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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Held



                      Held        by Natalie Grant

Two months is too little, they let him go
They had no sudden healing
To think that providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling

Who told us we'd be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
We're asking why this happens to us

Who have died to live, it's unfair
This is what it means to be held
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive

This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held

This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive

This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held

If hope if born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait for one hour
Watching for our Savior

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive

This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held


     This song brings tears to my eyes. I remember as if it was yesterday, Josh and I were driving home from one of our many doctor appointments, and this song began to play loudly on the radio. As I wrapped my hands tightly around little Caroline, who was still safely inside my belly, tears filed my eyes. The truth is that I forever wanted to hold her safely inside. I am her mom, and I just wanted her to know what it meant to be held. 
     Growing up I knew exactly what it meant to be loved. There was never a lack of love in my big family. It was such a blessing. I always knew that one day I would  be able to show the same love to my own children. Yet there I sat, knowing that the lifetime of love I had always dreamed of being able to give, had disappeared. I listened to the song with new ears that day. Ears that heard words of truth, but brought tears of pain. 
     Now today as I think back to that moment in the car, as my hands so loving held tight to my ever growing belly, I cry. I have nothing left to hold. I do not have my baby here to love. Just as Natalie Grant sings "how it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life, and you survive. " 
     I am still here, and my beautiful daughter is not. It is such a hard reality to face. Yet here I sit, my arms cannot hold tight around my belly any longer, and my arms cannot snuggle close my little girl. What do I have left to hold onto? 
     The truth is that bitterness and anger are all a part of grief. Our human nature wants to have answers. We want to have someone to blame. When something so beautiful and so perfect is taken away, and there are no answers, there is no explanation, we have a hard time accepting it. We want to fix it, or change the situation, or blame someone. It makes us feel better, especially when there is nothing else we can do. 
     Some days I get caught up in the anger and the bitterness. I do not want to hear that "God has a plan" or that "God has a reason why He took away my baby". Those statements, as true as they may be, make me feel so angry and hurt. I know that God has a plan, but why would his plan intentionally cause me such pain. I could be made stronger in so many other ways. Why does His plan involve ripping out my heart?  Why take my baby away? 
     One of the worst parts about the Limb Body Wall Complex is that there are no answers. There is absolutely no explanation. All I do know is that:
There is no known cause,
There is no genetic link,
There is no cure,
There is very little published research or data because it is so rare,
There are no survivors.
Our little Caroline is one of only a few who even make it to birth.

     The difficult part about this whole journey had been the lack of answers. When all I ever wanted was to hold my baby forever, I was forced to keep pressing on, knowing they're was absolutely nothing that I could ever do to fix my baby.  I was completely helpless. There is no one to blame, there is no real answer. It is just the way that it is. I could do nothing to save my baby. The doctor's could do nothing to save my baby. Nothing. 
     But in the midst of the nothingness, I do know exactly what it means to be held. It is a beautiful thing!  I was given the gift to hold my baby. I was able to snuggle with her, and hold her tiny fingers in my hand. I did get to hold my baby!  God have me the beauty of 30 perfect hours with my Caroline. Josh and I even had 19 miraculous minutes where we knew she could hear our voices and feel our arms. Caroline knew what it meant to be held by her mommy. She could feel my touch (almost constantly as I couldn't keep my hands off my belly!) before she was born, and she knew what it meant to be held by her mommy and her daddy during her short time with us. But most of all, my precious little girl knows now what it means to be held by Jesus. In his perfect arms I know that she is being held in His loving embrace. She is safe, and warm, and protected from all the pain and sadness of this earth. My baby did know what it means to be held, and to be loved, and she will continue to know those things forever. 
     But in the midst of the nothingness, I do know what it means to be held.  I am held tight in the loving arms of our Father in heaven. He is holding me so close. He is holding me so tight. He is never going to let me go. When pain, and sorrow, and bitterness consume my heart, there is no place I would rather rest, then in the arms of my Lord. He doesn't take away those feelings, but instead He overwhelms me with His peace, and His love, and His strength. In Isaiah 40:31 it says "But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." Such a beautiful promise! I continue to cling to the arms of my Savior, knowing that he is the true creator of love. Not only will He continue to hold me in His embrace, but He will provide me with just what I need to carry on. This is truly what it means to be HELD.
     

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful. Thank you for courageously sharing your heart and your journey, Amalia. Others will be blessed by your story and Caroline's story -- I know I am. God bless you, dear sister! God is indeed HOLDING you through this time and walking with you in every moment. *hug*

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