Greetings! Happy Thanksgiving!
I appreciate those of you who have approached me to encourage me to continue writing in my blog. In honor of those requests, I thought I would take the time to give a quick update on the question we get most often… “How are you all doing?”
George and I have peace and are in a good place with Zion’s passing, because of Jesus Christ and His Word. That alone is what has allowed us to cope without despair in the wake of such a tragic loss. The first month what we did a lot of was REST and SLEEP. It felt so good to be able to sleep through the night again consistently. God really grew a greater appreciation of the “little things” that we so often take for granted in life.
Our fearless leader George is still out of work, but has been doing some freelance work from home on the side to earn a little income while he actively pursues employment. We also praise God for this trial we endured with Zion because it actually strengthened our marriage, deepened our friendship and fostered a greater sense of team work between us. Being given a baby like Zion has healed us both in many ways that will be revealed in Heaven. It makes me think of the following scripture:
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.1 Peter 5:10
After the dust settled and we were back to just the four of us, it caught me off guard as I realized that I was having a very difficult time managing my emotions in dealing with my (new) day to day life in keeping the home and caring for my other two children, full time. It was so hard for me to step back into that role in a graceful manner as I experienced firsthand how grief uniquely affects each person differently. Why was I so easily angered with my husband and children? So to say the least, I had more than a few bumps in my road the first couple months after losing Zion. A friend pinpointed my struggle right on the head…
With my little blue-eyed cherub, I just experienced pure love, all the time, as I served him with joy and he loved me back. I didn’t sin against him – he didn’t sin against me. Zion was like a hiding place from the realities of day to day life. It was like I had a slice of Heavenly bliss right there in that medical bed. When we love as God calls us to love: sacrificially, laying down our own life for the life of another, that is what brings true joy. And when Zion was taken away, my adorable distraction was gone. Then I had to deal more frequently with the ugliness still hiding in my own heart, and the hearts of the rest of my family – otherwise known as sin. It was simply too overwhelming at first, and it manifested in a roller coaster of emotions. So my grieving process has been quite different than what one would typically expect. But I’m happy to say I’m in such a good place today, thanks to LOTS of prayer for my Heavenly Father to give me the grace I needed every day, along with intentional effort to abide in His Word daily. I’m always struck by how long Jesus would pray to His Father (all night long in fact as shown in Luke 6:12). I sometimes ponder how much better my (experience of) life would be if I could devote myself to prayer like that? So as I give my little mustard seed of effort to try to emulate my Savior, God honors that, because He sees my heart, and only then I begin to see real fruit in myself. In days of such uncertainty, I see now more than ever that the Lord is my Rock and my strong tower in my times of trouble (Psalm 61:3). He alone can deliver my soul and give me the power to live according to His word.
It has felt so good to reconnect with friends and family more often now that my life isn’t as consumed. I’m happy that we are no longer “in the fish bowl” after spending the past couple of years with many peering into our lives at the hospital, at home, and even virtually though social media and this blog. But now all of that is gone (except this blog which shall remain for now) and it feels so good! I’ve always been a private person and am happiest being home with my family – so I’m content with it being just us again, doing day to day life together. I now have time to do what I enjoy again – like cooking or reading a book…. or eating or taking a shower 😉 I also have thrown myself full time into homeschooling our children this fall which has been so much fun and so challenging at the same time. It’s feels so good though to know that I’m where I need to be in life. I absolutely love teaching my children.
Eden (5) and Judah (3) handled the loss of Zion amazingly well. We attribute it to the fact that we have taught them the reality of life and death as taught in the Bible which can bring a lasting and steadfast hope in the wake of a loss. They have had a couple tearful moments, but that has been it. We talk about Zion often and want to make sure that he is never forgotten. The children are learning so rapidly in school and it’s been an absolute joy to behold. We sing and dance often and have a lot of silly fun under this roof when no one is watching!
Fast forward to today…. We went to see Zion’s grave on this day of Thanksgiving. Even through the tears, we constantly reminded ourselves that Zion is in the presence of God. It’s hard to grieve for long in light of that knowledge. We can’t wait to see him again one day. We just need to be patient! We had a truly blessed and beautiful Thanksgiving day.
God is so good. He has been so faithful and continues to provide for our needs. And we are hopefully expectant to see what the next chapter holds for our family. He has given us a period of rest and we are oh so grateful for it. One of my guilty pleasures is sitting up in bed at night, tearfully smiling, while I watch videos of Zion on my phone. I know some of you have mentioned going back to my old blog posts to view videos, so I thought I would include a few of our favorites here for you to enjoy along with us.
God bless you all!