Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Knowing Who I am, Knowing what to do?

If you have visited this site, you have probably realized that I'm not that great with words. Some people seem to have a gift for knowing what to say or knowing what to do. I visited a few blogs to see what some people I know are up to. Heard about some really amazing stuff that God is doing in their lives, and that is wonderful! I really am excited for them. But I feel stuck. Stuck here in this grief still. Stuck in life. Oh, I know what I am doing has a purpose, and I am a child of God. But what does God have for us? What is to come out of our lives, out of our tragedy. Abby's death was not meaningless. It seems like I am okay for awhile, life keeps moving forward, and I am moving with it, sometimes by God's grace. Then sometimes, I am upset. I don't know what to do, but I wish I could do something, or maybe that God would do something. Something amazing, something that will say to everyone, See, they haven't went through this for nothing! I am displaying My Glory through them. If I am honest, sometimes I don't feel that way, and it's hard to believe that God is doing anything. Though I just need to look back and remember how He has carried us through so far.
One thing that is hard is that the three close friends that I have right now, we all seem to be going in different directions. My closest friend just had a new baby boy over a month ago, and it hurts. It hurts to be around her, it hurts to see her baby, when after two years I still wish that I had mine. Maybe, it is hard for her to be around me right now too. Maybe it is painful for her too, and she doesn't know how to act around me. She has three kids now, and it's different dynamics. So many people are having babies around me, it is unreal. I just feel alone right now. Yes, I know the Lord is with me and I need to turn to Him, but I also need community. It is hard to know if I should try to reach out to them, or should I try to have some new relationships. It is hard to know what to do. Father God, remind me Whose I Am, and help me know what to do?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Thinking of Abby

My mother-in-law is in this weekend from Colorado Springs. We have been having a great time and enjoying time out at our pool beside our condo. We threw a ball around to each other in the pool and Kaylynn has been practicing her swimming. Afterwards, we were all setting on the lounge chairs drying off, and I started thinking about what it would be like if Abby was toddling around the pool. She would be 2 yrs. 1 month old. I am missing that 2nd voice that I should be hearing today.

This last week has been a week where I have had to fight my emotions. I heard a great sermon from our wonderful teaching elder, Allen Duty. It was at the women's Life Givers event and was about Why we should practice having a Sabbath. It was a wonderful sermon and something I want to learn to put into practice. I was really excited to learn more about what God's word says about Sabbath. But near the end of the evening, the women who were seated at the discussion table I was at began talking about pregnancy and going in to labor. I should have just left when they first started talking, but was trying to be polite. When I could endure it no longer, I left and made my way to my car. The tears started streaming down. I was somewhat shocked at how much it hurt me to hear them talking about pregnancy and labor. I remember thinking while they were talking, don' t they know how much it hurts for me to hear these things. Also, will I ever not hurt so much, to hear others talk about being pregnant or fixing to have a baby. Looking back, I think one of the reasons that it is still so painful for me to hear about other women being pregnant or fixing to have their baby is that these are the few memories that I have of Abby, because her life was so short. When I got in my car I thought about just leaving and going home, but I was afraid that my emotions were going to cause me to be depressed, but also that I was going to lose focus on what I had heard in the sermon and I didn't want to lose what I had heard. So, I gathered up courage and waited for two of my friends to arrive outside. Once they did, I asked them to pray for me and told them what was going on. The graciously prayed for me. The scripture that came to mind when they were nearly finished was, I have loved you with an everlasting love! Jeremiah 31:3. This scripture has helped to sustain me, as well as Psalms 28.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Something to Remember

Look at what God has done, instead of what I think He hasn't done! Look at His goodness to us!
God my Father has been with me, with us through all three trials that we have faced, though it has been dark and hard to see Him at times.
He carried us through Abby's death and funeral, surrounded us with our church body!
He gave me peace to trust Him and let my dad "go" on his deathbed after being on a ventilator for a month at the hospital, just 4 months after Abby had passed away.
He helped me and my husband walk through finding out I had a pituitary tumor that needed to be operated on. He gave me a scipture to hold on to as I faced going in to surgery on a day when 50 other people died in a plane crash that morning!
The Lord has been good to me far more than I deserve!
He gives me days of faith when I can believe that Abby's really there in heaven with my Lord Jesus Christ, and I am going to see them both one day, and I can have joy.
Help me Father to remember more of these things and rest in your Promise and your Goodness and have more of those days of joy though still filled with sorrow. Let my eyes see mor of your goodness on this side of heaven too!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Out of the Mouth of Kaylynn 2

