One week ago…

Ava’s been gone one week already.  We’ve been 7 whole long days without her, and I think it’s taken this long for my heart to really start understanding that Ava is really and truly gone.  She’s not just up on 4D being looked after by the nurses she loved, she’s in heaven, totally whole and at peace…..  but a place where I can never hold her or snuggle her again.  My mother’s heart is sore and hurting.

But to be very honest, Jason and I are experiencing such a wide range of emotions these days that half the time we don’t know how we are feeling.   We are feeling sorrow as we miss our daughter, but on the other hand we are feeling relief that she is no longer suffering and that she is at peace.   We are feeling some happiness at being home again but then guilt for feeling any kind of happiness at all.    It’s kinda confusing and I’m sure there is no ‘right’ feeling, but it’s not making anything easier!!!

And it’s also hard to come home where everything feels the same, but we feel so changed… it’s like we wish everything here was different too.

My friend Christa recently re-blogged something I had blogged last year – and when I read it, it hit me quite hard.  By the way… did you know that Ava died 1 year and 1 day after her first echocardiogram and initial diagnosis?   It’s crazy… but here is what I wrote after a procedure they did on Ava in utero to try to open up her blocked artery last year didn’t work…

And this is where faith kicks in.  Faith in God when things just don’t seem to be right, in fact in human terms they seem to be going wrong.   Sure it’s easy to rejoice and trust in Him when things look promising and we are hopeful things will turn out the way we want them too,  but how about when faced with the possibility that things might turn out exact opposite of what we want?   What if this baby still will lose the left side of her heart and have to have a palliation of her heart done where they turn the right side of her heart into a duo-purpose pumping machine and I have to spend weeks with her in the hospital, perhaps months away from my other kids and miss Christmas and New Years?  Honestly that thought breaks my heart.

However, again, even though I’m sad, I still I have hope.  I know God can still heal her, and even if that takes surgery and months of healing, I’m still completely trusting Him.  I’m not broken, maybe somewhat bruised, but definitely not abandoned.  And the Bible is full of verses to comfort me, starting with being still and just knowing that God is God.   I think John Piper once said that the things God does may be confusing, but God himself is Not confusing,  I love it because it’s true.

And as Jason pointed out to me, maybe His whole plan here is not to heal her, it may be to do some greater work which we can’t see,  which would be amazing as well.  God doesn’t give us all the answers, nor does He let us see the whole picture, but He does offer peace and hope and strength.

Isn’t that crazy?    Even back then God seemed to be preparing us that Ava’s life was all about God’s greater purpose than us just having a healthy normal child to raise.   And we can definitly say that He gave us more peace and hope and strength than I ever thought would be possible.

And so what I wrote last year still applies to me today…  I still have to trust that God’s perfect plan was accomplished when He took our beautiful baby home to Him.

One week ago today.

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10 thoughts on “One week ago…

  1. My precious daughter died in my arms 236 days ago. As the days sneak by my grief seems to deepen. At first one is numb – maybe it is tiredness, or maybe it is the relief that her suffering is over. But as time goes the numbness wears off and reality kicks in. The firsts start. Grieving a child is a never-ending journey. Hugs.

  2. Lisa, every time you write words down or type, you are healing. Every time you write you are ministering to others. God is pouring into you, so you can pour into others. It may not feel that way, but it’s true. There is power in His Word, but also Power in Words…. Please keep writing it all out and keeping us close to what God wants for your family in all of this and what God wants US to see and be taught in this..
    Somebody once told me that the enemy ( Satan) hates pens. Keep writing and writing. Keep Sharing and giving it ALL BACK TO GOD..

  3. Dear Jason & Lisa – Our heart is breaking for you. The grief journey is full of changing emotions and accompanied by a new normal without little “Birdie” here but God walks alongside us – alongside you and says “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted”. Comfort – shall be comforted implies that the comfort will come. Comforted with the memories, comforted with the joy that Ava is now well and strong, comforted that you will see and hold her again, comforted in the arms of each other and as the little arms of your grieving children reach out to you and other arms of friends and family also comfort you. The comfort of God’s Word and promises is the best. He will not leave you comfortless. We are praying for you and send our love. The beautiful service was a tribute to God and to faith in the midst of sorrow. Bless you. Trudy & Clare

  4. You have no idea who I am but I am Wanda Harris’ neice. I have been reading your blog for hours this past week. You have truly touched me with your faith and giving God the glory amidst such deep deep raw pain. I pray for you and your family and that video made me bawl. God bless you as you hold your precious daughter in your heart forever….

