Sunday, September 21, 2008

If you believe, you will see the glory of God...

As many of you have suspected (and I thank you for your concern and encouragement), I have really been struggling lately. Wrestling with what I believe to be true and what that means for my life. I have been missing my boys more than ever and I find myself frustrated with myself because I feel like things should be getting easier instead of harder.

I have thought about Martha and Mary in the book of John. I have often thought of the desperation they felt as they watched Lazarus die, knowing full and well that had Jesus come he could have prevented the event entirely. In verse 32 of chapter 11 Mary falls at the feet of Jesus saying "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." I cannot tell you how many times I have looked at this story trying to find some sort of comfort in the outcome. I can so identify with the feelings Mary has in this verse. I have fallen to the ground, face on the floor exclaiming to God that HE could have saved my boys, He could have healed them, He could have saved us from this pain.

The thing is, even days after his death, Jesus did heal Lazarus. His body had begun to decompose, the scripture speaks of the odor that would come from the tomb when opened, and yet Jesus came through. He spared Mary and Martha from the loss of their beloved brother. This is where the disconnect begins. What am I supposed to do with the feelings of disappointment that He chose NOT to step in and save my boys? He chose NOT to save my family from this pain. We have lost two sons, our children two brothers, our parents, two grandsons, our nephew, a cousin our siblings two nephews. The death of Isaac and Asher has taken much from our family. Yes, I know that one day we will all be reunited and that is the only thought that gets me through some days. But some days, it still cannot even come close to taking away the stinging pain. We miss them NOW!

Yesterday in an attempt to bring fun to our lives, we headed to the Cleveland Zoo. We LOVE that zoo and it is only a little over an hour away so we got up and packed our things for the day and headed to the great state of Ohio. We of course took longer than necessary to get there because we are slightly directionally challenged and as we find ourselves lost we often just look at eachother, laugh and admit "This is how we roll!" We explore and find our way back with the help of no man and no map! We like to explore!

So we arrived at the zoo shortly after 11. We ate lunch and as we sat there I watched a family across the room. They had three children and the mom was obviously pregnant. I sat there marveling at the fact that a family could get to have four children! That seems like an unattainable gift to me at the moment. I sat there wondering what it would have been like to feed all four of our boys lunch. I tried to turn my attention back to the children I was blessed to have lunch with and we continued our adventure.

We headed to the stingray touch tank. The boys were giddy with excitement as the graceful animals glided over their hands and splashed them as they waved hello. We could have spent the whole day there. It was such a joy to watch those boys marvel at the awesome creature God created. We stayed about a half an hour and Howard and I were ready to move on. The boys however were NOT! They protested but we nudged them along knowing they would enjoy seeing the rest of the animals as well! We continued on.

We headed up the hill and as we stood watching the polar bears swim, I caught a glimpse of a little boy who looked just like Benjamin. I glanced over and saw a family of six. Mom and dad were watching their four boys, two with red hair, as they watched the bears play. I found myself tearing up. I wanted that. It was almost as if I was having a two year old temper tantrum inside. We continued on but it seemed this family was every where we were, four boys under the age of 5 I would guess, just like we would have if all of ours were here on earth. I wondered if Howard had noticed.

We continued on and really did have a fun time with Luke and Ben. With Ben it is like he is seeing everything for the first time EVERY TIME! He squeals with excitement and names everything! Luke is our studious guy who wants to read each and every animal info plaque around the habitat of each animal. He always surprises us by using words like nocturnal, predator, and female. Then surprises us even more when he can tell us what they mean. They are little sponges who cannot drink in enough. What a blessing!

As we headed down the hill, I had expressed to Howard how much I was enjoying the day but could not help but think that there should be four little boys with us, and that was when he admitted he had been thinking the same thing all day. We shared our thoughts and feelings as we walked down the hill (it is a SUPER long hill)and I cannot tell you what that did for my heart. He is my very best friend and he knows my pain. It is maybe not exactly the same, but he too is missing our boys and wondering what life would be like with them. It was just good to share. We don't do that often enough. Something so small gave me hope. It was like just sharing those thoughts and feelings with someone who was having them too soothed my aching heart.

