Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pay it forward

This past week was very interesting. I talked with my new, dear friend, Johanna for 3 hours Wednesday night. She is the patient my wonderful OB connected me with, who recently lost twin boys, Michael and Gabriel, at 18 weeks for unknown reasons. It's be very therapeutic for me, as well as her, in talking about my journey through grief and things to expect and things not to expect. Grief is a very personal journey. I believe that those who grieve with hope have a shorter mourning period than those that grieve with no hope. Of course, I still grieve. I think about Layah daily, and many times, cry when I hear certain songs about seeing our loved ones again, heaven, hope, etc. Sometimes it seems to come out of nowhere. My heart still aches for her. Talking with Johanna was helpful for me as well as her. Anytime I get to share the memories of my pregnancy and time with her, it's painful and opens wounds I thought were healed back up, but it's also cleansing and refreshing, and life-giving to my faith and my hope. Through the week as we talked on the phone and by email, I read the daily devotional for the day that she and I met, and it was titled, " I Will Never Leave You". I shared it with her. I know it was a message for both of us. In the first verses this phrase was inspired in God's word, Deuteronomy 31:1-8, Moses is telling God's people that his time as their leader is coming to an end. He tells them that God will go ahead of them and Joshua, their new leader will also now go ahead to lead them. He tells them to be courageous and not to be afraid, that the Lord God goes with them and he will never leave them or forsake them. Then in verse 7 it says, "Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, "Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their forefathers to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. 8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Jesus said the same thing as he ascended into heaven, "I am with you always", and it was repeated in Hebrews 13:5. I think this is the process of many of our faith. Some of us go through some terrible events. I could never console someone who is walking this path, if I had not journeyed it myself. Some people call it "paying it forward", but really this is what God intended, to use your experience to comfort and console others on the same journey. 2 Corinthians says, "3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles,SO THAT WE CAN COMFORT THOSE IN ANY TROUBLE WITH THE COMFORT WE OURSELVES HAVE RECEIVED FROM GOD." This scripture gave me great hope in knowing I would one day be used to comfort others going through this same tragic life changing event. It seemed an awfully distant expectation, but here we are, not even a year out from losing our precious Layah, and someone else is now where Rachel and i were. My dear friend Rachel, whom I met only because God knew I needed someone who had walked this journey before me. My mother in law happen to be at the cemetery at the same time her husband was, both trying to get the water to work to water our babies' graves. Rachel and Thomas had lost their precious Isaac, the day he was born, after only 18 minutes, from Trisomy 16, a chromosomal defect that is not compatible with life, causing the babies to have an additional set of chromosomes, similar to Down's Syndrome, but Down's only involves one additional single chromosome. She was 6 months ahead of me in her path of grief, and she was able to prepare me, and console me, and just understand unlike anyone else. Ironically, (which we don't believe in coincidences), Rachel's birthday is the day that we buried Layah, June 11th, and the day that my mom's baby brother Ronnie died. Also, Thomas, her husband, his grandmother dated my grandfather's brother, (the same grandfather whose birth and death date was Layah's due date, and who she's next to), and she taught my mom in elementary school. One other thing, Rachel's sister was in Matt's graduating class at John Carroll!! What are the chances we'd have all those connections? Rachel is now expecting a baby girl, Annabella, in July. Since I have been unable to go to a baby shower, and not ready to make a trip to the maternity ward to visit a mom and baby, my goal is to make it to her shower. She's deserving of so much happiness after losing Isaac. So, my prayer is that one day, soon, Johanna will be healthy enough physically, emotionally, and mentally to conceive and have no problems with getting pregnant or carrying a baby to full term. After all, that's my goal too. I'm just a few steps ahead of her.

Faithfully His,


1 comment:

  1. I am sharing your blog with so many people. It is completely amazing how God works. The "connections" you had with Rachel are amazing and honestly don't surprise me at all. That is just how awesome our God is! I will remember Johanna and Rachel in my daily prayers.