Sunday, May 11, 2008

A comforting hand


Sometimes when I rock Nathan to sleep and lay him down in his crib, he will shuffle around and start to cry. So I always place my hand gently on his chest with just a little bit of pressure to let him know that I am there. I am right there. When he settles back down into slumber, I will gradually lift my hand from his chest...but sometimes this startles him and he instantly reaches for my hand with both of his. So I gently place my hand back on his chest to comfort him until I know that he is finally at peace. Sometimes this works, but sometimes he needs a little more comfort to settle him, so I pick him up and I wrap my arms around him; I whisper in his ear that I love him, and I gradually sway back and forth and stroke the back of his head until he is good and asleep...and then I place him back in his crib.

The past few days have been difficult. Well, that just may be the understatement of the year. Thursday and Friday were especially difficult. I felt like I was crying out to God for comfort, for peace, for guidance, for mercy, for anything other than this...but I still felt so alone. I knew that he was there...that he was right there, but I couldn't feel his presence. I couldn't feel his hand on my chest. When I reached the place where I felt like this trial was insurmountable and impossible for us to bear, God swooped in and picked us up. He wrapped both of his arms around us and provided us with the peace and comfort we have been begging for. Alone, we can do nothing, but with Christ, we can get through the unbearable news we received last week. It is just so comforting to feel his presence once again.

We booked a hotel and headed to Orlando Saturday afternoon. As much as we hate missing church, we just couldn't bare to see our church family this weekend. The members of Macclenny church love our children as their own (and likewise with us and their children), and it would have been too much to see the sorrow in their eyes. We wanted to give a few days for the shock of this situation to sink in. So we headed to Orlando and let the kids swim on Saturday and enjoyed the day at Sea World yesterday.

That little trip was what we needed. We still had quite a few good cries together, but we were able to laugh some and just really enjoy the time together as a family. The girls enjoyed it immensly. Abby seemed to know that something was troubling us and had started to do everything in her power to get our attention and try to make us laugh at her. This weekend gave us some light-hearted moments that the girls needed. And it was good for us to worry about things like Emma pulling her bathing suit bottoms down so she could use the bathroom in the kiddie pool (after seeing how nasty those pool bathrooms were, I don't blame her), trying not to get sunburned from this intense Florida sun, and whether or not we could make it to the next Dolphin show in time rather than constantly worrying about the life of our son.
We are well. We are still heartbroken and weary. We still have moments where we just hold each other and weep. Sleep is difficult. But we are given more strength each and everyday to press onward. To take this difficult journey day by day. So we are well.

I don't know how to express our gratitude for the countless prayers that are being said for Nate. It warms my soul to know that so many are thinking of him, and as my dad said "are storming the gates of Heaven on his behalf". Wow! What a wonderful picture.

My prayers have changed a bit over the past few days. Instead of crying out in desparation, my prayers have changed to thankfulness. "Thank you, Lord, for placing this precious boy in our lives. Thank you for blessing me with the role of his mother. I know that all of our children are yours, so thank you for lending them to us for how ever long you see fit." And then I have prayed a prayer that I often pray for our girls: "Give us wisdom and guidance to know how to teach our son. Help us direct him to follow You." Nathan may be weak in body, but his mind is whole. He may be with us for just a little while or he may outlive us, but however long he is in our lives, we will teach him.

29 comments:

Dana on May 12, 2008 at 9:44 AM said...

Beautiful post. Funny how you seem to comfort those who are hurting for you through your sweet and precious spirit. May God continue to bless you with His love. You are truly a beautiful person and I love you so much!! Love the pictures from Seaworld! You look so pretty in the picture of you holding Nate!

Anonymous said...

You amaze me Amber (and Jay). Your faith is awe inspiring. Hugs and prayers always.

Linda

Wanda on May 12, 2008 at 10:51 AM said...

I agree with Dana, you do comfort all of us!
I go to comfort you and I walk away being comforted. You could not do that without God's grace and I know you know that is where your strength cometh.
Wandy

Dana on May 12, 2008 at 11:02 AM said...

You're an amazing Mother and woman of God.....May He continue to give you peace. And I'm so happy you guys had a great weekend together.

oh amanda on May 12, 2008 at 11:21 AM said...

I thought the same thing--people storming the gates and getting ready to do battle for Nate! :)

I'm so glad you guys had a relaxing time and are...feeling better. We love you and are praying for you all the time.

This morning I was on our board and Lydia said, "I want to see pictures of Nate!" She's praying for him, too!

Katie on May 12, 2008 at 11:42 AM said...

no words. just wanted to let you know I am here reading and praying... and so glad you had the weekend you needed. Minute by minute...

Merrie on May 12, 2008 at 12:00 PM said...

Thank you for sharing your journey through this. It's a blessing to all of us to know how the Lord has comforted you during such a time. We continue to pray for all of you!

Merrie

Beth on May 12, 2008 at 12:13 PM said...

Amber,

I agree with the others, I feel I should say something to comfort you but you have again, comforted us. Our thoughts and prayers are ever with you. I can't tell you how many times a day I think of you and offer a little prayer.

Beth J.

