This evening will be 2 years since we held Will while he slipped into Eternity. Some days it feels like it was just a month or so ago and other days it feels like it’s been forever. I can still feel the weight of him on me. I can still feel the weight of the world on my shoulders and the pain of loss is so real. I still feel the rawness and reality of death. I still allow the devil to creep in during a super weak moment and get me doubting God and the healing He has brought.
And then God reminds me to calm myself and cast ALL my worries on Him. He was there in the darkest moments. He is here now. He reminds me that when my heart of full of fear to call on Him, because He knows my name and He knows what I’m going through.
I was riding down the road the other day thanking God for everything He is doing and the best song I’ve ever heard came on. It was Testimony Time by the Down East Boys. Here’s the chorus of it:
“Come gather round and spread the news
Tell what the Lord has done for you,
and let the whole world know that God is good. Come on it’s testimony time, the devil will be left behind. We’re more than over-comers when it’s time to testify.”
And right then, God spoke to me in a loud voice. He told me that He has this. He’s been writing my story for years. He knows everything. He knew what was coming two years ago. He knew what was coming long before that. And he knows what’s on the horizon. He is writing a redemption story.
And what a story it is. We found out three weeks ago today that Will is going to be a big brother. What a bittersweet thing to say. Sometimes it feels so unreal. I continue to pray that God will allow us to bring this baby home and allow us the blessing of having a child in our home.
What a journey it has been so far. Sometimes I feel alone in a corner, and then I hear of something someone is going through and I’m reminded that everybody is going through something. It’s how you allow God to work in you and through you. Since the moment I found out Will was sick, I have asked God to use us to show someone how good God is. I really hope people know He’s still in the business of miracles and can see that through me and my family.
Last night we went to the Christmas pageant at First Baptist. We sat on the pew with Benji and watching him watch made my eyes fill with tears. Seeing a baby enjoy the magic of Christmas lights is something that I’ll never forget. I was so enthralled watching this baby I love so much that it made me think about what it would have been like watching Will enjoy this show. But I reminded myself I can’t, so I sat and enjoyed Benji.
And as most Christmas pageants go, they had a fun part with lots of laughs and then the gospel was presented. And at the end, you imagine that the choir singing in white robes to Jesus is what our earthly minds picture Heaven to be.
And right there in the pew, the Holy Spirit touched me. I felt it. I sat the hour before enamored with Benji, but wishing I could be watching Will. And the Holy Spirit literally placed His hands on me and told me that I have Heaven to look to with Will. He made me realize that I can enjoy this place He has given me right now, but oh don’t forget what is coming! He showed me a sample of what it will look like. And I cried. I tried my best not to turn crying into sobbing. Through that simple presentation, I got to enjoy both of those baby boys who hold such a huge place in my heart. Here and in Heaven.
Oh what a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see. I know I’ll be there with Will singing to the One who created us.
Part 2. Year 2. We feel joy. Praise God.
Last year, life wasn’t fun. It was a struggle. Daily. Now, almost 22 months into grief and healing, days are easier. God has truly placed a healing hand on my heart. It feels easier to breathe. And for that, I’m so thankful.
We went to the Carol Lighting last night at the State House. I know that last year, I would have had a panic attack on the way. This year, we were so excited. I don’t know if the addition of Benji has been the biggest blessing in my life or what. My heart feels so less hardened by everything and I truly feel happy again.
That doesn’t mean I don’t think of Will every second of every day. It’s just that I smile about him. I laugh about what he would have been saying. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes it stings at the what might have been. But then I am so thankful for the time we did have with him that I’m overjoyed. Will is celebrating this holiday season and every other second with the King of Kings and I couldn’t be more excited for him if I tried. What a day that will be when I spend every second with Jesus holding my baby!
Happy Thanksgiving. It is this Thursday. And I’m feeling thanksgiving in my heart again this year. Enjoy everyone you have. Enjoy every minute you have with those people. Life can change quickly.
