"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm,
and carry them close to his heart, and shall gently lead those that are with young." Isaiah 40:11

Thursday, November 11, 2010

When We are weak, He is Strong

(sorry for the rambling - not sure it all fits together, I wrote at three separate times)
Rachel is doing well.  Her feeds are way down today though, she is sleeping unusually long and we are expecting another bm soon, which I am trying hard not to think about.  And us? We are feeling worn in many ways. As time goes on, we can't help asking the question - How long God?  She has turned our lives upside down - and we love her immensely, but we are so weary.  As David has said "our back yard is full of all the plans we keep chucking out the window".  I catch myself saying 'if she were healthy, we could....let her cry it out, we could visit our families in Manitoba, we would do alot of things..." We haven't been out east in over a year.  I am tired of endlessly heating and reheating little bits of milk just so we can help our little girl to live.  I am weary of jumping at each cry.  I will do it over and over again because I love Rachel deeply and I want her to live.  And I know these disappointments are 'small' things in the whole picture, but they keep adding up... 

And the strain of everything being turned upside down is too much sometimes.  And I am beginning to feel seeds of resentfulness.  I am irritated by demands from my kids.  I am sad about the strain put on our marriage and on our family. Sometimes this feels like too much God.  It's too much.
I wrote the previous paragraphs this morning.  This afternoon, I had exactly enough un-interrupted time to listen to my friends tell their story of their son Wyatt - you can find it by clicking here.  All I can say is 'wow'. I had started listening a couple times but today I got all the way to the end.  I knew their story.  But today I listened with different ears.  (The theme that day in church was debunking the myth 'God won't give me more than I can handle.') I was struck by the words she ends with. "Did God give me more than I could handle? Yes. Over and over and over again. But I'm so glad, so incredibly thankful that God allowed us to have a handicaped son. Because God revealed himself through our son.....I want to encourage you not to be afraid of pain..or of being weak or of impossible situations because we have a Father who is longing to show Himself strong on your behalf..."  

(most of the following was written yesterday)
Rachel, I am sorry.  I once thought that if I could just give birth, then I would mourn you and somehow move on.  Maybe even get pregnant again and make the immense sacrifices again to have what we wanted - three living children. We had other dreams too, ideas of where God was leading us in life.  I thought of my "pregnancy with a child who would die" as terrible and life-changing to some extent, but also as wrong timing - and this baffled me for awhile.  It seemed like a very significant bump in the road, but still a bump nonetheless.  Now I know I was so very very wrong.  I know now your life is impacting us in more ways than I could have imagined.  This really came home to us the first time we almost lost you - when your heart stopped.  Nothing could have prepared us for that.  And nothing has looked the same since that day.

There's still so much I don't see but I am starting to understand that you are perfect timing.  God's hand is in this - I am seeing bits and pieces of his work - in me and in others who are affected by your life.  We still don't know all the ways that knowing you will shape us - and the directions our lives may take because of you.  It is terrible sometimes to think of the pain - of the breaking that will happen yet.  This journey is turning out to be much more difficult than we could have imagined.  So much more than we can handle.  But He is faithful. And He is strong.  He will take us through.

And now the more realistic picture of the last 4 days or so. (except today)  -
unhappy because of those teeth breaking through. 
She is wearing Abigail's newborn outift.   


Valerie Ruth said...

some mornings I don't have the words I'd like to leave with you, to lift you up and encourage you in some tiny way. your honestly is amazing. i love how and what you write. my heart hurts for you every day. love you all.

Carol Taves said...

Kendra, thanks for your willingness to be painfully honest in sharing your feelings, struggles, heartaches and joys. My heart aches for you and Dave and Ethan and Abigail and Rachel. I pray for you as I weep for you. May God give you grace and peace for today.

fawne said...

you dear, beautiful, precious woman of God. i love this post. it shows your journey...your struggle and pain and deep trust in your Father.
so painful to read yet so beautiful. brings back so many memories.
i just want to gather you in my arms and somehow take the burden for you.
imagine how much more your Father hurts as He watches you, as He diligently guards your heart, as He holds you even when you cease to feel His presence.
i love seeing the beauty that is already rising out of the ashes....you may not be able to see it because you're in the middle of the trial. but i see it kendra and it makes my heart heave with unshed tears of joy. take courage, dear sister, you are running well! i'm so proud of you.
love and prayers.

fiona said...

what powerful words kendra . . . what life words . . . i can't help but believe that the gates of hell shudder when faced with the love you and dave have for rachel, for ethan and abigail, for one another and for your heavenly Father . . . the greatest of faith, hope and love is, of course, love. may God continue to give you courage to love well, though it breaks your dear hearts.

Anonymous said...

I too have said 'stupid things' like "God won't give you more than you can handle"...I'm ashamed to say that I said that to a new young widow to explain my thoughts about why I thought God would not allow my own husband to die. Ugh! But about a year and a half later my husband was diagnosed with cancer and passed away, leaving me with two young children to raise. And it was more than I could handle, but not too much for God to walk me through! I've learned a lot of lessons and continue to learn. Thank you for your part in my journey.