  5. I have been thinking of how much pain you must have now but also that God gave Ava such a beautiful gift, of knowing what having an earthly family is like, to know the love of siblings , mother and her earthly father He gave her the very best of families to experience this with -how God must have loved and trusted you knowing that you would give all you had to provide care for His daughter Ava.
    I pray that through all your tears, He will comfort you beyond any earthly understanding
    With much love
    Carole

  6. Lifting all of you up in prayer, as God continues to bathe you in His comfort and peace, sustaining you as you celebrate Ava’s life, and mourn her loss. God is so rich in compassion, holding you in His heart of love. God’s peace Corrie

  7. Hello Jason & Lisa, you don’t know me or my husband, we are friends of Margaret & Charles VanderMeulen.  I have been praying for you & Ava since Margaret told me about Ava around a month and a half ago. Then she told me about your blog and so have been following your posts for about 3 weeks. I wanted you to know that even strangers have been praying. Our hearts go out to you. There is nothing to say at a time like this that can make things better. Just know there are people still praying and wishing for you all of God’s Peace; His Peace that surpasses all comprehension. And may he give you strength and comfort.   There’s a poem by Linda E. Knight that I like to share sometimes. It seems from your posts that you are already understanding all of what it says.   It’s called “God Will Take Care Of You”. Your posts and your faith are an inspiration. God bless your family and my you find happiness again. Sincerely and with warm regards, Caroline & Patrick Payne, Cambridge   God Will Take Care Of You For He has said, AI will never leave you or forsake you.@ Hebrews 13:5   May your troubled heart find peace and comfort in the knowledge that you are never alone. May God=s presence ease your trembling spirit and give you rest.  He knows how you feel.  He is ever aware of your circumstances and ready to be your strength, your grace, and your peace.   He is there to cast sunlight into all your darkened shadows, to send encouragement through the love of friends and family, and to replace your weariness with new hope.   God is your stronghold, and with Him as your guide, you need never be afraid.  No circumstances  can block His love.  No grief is too hard for Him to bear.  No task is too difficult for Him to complete.  When what you are feeling is simply too deep for words and nothing anyone does or says can provide you with the relief you need, God understands. He is your provider today, tomorrow, and always.  And He loves you. Cast all your cares on Him  . . .  and believe. Linda E. Knight  

        If your day is hemmed in with prayer, it is less likely to come unraveled.

    >________________________________ >From: 6 and a Half Hearts >To: blackdiamond@rogers.com >Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2013 10:23:43 PM >Subject: [New post] One week ago… > >6andahalfhearts posted: “Ava’s been gone one week already.  We’ve been 7 whole long days without her, and I think it’s taken this long for my heart to really start understanding that Ava is really and truly gone.  She’s not just up on 4D being looked after by the nurses she loved” >

  8. I week ago, 1 year & a day ago – all this feels like TODAY & yet also, a life time ago!!! sending you all big HUGS & lots of LOVE as you muddle through the clarity of this time & the confusion of this time!!!
    love, Marlene

  9. Thanks for continuing to share your heart with so many Lisa. How can we ever thank you enough for being so transparent and all the while, pointing to the strength and power of Christ in tragic circumstances? You are never far from my thoughts and we pray for you everyday. Madelynn just asked me tonight how many needles I thought Ava got. I told her I wasn’t sure but it broke my heart to see her beads at the visitation. I’m so thankful she is free of all the pain and suffering…I can’t imagine how hard it must be not
    to be able to hold the baby girl you have loved so well and so intensely for over a year. She will always be in your hearts…when I watched the video I couldn’t help but notice how many pictures you were able to capture of her smiling despite all she went through. She had the sweetest smile ever. And it’s permanently present in heaven now. May The Lord bless you and keep you, may He make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you, may The Lord give you peace.
    Hugs,
    Amy

  10. I found your blog when Aleeda’s mom, Tania, asked for prayers for you guys.
    You’ve been in my thoughts and prayers ever since. And your blog post tonight brought back so many memories that I just had to send a note to let you know you’re not alone. Ten years ago we said good-bye to our daughter who was 28 months. The situation was completely different than Ava’s but we too felt all those emotions and it’s such a difficult time. I will continue to pray for you and the family that God’s loving arms will continue to hold you close.

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