Psalm 100:4-5 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
Twenty months ago about this time, we walked into a lifeless house. Neither me nor Coy said a word. There were no words. Tears filled the backs of my eyes, but none could come down my face. I was numb. Coy’s eyes looked dead. We were new parents, sleep deprived, and exhausted. The only difference was our baby didn’t get to come home. He had just passed away and we had to leave his body all alone at the morgue. That is a stinging pain I will never forget. I still feel the lump in the back of my throat. Twenty short months ago, it felt like death was going to swallow us whole. That’s what the devil will do. He came to steal, kill, and destroy.
But God sent His Son to redeem all evil and save the world. And because of that, we can go on. Fast forward to tonight, we heard Will’s song on the radio, smiled at each other, winked at Will sitting on the moon, and held hands and cried. It was a thankful cry. Thankful for today. Thankful for healing. Thankful for that baby boy who made us a Mama and Daddy.
All over social media, people talk about October being infant loss awareness month. That is a daily struggle in our home. It isn’t just a month. It is life. Don’t forget the parents who don’t have those babies in their homes. Looking in through our windows tonight, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell we are grieving. But, joy mixes in well with grief and I hope you can see that in our eyes too.
We have a baby in Heaven. We celebrate and grieve at the same time. Thank you Lord!
Last Monday, Will would have been 18 months old. A year and a half. It feels like it’s been a lifetime without him already. Time creeps by day by day and when you look up, we have been living. Life continues to go on. I’m not sure how. My brain still doesn’t understand everything. My heart certainly is still broken. But, my goodness, the grace of God continues to push us on.
Before Will was even born, there was no way I could have ever thought that I would be able to live if something happened to him. In losing Will, I have found out that something happened to me. I can’t do anything to change what God has planned for us. I’m not in control. But, I can get through anything, because He is gonna carry me.
Life is different now. We can smile about Will. We all talk about how he would have loved everyone and everyone would have loved him. I laugh about him and I cry about him. Even though he doesn’t live with us on this earth doesn’t mean he isn’t thought about and placed into what would have been.
On Saturday mornings Daddy and I like to laugh about how he would have been up at the crack of dawn ready to ride and get a biscuit. Every time I see Pippy walk down the stairs at the office, I wonder if Will would have been stomping down the stairs with him and greeting the clients. Mimsy likes to tell me that he would have just lived with her because he would have loved her the most. Whenever I see BB with Benji, I see you two playing and I know you would have been smitten with her. Whenever I see how your Lili passes Benji off with a look like she won’t get him back, I know that’s how I would have passed you off. And your Uncle Chant would taught you the smartest things to say and I probably would have already washed your mouth out with soap.
And whenever Benji smiles, I know it’s because you taught us how to love even more and we are loving him even more because of you. I know you two would have been beat friends.
Will, basically our world still revolves around you. I wish that you were. But because you’re not, I have learned to love with all that I have in me. I have learned that life will go on when I think it can’t. I’ve learned that a little boy can leave the biggest hole in my world. And I’ve learned that I love you more than I could ever imagine. My Will, I miss you with every breath I take and I can’t wait to hold and kiss you again forever.
All my love,
It’s spring time and the weather is starting to warm up. I think it is good for the soul. The azaleas are in bloom. The pollen is almost gone, I pray. The sun feels good. And life is starting to feel okay again.
I feel like most days I can breathe. Sometimes it still hurts to take a breath, then God gives me the nudge to take in a big ole deep breath and it feels good. Sometimes I feel guilty thinking it feels good to be alive. I remind myself that life is meant to be lived while we are on this earth. God made this place for me and you. So each day I am given a chance to wake up, I will keep reminding myself of that.
Just as we are in a different season of the year, God has placed us in a different season of life. We are healing. We are looking forward to the future. We are hopeful of another child. We are anxiously awaiting our nephew, who will be born any day now. We are full of anticipation. I know that there are so many good days ahead.
Thank God the season of deep mourning and depression feels like it is ending. Laughing feels good again. And that might be one of my favorite things. To laugh. A deep belly laugh. I know Will is laughing all the day long. So because God has given me joy, I will laugh and sing His praises. I know that my sweet Will would have made me laugh non stop.
It’s been over a month since I’ve put some words down on here. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. Journaling sometimes is my choice. But that can’t be on here, those thoughts would probably get me on a psych ward. Just kidding… a little.
I’ve been missing Will something fierce lately. It seems that time has been moving at warp speed and I don’t want to forget what he felt like. I don’t want to forget his beautiful face. Or the way I felt when he was in my arms. Thank God for pictures.