Kacey on May 12, 2008 at 12:20 PM said...

Amber, what a lovely post. You are such a strong, amazing woman! As always, you're in my prayers.

Tara on May 12, 2008 at 12:36 PM said...

I love the picture of you and Nate, you look great! Im so glad you all had a wonderful weekend away together. We did miss seeing you yesterday though! Not only are Silas and I still praying for your little man, so is Jolee...Dear God, peese help Nafan! "Out of the mouth of Babes". We love ya'll!

Kathy U on May 12, 2008 at 1:30 PM said...

The Lord has blessed Little Nate and the girls with parents who know that they must lean on him for understanding. Now he has and will continue to bless you with the strength you need day by day. We wake each morning with your family on our hearts and end each day with you all in our prays. We love you.
Sis Kathy

Kayla on May 12, 2008 at 1:46 PM said...

Again I cry and laugh with you. You are constantly in my prayers. I am "storming heavens gates" with the rest of your friends and family. Keep clinging to your Father. He won't leave you.

Emily on May 12, 2008 at 1:56 PM said...

You are such a testament of faith! I did not expect a post from you today. But yet, you still had such beautiful words to express. I'm glad to hear you had a nice family weekend together.

Anonymous said...

Amber, your faith is a blessing to read about. There are so many people praying for you all, and especially Nate. We will continue to pray that God will heal him and give you and your family "that peace which passeth all understanding" as you need it. Your description of God's comfort is so beautiful. Betsy McDaniel and Family

Kelly (chikabby) said...

You have an amazing attitude and such strong faith, and you are such an inspiration. I am praying for Nathan, and for your family.

Dani on May 12, 2008 at 3:28 PM said...

You are so strong, a great example to all of us. Constantly reminding us that worrying and stressing are not only useless, but not how the Lord wants us to use are time.

Gary and I are praying for little Nate every morning before he leavese for work and every night before we go to bed. We love ya'll so much and are confident that the Lord can and will use this to make His power and glory known.

TracyVDM on May 12, 2008 at 4:56 PM said...

Well, what I got on here to say, everyone else has already said. I, too, am so inspired by your faith and your strength. Everytime I think of you, which is often, I say a prayer for Nate and your family.

Amanda on May 12, 2008 at 5:28 PM said...

I am so glad y'all got to get "away" for awhile and enjoy the simpler things of life. How well I remember not wanting to have to face all the people that loved us right after the twins were born and things were kinda up in the air with their health.
Amber, the picture of you and Nate brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful mother he has, inside and out!

Tracey on May 12, 2008 at 8:16 PM said...

I am so glad you and your family were able to get out and have some fun and get your minds off of things. I am praying for you guys!!!

Anonymous said...

Dar Dar said.... As I write through the tears, It's so hard to find the right words to say. I know through personal trials that it does help to talk to someone. It is good that you do it with your blog. I am here for you guys. With all that ya'll are going through you worry about the sorry in our eyes. You are amazing. Yes we do love ya'll very much. Can't wait to here Emma and Abby's story from Sea World. Praying for ya'll.

Christine on May 12, 2008 at 10:53 PM said...

Amber your faith amazes and inspires me. God Bless you and your sweet family!

Laura on May 13, 2008 at 6:37 AM said...

I'm so glad you were able to have that time with your family. You have such a way with words. I wanted to find some words to comfort you, and you ended up comforting me! Beautiful pictures! We're praying for you!

Brandy on May 13, 2008 at 8:14 AM said...

It is clear why God chose you to be his mother. I don't know that others would have the faith and strength that you have.
Glad you were able to get your mind off things and just enjoy the weekend.
{{hugs}} and prayers!

Anonymous said...

When my Emma was first diagnosed, I would hold her almost all night. I remember those first few days, I would stay up and just hold her while she slept. I loved doing that. I would memorize her face, her hands, listen to her breath, and just take her all in.

It is what I needed to do. And Emma didn't mind being held!

Take your time, do what you need to do. Your little guy is beautiful and he seems like a fighter. The world of SMA stinks, but there are a lot of great moms and dads who can help you through your new journey.

Lots of love to you and your family.

Amy ~ mom to Emma Hope SMA type 2

www.emmahopeworls.net

Other Mother on May 13, 2008 at 12:39 PM said...

Still praying here, and will continue to pray for you all. Love that sillouette photo!!

Other Mother on May 13, 2008 at 12:41 PM said...

I KNEW I should look that word up first! Oops! silhouette!

shalonda on May 13, 2008 at 1:55 PM said...

its nice to know someone else prays the prayer of knowing that God "lends" us His children....i say that prayer every night. Amber I am so humbled by yalls faith in the Lord and by your strength these past 6 or so months. Now on to the photog part, ummmm...LOVE these pics! Your family is so beautiful in every way. and i can totally picture Miss Emma teetee'ing in the baby pool, lol!!!!

Michelle on May 13, 2008 at 6:45 PM said...

it sounds like a weekend getaway was just what your family needed at this time - to just get away from it all...

Dawn @ My Home Sweet Home on May 15, 2008 at 12:13 PM said...

I love you, honey. I'm glad you were able to get away for the weekend; good decision.

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