The Joy of the Lord is My Strength

Discussions on grieving infant death & stillbirth; only the strength of the Lord makes it possible to tell the tale...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Lonely for Heaven's Princesses

Hehasrisen.gif picture by vickienadine

It's so challenging celebrating heaven's party from down here. I'm so jealous of my girls who get to celebrate Christmas every day--with the King Himself.

I'm always so mournfully melancholy when Advent is over. I hate for the season to end--putting all the lights and ornaments away for another year. The season of preparation is truly my favorite, and somehow all that I longed for during the season of preparation is so deflated once Christmas day arrives. I guess it's a vivid reminder of how it's really not about the beautifully wrapped gifts. It's not about the twinkling beauty of the lights.

It's about the sin nature of humanity and how we need to be rescued from it's ugly demise. In the end we celebrate Christmas because instinctively we know that we cannot make it out of this place alive. The gifts and lights and merry goodwill are merely simplified manifestations of our inner spirit which intensely longs for heaven's reality.

Christmas is a party that's really all about heaven--we're all invited; the invitation has no bounds. Oddly enough, many don't want to attend the party. They too experience that Christmas day let-down, and thus they bah-humbug the whole party. Others don't celebrate because they instinctively know that in reality, Christmas is about heaven's Son stepping out of His glory and into the manger. They know that the manger becomes a Cross, and they want nothing to do with any of it. Others only celebrate as a means to justify eating, drinking and spending too much. They're all too relieved to have the party get packed away when the New Year's champagne bottles are empty. They don't understand the manger or the cross--it's all just secular dross.

For me, Christmas has become a graveside celebration where in solemn stillness lay the bodies of my two little girls. We celebrate that the Manger directs us to the Cross, and that the Cross then gives us the gifts of forgiveness, salvation, resurrection, and eternal celebration with the King of Kings.

The deaths of my girls illustrates up-close & personal the incredibly profound need for humanity's rescue--that there is no salvation without heaven's King stepping into humanity's shoes. Without the manger there is no Cross. Without the Cross there is no Resurrection. Without Resurrection there is only death for all eternity. Life is finite and death is forever.

The reincarnationists make their rebuttal by saying that life recycles--eternally; that after we die we get to come back and live again. But if that's true then we have to die again too. I do NOT want to die again and again and again until eternity runs out. I don't want to keep the funeral industry prosperous forever. I only want to know death once, and then spend the rest of eternity clothed in pure life--celebrating Christmas with the King Himself.

Oh to finally celebrate the Manger without the Cross--that's the Gift His earthly manger has given us for Christmas. That's the eternal celebration I get to have on the other side of death simply because I accepted the Manger's invitation to the Cross. I can't wait to be reunited with my princesses--to celebrate Christmas with them everyday for all eternity.

Because my daughters are in the ground at Christmas, I glady accept heaven's invitation to the Cross--the place where the real Christmas presents are given, but also the place where we must die to ourselves. Because my daughters are in the ground at Christmas, the anguish of their absence is profound. But I take comfort in the solemn stillness of the manger, walking with the Babe all the way past the empty New Year's bottles and straight toward the Cross. It's in the Gifts of the Cross that my aguished sorrow comes to know profound joy!

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Look unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him He endured the Cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Keeping Christmas is All I Have Left

pkggirl.jpg picture by vickienadine

I've made the house festive in spite of my depressed and defeated mood. I keep Christmas for Abigail's sake. Not only is her birthday during the holiday season, but she is with Jesus celebrating every day. She would want me to know the joy of my faith, even if earth's drudgery often bogs down my heart. I've hurt so much the last -- well, I was going to say the last few weeks, but then it occured to me that those weeks have turned into years. It's been four years just since Abigail moved to heaven. That doesn't even count all the other things in my life's experience that I was already grieving before she ever even came into my life. Much of my life has hurt: phyically, emotionally, mentally; and yes, even spiritually. My love of the Lord helps keep my spirit salved; but to be certain, my mind, body and emotional state has taken a serious beating over the last 45 years of my life.

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I wrapped holiday gifts yesterday and today. I made a few gifts and got them ready for the mail. I got all my holiday cards done. I did some online banking. I had a huge fight with dh. I'm quite certain that I'm falling out of love with him. In my sobs, I cried unto God for His help. How bad will it have to get before God finally intervenes?

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I hate living my life always waiting for the other shoe to drop. What will be next? There has not been joy in my life since my son was born over 21 years ago. The joy I had when I was pregnant with Abigail was soon replaced with remarkable grief. I anticipated God's showering our lives with something joyous during the course of my pregnancy with Anne. Her death only crushed me into a finer dust.

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The state of our family has fallen apart remarkably since the comings and goings of my daughters. I fear that I will only know a life's worth of sorrow & tragedy. I've often said that I am like Jacob who wrestled with God at Peniel; that I will not let Him go until He blesses me.

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Do I dare anticipate that He will bless me? Do I really have the nerve to expect Him to bless me? In light of the sorrowed tragedy I've known for so much of my life, I don't know as if I'd recognize a blessing if He gave me one. bittypinecones.gif picture by vickienadine

Goodness gracious, I've become so weary; spritually and emotional exhausted--and my body has barely survived any of it. What's next, Dear Lord? Please help me through it...

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Another Birthday Four Abigail

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Happy Heaven Day,

Sweet Abigail

Mama & Daddy miss you and love you so very much!