"I have refined you, but not in the way silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering." ~Isaiah 48:10
For some reason, that verse has been something I have read on numerous occasions this week, all from different books, journals and my own study of Isaiah. I suppose I was meant to read it, so I thought about it for a while this evening.
I have been in the worst funk I've had in probably a good month or two. I didn't really think I would be affected like this today. It's been three months since we met and said goodbye to Holden. At the last two month birthdays I was sad, cried and was upset; but nothing like this kind of funk.
I woke up and cried. I went to church and held back tears the entire time. I had a headache by the time I got in the car from trying not to cry. I got home from church and cried. Thankfully I made it through a 31 Gifts party this afternoon without crying, even though it was not easy. I got home from the party and cried some more. I felt like a bomb ready to explode in tears if anyone said anything to me. Poor Chet. Everything overwhelmed me today. I am sure a lot of it had to do with the holidays finally hitting me, hormones, lack of sleep, house in extreme need of a cleaning, a very busy couple days of work ahead, re-packing needed for our trip to Phoenix on Wednesday morning and other personal stuff. But all that, combined with the fact that I am really missing my son, who would be cooing, giggling, pulling his feet and hands in his mouth, etc., made for an awful day.
Sundays are usually good for me. I turn on The Message and get ready for church while praising Jesus. I always love Sunday School and worshipping at church, and getting to come home to spend time with Chet. Not today. Even the children's church message got to me. (Nothing against the message...it was all me...but John 15:7 was NOT what I wanted to hear.) It even crossed my mind that I was slightly happy we would be out of town so much this month, to avoid all the Christmas celebrations at church. Okay, I am really being 100% honest on here.
Today I turned on The Message while I cleaned and took down Thanksgiving decor to put up Christmas decor. I hate to say this, but I could not praise and worship along with the music. I don't believe God appreciates a false heart, so I just listened to it for a while before I turned it off.
Chet and I decided against putting up a tree this year, but I still felt like I should put out some Christmas stuff, since I am hosting a party at my house on Tuesday night. I want the house to at least look a little holiday-ish, so people won't think I have gone into serious depression. I wondered if I would ever enjoy Christmas decor again. I used to LOVE putting up a tree, but I cannot tell you how relieved I am that we are NOT putting one up this year. When I took down the Christmas decor last year, I shut the box in one of the happiest moods of my life, thinking of how awesome it would be that the next time I opened it, we would have a baby to celebrate with, and a new stocking to add to our mantel. (We found out we were pregnant on December 30th.)
I opened the Christmas tote today in one of the unhappiest moods of my life. I couldn't stop crying the entire time I set out Christmas stuff. (Maybe people will think I am rather depressed with the very carefree/hodgepodge Christmas decor I threw together today.) I don't know if all that was worth it, but I am glad it's done now. Our life is so different than what I had dreamed it would be right now. We were supposed to be doing first Christmas pictures with Holden's cousin Cohen. We were supposed to be picking out Holden's first stocking.
I know it is so ungrateful and selfish to be like this. I read what I just wrote. All about me. I am blessed beyond measure ... and I was crying for myself all day. :( So instead of addressing our Christmas cards this evening, I decided I needed to pray and read the Bible before I ended up crying myself to sleep. Not to mention my poor husband deserved a more pleasant wife.
That is when I once again ran across Isaiah 48:10. I guess my heart needed to hear it again. God knows I am a bit of a slow learner. He knew I needed to read it a few times before letting it sink in. He is refining my heart. This suffering, the extremely hot fire of losing a child, is going to produce a beautiful outcome. We don't understand why He chose to make us go through this fire. He just did. And there is a reason. So I am just going to trust in that promise.
Sweet baby boy,
Your Aunt Pretty sent me a message about you today. She mentioned all of your precious milestones at three months. She is such a good auntie and loves you, sweet Holden. I have been thinking about what you would be doing here on earth in our arms. But after praying tonight, I was given the beautiful peace of knowing what you are doing here on earth, although not in my arms. As I dusted, I moved three different pictures. Two were pictures of your friends in Uganda, who are drinking clean water out of your well. The last picture was of a little friend of yours in Haiti, who is sleeping on a real mattress tonight.
Although I can never imagine not missing you while I live on earth, I am so grateful for your little life, and the joy it is spreading.
The more I read about Jesus, the more I am positive He loves being your Heavenly Daddy. I know He is enjoying your every laugh and smile. The rest of us will get to hear you giggle in a blink of an eye.
I love you sweet baby boy.