I sat down to try to write to clear my head of some of the clutter that's moved in over the past few months, but am having a hard time getting the words out. I have written, erased, and re-written many times.
Owen and Evan's birthday this year was a really difficult one for me and I think the funk that has lingered has finally lifted. I miss our baby so much. Owen is talking more about Evan and asking questions and trying to understand. As with the entire situation, it is bittersweet. One of my fears and sources of sadness is that Evan will be forgotten. I know I will never forget him, and I don't want other people to either. He is still very much with me every day. I think of him as often as I think of Owen and Anderson. I wonder what he'd be like and what our family dynamic would be with him in the mix and daydream about what it would be like to see him running around with his brothers. I love that his name is spoken in our home and that he is very much a part of our family. I love to hear other people say his name. I treasure the photos and memories we have of him. I love that Owen knows Evan is in heaven. I love that his death provides a great opening to share the gospel with Owen and Anderson. I love that now, 4 years later, I can help others who are new into the journey. Evan is a gift. Both his life and his death. While I don't always feel it, I know it. God is and will use Evan for His glory.
When the wave of grief hit, I spent some time the day before their birthday going through Evan's things and looking at his pictures and footprints. The outpouring of love from family, friends and strangers was uplifting as I read through each of the notes and cards we received. I was encouraged this morning when I received a note from a friend I haven't spoken with in years who told me she was praying for us. God has carried me these past four years. He has proven himself true. He has strengthened my faith. He has shown his love for me. I am blessed way beyond what I deserve. Evan is not and did not suffer. Owen is healthy when the odds were greatly stacked against him. Anderson was just what our family needed. I have experienced God through the eyes of my children and I am thankful for the life and family we have.
My heart is heavy with the pain that I know many of our friends and family are enduring. From marriage issues to pregnancy complications, to sickness and job/financial issues, there is so much hurt in this broken world. But my God is faithful and big enough to handle it all. I don't know who is reading this and what you may be going through. But I encourage you to turn to God no matter how big or how small. You don't have to struggle alone...I know from experience that it is a lot easier when you let go and let God and I need reminding of this truth daily.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentations 3:22–24
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3–4