It was a good day. Each day I struggle with the God who gives and takes away. I know he loves me, but I do not understand. I am learning that it is okay to not understand. He is God. He knows best. I will continue to trust because without that I have no hope.

"Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" This is what Jesus said to Mary after raising Lazarus from the dead. He always makes good on his promises. I have to say that, though I will not see my boys this side of Heaven, I will believe, expecting to see the glory of God! I will struggle and miss my boys, I am still on the road of grieving, but I will see the glory of God!

So to all of you who are reading this who are struggling with pain and suffering, it is okay to question and it is okay to not understand. The truth is you just have to keep on believing...you too, WILL see the glory of God! He does not reserve it for only those like Mary or Martha, it is for all who will receive it. It doesn't make it easy that is for sure, but He will bring us through!

17 comments:

M said...

Kristy, my heart hurts for you and I will remember your name in prayer today. It has to be conflicting to miss 2 of your children while trying so much to appreciate every day with the 2 boys you are raising on earth. I for one, think you do a wonderful job with the balance. You continue to inspire me... I know that isn't your intension of this blog but you do... you make me think outside the box of all that I have and how to deal with what I don't have. Know that I care for you and I am praying for you... wish there was something more I could do.

Michelle

siscaboo said...

Yes, He will bring us through.

You always capture things and write how I feel.

I too am having a hard time. Writing about JT has me reliving everything. And I feel like I am back at square one again. Grief does that to you. Sneaky thing that it is.

I will be praying for you.

Just think of the day when you all meet in Heaven. It will be a glorious day. And all the tears and heartache will fade away. I know it is hard to cling to that, but, that is about all that gets me through these days.


(((HUGS))))

Bobbie

Mashel said...

Kristy,
I am so sorry that you are having such a hard time right now. I can't even begin to know the pain you feel, but just know that you are surrounded in prayer, and I hope that it helps at least a little, because that is all I can do. I wish so much I could do more! But I am praying for your family and for your pain. Hang in there. You are very loved.
Mashel

The VW's said...

I'm sending prayers out for you sweet friend! I can't understand why? about a lot of things and especially the pain you have had to suffer! The only thing I can think to say is, "I'm so sorry and I'll be praying!"

I DO know that God has a great purpose for the suffering that you have had to endure! He is using you, your family and your sweet boys! What a calling you have! I'm sure this does not make the hard days any easier, but know that He does have a plan and YOU are part of it! May God Bless You today and always!

Love and prayers, Alicia

Jessica mommy to Alex/ RTS said...

I am certainly starting to see the joy in my journey, for so long I couldnt, and to be honest chose not to see the joy, and glory in it all.
Thank you for this post. You honesty is beautiful, and your words are a blessing.

Shannon said...

Kristy, Thank you for being so transparent and vulnerable.

It's hard. This thing called life. We are called to do it all for Him. Why some go through it with little 'pain' compared to some like you who seem to have so much...we won't know until we meet Him. But as you said...He knows what's best.

I will continue to pray. I do think of you so often throughout my days. God places you on my heart. He knows your struggles and I am blessed to be a part of bringing you before Him. love, Shannon

Devin said...

Oh Kristy, that just blessed my heart. I am so glad you and your hubby were able to talk and share your feelings with each other--coming from someone who knows, I understand that completely. It is so important that you know that he understands and empathizes with what you are going through. I love those special times of 'connection' like that. Glad you had a wonderful time at the zoo.

I, too, wonder all the time how it would be to have a family of four children....I don't know that that will ever go away.

Lisa said...

I can only imagine the pain of standing in your shoes & seeing the family that reminded you so much of what you want, what you are missing.
It must have been immense and you are an amazing woman of faith to not collapse beneath it.

Praying every day for you,
Lisa

Melissa Dovel said...

Kristy,

You always seem to bring a good word in due season. Trials come in all different shapes and sizes and its oh so hard to see the big picture while were in the midst of the storm. Your faith is encouraging and refreshing as sweet heavenly rain. You are walking each day in what the lord has purposed for you. You just cant see it yet. I see on here all the time that you reach out and offer comfort and help to others. I think your an amazing mommy and wife and PTL that you (and the rest of us) dont have to figure out what the Lord has for us. Its already set in stone- and from the outside looking in you are walking in it so gracefully. Be blessed because you are a blessing

Praises for seeing the glory of God!

