About Me

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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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28 March 2012

Allowing Him to Redeem (an account of where my heart is 6 months later)

Mommy, if you are reading this (and I know you are) I am writing this while munching red big korn bites :0) Just thought I would let you know that, coz I know it would make you smile ;0)
Okay, that was a total side note, but random as per my random personality - hee hee. (Besides - anything to make my mama smile). :0) Now on to today's post.
Lately, I hear from or talk to many people who themselves are negotiating grief. It always touches my heart deeply to hear from others who have or are experiencing the journey of loss. It has become a big part of my journey to share my heart about our life with and since Zac's "graduation" and it means so much to me when others share their stories with me too. We learn and draw strength from one another, even if our stories are different. This is also a big reason why I continue to choose to journal through the range of different emotions I tackle in this healing process. A big part of grief is the fact that it is so foreign to us! I have come to learn that we all grieve differently, but in it all we can't escape the different phases that grief will take us through. Talking about it helps us to realise we are "normal" and not alone. The more conversations I have these days, the more I see how many hurting people there are out there. Everybody has a story. Everybody has negotiated highs and lows. As always, I want this to be a place where people can draw encouragement, no matter how dark the storm looks in their life. Going through the storm, even when it turns out worse than you ever dreamed can still turn to reveal a bright new dawn. Of course when you are negotiating the intense pain of loss and disappointment you could never imagine how things could possibly ever get better, but if you are willing to take the depth of your pain and aches to the One who is renowned for walking on water in storms, there will come a moment when  all of a sudden you will look up and see that you are past the worst and looking into something beautiful that reveals redemption. This doesn't mean that you aren't going to hurt anymore. I think it needs to be said often that grief isn't about "getting over" somebody or something significant you have lost. As a believer, your heart will always rejoice to know that the one you love is in absolute glory, but your humanity will ache the separation for while you have to wait for that grand day of reunion. It's okay to admit to the pain of that missing. It continually amazes me how we expect people to move on so fast. There is so much in loss to negotiate. To rush through it will never allow you to heal completely. That pain will resurface. If you are hurting and have felt compelled to "move on", I really want to encourage you to take the time that you need to allow the Lord to help you to work through your pain. He is not afraid of your "whys", but while you ask him those tough questions, allow Him the opportunity to comfort and soothe your heart. We don't always hear what we want to hear, but I recon that's because some things are just too big for us to possibly contain or understand. Reading the last 5 chapters of Job in the Amplified Bible this morning really soothed my heart today to hear what God had to say after all Job and his friends had tried to reason out from the previous 37 chapters in trying to understand God. It was beautiful for me to see how God unveiled just a glimpse of His awesomeness to Job, and then goes on to reveal that ancient enemy the devil, only to draw him back to a moment of heart truth and then radical redemption. I think I am going to re read these 5 chapters over and over for a while. There is so much in there to comfort a hurting heart. He gives Job a glimpse of perspective of His magnitude so huge that Job could barely take it all in. I love then how God looks at his so-called "wise" friend and corrects him so sternly for not representing Him well in his counsel to Job. A lesson well learned to all of us to never think we have got all figured out!
Back to my previous thoughts (shew I'm telling you, this grief brain takes me all over the place! Oh for the day when I can concentrate again!!!) I wrote all the above and am unveiling where my heart & mind is today to somehow speak hope to any hurting heart today. No pat sayings can ease the pain of a hurting heart.To be absolutely honest, in those first 3 months after Zac passed, anytime somebody told me that my baby was safely in the arms of Jesus ... or when someone would say how the angels or other loved ones who have passed before us were all doting on him would be so painful for me. I knew he was there safely, but quite frankly, I wanted him in my aching arms. My heart rejoiced for him being with the Lord, but my soul ached with a pain beyond words. Everything in my heart, body and soul wanted to be with my child. When people would pray that God would turn everything for the good, my walls would go up. I could not ever imagine how dawn could possibly rise again in the midst of such deep pain. But day by day He has given our family grace to come through each day. It may feel like one tiny shard at a time that He is re-piecing, but every day His healing continues. He has walked through every emotion with me. Every bit of sadness. Every bit of anger. Every bit of confusion. Every bit of  despair and He has loved me. He has loved me deeply in every one of those moments. That is the hope that I want to convey to you today. The God of perfect love reaches out and meets us at every turn in the road. In fact, that same loving God carries us when we just can't take another step. He sends precious ones to wipe away our tears, or even better - to cry and laugh with us. He speaks a word of hope at key moments in our journey and He gives a peace when there shouldn't be any. This is the hope I want to share today.
This Friday will be 6 months. I can tell you with full confidence that He is negotiating every bit of the pain with me and allowing me to glimpse the beauty of dawn. Some days are way harder than others, but there is ALWAYS grace for each moment. I wish with all my heart that I was raising Zac, but in it all, God's love has held me so close. I have never been closer to His heartbeat than these 8 months since we first discovered  Zac's heart-peace story. My friend Amy, who also has a darling little girl growing up in Heaven with Zac, has often expressed to me how with this tremendous pain comes a gift of His presence that is more magnificent than any words could describe. She too has encountered His love at her greatest hour of heart break. She too has allowed Him to piece her heart back together. What a joy and reassurance to see people allowing the Great I Am to redeem the lost and broken things within.  
So friend, whatever you are feeling today or working through, be honest with Him through it all and allow Him to redeem. He can redeem the hardest moments of our lives into something that reflects life, beauty and hope. He is doing this day by day in my life, through all the tears and all ;0) If He can do it for me, He will surely do it in and for you too.  
All my love xxx
Janine

1 comment:

Carol F said...

Love your honesty Janni, you always make things so precious and understandable. Thank you for sharing this deepest part of your heart - I know that this is the message the God want us to get!! to be authentic in our relationships.

Love you with all my heart my Queen.
Mom xxxxx and.....

Yes, I could imagine you eating the red corn-bites...I'm saving mine & eating them over a period of time:)XX