August 8, 2008

One day at a time...

Thought I should check in with you all again. I just want to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to everyone who has been standing with us for the past coulple of weeks. I'm just in awe of my friends, family, and even strangers who have said and done just the right things that have helped us. From comments on our blog, phone calls, messages, emails, cards, and even meals and food being brought to us, I can't say thank you enough. I pray that I will be able to return the favor, or pass it on to others in my life--I just don't know the words to express how much everyone means to us right now.

It is so weird, how this is all hitting me. There are times that I'm so sad and empty feeling, that I can't do much more that just sit in the nursery and stare at the walls. Other times, I feel so blessed by Jonathan's short little life, and all of the amazing results of it, that I just praise God for it. I don't know what to make of such a variety of emotions, but everything I'm reading and hearing from people who know says that is normal--that is grief. It's just strange though, because I wonder if I'm betraying my baby when I'm thankful how each moment of the last two weeks have played out. I'm not at all thankful that he is gone--I don't understand why--but I am thankful for all that God has done, for all the details that He worked out that helps me to see light in the midst of this sadness. I know my baby is in a far better place than I ever could have provided him here, even though I wanted him here more than anything. I've prayed for him all of my life, and know I'm here trying to figure out how to keep thanking God for His plan.

I found a poem that I thought I'd share with you--I adapted it just a bit to fit my baby. I can't imagine how hard it would be to be on the other side of this situation--trying to comfort someone else who was going through the loss of a child. I wouldn't have a clue what to say or what to do. For those of my friends that I was pregnant along with, I want to have joy with you. Don't feel like your joy has to be muted around me. I'm so thankful for your baby, and I will be here to enjoy thier life with you. It might be hard for awhile, but just know that you are all doing the right things and I appreciate you all more than you will ever know.


Go ahead and mention my child,
The one that died, you know.
Don't worry about hurting me further.
The depth of my pain doesn't show.
Don't worry about making me cry
I'm already crying inside.
Help me to heal by releasing
The tears that I try to hide.
I'm hurt when you just keep silent,
Pretending he didn't exist.
I'd rather you mention my child,
Knowing that he has been missed.
You asked me how I was doing.
I say "pretty good" or "fine".
But healing is something ongoing
I feel it will take a lifetime.

~ Elizabeth Dent

I underlined a verse in the hospital on Wednesday, Jonathan's last day alive. As hard as it is, I'm trying to live my life after it...

I Thess. 5: 16-18
" Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus."

I love you all.



Robyn Kitchings said...

Alyson, thanks for the update! I really love the poem! Don't feel bad for any emotion you have. That is how you are grieving and it's what is right for you.
Stay strong - we love you!

Two Moms and A Baby said...

I know you don't know me, but I'm still thinking of you and praying for you.

Ryan and Joy said...

Aly, thank you for being so vulnerable and open about what's going on inside. We love you so much, and our aunt/uncle/cousin hearts hurt along with yours. Last night, I decided to watch the Chapman family on Larry King, and it was actually exactly what I needed to hear...that Jesus cries with us (He wept!), and that His mercies are new every morning.

Know that we are praying for you and Justin constantly, and we love you guys with all our hearts.

Kathy said...

Aly, what a precious jewel you are! Gene and I are so blessed to have you as our daughter-in-law. We are so thankful that God gave you to Justin. Our hearts are broken also not only because of the loss of our grandson, but because we know how much you and Justin are hurting. We understand the emotions you are having during this grieving process and continue to pray for you constantly. We are so thankful that God gives us peace and comfort in the midst of the storm. As you mentioned, some days are harder than others, but we know that Jesus is our Hope and He will help us get through this valley. He is our Refuge and Strength, a very present Help in time of trouble. We love you both.

Steven said...

God bless you Aly and may he eventually soothe your pain. Love, Dad

Jake Matthew said...

There is not a day that goes by that you do not cross our minds. We are thinking and praying for you constantly.

Jenn Gaddis

Andrea Bernard said...

Aly and Justin, the Lord woke me up this morning to read Psalm 46, and impressed this on my heart for you. I've been thinking that perhaps at some point you might be fearful of what is to come, since you've been through so much already:

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging."

Your "earth" has given way, and yet you are trusting the Lord and His "ever-presence" - He will bless you beyond comprehension for your belief!! He has your future, as well as your every-moment present, in His very trustworthy Hands. He is not afraid of the emotions you feel - He will carry you.

From a song I recently learned and have been praying for you, "He is the Everlasting God, the Everlasting God; He does not change, He won't grow weary. He's the defender of the weak; He comforts those in need. He lifts us up with wings as eagles!"

We love you and continue to pray earnestly for you!!

PS - Here are a couple of Micah's prayers for you: "Dear Jesus, thank you for helping Mr. Justin and Mrs. Aly to feel better." "Dear Jesus, please hold Baby Jonathan for us and make him happy."

Also, last night we were listening to some praise music, and the chorus came up, "We cry holy, holy, holy... is the Lamb." I thought it highly appropriate that Micah sang the words instead as, "We cry hold me, hold me, hold me..." We're crying out to Jesus that He will hold you!!!

Riley Kai said...

Thank you so much for your prayers. Unfortunately, you know first hand how much they mean. I want you to know that when I heard the news on my mom, I thought of you. You have given me the strength to face God's choices that are out of my control! Jonathan's life, has touched people in so many ways, and although short, has done amazing work! Still praying for you too, as I know somedays are harder than others!

Mom and Boys said...

Alyson, I just want you to know that your strength and courage is inspiring. I often think of you when I look at my young boys, and I say a quick prayer.
Stacie (Press Elem.)