It is amazing how God blesses us through our children!
I just recently found out that one of my best friends is pregnant, and they weren't really trying or desiring to have another baby. I can't tell you how devestating the news was to me. Although I am very happy for her, it is so hard to understand. With tears in my eyes, I told her that I was happy for her, but that this was going to be so hard for me. Being the great friend she is she cried with me. In that moment I was quite upset with the Lord. It seemed like He was picking an choosing, and He wasn't choosing me!
Then we were interrupted because my friend had to take her son to the restroom. While they were gone, my daughter Kaylynn came over singing a scripture song from one of her CD's. Let your requests be made known unto God Phillipians 3:8 ...........
I decided to go ahead and tell her the news, encouraging myself with the same words that I was speaking to them, that we should be happy for them, even though it is hard for us.
At first Kaylynn didn't understand, she said, but they already have baby Ashlyn. ( As in they have Ashlyn already, isn't that enough. Again, I explained that God had blessed them with another baby, trying to hold back the tears. We talked for a few minutes longer, and asked her if she still wanted to have a brother or sister. She said she would like to have a brother that wouldn't die. She then decided spontaneously to talk to God and ask Him to give us a baby boy that wouldn't die. Right after she prayed she came over and hugged me and said, it will be okay mommy I promise. God will give you a new baby, I promise. I want to believe that God could do this even though it is really hard. I want to believe that wasn't just my little girl speaking, but God using her to speak to me to let my requests be made known unto my Father God!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Out of the Mouth of my little girl Kaylynn

I know it is late, but I need to get this written down before I forget it.

Psalm 8:2 - From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

Last monday night ( 11-9-09) I was up until rather late getting ready for a field trip that Kaylynn and I were going to be attending. Kaylynn had fallen asleep earlier on our couch, and I was up printing out a map and some more information that would help us be prepared for the event. I woke Kaylynn up to get her into her bed, and she starts telling me very matter of factly, "Grandpa is alive, do you know that mommy?" "Grandpa is alive!" Then she said, either Jesus can heal him, or Jesus has healed him. It was quite startling and quite amazing. I asked her if she had a dream, and she said yes, but after that she was too sleepy to want to talk about it. I asked her the next day and she would give me any details. Kaylynn has been talking alot about heaven lately, and we have went over the gospel with her on many different occasions. She talks about heaven coming down to earth. (Sometimes though she gets mixed up and says Earth is coming to heaven! :-) ). Anyways, so again when we were praying together tonight. She prayed for differently family members and said, Jesus I thank you for my Uncle (just a mix up) Bennie and that he is alive. I like that.
Oh, the faith of a child. Lord give us childlike faith that we may see your kingdom, and see by faith that our dear Abby and Grandpa Bennie are already there!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

