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South Africa
My husband, Brett and I live in beautiful South Africa and have been blessed with the most precious family. We have 2 very beautiful and brave daughters, Tianna (15) and Angelee (12) and a very precious little boy called Zac who touched our hearts forever in his 1 day here on earth. We never would have imagined that we would have to live this side of Heaven without our sweet boy who was born with half a heart, but every day Jesus carries us through and is teaching us more than ever how to live, laugh and love fully. 3 years ago our faithful Great Restorer graciously blessed us once again with another son ... our beloved Gabriel ... a ray of sunshine in all our lives! "Love in Action" is our journey as a family to love the way Jesus is teaching us to love and live.

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27 December 2011

3 months and a Christmas milestone later ...

Tonight is another one of those nights where the tears do not want to stop falling. Everything inside of me feels so broken that I wonder how I will ever feel whole again. I feel like I am permanently negotiating a million different emotions in a day. There are moments where hope is so clear that I can glimpse a perspective more beautiful than my brokenness would dare for me to believe, but then there comes a moment like this afternoon that knocks my breathe away ... my daughters taking turns at falling into my arms in floods of tears at the injustice of such a short lifespan for their little brother. How do I take their pain away? Or the moment where I cried with my sister today as I realized that I could never again hold the beautiful blue and green quilt that she lovingly made for Zac, because the day that he died I could not bare for him to be taken away from me without being wrapped up in something warm that was woven in love and prayers, made with faith in the promise of hope. More than anything I want him in my arms in that quilt right now. Then there is the pain that I see in my precious husbands eyes as he misses his treasured son after having bonded so deeply with him when he was in my womb and then eventually holding his little boy, only to have to release him before being given the privilege of watching him grow up before our earthly eyes. EVERYTHING reminds me of the pain our family has endured. Watching my daughters and nieces open their Christmas presents, but realizing constantly that one of our darlings will always be missing. Hanging up the Christmas stockings, but not having one to fill for Zac. Sitting around the table to eat Christmas lunch, but only having a candle to light in Zac's remembrance. Watching my little niece and nephews reach their milestones and knowing that I will never be able to boast about Zac's growth and developing personality. How on earth does everything else carry on as normal when the pain is so real and devastating to us? Having to accept that we will never be the same again as a family is so hard. Do I know that God will bring beauty from these ashes? Absolutely. But right now I just want to kick and scream that we have these ashes to deal with. The only thing that brings my heart peace is looking at this life from an Eternal perspective. That is the place that I keep going back to when I feel like I do today. I lift my eyes to the One from where my help comes from. I look to the One who knows how to bring us through even as He holds my son in His arms. When I look up, I see that glimmer of hope again and find the courage to keep growing in my faith and trust in Him. I am not going to pretend for one second that this is an easy journey. It is so very hard to understand and make peace with. I still fail to understand why we have been entrusted with this story, but I do not fail to trust and believe that God is good and that He is loving us through all this heartache. 
So often I feel an unspoken pressure to have it all sorted though and look like we are back to normal, moving forward - looking brave to anyone who might look on. Nobody particularly expects this of us - it is more the voice of the accuser who would love to bring maximum devastation from our pain. I know better than to think for one second that any of what we have gone through is God's doing. What we have walked through is the result of a broken and fallen world. This brokenness is what drew Jesus to come and live a sacrificial life so that He can offer us the gift and hope of Eternal life. Everything that I am going through right now makes that so much clearer to me. While I am so saddened by this chapter of our story, I know that there is still a beautiful picture and many precious memories and gifts that we have been given too. It's choosing to mindful of that in the pain.
While I wish that this was a light hearted after-Christmas post, it's more of a real from-the-heart account of where we are at. We are so grateful for the love and support of family and friends who have walked this part of the journey with us. Having my sister here to brave our first Christmas after Zac is so brave on their part and so much appreciated even as I tackle my highs and lows. I know that with time we will grow through these first really intense months. It's just one step at a time.
With love from a very honest and hurting, yet somehow healing Jan xxx 

6 comments:

Dardi said...

