Thursday, May 22, 2008

Heavy Heart

Today I am incredibly sad - my heart is sick and my stomach is all in knots. Ironically yesterday before hearing of the Chapman's heartbreak I was in the process of typing a post about the hard week I experienced a couple of weeks ago. The sadness from that week had put me in a funk, but I had planned to write at the end of my post about the rejuvenating weekend that had lifted my spirits - today that just does not seem right to talk about - maybe at a later date I will share it.

Some of you were praying for a family in our neighborhood. They have four children and their twins were diagnosed with a rare and deadly disease called Niemann-Pick Disease Type C (NPC) after their first birthday. Their oldest son is one of our 8 year old son's closest friends so it was very hard when one of their twin babies died on May 4th. It is unbearable to think that they will have to go through this all again as the other twin is currently not doing well and is now on steroids and oxygen. If you would like to visit the family's website please email me. I am sure they would appreciate your prayers.

Then later in the week, my brother Blaine called and asked me to pray for a family in his church. A 8 year old boy suddenly collapsed while spending the day with his dad on 4 wheelers. When the ambulance got him to the hospital, they diagnosed him with a brain aneurysm. He was a very healthy boy and had no symptoms, so the doctors believe it was something he was probably born with. The aneurysm was in the middle of his brain and was inoperable. Two days later his parents had to make the decision to take their only child off the machines and now that sweet boy is with Jesus.

I am not sure why this put me in such a deep sadness. I was not myself for days - I was impatient with my kids, even down right mean at times. This sadness just overtook my whole body. Was it that I have a baby the age of the twins and that I have an 8 year old boy? Was it just that I am a mom? Or was that I just did not understand why these awful things were happening? If I am honest, I even cried out to God with a broken heart and anger questioning why! As the days went on I began to feel a little better, especially after last weekend. I can not say that I received any answers - I think with time my heart just began to heal a bit.

Then yesterday happened...

I have been a huge fan of Steven Curtis Chapman since 1988. It is not just that I think he's an incredibly talented song writer and that he has a beautiful voice - it's his relationship with Christ and the amazing example that he is to fellow believers that I admire the most. I have seen him in concert many times and even met him and had a conversation with him while I was in college. When his latest CD was released, This Moment, the members of the Chapman family each started their own blogs. I would check out each of them from time to time but I followed Mary Beth's through bloglines. I think I related to her because she is a mom and she used her blog as most moms do - to brag on her family and keep people updated on how they were doing.

My heart is crushed for them this morning. Just hours before this tragedy they celebrated the engagement of their oldest daughter Emily, and were mere hours away from a graduation party for their son Caleb. 10 short days earlier they had celebrated little Maria's 5th birthday and now they are having to comprehend living without her. Not only am I hurting for them, but for their precious son. Oh my how is he dealing with this - he is just a boy - what must he be feeling - how does he get past this?

I found this passage today, Romans 8:26-39 and have spent the morning praying and meditating over it. How calming to know that God never lets go. I pray for the Chapman family that they feel the prayers that are being lifted for them and that they feel Jesus' arms holding them tightly and know deep in their hearts that He will never let go.

You can go to Steven's website to learn more about what you can do for the family. A blog has been set up by his management where you can leave your thoughts, love and prayers for the family and also a place to meet their Maria.

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalm 34:18

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Gretchen said...

Jenn, I have left a message for the Chapmans and they weigh heavily on my mind today, too. So unreal. Such a double tragedy.

The funk must be going around because I'm a home schooling mom this year for my son, and one of my compatriots was just hit in a terrible traffic accident. A 19 y.o. boy hit her so hard when she was turning (because of excessive speed) that her van flipped over onto its top. She's currently in the hospital with severe head trauma, broken pelvis, and lots of internal injuries. Hard to take. She did nothing wrong. It happened at 3 p.m. when all of us minivan moms are running kids from here to there.

I guess, we live in joy and faith, and when sad things happen, we thank Him for his daily new mercies, and be as supportive of our fellow brothers and sisters as we can be.

So sorry to hear about your friends' babies. I'll lift them as they come to mind.


His Girl said...

I totally know what you mean. I take deaths of children really unrealistically hard myself. I also really don't take divorce well either.
I think there's just something that happens to your heart when you become a mother, that just leaves it more vulnerable to pain, once we know what it is to hurt for a child, it doesn't have to even be our own.
When I read about SCC this morning, my heart just broke wide open for him. Pastor Jon Courson, my favorite commentator lost both a daughter & wife within just years of each other- and he's written a fabulous book about dealing with death... it's called A Place for You, and I think you might like it...I'll email you the link for the book. It really helped me during a time when I was hearing about a lot of people dying, and it was really getting me down.
I love your sensitive heart, Jenn- Glad we're friends!

Tamora said...

OHHH Jenn! I do know about the funk... I think we love our children so deeply, that we also feel pain very deeply for others when tragedy hits. All I know to do is what you said, PRAY! God will speak to us and through us during this time.