Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Little Self Reflection... and a lot of tears

I did not handle Gideon's situation perfectly. Who could? I have been thinking a lot about people saying things like, "You're so amazing." "You're such an inspiration." etc... And I just want to say... I'm no inspiration. Seriously. It is only God working through me that I am able to make an imprint on anyone's life. I have tried so hard to handle this situation just right, and I did my very best. But I didn't succeed as well as I would've hoped. I hurt people.... I did. And I remember Shiloh and Preacher (like 2 or 3 weeks in a row) saying... "Hurt People, Hurt People" and in those moments, that made me so mad. I was mad because I thought to myself, "I'm a hurt person and I'm not out hurting anyone. I'm not going around throwing my emotional weight around with no thought to anyone else." Boy was I wrong. (Isn't it funny how hindsight is SOOO 20/20??) It is true, I wasn't just throwing my emotional weight around with no thought to anyone else, but I was hurting people. (It can happen you know, you can hurt people even when you are trying so hard not to) ... I thought of an analogy a while ago... Even before Gideon was born...

I am surrounded by a Ring of Fire. This situation is like someone walked around me in a circle, poured gasoline on dry grass, then on January 31 around 3:00pm, threw a match in the path. And WHOOOOSH! Up went the flames. Then as the days and weeks passed, I'm in there being a newbie fire fighter. I had no idea what I was doing. Sometimes I would actively fight, other times I would just sit down and cry and ask God to take it away, other times I would ask people to be there for me. But they weren't allowed to act like there were huge FLAMES in their face. They had to act all normal-like. And everyone tried. Everyone tried so hard to be there for me. They tried so hard to see through the smoke and the flames. They even reached through them sometimes. Everyone tried so hard to help me. So many people cried so many tears for me. So many MORE people prayed so hard for me to be safe inside the fire, to not be just burnt alive. Everyone was doing everything they knew how to do to help me to the best of their own ability.

Some of that, I received well. Some of it, I noticed. But so much more of that I didn't. I couldn't see through the fire and the smoke to see that some of my dearest friends were doing everything they knew how to do to be there for me, just like I asked.

The people that I received well will read this and probably scratch their heads thinking, "Jenny, you did no such thing." But I also think there will be people out there nodding their heads saying, "Yep, that was me. I tried so hard to be there for you, Jenny. I tried so hard to give you everything you needed. I did everything in my power to feel your pain and to comfort you. And what did you do? Reject me. You totally threw my efforts in the trash can. You're exactly right. I reached for you through that hot, burning fire, and you just swatted my hand away. What more could I do?"

And for that, I am truly sorry. I understand that my 'fire' was (and still is sometimes, especially today) very hot. It was (is) a tough situation, and we all did our best. I know that. I'm just sorry that I misinterpreted some of your efforts so badly. Please accept my apology.

In church this morning, Preacher preached on unconditional love. The love that God gives to every single person. The reason he died on the cross for us. And in the Bible, in I Corinthians 13 it says

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemingly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth;
7 Beareth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth;

That is how God calls me to love. He wants my love toward other people to suffer long, to be kind, not to envy, not to be puffed up & 'all that,' not to behave ugly-like, not to seek my own, not to be easily provoked, to think no evil, to not rejoice in sin, but to rejoice in truth, to bear all things, to hope in all things, to endure all things, to never fail.

I'm sorry I failed some of you. I'm sorry I swatted at your hand when you reached into my fire out of the kindness of your heart. I'm sorry I didn't recognize your charity when I should've. Please forgive me.

Just a little self-relfection..... and a lot of tears.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Our Beautiful Gideon

I know I've said it before, but I can not stress enough how grateful I am to the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep organization and to Lisa Hezlep of Hezlep Photography.She came to the hospital in a moments notice (literally) and took the most beautiful pictures of my sweet Gideon that I could ever have imagined. I just wanted to share with you the pictures that she took, they are wonderful and so is she. We are so blessed to have this gift, to have these memories. Although, we will never have any more pictures of our precious son, we will always have these. We couldn't have done it without you Lisa, truly. I know I've thanked you before (and am probably driving you nuts, lol), but I just can't say enough how fantastic you are.

Enjoy our son & be blessed by his beauty. :-)  

Create a gorgeous, high quality wedding photo album at

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Women of Faith

This weekend was Women of Faith and I got to go and the last second.

Ever since Gideon was diagnosed, I have thought about what this was all about. I think a big part of it is sharing the story. Sharing what God did for me through this journey. Sharing how He showed Himself faithful to me in my intense time of need. Sharing how if He can do it for me, He can certainly do it for you.

The next question is: How do I do that? How do I get Gideon's story out and glorify my Lord for it? Is it even possible? Many of you know that I'm in the (extreme) early stages of pursuing some sort of book (it's actuallly much harder than I anticipated). But, I've always thought that I would like to be a speaker at something like this. Maybe get the chance to be one of those ladies that gets to glorify God through the story He blessed me with. So I was excited to be there and get a taste of what it was like. But, I had to work, so I had to drive up late & separate (a huge drag).

