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.

Blog Archive

27 September 2016

Reflecting, remembering & dealing with grief 5 years later

It has once again been quite some time since I have visited this special place. I'm always amazed at how quickly time passes. Visiting back "home" to my blog reminds me so much of that. 

When I started this blog, my heart was for it to never just be about the number of followers ... but rather for it to be a place of vulnerability about my personal walk in embracing the love of Jesus and journeying to become more like him ... and trusting that that would be an encouragements to anyone needing hope. Originally it was an outlet for personal ponderings, encouragement and even a place to share my everyday life journey and milestones. I would never have imagined that so many posts would be around the journey of grief and healing and reaching out with hope to other parents who encounter child loss or grief. God has been very faithful to teach us as a family about hope after pain. These days, I choose only to write when He stirs my heart. I guess there are seasons in everything (and I am still working on practicing consistency in my life ;0) 

Lately I have been confronted by some of my old posts thanks to Facebook memories that keep popping up. To be honest, some of them have been very hard for me to read, because they take me back to deep places that I have walked with Him, especially 5 years ago. It's been the first time that I allowed myself to read back on my whole journey with Zac. While I am a very firm believer in being fully present in the present and not dwelling on the past, sometimes it is good to stand back and take stock so that we can walk ahead with renewed purpose. 

Taking the time to reflect, I can't believe how quickly my children have grown. Brett and I now have a 15 and 12 year old daughter, a busy 3 year old son, and our precious Zac will be celebrating his 5th birthday and heavenly anniversary over the weekend. Our lives are full and busy and our hearts continue the incredible journey of heart healing that God faithfully walks with us. Our picture of Heaven reminds us of why we can choose joy and embrace His goodness daily ... and when the pain surfaces (especially over these anniversaries) we lean into His heart and perspective. 

I've learned that there are times when I still need to cry as I deal with different layers and angles of this journey and also that my questioning is safe in His embrace. It doesn't alter His love and goodness ... in fact, it is the rock on which I can stand. He is a constant in our every day lives and His Presence is always steadfast. Being real, raw and honest with Him draws me back to a bigger perspective than just my pain or disappointment. He gently whispers to my heart in tough weeks like this that there is a beautiful big picture that includes my son's heavenly destiny, and that the day will come when I will understand in full. He also rocks my heart back to peace and comfort that it's ok that I don't 'like' the part of us being separated and the parts of the story that I don't understand this side of Heaven. 

With Zac's anniversaries coming up, I have been feeling so sad. I miss that sweet boy more than words could ever express. I long to know what he now looks like and what conversations he would have had with me and his dad. I miss the dynamic that he would have brought into our home in his relationships with his siblings. My loss is the loss of wondering how it would have or could have been. I hurt that my daughters hurt over this time. Do we have peace ... yes. But do we still long for him ... yes. It's hard to know how to celebrate a birthday for someone you love with sadness deep in your heart. It's hard on these milestone days to hold onto joy when the following day holds the milestone reminder of his passing. It's hard as a mother to face your own pain and still contain the    pain of your other children. BUT GOD KNOWS. And He doesn't stand watching from afar. He comes to the closest place in my heart and whispers words of heart peace. He reminds me to look up and glimpse with hope and love that there is purpose. And all of a sudden I can deal with it again. I can find rest again. 

I share these things not to seek sympathy, but to be vulnerable and honest with those who hurt. My heart aches over the growing families that God leads me to pray for and carry in my heart who walk this journey. I would do anything to carry their pain, and when my heart aches with such sorrow for their pain, Jesus tenderly reminds me that that is His privilege, calling and burden to lift. So I continue to write here to try and express His heart of extreme love and compassion and promise of hope and restoration. I write in honestly for those who are walking with loved ones who have lost children and don't know how to imagine their pain or don't know what to say. And as I write and bare my heart and hurts to Him, I continue to receive heart healing too, because somehow I can write the things of my heart much better than I can speak them out. 

So this Friday, I will choose to celebrate the gift of my beloved's son's 5th birthday and on Saturday I will acknowledge his greatest day of coming face to face with Love Himself and choose to honor and bear his testimony well, so that my life, as his, will not be defined by loss, but will continue to be defined by love and true heart peace.

I love you my boy. Thank you for constantly helping me to see Jesus.

xxx







1 comment:

Ren said...

Love you my special Jan. Am so blessed to have you in my life. Thank you for being open and vunerable - it helps so many other families that are going through the same as you have. You are a blessing to many xxx