I have many memories some I wish I could forget forever. Others I will cherish and replay over and over so I never forget even the smallest detail. One memory that really stands out to me is incredibly sad but also very touching in a sweet way.
My husband and I had held Jonathan for many hours. We prayed over him, sung songs to him, talked to him and took turns holding him. We were very tired and had already made the decision that we would let them take Jonathan that night. We would be checking out in the morning and we wanted our goodbye to private, not with nurses coming in and out. So around 11:40 I asked my husband if he was ready to say goodbye and let him go. I will never forget his response with huge tears streaming down his face he said....
"We can't let him go on his Birthday."
At that moment I thought my heart might break into. My husband had slept with all of our babies on the couch in the hospital room. So he took Johnathan and laid down with him. I have a picture of him laying with all of our children on the hospital couch so I took a picture. This is one of my most treasured photos. I can see the pain on a daddy's face that is saying goodbye to his son.
The intimacy we shared in those hours with Jonathan were some of the sweetest we have ever know. I feel forever connected to the heart of my husband. In the most difficult time in our lives we had each other, all the rest of the world faded away and it was just us. Gods plan for marriage is truly beautiful.
"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh' ? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
Today we are supposed to share our baby shower or baby blessing.
So I am taking a different spin on this one. I did not have a shower and probably would not had one ever if Jonathan was full term. There is not much you need after four boys:) So I will say I was showered with love after we came home from the hospital. Our Church brought food for two weeks. Also lots of pretty flower arrangements arrived at the door. My girlfriend mailed out a special box with lots of goodies like comforting books and Cd's. One of my favorites was a gift from Jessica at our church. She gave me this little angle precious moment baby. Unbelievably he is the same size as Jonathan just thicker but length and weight are about the same. I love that little guy:)
Well Jonathan's daddy is a pastor and he prayer over him many times so I would say he is well cover as far as a blessings goes. After Jonathan's death my husband preached a six week series on grief and trials. He spoke of Jonathan in every service. I was so thankful for those messages. In the weeks following Jonathan's birth I needed to hear his life reaffirmed over and over.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ
I am so thankful for how sweet my kids are when they talk about Jonathan. Just the other day I over head a kid say ,"So all the boys in your family have J names?" little Jimmy replied yes. The boy asked what are the names? Of coarse my sweet son included his little brother Jonathan, how that made my heart soar.
Shayla is such a blessing to me she talks about Jonathan almost everyday and loves to look at his pictures. We talk about Jonathan and Papa when I tuck her in at night, we love to ponder what they are doing in Heaven.
I have not written in a while, but tonight the words can no longer stay in. Maybe it is the anniversary of Jonathan's birth, nine months today. Maybe its weariness from another negative test, maybe it's hormones, who knows but tonight I have to tell the truth.
My Jesus is not the same Jesus he was back when life was more roses than rain drops. How I saw him then and now is different.
The hard questions did not used to bother me. The ones like
If God is good Why......?I easily white washed these before and probably said something like, "Bad things happen but God is good"! with an encouraging voice and a twinkle in my eyes.Before I would of thought that was enough.
Deep pain has a way of changing things. Who did Jesus used to be? Did I create God in my own image? Did I make him into what I wanted him to be.... easy?
A soberness has settled into my heart. Jonathan dying did not rob me of joy but it made me sober to real life. Life where gut wrenching pain takes your breath away. I ache for those that ache in a new way. The pain of holding Jonathan took the numbness out of my soul.
True, I have walked through the valley of the shadow of death before, the death of two beloved irreplaceable father figures, my Papaw and my Father-in-love. Both of those were heartbreaking yet Jonathan almost broke me. WHY? I don't know, I certainly do not pretend to have the answer. Some experience far worse, and yet, do far better. In my life, for me, Jonathan's death has been my deepest, darkest pit.
Jesus your not the same, I know you never promised me a pain free life...forgive me for assuming and expecting it.
So who is Jesus now? He is not the one that died to make me happy as I heard one televangelist put it. He's did not suffer so I could have a trouble free perfect life. Yet he does promise me the hope of Heaven.
but what about...
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
I am not the same and the Jesus I created in my image was not the Jesus of the Bible. Jesus never gave hallmark response to suffering he joined in with those that suffered. He took our suffering upon himself.