So I got there and started looking through my program. I was reading the little 'blurb' they have on each one of the speakers and I thought, "I'm not like these women. These women actually live for the Lord all the time. They have other things to offer, other than their 'sob story,' that makes them good Christians. I'm not like that. I'd never be good enough to be here. What was I thinking?" But as I sit here and write that (and, honestly still believe some of it) I think to myself. "But wait... What did Mark Lowry say that night? Didn't God use a bunch of losers? Didn't he most often use the freaks? (Mark Lowry's words, not mine, lol)

Yes. Yes, he did... I know I'm not worthy (and never will be), but I do have a willing heart. I want to share God's love for us through Gideon's story. I want people to know that God can work like this in their hearts too. I want to do that on the largest stage possible! I want to tell as many people as will listen! And an arena of 5,000 (?) ladies sounds like a pretty large number and add that with all the cities they go to... Hey! This sounds like a great idea, I thought... BUT....I'm sure that a lot of people probably want the bright lights and prestige - so He probably wouldn't use me for that. I don't know... All I know is that I want to proclaim God's unconditional love. I want  to proclaim the truths of the Bible (Romans 8:28 is true, ya know... look it up). I want to proclaim His peace and comfort that He gave us so graciously.... These are the things I was thinking as I was looking through that program....

That whole night I was in a stupid 'funk'.... I was irritated, for no real reason... Just irritated (back me ladies, you know what that's like)... I went through the motions of the evening and finally, after talking to the girls in my room, realized what was going on...

I had been 'feeling a sad moment coming on' for a couple days (that's happening more and more all the time)... I don't get sad all at once anymore, it's like I can feel it 'coming on'... Kinda like a sneeze, only it takes longer. It's weird. But... Gideon's 2 month was tough for me this time. His birthday, as you all know, was peaceful, wonderful, just surprising.... Then his 1 month was still pretty celebratory. I remembered how awesome he was, and how many lives he had touched. Then came his due date, which was tough, once I realized what day it actually was (I'll probably "back-blog" about that someday. "Back-blog" is my own made up word, meaning things I wanted to blog about, but couldn't, since I didn't have home internet, until now). Then came August 2nd, the day before Women of Faith, his two month.... and it was different. I though about wanting him. Wanting to be his mommy. I was sad, but I had to work, so I had to put it off (which I HATE doing). So... I had been feeling this moment coming on since then. I just didn't want it to happen at WoF. I don't know why, I just didn't want to do it there. I like to cry alone, in the shower (one of the VERY few things I like to do alone)... But that wasn't the way it was going to happen this time.

One of the things that I want SO badly, is to 'be Gideon's mommy,' but I can't (in the way that I want to, I mean). I can't hold hime, I can't burp him, I can't kiss his sweet little head, I can't do all the things that "regular" mom's get to do with their newborns. Gideon doesn't need me. He doesn't need me at all. He has Jesus. Jesus Himself is taking care of my boy.

But as much as I love Jesus, myself (and I truly do). I still can't fathom how wonderful He is. I can't imagine that Gideon would want to be held by someone other than me. I mean. COME ON!! I'm his mommy! Who could take better care of him than me?! God? Even God Himself could do a more comforting job than me? Really?! Yes! It's true, but being so fleshly, I still don't know... All I know is I want my baby. I want to hold him, I want to kiss him, I want to make him feel better when he cries and burp him and change his little dirty butt and wash his black baby hair.  Those are the things I want. I want to watch him grow up and fall down and start talking. I just really want Gideon...

But..... aside from all of that, I have to realize.... I have to remember that song: God is so good. God is so good! God is so good! He's so good to me!!! He has Gideon and He is doing all those things for me. I'm trying to realize that my son is in Heaven. Truly in Heaven with Jesus. Jesus Christ Himself.... I'm trying to realize how perfect Heaven is, and how amazing God is. God is so much bigger and better than me (DUH!). He's so much more capable to take care of Gideon (I think to myself again, DUH! You big idiot!!!) But, he's still my boy and I still want him, and I want him to want me, his mommy.

All these things hit me so hard at Women of Faith and I was reminded (by someone that always helps me see things clearly when Jarrod's not around, or unavailable), "Gideon got to miss this horrible world. He got to go straight to be with Jesus!" Then, during Women of Faith (this post really is titled properly, even though I've been distracted horribly), the songs started hitting me. I mean, like a ton. of. bricks. The lyrics were just so beautiful (I should've gotten the CD). The praise and worship team was singing about God having the victory and running to His embrace, things like that. And it just overtook me. I realized that I had been thinking all along that I was the one for the job. But, clearly, this is untrue, or Gideon would be here. God wanted him for Himself. He wanted Gideon with Him. He wanted to do it. He wanted to relieve me of the job this time. For whatever reason. He brought me to that realization through song at Women of Faith. It was so great because it made me think of those things. I just felt God (almost literally) hugging me. I just felt like singing and praising His holy name. I just wanted to sing out about how awesome He is. And I did. :-) I stood up like a big goober-head, when everyone around me (or so I thought) was sitting. But I didn't care. I didn't care at all. I had to stand and praise Him while I cried and cried and cried.

So... Long story short... Women of Faith was good for me. Next year will be better because I will prepare myself more. But it was really really good. God is good and He loves me, despite how sad I am. He loves me despite my sin of thinking I was better. He still loves me. Romans 8:28 is still true somehow. And God (as always) is still good. He's watching out for us through our trials, whatever they may be, and is taking care of us.

I hope that God will bless your heart through Gideon's story. And Gideon's story will encourage you to love God more. I know that I never felt as close to God, EVER, as I did because of Gideon. Amazing.