Thursday, January 29, 2009

He Gives and Takes Away- But He Gives!

Payton Corinne- 2 years
Brinley Yvonne- 2 years
My girls adore the older girls at church. It is no wonder since Eric and I used to help with the Jr. High group at church and we spent so much time with them. Haley once proclaimed that when she grows up she wants to be a Jr. High girl. She is five and wishes that she had a cell phone of her own, a facebook page, and wonders aloud if she will have braces one day. It is no surprise to me that we have pictures of my girls emulating some of their favorite Jr. High girls, Abby and Olivia, by snagging their glasses and posing. What did catch me off gaurd was the way that they look next to one another. The first is of my girl Corinne and the second is her sister Brinley. Oh how I have cried over that picture of my girl. It takes me back to such a carefree and happy time. I wanted it all back... the mousy little voice that carried through our house, the friendship that only sisters can provide one another with, one more little head of blonde hair to style before church... I miss it all.
What I see in these two little pictures are both great sorrow and great joy enmeshed. I prayed for many many months that God would give that boisterous two year old back to our family. And through my sadness I can see that this prayer will never be answered to my liking in this lifetime. Yet God does answer prayers. We do not have a two year old Brinley back in our arms, but we do have a lively two year old Corinne whose mannerisms and mousy voice so closely resemble her older sister. She will never replace Brinley but somehow she is taking us back to that place where we are carefree and happy once again.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I'm workin' on it

It has been brought to my attention that I have never even mentioned my own name on my blog! Although I will always be Brinley's mama, I go by another name too. So I finally figured out how to make a signature! Now if only I could get around to figuring out how to make a button! It is on my "to do" list but not imperative as with so many things in my life now.
I was talking to a very dear friend of mine this morning. She spent a lot of time on me in the weeks and months after Brinley died. She listened to my deepest hurts, my anger, my rambling for as long and as often as I needed. In those early days one of my biggest fears was that my grief would be overwhelming to others. Yet she knew how to listen without judgement mostly because she spent time in the same boat that I am in. She lost her sweet girl the same year I welcomed my Brinley into this world. I did not know this girl before my own tragedy although I vaguely remember praying for her when the news of her loss was put on our prayer chain at church. I do remember praying for this sweet family and being so very thankful for mine. Who knew our paths would one day cross? Four different people asked her to contact me and I have a feeling that The Holy Spirit nudged her in my direction too. I'm so thankful that she listened.
When we spoke again this morning I was telling her about a recent book that I have read by Beth Moore, "Get Out of That Pit." This book spoke so much to me after losing Brinley. She directly addresses that sometimes we are just thrown into these deep pits. Not by anything that we have done or not done- just by life and Satan working so hard in this fallen world. She commented that we should make no mistake that the people who are thrown into these pits work daily just to climb out and then stay out. My first response in those early days was, "Hallelujah! There is a light at the end of this dark tunnel, and God will restore me one day. I won't feel this despair forever!" However then I let satan work his way in somehow. Fighting to stay out of this pit? Seems a little daunting that I might have to do that for the rest of my life. What I want to know is: Will this struggle remain? This struggle to climb out of the pit? I am ten months into this grief thing and sometimes it still feels like I am at the bottom of the pit. Other times it feels like I have reached the top but I'm just clinging. I'm ok with this for a time but will it be this difficult forever? Will it always be a struggle to make that choice to stay out of the pit?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year?

I didn't write much in December did I? Not much of anything and a whole lot of everything happened this month too. I just can't decide if it was because I was too busy with the season or if I was too busy avoiding really thinking about the season without her. Maybe a little bit of both.
As much as I dreaded Christmas without our girl there was this other part of me that continually searched for joy. My God was faithful to provide! I'm certain that this was a choice. The more I focused on seeing other families celebrate their "normal" Christmases the more I hurt. But the more I focused on what I have been blessed with this December the more joy God placed in my heart! Make no mistake that this choice on what to dwell on is not easy-and sometimes I fail miserably. But I am doing my very best.
"Finally bretheren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things."
- Philippians 4:8
So what's news you ask? (Ann I know that you are going to kill me for not telling you this morning at church!) This month we found out that we are expecting again! I can't express how strange it is to know that this baby would not have been had Brinley lived. I know that there will be a bittersweetness that she will not be here to greet her new brother or sister again. But I also see the blessing in new life, the beauty from ashes, and the joy that my God continues to provide.