Well, it has been six weeks since Timothy was born. I have no more big belly, no more doctor's appointments, no baby stroller, no car seat, no crib, no baby in my arms. To every stranger that I pass I am just a normal person now. No one would know that I now bare a several inch long scar on my lower abdomen and an even bigger scar on my heart. No one would know that six weeks ago I gave birth to a precious baby boy and then watched him take his last breath only minutes later. No one would know that sometimes I can't think straight when I see a stranger with a pregnant belly or a stranger with a precious newborn baby. I wonder what it feels like to have a "normal" pregnancy, what it feels like to hold a son or daughter in your arms for the first time and imagine all of the days that are ahead with them. I wonder if they realize how blessed they are. I wonder if they realize what a miracle their healthy baby truly is. I miss my big belly, I miss my little kicker, I miss my Timothy!
The first several weeks after Timothy was gone were the hardest. I have never felt so much pain, so much sadness, so much heartache in my life. Tears fell often and they fell hard. Everyday I felt the weight of seeing Timothy's moments of life, remembering holding him in my arms, and then coming to grips with the fact that, while on this Earth, I would never see him and I would never hold him in my arms again. I kept thinking, "It's not fair! That one day went so quickly! I would give anything to hold him in my arms again...I just want one more day with him! Lord, why can't I just have one more day with him?"
But I know that one more day would never have been enough.... and then in the midst of my tears and in the midst of my crying out to God....he was there. He was there saying "I have got this. I can be trusted. You did what I called you to do. I am proud. Keep taking it one day at a time. I am here. I will uphold you. My plan is good. I love you." Six months ago when we got the news about Timothy's condition, I could not imagine how I was going to get through this. I mean I REALLY did not know how I was going to walk through each day knowing what was lying ahead for our sweet Timothy. And yet here I am. I am still standing. I am on the other side of this journey and I can look back at all that the Lord has done in my life. I can look back at the joy he gave us in carrying our sweet Timothy. I can look back at the strength he gave us each day. I can look back at the fierce love of our family and friends. I can look back at his abundant grace. I can look back at the ways he provided for us. I can look back and still see a loving and faithful God.
Angie Smith wrote in her book, "I could have easily slipped into a life of resentment after we lost Audrey...picking yourself up and going about your life as if it's all a gift isn't easy when you have lost something so precious,..but that is just it...I can either focus on what I have lost, or what I have gained, and I choose the latter."
That is my new "normal". The days, the hours, the minutes that I choose to focus on what I have gained from having Timothy in my life for the last nine months are great days, great hours, and great minutes. When I start to focus on what I have lost, what will never be, I am overwhelmed with sorrow and grief. So, today I choose to focus on what I have gained. I choose to trust. I choose to take one step forward at a time.
There is still sadness. There are still tears. But in the midst of the sadness, there is peace and there is joy. There is joy in knowing that I have done what God called me to do. I took care of Timothy as long as I could and then I entrusted his life to him and he called him home. There is peace because I know where Timothy is. There is peace because I know that God has used this for good in my life and in the lives of others. There is joy as I begin to think about the possibility of God blessing us with another baby someday. There is joy as I spend time with friends, with family, with my amazing husband. There is joy when I get to be out in God's creation. There is joy when I get to serve and love on people. There is joy and there is peace when I think about the days ahead because I know I can trust the Lord with whatever he brings into my life. Life without Timothy will never be easy, but I can continue to walk in faith because God has shown himself more faithful and more loving than I could have ever imagined!