Sunday, August 8, 2010

What a day….

I love what Annalee says in her “About Me” part of her blog. I won’t quote her, but I’ll paraphrase, because I feel very much the same way…

This is a blog, and it’s just a blog. Most of the time, it’s used for recording the happy and lighthearted times. But on occasion, it’s for recording the not so happy times. This is one of them.

I try to be real on here, but for the most part, I only show the happy side of our life. In real life, I am very much the same way. Not in a “fake” way (I hope). I don’t like to cry in public and I am not one to share really deep things openly…certainly not in a public atmosphere or with a public audience. (for the record, I’d never write anything on my blog that I would care if someone read)…I don’t share often like I am about to. But, I feel like loosing Cooper is so much a part of my testimony and walk with Christ, that sometimes I NEED to share it. Today feels like that.

This time of year isn’t an easy one for me (us). From the time the calendar rolls from July to August, my heart seems to be flooded with the ache of missing our boy. Cooper’s birthday is tomorrow, August 9th. The days leading up to his birthday seem to get me the most. They are the days I should doing last minute party preparations and should be listening as our boy counts down the days with excitement until his party. The “what we shoulds” are the worst. Over the past 2 and a half years, our hearts have calloused a bit toward the “what we shoulds” and we have learned not to let ourselves “go there” much and when we do, normally we can face them without as many tears as there were at first. However, on his birthday the “what we shoulds” seem unavoidable and seem to pull the scab off that part of our broken hearts.  

We SHOULD be buying the present that he’s been wanting for months…not buying flowers for his grave.

We SHOULD be planning a party…not trying to think of how we can honor and remember him on this special day.

This year feels especially hard because it’s one of the big birthdays. FIVE.

He SHOULD be getting ready to start kindergarten. We SHOULD be buying school supplies and new clothes and getting ready for “meet the teacher.”

When Cooper was born five years ago, we would have never dreamed this is how things would have turned out. As all parents do, we had such hopes and dreams. I imagined his first day of kindergarten and how I’d cry the whole way home after I dropped him off. I could see him on the stage (as the star, of course) of the PTO program. We could hear his name being called over the loudspeaker on the football field, “Cooooop…”—I imagined his high school graduation and Devin and I had already said instead of renting an apartment for his college years, we’d make an investment and buy a town house for him to live in. On his wedding day, I’d planned to give his wife the diamond earrings that his Daddy gave me the day he was born. To think ahead that far seems silly, I know, but they were our dreams…

Our reality is that we’ll never see them come to pass. As I said before, we’ve learned not to let ourselves go there much, but this time of year, it’s really hard not to. I can’t even think about his birthday and not fall apart. I want to just throw a kicking and screaming fit. I want to hit something as hard as I can while I scream to the top of my lungs how unfair this is—how it wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Part of me wants to just sleep the day away and wake up on August 10th, catch my breath, and go on. But the momma in me can’t. I can’t let his birthday go by and not do something for him…and we will, but that’s not what this post is about.

This post is about the silent prayer of my heart over the past week or two…

“Lord, get us through this. Give us strength to face another birthday without him, God. Help us, Lord…”

This post is about what my heart’s been crying and how awesome God is.

The Lord is so many things, but in this season of my life, FAITHFUL is how I see Him the most.

DW had a meeting early at church this morning, so he went on before us. I struggled with whether or not to even go. I kept thinking about tomorrow and how I’d rather just hide out at home for the next couple days, but I got AB and I ready anyway, and headed to church to meet him.

I am so glad I did, because the Lord showed off big time for me.

During this morning’s Responsive Reading, the phrase “love is stronger than death” jumped off the page of the hymnal in front of me and straight into my heart.

“Oh Lord,” I thought, “you are so right. Love is stronger than death. The grave didn’t win…Cooper might not be with us, but he’s alive with YOU. Our love for him will always keep him alive in our hearts, and because of YOUR love for us, YOU have conquered death--- we will LIVE forever with YOU!”

The woman who did the children’s moment today used the scripture from Ecclesiastes chapter 3. I love that portion of scripture, and it seems so fitting for our life right now, too. God works in all of these seasons, and I am thankful that no matter what season we’re in, I see Him.

and if THAT wasn’t enough, the choir sang, “Because He Lives” today for their special. I about fell out of my chair. That’s a hymn we sing around the Easter season, not in AUGUST…

I nearly bawled right there, as I felt God’s love and faithfulness toward me--- His tenderness toward my aching heart. As they sang the part “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow”  I felt the Lord speaking right to me. It’s so true, and so LITERAL. Because He lives, I CAN face tomorrow. I can face tomorrow, which would be my boy’s 5th birthday. I can face tomorrow knowing that instead of eating cake and opening presents, we’ll be visiting our son’s grave and sending balloons Heaven-ward toward him.

I don’t know much else, but I know that God is good. He is TRUE. He is faithful. I know that He will see us through the days ahead, just as He has the days passed.

Tomorrow won’t be easy, but HE LIVES, so I can face it…