40 Weeks

Sunday, January 28, 2017 I sat alone in our car in the Publix parking lot. I had a bag with a package of pregnancy tests in my lap, a 2 pack. I prayed out loud “God, I don’t want this. This isn’t part of my plan. Our family is complete. But if this is what you have for me, I’ll take it, but God this is really not part of my plan” I went home, took the tests, and the rest of the story you already know.

Most people think of pregnancy as 9 months, but it’s actually 10. Forty weeks to be exact. That’s today for our pregnancy with Everly. Her due date was September 26. It’s been 14 weeks since she was born. 14 weeks since she’s been in heaven.

Every day I answer the same question…

“How are you?”

It’s asked by many, many thoughtful people who genuinely care about me.

My answer is always the same…

“I’m ok”

but it’s a lie. They are asking because they need to hear that I’m getting better. But I’m not really getting better. I’m me, but I’m not me. No matter how much time has gone by, there are moments where I suddenly can’t breathe. Neither John nor I, will ever be the same.

This grief is like walking around doing the things you’re supposed to do while wearing a wet blanket. We get up and drink coffee together. We set out to start getting everyone ready for the day. I pack John’s lunch, fill up the water jugs that he will take to water Everly’s grave, and make sure he’s got everything he needs to leave for work. Then I get Olivia ready. Most days John makes her breakfast and then I get her dressed, brush her teeth and hair and make sure she has her backpack and water bottle by the door. John takes her to school every day while the boys and I get started on their day.

Our life is very much the same as it was before January 28th when we found out Everly was coming. But it’s completely different at the same time.

We go to church every Sunday and worship the God who said “no” when we begged for our daughter’s life. Not because we have to, but because He deserves to be worshiped. He is still our God, but I cry when I sing these days, because worship is painful. I spent a lot of weeks wondering why we didn’t deserve our daughter, but the Holy Spirit revealed to me that her death wasn’t about what We deserved, it was about what she deserved. And she deserved Heaven. It was very difficult for me to get to the place where I can understand that, and at times it’s very difficult for me to stay there.

We have spent the last year with our life revolving around today, September 26, 2017. Up until June 21 it was the day I looked forward to more than anything. Even though Everly would have been born last week sometime, I was a 39 week induction due to my age, this was still the finish line. My life was broken down into weeks all ending in this date. Until 26 weeks and 1 day when September took on a whole new meaning. Suddenly, this beautiful time of year brought sadness and dread into my heart, rather than joy and hope. This was supposed to be different. Our plan for Everly began here. She would come home and we would be settling into a fun routine by Halloween, she’d be a pumpkin, snuggled tight in my Ergo at Trunk-or-Treat. Thanksgiving would be spent passing her around to all her family who couldn’t wait to squeeze her a bit. Christmas we would gather all the kids around the tree to open their gifts, with her in our arms watching.

So when you ask how I’m doing, how we’re doing, the answer is that we are surviving. We get up, take care of my family and enjoy the moments, but we’re missing our youngest daughter. There’s a place in our home and our heart that is empty. But we worship a God who promises that this isn’t the end. There is hope in our hearts for our future. I know that our lives will go on, and we will have joy watching the our children that we have here with us grow up and start their own families. I know that one day, when our time here is done, we will get to hold our Everly again. That’s the hope that we have in Jesus.

So to answer your question, no I’m not ok. However, I serve a mighty God who gives me hope for the future of our family, whatever that might hold.

Romans 15:13

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.