But, life is moving along. We are healing. We are making it. I am making it. I didn’t know if I would. If I had to do it alone, I’d be a goner. But God is so good. In the midst of everything, He is everything. I am reminded of this daily.
For so long, I wondered what I did to deserve this. Was is something I said? Something I did so wrong? Maybe something Coy did. Or a combination of our sins?
But God doesn’t punish us like that. Through all of this, I think God is using me. Showing me that He is enough. That I can’t do it alone. That He really does give and take away on this earth. But this isn’t home, this place isn’t final. He does allow us to suffer because that makes us draw closer to Him. We can’t do it alone.
Sometimes it feels like all we can do is dig through the trenches of today to finally close our eyes and hope that tomorrow will be better. I know tomorrow will be better than today. God gives us a new morning everyday we wake up. Each day I get is a reason to be thankful. And each day we get is another day closer to Heaven.
Sleep used to be my BFF. We were so close. I would be able to fall asleep at the drop of a hat. And I could have probably slept through an earthquake. Not anymore.
Ever since Will was born, around 2:30 or 3:00 every morning is my new time to battle with the devil. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He steals from me every night. No medicine can keep me asleep. It’s a spiritual battle.
I wake up and it’s a repeat of the night before. I have had a nightmare. They are usually about Will. Then I am woken up because I’m upset. Most of the time it wakes Coy up. He usually pays me like a child. Sometimes that can calm me down. And most often, like right now, my mind is racing. I go through every moment leading up to Will’s birth and every moment after wondering what happened. And I get myself more upset.
I wish it was Will’s cry keeping me up at night. I wish he was calling out for us in the middle of the night because he was hungry or just because he missed me. I would give everything to hold him again for 5 more minutes. There wasn’t enough time for me and him. I wanted the rest of my life.
And then I pray. I ask God to get the devil out. I thank Him for the time we DID have with Will. I thank Him for eternity. I thank Him for salvation. I thank Him for Heaven. I thank Him for Will. I ask him to continue to heal us. Not just me and Coy, but everyone. And He calms my heart and gives my soul rest.
My soul has rest. My mind not so much. So sleep, I’m waiting on us to get back together, because I miss you.
It’s been a whole year since Will went to Heaven. I didn’t know if we would make it though. I didn’t know if we would be okay. I didn’t know if our hearts would survive. But, we are making it. It’s a minute by minute kind of thing. Some minutes are good. Some minutes are bad.
Life is different now. God continues to mend our broken hearts. Deep in my soul, I have so much peace about Will. I know that he is perfect and whole and alive and well! But it’s me that I’m struggling with. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that he isn’t with us. It still doesn’t make sense.
All I know is that death is not final. Death is not the end. It is the beginning of forever. We just have to keep living here so we can live forever with him. And I think that is the hardest part of it all.
Thank you Jesus for victory over the grave so we can live!
This morning our pastor started a sermon series about experiencing God. And it blew me away. Coy and I barely talked on the way to lunch because it really hit home. After lunch we took the sanctuary flowers we placed today in Will’s memory to his grave with everyone. And then I lost it on the way home. I lost it in a different way this time.
Had we not been through everything this past year, I truly don’t think I would be such a changed Christian. This past year has been so so hard but so so good. My walk with the Lord has never been like this. I can say that I have experienced God in so many ways.
The first was in the NICU. I know the Holy Spirit filled that room and covered us in the time we were there. I know that God was in the room the moment Will was in my arms and taking his last breath. And I know that God held me when Will was not with us anymore. He surrounded our family and held us tight.
The rest of the week, the Holy Spirit was with us carrying us around to the funeral home, to get things done, and during the visitation and funeral.
I know the true and living God has been in our home and in our cars with us on days we didn’t think we could go on. Sometimes just taking the next step or even the next breath hurts. But I know I can do it because it’s His purpose.
I, we, our whole family has experienced God. We experienced a miracle. He used our Will to show us that he is still on the throne. Will is alive forever more because of God’s power and might. He used our family to show people watching in the hospital, clients, friends, and even strangers that when we are walking through some really rough roads, God will guide you. He will make a way. He always does.