nipping at my nose along with Jack Frost.
YIKES it got cold fast...I digress.

In all our planning and preparation for Amelia's birth
I wanted to be sure that everything was in place.
Not a moment wasted -
all that could be done in advance
just had to get done.

Now that she is gone
I find myself with a long list of remembering Amelia Grace to do's
and not an ounce of decisiveness to aid me along the way.

I used to be so sure of things.
What happened?

I can't decide on scrapbook designs
I can't settle on a layout for her marker
I can't even bring myself
to mail in the fingerprint impression we have
to be made into a necklace.
I have big plans for shadow boxes
filled with her things
and making a special place for her in our home
but can't decide...
should it be a corner?
a room?
a garden?

Right now all her things are put away in her room in our house
and a room in my heart.
Inside these rooms
they remain a glorious mess of love and grief.
For now, I suppose, that is where they will remain.
Until I can find away to bring them out,
and into an album,
a shadowbox,
a corner,
and a garden.

But Mary treasured up all these things
and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:19

 I will give you hidden treasures,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the LORD,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
Isaiah 45:3