Thank you for your honesty. It struck me when you mentioned about God trusting you with this story. In this season, I have begun thinking of Mary's story in a different light...as a mother whose little boy was taken so unfairly.

I pray that your family continues to heal & that it draws you even closer together as a family. It must be so hard to see the grief in the girls, but I'm glad they're letting you comfort them & not just trying to "stuff it away".

Kelli said...

Janine,
I am so sorry that you are struggling, but I ask you to really allow yourself the struggle. I felt that I had to be perfect, and move on, and not cry, and not feel, and I think I really got even more angry and stuffed all my feelings away, when I should not have. Allow yourself to go through them, however long that takes. And, people do move on, and life moves on and school goes on and friends have kids and it all stinks...it all isn't fair and it all hurts at times. Don't worry about who is watching, because it is your pain and your process, your journey, not theirs. Don't take that away from yourself. Yes, the pain will eventually lessen, and the grief will eventually subside (to a point), and again, sadly, life moves on all too quickly for a grieving heart...but, you take it at your own time,not what you think others expect, ok? And, of course, He is there, comforting and loving you with each tear that falls. When I went through my first miscarriage, I felt all the same things, but I didn't have support. Everyone (including hubby) thought it was fine and I should move on (like the next day). That only made it worse. Please don't rush your journey through this pain...He will show you amazing things along the way. The verse that comforted me is:

Hear my cry, O God;
Give heed to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For You have been a refuge for me,
A tower of strength against the enemy.
Let me dwell in Your tent forever;
Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. (Psalm 61 1-4).

My baby would have been six on Dec. 23rd (my daughter's 9th bday). I will never forget or stop longing to hold her. And every time we are celebrating my daughter's bday, I am silenting struggling with grief and pain and missing the baby I never got to hold. But, I trust that she is being held in greater arms than mine,and she is in a perfect place, far from pain and sadness...it doesn't always comfort me or stop the pain, but sometimes it does. I love you, and just wanted to encourage you to take it at your own pace.

Adeye said...

My precious Jan,

Oh how I wish there was a way to take all the pain and sorrow away. But I know that ONLY our Jesus can touch every aching part of your heart and bring healing! Some days heaven just sounds so amazing, doesn't it my friend? Please know that you are always so close to my heart and in my prayers. I wish I lived closer :( I am praying for you today and aksing the Father that it may be a little easier, a little less teary for you. Just one day at a time my sweet, sweet Jan. His grace is all you need.

Biggest hugs across the miles.
A

Susan said...

I love your line, "The only thing that brings my heart peace is looking at this life from an Eternal perspective." This is so very true! This life, even with all the moments of joy, will never ever be unbroken.

Susan said...

Janine, you have such words of wisdom. I had to quote you from my blog today... http://onlythemanager.blogspot.com/

Peace be with you.
Susan

Lindah said...

Hi my precious daughter.JUst reading your latest blog reminds me of one of my most favorite scriptures-in fact one that became my calling to write Woman of Peace.It became a real revelation to me when I was walking through 'the valley of the Shadow of death ' in my own life'It is particularly relevant to you at this time for it is at the end of Zachariah's song (Luke1:79)'Through the heartfelt mercies of our God,God's Sunrisewill break in upon us,Shining on those in the shadow of death,Then showing us the way,one foot at a time,down the path of peace. As you have written Jan,'one step at a time' Dad and I continue to pray for you all trusting in the great mercy of our Father that He knows your pain and is faithfully carrying you through this valley.That He will set a banqueting table before you ,restore your souls and cause your cup of blessing to overflow. That the light of His glorious Presence would be so evident in such a tangible real way to each one of you bringing that peace that passes all understanding . We love and cherish you and continue with so many others to hold your arms up in this journey. Much Loveland hugs ,Mom