When we were expecting Isaiah, we used to dream of all of the things we could teach him. That's what good parents do, right? They teach their children. Matt wanted to teach him to build amazing structures with Lincoln Logs and beautiful sand castles. I wanted to share with him my love of music and teach his soul to sing. We wanted to teach him our faith and to walk humbly yet boldly with God.
It breaks my heart that we will never get to teach Isaiah these things and so much more. Yet in the short time I carried my sweet baby in my womb and the 2 precious hours I held him in my arms, he taught me more than I have learned in my 27 years.
+Isaiah taught me that my heart can love at levels I never imagined. I had always heard that having a baby changes you forever - that the love you have for your child is unlike anything else. Its true. When I held my beautiful son, I fell madly in love with him. To see the sweet face of the baby I had spent the last 7 months getting to know was so amazing. I saw the tiny feet that had been kicking me like a soccer player. I saw his little lips. Is that really where those tiny hiccups had been coming from all this time? I saw all the hopes and dreams I had for his little life, but most of all I saw a beautifully crafted child of God. At that moment, my heart expanded in ways I never knew possible.
+Isaiah taught me to love my friends and family with reckless abandon. This is something we longed to teach Isaiah, but I realize we never fully understood this ourselves. It is so easy to become so wrapped up in the busyness of life that we often neglected friendships, but in the wake of losing my son, I realized that I desperately needed this community in my life. And they were there! To quote my favorite book at the moment, Laying my Isaac Down, again, "It was the worst of times, but it was the best of times. I was hurting badly, but I was loved deeply." I want to learn to slow down enough to invest in my friends and family so I can love them with this deep love. I want to learn to celebrate with those that are celebrating, and mourn with those that are mourning but most of all I just want to LOVE.
+Isaiah taught me to slow down, get rid of the distractions, and enjoy life. By nature, I am a busy body. I have always been the Martha in the Martha and Mary story. I run around trying to take care of everything, make everything "perfect," and keep everyone happy. I do all this with the TV on too because I just can't stand quiet. That was until Isaiah turned my world upside down. I quickly learned that the things I thought were important were not so important. I also learned that I did not need noise and distraction to fill my life. I have learned to slow down and actually live in the moment. Is amazing when you turn off the TV and cease from doing chores for a bit how much more time you have to enjoy with your husband and invest in your friends. Because lets face it, having a perfectly clean house does not really matter, people do!
+Isaiah taught me to look for and enjoy the small blessings in life. Losing Isaiah literally left me in the pit of despair. It felt like the world just stopped and all hope left me. But in the still moments of the pit I began to notice things that I never took the time to notice before. A beautiful sky, the sweet melodies on the church bells, the soothing sound of a friend's voice, the peaceful blanket of freshly fallen snow, the warmth of the sunshine on my face, etc... These things add so much beauty to life.
+Isaiah taught me perspective. I am a perfectionist. I used to freak out if my clothes weren't folded correctly or if Matt didn't put his shoes away in the closet. I used to make a big deal out of tiny problems. Getting a parking ticket could bring me to tears. In light of the unbearable loss of my son, these worries and annoyance just seem insignificant. I am sure in, time I will find myself wanting to drift back into this mindset, but I am going to pray against this. There is something so freeing about letting go of your old stupid worries. I think this can only help to build my marriage and foster my friendships.
+Most of all Isaiah taught me to lean fully on God. I have been a Christian for a long time. I thought I knew what it meant to lean on God whether in the bountiful fields of blessing or the barren deserts of pain, but I don't think I ever really depended on Him. I mean the kind of depending where you know that without God, you have nothing. The kind of leaning on God where you just can't get close enough - you just long to curl up in His lap and have Him hold you. I am clinging so tightly to the truth of God, His hope, His promises, His unfailing love because that's all I have. And you know what, when you depend on God like that He doesn't let you down. I won't lie and say I am able to be happy and have total faith all the time right now. There are still times where I am so mad at him, so hurt that he could let this happen that I just scream at him, yet its in these moments, where he will reveal a scripture passage that is just right for what I need or he will bring a friend into that moment via a call, text message, visit or whatever to say just what I need to be encouraged. GOD IS GOOD - ALL THE TIME, yes even in those barren deserts of pain.
Matt and I keep thinking of the lessons we have learned out of this. Last Sunday, our pastor Josh, mentioned that God can use His people, yes even in conflicts or hard times to refine our character. Well, Isaiah, you have been used mightily to refine our character and we are so thankful for that. Its just one more reason that we think fondly of you and the Savior you keep pointing us to! We love you so much!