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows
How many times have I made Jesus into my image instead of being made into his?
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
~1 Peter 1:6-7
I am not the same, therefor Jesus in me is not the same. This fire has refined me and has proven the genuineness of my faith to me!
Jesus I give you praise honor and glory not because you have keep me from sorrow but because you have carried me through and reveled yourself to and through me in my suffering.
Consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
I do not have a picture of the actual hospital. This is me leaving the hospital with my box of Jonathan's things. I can not even put into words the agony of being wheeled down the hall with that box. I had traveled that exact path with my last two babies and it seemed inconceivable to me that I was leaving the hospital without my baby.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.
Today we are sharing about a charity organization that has blessed us.
I found Sufficient Grace Ministries shortly after I lost Jonathan They were doing a Walking with you series and I loved it! It connected me to other mommies. Kelly's comments always made me feel special and loved and I am so thankful for that. I received the beautiful comfort bear and memory book for Jonathan. I have to tell the truth, I seep with the comfort bear:) Which we have named Jonathan Bear.
I am forever grateful for this amazing ministry. I pray that blessing upon blessing would be poured out on Kelly and her team. I hope someday to help them and give back.
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
Today we share about projects we have worked on inspired by our baby.
When I came home from the hospital I really wanted somewhere to keep my memories and thoughts of Jonathan. I journal a little but it did not seem good enough. So I decided to start blogging. When I asked my husband if my blog should be just for Jonathan he said, "No it should be a family blog that includes Jonathan because that is what he is.... part of our family".
So a few weeks after Jonathan was born I started this blog. I am so thankful that years down the road I will be able to read my post about him. I also have found great comfort in reading others blogs that have experienced loss. I hope others can read about Jonathan and feel a little less alone.
I hope through the years I can keep this blog up and record our sorrows and joys and of coarse keep Jonathan's memory alive.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die ... a time to weep and a time to laugh ... a time to mourn and a time to dance... ~Ecclesiastes 3:1-4
Today we are to share a family portrait the includes our angel.
The one of all of us is our Christmas picture from last year. It was taken right after I had my twelve week ultrasound. I remember being relived that we had passed the"risk" period. We had no idea that Jonathan's birthday would come to soon.
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.
Anniversary/Birthday/Due Dates Share a photo of what you did for your baby/ies/child/rens special day
We have not reached Jonathan's birthday yet. I plan on having a small birthday party with the kids. His due date or day I expected him was awful. I was extremely sleep deprived and at my lowest point emotionally. Looking back I wish I had done a better job at managing my emotions Thankfully I have wonderful family and friends that forgave my slight insanity during that time. I know that Jonathan's birthday will be hard on me but I think I will be more prepared.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
We had a wonderful day on the 15th. First we woke up early to drive to Riley's Farm for a field trip. It was a long drive but worth every minute, it was like we had entered an enchanted apple town. The field trip was Revolutionary War living history. The kids loved it and even Shayla participated in the activities.
Hands on learning about what it was like to be a soldier in the Revolutionary war.
The judicial system workshop, we all learned so much from their presentations.
Joseph having fun with the apples on the ground.
Learning what kind of games they played.
The home workshop
Daddy keeping Joseph busy.
Weaving on a loom
Eating soldiers rations
The big Battle, hands on reenactment!
Our home school group
After we left the Apple farm we headed to Big Bear to spend the night
It was a beautiful afternoon so we went off road exploring in the mountains.
The guys at the Apple Farm told us that it was a perfect time to see bears and mountain lions so I was praying when the boys went exploring on foot.
Did I mention how beautiful it was :)
We ended a wonderful day with a warm fire and time of reflection on Jonathan in honor of October fifteenth.
Jesse lighting a candle for Jonathan as daddy read the Bible.
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
We were in Big Bear so we had a beautiful fire when we lit our candle. Daddy read us scriptures from the Bible about Heaven and seeing Jonathan again.
In honor of October 15th Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day I gave a testimony at our mother church Sunday night. It was difficult and emotional but I was happy to be able to do something.
I shared about how the day came to be and what Jonathan had meant in my life. I had one moment where I thought I might really break down but I held it together. I know it is awkward and difficult to speak out but joy filled my heart that I did. Someone said I was "brave" to do so and you know what that is exactly how I felt, BRAVE for my baby boy.
You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.