Tuesday, November 26, 2013

first things

We have had a lot of  "firsts" lately. Xander's first birthday, our first Thunder game as a family (if you know Xander......this one was really big), we are soon to have the first Thanksgiving without him, and today we will head to Breckenridge for the first time without him. To be even more specific we will head North on I-35 and cross the Kansas border without him. I-35N has carried us to the clinic a million times over the last 9 years and in the last year to Kansas city at least a dozen times. So will this be hard? The answer is yes. But everything is hard these days!
We are headed to the mountains to ski with our dearest friends. We will be making new memories with Carter, Charli and McClain. All of these things are precious. How does my heart make room for new memories, when all I want to do is cling to the old memories with every fiber of my being? I will constantly be thinking of "what could have been" and "what should be". I will constantly be thinking of Xander.
I want to share a passage that God used powerfully in my life in September 2007. I love looking back through my Bible and journal to see how the scripture has had such perfect timing in my life. 

Psalm 33
1Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;
    it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Praise the Lord with the harp;
    make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
Sing to him a new song;
    play skillfully, and shout for joy.

For the word of the Lord is right and true;
    he is faithful in all he does.

The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
    the earth is full of his unfailing love.

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
    their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea into jars[a];
    he puts the deep into storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
    let all the people of the world revere him.
For he spoke, and it came to be;
    he commanded, and it stood firm.

10 The Lord foils the plans of the nations;
    he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
    the purposes of his heart through all generations.

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
    the people he chose for his inheritance.
13 From heaven the Lord looks down
    and sees all mankind;
14 from his dwelling place he watches
    all who live on earth—
15 he who forms the hearts of all,
    who considers everything they do.

16 No king is saved by the size of his army;
    no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
    despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
    on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
19 to deliver them from death
    and keep them alive in famine.

20 We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
    even as we put our hope in you.

I'm not a theologian, but to me this passage was comforting years ago and again now. The purpose of God's heart does not change. His plans stand firm forever. His purpose for our family has ALWAYS been for our good and His glory. He didn't just decide one day to take Xander from this earth. I believe it was His plan from the very beginning. Believing that helps me face each day, believing that makes the "what could have beens" a little easier. Our hope has been in Jesus, we waited for 9 years for healing for Xander. We waited for and hoped for deliverance from cancer. We got it!! Oh my how I longed for earthly healing. So now we wait for, we hope for Heaven. With all of my heart I know that His unfailing love will rest upon us until then.

Friday, November 22, 2013

he would be 12

All day long I have cried. Poor McClain doesn't know why on earth anyone would cry in Hobby Lobby! I decided to put up the Christmas tree today, which led to a quick trip to Hobby Lobby, which led to picking out something to put at the cemetery tomorrow. I looked at Happy Birthday signs. Just couldn't bring myself to get one. What do you put at the grave of a boy who would be turning 12? He wouldn't want flowers!! He would probably think it was silly to put anything there at all. After circling the store several times I decided whatever is placed at the cemetery will be for me, Xander's momma.
12 years ago tomorrow I delivered a beautiful baby boy with a full head of dark hair. Xander's hair has been a topic of conversation his whole life. I had never seen a more beautiful baby and I just couldn't believe he was ours. Xander was ours for 11 years and 9 months. The hardest yet most amazing years of my life. I don't know what we are supposed to do tomorrow. I don't know how we are supposed to "celebrate" Xander's birthday.
I'm posting a picture of the 1st time I got to hold Xander in my arms. I'm crying then, just like I am today. Except today my arms are empty.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

what happens next

My son was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in June 2004. Since that day I have emailed updates, kept a Caringbridge site, sent text messages and updated Facebook, all in an attempt to keep our prayer warriors in the loop. For 9 years I shared my heart with others. Sometimes on a daily basis depending on where we were in treatment or what the needs of our family were.  When Xander passed away  on August 22, 2013  it came to a halt. I just haven't been sure how to keep Xander's story going. I'm not sure what happens from this point on. I don't want to stop sharing my heart. I don't want Xander's story to end. So here I am nearly 3 months since Xander went to be with Jesus.  I'm uncertain of how this will work, but I'm ready to share. I want to allow others to walk this journey of grief with me, with my family.  What I prayed would never take place did, Xander is no longer on this earth. It doesn't seem real, but it is. Each day I wish it were different. Each day I know I can make it because Jesus lives. I can face uncertain days because He lives. All fear is gone because He lives. Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.