Monday, April 20, 2009

Isabel's Magnolia

I miss her.

I miss knowing she is in my belly.

I know she is in good hands and a better place, but I still miss her.

Yesterday we set out to pick out her Magnolia tree. Magnolia trees are a symbol of beauty and elegance, grace and nobility. Basically...her. We picked the perfect spot- next to the house, near the horses, and closest to the pastures where the mama horses are.

I have been so desperately trying to give her dignity. Trying to make sense of it all. I know God was trying to prepare my heart, but I was holding on tight to what I wanted. The first few days was like someone was suffocating me and I just couldn't breathe. Now I can thankfully breathe, but now I carry around this lingering feeling of nausea everywhere I go. Maybe my body thinks that if "I just throw up" then I'll feel better...

Yet God has been near, even through it all, just as He always is. Every day I see the ways that He demonstrates His comfort. Through Hid abiding presence, sweet prayers of friends, a scripture sent, sweet smelling flowers, encouraging words, and understanding hearts when I don't really have much to say right now.

I haven't purposely cried in front of Isaac but I haven't hid it from him either. Mourning a loss is something we will all experience many times throughout our life. I want him to know at a young age the uncircumstancial joy there is in the midst of sorrow because we know Jesus. The other day we were playing in the living room and out of nowhere tears started up well up in my eyes. Intuitive as all kids are, he tried to start fake crying. I explained to him again about Isabel and that mommy was sad right now. I reassured him that mommy was going to be okay. It was good for me to allow God to heal my heart now because if I pushed all that sadness back down in my heart it would come out some way, some how and it probably would be a lot worse. He stopped "crying" and looked at me and smiled. I think as much as his little 13 month old mind could get it, he did.

Sunday, while we were out picking out her tree, she passed. In the most undignified and dishonorable way. My heart was utterly broken. I want so much more for her. At the very least, I wanted something that could be buried with a white wooden cross.

I guess that's me holding onto this life again. God has been speaking to my heart about holding the people in my life with an open hand and surrendering them to Him. We hold our material possessions loosely, so why would I hold onto the greatest gifts of all that God has so graciously loaned to loved ones. They are His. I am daily choosing to relinquish them back over to who they have always belonged to.

Isabel, I surrender you to the Lord. The way you came. The way you went. Where you will always be. Just so you know, I'm couldn't be more thankful you are my daughter. I love you.

Here are some pictures of our family planting Isabel's magnolia (it is the kind that is going to have pink blooms :). Then, we prayed and worshipped out by her tree. Sweet Isabel, we can't wait to see you in heaven...

"Blessed and enviably happy (with a happiness produced by the experience of God's favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace) are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted!" Matthew 5:4


The Durham's said...

Absolutely beautiful....just like her mama....just like her. Wish I could hug you for a very very long time. I will call you when I get the kids in bed. Love you!

Michawn said...

that was beautiful, i agree. oh, i'm so so sorry. i wish it were different for you, but at the same time, i have to remind myself that God really does know what He's doing, even though it just seems so strange sometimes. i was praying with the kids tonight and saying to God that we know that He knows what's best for us. our poor, finite can losing a child be the best for us? we trust. we know that He truly is there for us in every moment, even as your daughter passed while you were picking out trees...ESP. then.

OH GOD...we pray that you just continue to wrap melissa up in your sweet, loving, all-knowing arms. we pray for peace and even, to some extent, understanding. we know that you know the number of children they will know who they are and when they will come. and we thank you.

melissa, we love you...and joe and little baby isaac. he is just GORGEOUS by the way...adorable. i love the way he's always smiling at the camera, even in a self-portrait. and i LOVE that shirt he has on (where did you get it?).

we continue to pray for you. and, my very favorite place to play when i was granny's magnolia tree. :) you did good.

Nicole said...

I love the tree! The blooms will be just perfect like her. You both are dear to my heart. Wish we could have been there. We love you all.

Lissa Oliver said...

You don't know me, but I saw you at the SWC retreat this weekend and found your blog through Wendy Pope's. I have to tell you that I noticed you in worship one day over the weekend, and I thought to myself how beautiful you were and how full you were of love for life and our Lord. Now, as I read your blog, I am weeping for my fellow sister in Christ, who I do not even know, but feel connected to you through Christ. I am so sorry you have had to deal with this pain. May you find healing through our creator who both gives and takes away, yet always remains.

Debbi Aveilhe said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. I am SO sorry for your loss, I know it is hard to understand why this has happened, but just trust that God knows what is best.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.
Prov 3:5-6

We love you, hope to see you soon,