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The Gift of Isaac, the Gift of Thanks (Part 3)

I wanted to thank you all for your readership.  It really blesses me to know that our trials have resulted in encouragement for others.  It has helped me heal to have you to share with.  Brittney told me that it has played a major role in healing for her as well, to read these entries.  I am so thankful for that.   I would love for you to share our story, my blog with others.  There are many ways to build readership, but what I am looking for is building community and fellowship amongst kindred spirits.  If you know anyone who might be blessed by the words of any of these blog entries or the heart behind them, please encourage them to “follow” by sending them the link or sharing it on Facebook.  If you “like” my Facebook page, you will get the posts that I put up daily to encourage moms…the good, the bad and the crazy. 🙂  And here is the continuing story…

My husband and I got to spend the weekend before last with Brittney and Jacob.  It was the first time we had seen them since 2 days after burying Isaac.  We talked a lot. We laughed a lot.  It was good to spend time together remembering Isaac, but also enjoying the present…together.  It was also a blessing for my heart to physically see just how well they are really doing.  Britt and I have talked many times about the grace God has given all of us through this.  The little ways that He prepared us, without us knowing, and the many ways that He has made His presence known throughout the crisis of those moments and this grieving time.  If I could encourage anyone, bearing all of this mind, I would say continue to seek Him, in good times and difficult ones.  Ask God to  lay a good foundation in your heart, so that you can have the eyes to see Him when life gets hard.  Because it will get hard.

I ended the last post telling about our time right after Isaac was born.  Our other married daughter, Jenna, had been there for this whole experience as well.  She was more fearless than I had ever seen her.  She courageously took as many pictures as possible and quietly stood by her sister even though it was probably one of the hardest things she has ever had to do.

My husband, our other son in law, Sam,  and our 4 oldest sons spent most of the day driving (we live six hours away from Jacob and Brittney) to be there to hold Isaac.  They arrived a few hours after Isaac was born.  As they all stepped off the elevator and walked toward me, I felt such a sense of relief.  It was like my army of men had arrived.  I just remember this strong sense of reinforcement from them that I had never felt before.  Maybe it was being away from all of them for awhile and gaining perspective that helped me see the importance of my job as a mom to our boys.  We are raising men.  I know that , but it’s easy to lose the reality of it in the day to day.  To see them from more of an outsider’s view made me thankful for the investment we have made into them and the work that God has done in each of their lives so far.  It encouraged me to “keep my hand to the plow” and not give up even though some days I grow weary of parenting.

My husband had prepped our boys on the trip.  He encouraged them to hold Isaac and talk about the “normal” things…his nose, his ears, his hair, etc.  They were brave and upbeat and gave their sister great joy to see them enjoying Isaac.  We took more pictures.  We laughed.  It was like a short family reunion that got to include our new member of the family.  I will never forget it. We all said goodbye to Jacob, Britt and Isaac.  It was time for them to be alone together as their own little family.  They spent the rest of the day and night with Isaac, as well as half of the next day.   A dear friend, who had lost her baby in childbirth 6 months earlier, came to visit and encouraged them to take their time with Isaac and not be in a hurry.  And they did just that.  They took many more pictures, watched movies together, snuggled together and relished in being a family for that short time.

As you can imagine, leaving Isaac at the hospital was heart breaking for Jacob and Britt.  Getting into a car with an empty car seat, walking into a home that was ready to welcome a new little one.  Those moments bring the harsh reality of loss into such clearness.  It is inescapable.  But it is here where God is most present.  When we have nothing left to hang onto but Him.  And we eventually realize that HE is enough.  I wonder, sometimes, why I have such a hard time feeling that in the struggles of day to day life?  Is it because I’m still hanging onto what I think I can do to fix things instead of  falling on my knees and humbling myself before the One who makes all things right?  Why do I fight so hard when God is clearly able to fill my lack?

The next couple of days were spent off and on with Jacob, Britt and our family.  There is such comfort in just being together, sharing the griefs and the joys.  After that, my husband, our oldest 4 boys, and Sam and Jenna headed back home.  I stayed to help Britt in whatever way I could in the days before we buried Isaac.  I kept our two youngest with me.  Brittney loves her siblings and having those younger ones around seemed to be a great comfort. In the next and final post, I will share about the week leading up to Isaac’s burial.  I hope that you will take the time to ponder your own relationship with God.  What do you really believe about Him?  Because it is those beliefs that determine how you will glorify Him in a crisis.

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