Sunday, August 25, 2013

Of how little girls process the life and possible death of their preemie brother

God is with us and he cares for us in difficult situations. I learned that last year. And that didn't just apply to Jonathan, or to me and Steve, it applied to our whole family.

He prepared the way to nurture our girls' souls for the difficult year to come. For the volunteers that made this possible, I give a hearty "thank you."

The day after I went in to labor the second time, the day before Jonathan came into the world, the girls went to vacation Bible school (VBS) at a nearby church (not our church).  We'd signed them up for it months before.

Then, later in August when Jonathan got really sick, our friends invited us to join (a day late) their church's evening VBS.  It allowed Steve and me to care for Jonathan together at a time when he really needed it.

But it was at that first VBS, the one that happened at the same time as little J came into the world four months early, that God placed in my girls the words they needed to carry through.

For the next several months they'd sing this song in the back seat. Ella, my rational thinker for whom all must make sense (and also my most sensitive child to when things didn't make sense) blared this at the top of her lungs as we drove to the hospital and back.  I found myself listening to the CD on my way into the hospital, even when the girls weren't around.

Here were the lyrics that brought a lump to my throat:

My mind is spinning.
I’m all confused.
I’m feeling sad and afraid
And kind of angry, too.
How can I be strong
When everything is going wrong?
God, give me strength,
And help me to find my way.

I've gotta think, think, think
Think about the goodness of you,
My God.
Because I know, know know
No matter how I feel I've gotta trust
In you.

['ll trust in you. Right now No matter how I feel Right now I'll trust in you.]

What this did for my Ella and (to a lesser extent) Mimi (and me) is gave honest voice to our situation.
I loved it for what it said as well as what it didn't.

It didn't say that God would make everything alright. It didn't give false hope for our bleak situation.
It DID give voice to Ella and Mimi's confusion about the situation. It gave them a place to honestly say that they were angry. Why didn't their baby brother listen to their pleas to my belly? "No no no, baby, don't come out now, that's a no no!" (Ella would even add, "If you come out, you're going to die." which always made me wish she weren't quite so astute and frank.)

And it said God was good.  And we could trust him. In everything, even when it was bad, we could trust him.

These were the lessons he was teaching me. And I, as much as my girls, needed this song that told me I could be angry, I could be scared and sad.  And in all that, I could also lean on Christ.

Thanks, folks who wrote the Sky VBS curriculum.

You touched my girls' hearts in a way that was much needed.

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