But We Believe…

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My grandmother passed away this week. That seems so impossible — so radically hard to grasp. I’m still trying to come to terms with the fact that it did, indeed, happen. Her house is empty…there is a stillness that is absolutely stifling. And we’re left wondering why something so tragic had to happen to such a wonderful woman. She loved God. She loved her family. But these tragedies make us wonder why we’re even here. Why would a loving God inflict such pain on a family who misses their loved one more than they can bear?

My nights are filled with the tears that just refuse to stop shedding for her. All I can focus on is the pain of it all and how I wish that I could have borne that pain for her. Watching someone die it the ultimate test of faith, I think. It was a room full of people, but she was all only with her God. In her deepest agony, she gave up her suffering and flew to the arms of her Savior.

In the world’s eye, it’s a tragedy. In the eyes of her beloved friends a family, it’s a beautiful life that ended so bitterly. But for God, it was a joyful reuniting with Him in Paradise. Now, that’s hard to understand for us finite beings, but I know it’s true. All day today, I felt absolutely surrounded by her love — as if she was in the room with me and watching little Faith play and laugh. I can feel her right now as I’m sitting “hunched” over my computer screen (something she always chided me about!).

When you think of her laughing and playing with all of those sweet babies up above, Death loses its sting. Mammaw is no more pain. All of my life, she struggled in agonizing pain — diabetes, fibromyalgia, two occurrences of cancer, and so much more. Her body was weary from the burden, but she is now light. She can run again — playing again in the great outdoors that she loved so deeply. Our lives will never be the same — our life with her is over, but for her, it is just beginning. She’s praying for us by day and night and urging us to keep on staying strong. She fought bravely to the very end.

And now, as my eyes once again fill with tears, I leave behind the powerful, timeless Sonnet X by my beloved John Donne:

 

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou thinkst thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow
And soonest our best men with thee do go
Rest of their bones and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppies or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke. Why swellst thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
 And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die!

Poem courtesy of http://www.rjgeib.com/thoughts/proud/.

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He Makes Beautiful Things…And, Yes, There’s No Such Thing as “Supermom!”

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I know that this blog post isn’t health related, but I knew God was speaking to me to write something personal, something some of you might need to hear right now. To all of you moms out there, I’m going to briefly, succinctly, proclaim something that you may or may not know already:

There’s no such thing as “SuperMom.”

Try as we might, there are going to be days where things simply aren’t working as we planned. As a very new mom back in the summer, I WORKED feverishly and cried and prayed…so scared of losing control of that feeble, tiny life lying in that snowy white crib. I was petrified of life itself. With every breath of my baby, I feared SIDS–with every tear, cough, or shallow breath, I prepared for the worst.

I forced myself to go back to work, to resume my job as a writer, teacher, and health blogger/coach, within weeks after the birth, and it was all too much. I was falling apart, and for that, I’ve paid a serious price. Now, I’m being treated for severe hormonal issues that I truly think derived from pushing myself too much, too hard–not allowing my body to heal completely and fully while embracing my life as a new mom.

It was a world completely devoid of any peace whatsoever. Every day, I must work to let go, to let go, to let go…This has been the most exhausting, but fulfilling, six months of my life, and let me tell you that I had my shattering WAKE UP CALL. I realized that every step of motherhood is a gift from God even when the tears simply wouldn’t stop flowing. I wanted so many things to go differently. I wanted to breastfeed. I wanted to cook. I wanted to have a natural birth.

And guess what? None of that worked out. NONE of it. I even went so far as to attempt re-lactating but to no avail. So I had to “get real” and stop the madness. I had to listen. I’m having to teach myself now, and it’s hard–so hard.

I had/have to realize that I AM everything to that little baby, but that doesn’t mean that I have to DO everything.

God has placed this precious child in my care, and if that means that I must scale down my commitments, then that’s exactly what I must do. If that means that the floor doesn’t get mopped, then so be it. This process of letting go is hard, especially since I like to be on top of everything, but it’s necessary. Your body, your temple, must be nourished and rested. Your baby must be looked after with all of the love that comes from a mommy who is fresh (or, as fresh as possible considering the circumstances!) and vibrant.

I’m sure this kind of blog has been written, many times, but I can’t tell you enough how relieving it is to share these challenges with you and to urge you to come to me for any kind of prayer and encouragement. God doesn’t place His children in a bad place just to let them have the “experience.” He wants us to grow, to be nurtured, and to teach others through those dark times.

So, in closing, I pray for all of you moms, new or otherwise, to have peace this holiday season. It is essential. We have to have it for survival. And then there’s these beautiful affirmations from our Savior’s holy Word:

 

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27

And finally:

 

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Hallelujah! We have a Savior, and He’s rooting for us each and every day. He’s been there. He knows what we’re going through, no matter how challenging those circumstances might be. And I leave with a wish for you, dear readers, to have a blessed and peaceful Christmas!

~K.