In Honor of My Father

Yesterday, was Halloween. One year ago on Halloween I had just returned from a Reformation party at our church. We arrived home sometime after 10:30 pm. Then I received a phone call from my mother to tell me that my dad was being flown to a hospital in Tulsa, OK because he had just had a brain aneurism. I remember I called my brother and we had to make the difficult decision of whether or not a neurosurgeon should operate and try to save his life. I remember I was up all night praying that God would let him live, and most of all to be sure that he was right with God. The next day we headed to the hospital in Tulsa. I was shocked to see my dad on the ventilator and not moving. He did respond when I spoke to him and he stroked my hand with his thumb when I asked him if he could hear me. I stayed off and on at the hospital for almost a month. My brother was there even more than I was, he only left when he absolutely had to, to go check on his place and his cattle. At first it seemed that our dad might get better, there were hopeful signs because he was responding, but he never completely came out of the coma like state that He was in. I spent alot of time reading scripture to him, singing to him, going over the gospel with him, and I truly believed that He was going to get better. Words can not describe how hard a time this was for our family, especially for my brother and me, our Aunt Margaret (dad's sister), and Treva (dad's girlfriend). We knew that dad wouldn't want to be on life support but we kept wanting to hold out in hope that a miracle would happen. One thing that was amazing through all of this is that my brother and I were always united on everything, there were never any arguments between us. We just wanted what was best for our father. You never believe something like this is going to happen to you or to your family until it does. Some of our family celebrated Thanksgiving at a local Golden Corral, afterwards I went and sat in Dad's room and watched football on T.V. for a little bit to try to have some normalcy, and talked to my dad rembering how much he enjoyed watching football when we were growing up, and just talked to him, telling him how much I love him, what a great dad he is. It would be the next day that my brother and I would find out that there was no hope for my dad. His kidneys were failing, he wasn't taking dialysis very well, and the MRI had shown another stroke in his brain (with no chance of recovery). Our hearts sunk. My brother and I both went our seperate ways for a brief time, I think, to try to wrap our minds around what we had just heard. Paul, my husband, was there with me when we got the news. He walked outside with me. We went to our car in the parking lot. I got in and screamed with everything inside me. I kicked my feet on the floor and yelled at God. No, please, please this can't be. Please don't allow this to happen. Don't allow my dad to die. Not long after that we made the decision to have him taken off life support. Call me crazy, I still wanted to believe that maybe he could make it. That evening was the second longest day of my life. Abby's was the first. We were up all night waiting for my dad to die, but he didn't that night. Which to me was some small miracle, it reminded me that life and death are in God's hands, not man's. In fact it wasn't until the next afternoon that my dad passed away shortly after 5 pm on November 29th, 2009. It's been a year, and it is hitting me again that He is no longer here. Another year, more upcoming holidays without him, without Abby. It's not right, and it's not fair. I know I am supposed to look toward Christ's return and that I will spend all eternity with them, but that doesn't lesson the pain or the fact that I wish I could see them now.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Abby's Story

I know it is late, but I am going to attempt this. Why not go for two posts!

The first thing I remember is finding out I was pregnant with Abby. I surprised my husband by wrapping up the pregancy test and taking him to Los Molcaljetas restuarant. I gave it to him in the car, and he was surprised when he opened it and very happy. He and Kaylynn and I enjoyed a wonderful meal together, and He explained to Kaylynn that mommy was going to have a baby and that she was going to have a little sister.

When we went to the doctors office in December I found out I was further along than I thought, about 12 weeks along. I was excited about that, less time being pregnant! Everything seemed to be going well. I remember they wanted to do an extra ultrasound just to get another look at Abby's heart and her lips because they hadn't got pictures as good as they wanted them. The day I went in to the second ultrasound. Abby's heart was under my belly button but her growth and everything looked good and they thought that nothing was wrong. Little did we know that would be the very thing that was wrong.

Another thing I distinctly remember is a strange conversation one afternoon with Kaylynn. We were talking about something and out of the blue she says, Mommy you are going to have a supernatural baby. I wondered at what this might mean. I remember the many times we went to the doctors office and hearing her strong heartbeat. I loved hearing it, thinking everything was okay.

The time came for Abby to arrive. My water broke on June 2nd in the morning, but it was a small amount and they sent us back home. We have a picture of Kaylynn so excited waiting for her little sister to arrive. Perhaps I will post it sometime. We came back to the hospital again on June 3rd, around 3:30 am. My contractions were really strong and hurting. When they finally got us checked in the Labor room I was in immense pain. I couldn't wait to get an epidural, especially after the nurse told me that I was not progressing. It would be quite a few hours later before Abby was born.

Shortly after she was born and the nurse was checking her over we found out that Abby had a cleft palate. This was devastating to us, but felt it was something that could be handled, and we were given information about the amazing cleft palate team from Temple, Texas. We had to learn how to feed Abby with a special bottle for her cleft palate, and the Dr. Steiner and the other nurses were quite nervous at first because we were having trouble getting Abby to drink from her bottle, but she eventually caught on once we started using the special bottle. We took her home thinking all was well, so did the doctors.