Melissa

Laura said...

Praying for you now...love you friend. You are brave...keep being real. Wish we could just sit...think of you so often! xoxo

Laurie said...

Oh Kristy,

I am so glad to read that you and Howard had that little moment of Huge clarity of the hearts. You both created Isaac and Asher with Gods help, and you both have had your hearts broken and miss them. It is good to know you are in agreement in the matters of your hearts even if you don't always speak it. You two share a pain that only God can touch and I see Him bringing you through even though you don't understand. He does give and take away, but He will never take Himself away from you. I love you and continue praying for you.

Love and Hugs, Laurie in Ca.

So Blessed said...

Amen. That was a precious post. I am praying for your hurting heart, Kristy...and you will be blessed because even though you don't understand, you keep trusting. That is faithfulness.

The Whalen Family said...

May heart goes out to you and just hurts for you. I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. I continually pray for you and your family every day. You have grown a special place in my heart!

*Tiffany!*

Steve & Marie Douglas said...

Oh my precious, sweet, beloved friend, (i say precious-sweet-beloved) because as YOU know walking THIS PAINFILLED path bonds people LIKE US in ways we cannot explain)but the connection felt is so deep within. In my times of prayer and moments of "tantrums" with God I remember YOU almost always. I tell the Lord how I just don't see His reasoning - I remember one day about 2 weeks after the funeral. Steve had returned to work and Josiah was napping. I walked into my "empty" bedroom and just wept. There was no craddle... no baby ... Suddenly I was furious mad. I spoke out in a lou voice with almost a chuckle and said, "where oh death is your sting!? I'll tell you where it stings God, RIGHT HERE, IT STINGS IN THIS EMPTY ROOM IN THIS HOUSE WITH NO SCENT OR SOUND OF NEWBORN BABY, thats where it stings!!!" I even ventured out in utternace "YOU JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND MY PAIN!!!" without pausing I continued, "Iread your word, it tells me 'nothing is impossible for you' You part the red sea, you make lame to walk, walls to fall, created the heavens and the earth yet You could not even fix my baby, YOU couldnt do the one thing I prayed hardest for to save him, to leave him here with me, to at least let me bring him home to bathe him, to rock him, YOU COULDN'T!" when IN AMOST TENDER YET VERY MATTER OF FACT TONE I FELT MY LORD AND SAVIOR< MY GOD SPEAK TO ME AND SAY, "I could! I CHOSE NOT TO!" I would have expected myself to be enraged but instead a certain PEACE washed over me as I sat alone on my bed and though I still miss Elijah and have similar heartaches watching other "similar families to what we "would have been" THE CERTAINTY OF KNOWING JESUS, HIS LOVE, HIS HOPE, HIS PROMISE holds me together on the hardest days when it seems no one understands the pain. I AM SO GLAD YOU WERE ABLE TO CHERISH THE "TALK" WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND!!!! I wish we could have them more often:)
HOLDING YOUR HEART UP IN PRAYER!
"surely, we shall see the glory of God"
Marie

Kirsten said...

Kristy,

Hugs and love to you. Thank you for sharing your ups and downs. You are in my prayers, as always. Your words and memories of your boys are so precious to read. And your heart and hope are an example to all of us. Thank you for being so real and vulnerable with us. You are a light for Christ. I wish it didn't have to be so hard. I'm so blessed that you share your strength as you walk through the loss and pain. It encourages me and so many others.

Blessings and hugs,
Kirsten

Michelle said...

Thank you for sharing this. I can so relate. I lost my 4th son last November, only 6 days before he was to be delivered!
And his name is Benjamin.
I, too, am totally fascinated when I happen to see a family with 4 young boys. What would it be like if all 4 of mine were here with me now? Oh, my heart longs for that so desperately!
My thoughts and prayers are with you. Thank you for the hope and faith that you share, even in the midst of your pain.

nima said...

thank you for sharing this. I'm not in a pain like what you are going thru...but still i'm questioning god and crying about the turbulance in my life. after praying i got the message"if you believe, you will see the glory of God"...but i couldn't recollect the Bible reference. I came online to search that and i found your blog...This is your very old post..let me sit down and browse your blog for your latest updates. Ltos of hugs..Love, nima