Sunday, August 23, 2009

Birthday Eve & a Repost

Posting has been nonexistant this weekend. Ava's 5th birthday is tomorrow, and she is a planner. We have been very busy planning every minute of tomorrow. She wants to have cake for breakfast and wake up to a room of balloons, so I've got to take care of that stuff tonight. =)

I can't believe my sweet baby girl is going to be 5 tomorrow. Time Flies!

Now I'm off to find the ingredients for a made from scratch strawberry cake. I like to be an overachiever like that. Like she's going to notice. Oh well. I'll always know I made it from scratch, and I can hold it over her head sometime later in life when she's being annoying. "How can you be so rude to me, Ava? Don't you know how much I love you? I slaved over the oven making you a FROM SCRATCH strawberry cake on your 5th birthday just to make you happy!"

So I'm going to be busy. But I've had kind of tough weekend, too. Kind of a yelling and shaking my fist at God weekend. I'm tired of being on my own, and I'm feeling pretty sorry for myself. I thought it might be worth it to repost something from the last time I was feeling this way. Although this was in reference to Seth and Eli and not to John, as I was reading it I found many of the points still applied to me, and might apply to you too. If you missed it before, I hope you enjoy, and if you've read it in the past, I hope it doesn't bore you too much. =)

See you all soon!

Originally Posted 1/20/2009

A friend that I am very blessed to have took a hard look at me the other day. She looked at me, as I was rambling on and on about how overwhelmed I am with doctors and therapies and appointments and how it just all seems a bit much and that maybe I'm being punished for something. She looked at me, and she said "When it all gets to be too much, you just have to remember the basics."

I looked at her, my face totally blank, no idea where she was heading with that.

"The Basics?" I asked her.

She smiled and signed "Jesus Loves You." to me. (She's my good friend and my sign language teacher, by the way).

"Ellyn," She said, "The bottom line is that Jesus loves you. If you believed that, you'd understand that God isn't punishing you for anything. God loves you. He knows you better than anyone and he loves you and he is using you for a great purpose. We just don't know what it is yet."

Throughout our conversation, we kept circling back around to that. The basics. She will never know what a blessing she was to me that day...I have been in bad shape lately. Sometimes, I don't want to be refined. I don't want to be used for anyone's purposes but my own. I want Eli to be alive, and I want Seth to hear, and I want to have lots of money and get to go shopping every day.

But if each of those things were true, I would not be who I am. If Eli had not died, John and I would not have realized how ridiculously blessed our lives were. I would not have realized what an amazing church family we have. I would not take the time to be silly and laugh and play with the kids I have even if it means the house stays a mess because I know that this time with them is fleeting.

If Seth could hear, I would never have learned to take every single second to hold him and love on him and show him I love him in every tangible, tactile way. I would not have had the chance to meet all the wonderful people who have come into my life since Seth's diagnosis, the women who have become my go to gals for what to talk to and what to do, to call so that I can laugh or cry over what's happening. I have never before felt so instantly bonded to people like Andrea and Courtney, Sarah and Erin and many others who are on Team Seth, who have emailed or called just to tell me that Seth mattered to them.

If we had lots of money, I would never have learned what it feels like for groceries to show up on our doorstep, or, on a bad month, someone offering to cover Ava's tuition. It has taught me what a church family should be. A few years ago, we were on the other end, we helped and gave and I love being on that side. But being on that side does not humble you, and I know now, after all of this humbling, I will be able to be a truly selfless giver when it is our turn again.


Man, look at me spin that stuff! Believe me, I don't always see the bright side.
On Sunday night, we had an all church worship night. The idea is that everyone comes...babies, kids, parents, teens, everyone. That means there's no childcare. John was working. I decided to go anyway, and I am so glad I did. The older kids immediately ran off with the neighbor kids, and Seth and I settled in for some worship, which is my absolute favorite thing ever. More than sermons, more than anything. Singing songs to praise God is when I feel the closest to him.

Since Eli died, I have been craving worship but pretty much unable to participate in it. Every week for months I would to to church, step into service, the band would start to play, I would start to sing...and I would completely break down and run out of church. It felt so hard to be praising God, telling him he could fix ANYTHING, when he didn't fix Eli and I didn't feel like he was fixing me.

After that had happened enough times, I stopped going into service. I volunteered instead, I was all over the place and always there but never in the service during worhsip. It was painful...I wanted to be able to sing praises more than anything, but they would not come out of my mouth. It was not until John started playing with the youth praise band that I started to enjoy worship again, and to be able to get through a few songs without completely losing it. Wednesday nights, in our youth room, I felt like I could finally sing.

It's gotten better for me. I can go to service, I can sing the praise songs. But all church worship is my favorite. People really let go and get into praising God, and I wanted that and needed it this week. Bad.

We sang tons of amazing songs, but the one that is still in my head is called "Healer" The lyrics are below. In the song, the lyrics praise God for walking through fire, healing disease, and being everything we need.

On the surface, the words annoy me. I mean, Eli wasn't healed, and I feel like I need him.

But in the song, it's different. There is a section that says that "Nothing is impossible for hold my world in my hands."

I kind of lost it at that point. Through God, everything is possible. He holds each and every one of our little, tiny worlds in his hands. They are his to bless, his to bring pain or trial or joy. Nothing is impossible through God, and yet when I begged him to save my son, for some reason, his answer was No.

I don't get that. I still struggle with it, every day. But there is no doubt in my mind that even though he said no, it was still in his power to say yes. It is not my job to know or understand why. It's my job to remember the basics. He loves me. He does not cause me pain lightly. I am being fitted for a purpose, and although he said no, he never left me to deal with it alone.

He walked with me through fire these past two years. Losing my son, stepping out in faith and getting pregnant again even though all the doctors said that there was a good chance we could go through it all again, seeing Seth born alive and then watching yet again as they took him away, too. Watching him fight to live, then sitting, listening to the audiologist tell me that "He's not hearing."

Sometimes I feel like it's too much to live through. On the bad days, I am still in danger of being sucked under the surface and never coming up. But I keep coming back to the basics. Jesus loves me.

He proves it in the moments of pure, unadulterated joy when I am holding Seth and singing and he laughs joyfully, or when my kids tell me they love me unprompted. Seeing them growing and reaching for their own personal relationship with Christ. It makes it all worth it. I don't know what is going to happen in our family, I don't know if I'll ever be over losing Eli. I don't know if Seth will ever hear the way I want him to. But what I do know is that God is working in me, working in him, and hopefully working in everyone who reads this post.

This is my hundredth post, and I wanted it to be important, to touch someone who maybe has been craving God like I have, who needs that extra push. Take it. He is there, waiting for you. He never left. Just reach out.

The lyrics and the video of the song Healer are has literally been in my head since Sunday night.


You hold my every moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease

I trust in You
I trust in You

I believe You're my Healer
I believe You are All I need
I believe You're my Portion
I believe You're more than enough for me
Jesus You're All I need
(More than enough for me)

Nothing is impossible for You
Nothing is impossible
Nothing is impossible for You
You hold my world in Your Hands

Jesus You're all I need
More then enough for me

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