The memories I have of Abby are how small she was, that I got to hold her close to my chest many times during the short nine days of her life, that Kaylynn and I got to give her a sponge bath together, how hairy and red her little body was. The one thing I wish we would've done is video taped her and I don't know why we didn't. Maybe it was because I was so busy trying to take care of her.

The day of Abby's death June 12th, 2008. I had gone to sleep while my husband had took the first shift and fed Abby and she was having a little bit of difficulty with taking her bottle. When I tried feeding her around midnight, she was having some difficulty. At her next feeding around 3:00 she would not take her bottle, and I suspected it had something to do with her cleft palate. We contemplated taking her to the emergency room, because I knew something was wrong. I called the Nurse Line, and they instructed us to make an appointment with our Dr. and take her in the morning to be seen. We waited for the appointment time anxiously and I called friends to pray for Abby and for us, having no idea at this time of what was about to come, that there could be anything else wrong with her wasn't even a thought in my mind. Once we saw the doctor she knew immediately that something was wrong. She listened to Abby's heart and I think that is when she knew and we started to know something was really wrong. The doctor nurse assistant picked up Abby and walked her to the emergency room. Kaylynn was still with us at this time. We called some close friends to come and pick her up so that we could focus on Abby. A flurry or doctors and nurses began to come in the room. At first Abby's vital signs were normal, but they rapidly began to go down. Her body they said was beginning to go into acidosis, which we had no idea what that meant. The Hours seemed like minutes. We were told that Abby was going to have to be life-flighted to Temple, TX. It took longer than usual because only a week before there had been an emergency helicopter that had crashed, and the loss of the pilots was still being mourned. However, an emergency still came and to fly our daughter to Temple, TX. Before they arrived, at one point we almost lost Abby, but they were able to revive her.

I cannot explain in adequate words what that was like, as Paul and I cried out to the Lord to save our little Abby and to help her to live. I thought she would make it if they could just get her to Temple. We were not able to fly with her so we had to rush home and pack a bag to go to Temple. We would find out later that Abby's heart had stopped again on the flight to Temple. We were on our way to the Hospital when the Dr. from Temple called, and told us what we did not want to hear, what no parent ever wants to here, that our precious little girl had died. I was in complete shock. I remember that Paul pulled on the side of the road. I ask the Dr. again, so that's it, she passed away. Then I handed the phone over to Paul, and I can remember little else as I cried out in anguish wishing I could escaped this moment, that somehow it wasn't true. Paul was very brave, and called family members on the way to the hospital. It seemed like no time at all and we were at the hospital.

We made it to the Pediatric Ward and were ushered to the room that Abby was in. There laid her body cold and lifeless, our baby girl. The one I had held in my arms only hours ago. I remember thinking that I wish our pastor was here. I can't tell you some of the comfort I felt when our pastor Butch and his son Garrett showed up out of nowhere (I believe this was one of God's small signs to us that He was there). He wept with us and prayed with us, and we prayed believing that God could still heal Abby, raise her from the dead.

Within 30 minutes some very close friends of ours showed up and had brought Kaylynn with them. We were able to tell Kaylynn that her sister had died and would not be coming back to us. I remember Kaylynn telling us not to cry, that it was okay, and that Abby was in heaven. Our friends prayed with us and wept with us and held Abby's body. This is something that I do not want to forget, these were God's blessings to us, that in our suffering we were not alone. We are still not alone.

Our friends and church family surrounded us so much during this time. Paul and I both felt so carried by the Lord and by our friends and church family through Abby's funeral. It was a wonderful funeral service, and Hilliard funeral home did such an excellent job in every way. Our church blessed us so much by giving financially by helping with the funeral and other expense as well because they knew this was such an unexpected death. The funeral was hard and yet there was a peace that we had at the same time. I will always remember the songs we played at her funeral, God moves in a mysterious way, and One Day.

So, that's part of the story of our little girl Abigail Hannah Schafer. It has been difficult now that people seemed to have moved on, but I think some of it is that I find it hard to reach out on some days when I am really struggling. But I need to reach out, to the Lord first and to others to receive healing. God has seemed somewhat distant these days, but I know some things he has spoken to me and I need to go back to them. In this darkness He is there, so seek Him. To see Christ as my brother who has gone before me and wants to help me through this, and to Follow Him.