Palms Up

It’s hard to explain.  People ask me often how I am doing and how I am holding up, and all of it is hard to explain.  It’s hard to explain that the paralyzing hard days I just stare at a wall, literally.  It’s hard to explain how desperately I want to be near Enoch and why I go to the grave everyday.  But it’s the most difficult to explain how I feel like God prepared me for where I am today.  In all honesty I would not have survived this tragic loss a year ago.

Since Enoch has passed away I have revisited my journal a number of times, knowing all the lessons God was teaching me were written in different forms throughout it.  Here is just a glimpse, as there is no way to explain in full all of what I learned.

This is a page from my journal.  I drew and wrote themes, phrases, and verses God was teaching me throughout the first half of 2015 on one page.   So many nuggets, and yet a few main themes that came up over and over again.

If you have been around me at all in the past year or have heard me talk about how “Everything is a gift,” you might notice it written in the center of this page.   I genuinely understand that “everything is a gift, and nothing is deserved.”  I even drew a picture of our family of three with an arrow to that phrase.  I learned this over and over, it was a major theme in my life, and one I believe so deeply.  That is how just 51 days after Enoch was born and died that I can say that pregnancy really was a gift!   (Click here to read an entire post just on this idea).

Another theme throughout 2015 was the phrase, “palms up.”  A dear friend, Kara, initially challenged me with this phrase at the beginning of the year.  As I would tell her or text her that I was anxious or overwhelmed, she would encourage me to let go. “Palms up.” It was a good reminder, and I soon adopted it as my own.  I used to write it on my palms as a physical reminder that I wasn’t holding onto anything tightly.  That it was all God’s.  All of it.  Everything.  All of the time.  Other times I would write in my journal, “Palms up, arms in the air,” meaning I hold nothing tightly, and I worship God in all circumstances.  It’s written over and over in my journal.  I reminded myself of it daily.  God really is in control, and I need to let Him be.

This was written in my journal, not found on the page above.
I have very regularly prayed this past year that my life would bring God glory.  Over and over I prayed that, and it’s why I wrote below, “None of it matters, ‘things,’ ministry, accomplishments, relationships, what people think, problems, the latest…, or any earthly thing.  Only bringing God Glory!”  Each night when I woke up, I begged God that our baby would know God and would bring Him glory.  Honestly and truly, every night I begged God for His glory in our sons life.  I had no clue at that time that this would be how it would happen.  I thought Enoch would grow up and live a radical life that brought people to the saving knowledge of Jesus.   That’s what I had in mind.  Not this!  Not at all.  

So where am I with all of this in light of my son dying?   The same place.  There was no small print in these thoughts and prayers.  I didn’t believe everything was a gift, but think God owed me Enoch.  There were no qualifications with my “palms up” and “arms in the air.”   I didn’t tell God I would surrender “all areas of my life” but say my son was off limits.  I didn’t ask God to bring Him glory as long as it was on my terms.  
Don’t get me wrong; this was NOT my idea of how it would go!  I’m devastated.  I’m grieving.  Yet at the same time I can still write and know that all of the above are true.  I am very aware that this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through, and I am also aware that I submitted everything to God trusting him with ALL areas of my life.  “Palms up.”
Let me be clear, I don’t think God DID this.  I think we live in a sinful broken world, and this is a result of it.  I think God prepared me.  I think God is using it for his glory.  I trust Him and his plan, even if I don’t get it all of the time. 

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