Monday, November 24, 2008

You Didn't Tell Me About This

A funny little story about Barrett:

About a month ago we took him into the Dr.'s office for a sore on his head. The doctors thought it was ringworm. They said you can get it from cats. We don't have a cat. I then began thinking a funny thought of what woman, that owns a cat, had touched Barrett's hair? Everyone finds his curly blonde head hard to not touch. Anyway, it turned out not to be ringworm once the labs came back.

But, while we were there the nurse informed me that Barrett had not had a well checkup since he was 3. You can imagine what kind of self talk I had to do to fight off the bad mom complex. He has been to the Dr since he was 3, just not for the official "well checkup". So this meant that he was behind on his vaccinations. Since we homeschool, we don't have to turn in a vaccination report for school. So, I guess that is where it fell under the radar.

I made the appointment.

When the day came, Mason, being a good big brother said, "Hey Barrett, you're gonna get a shot today." Barrett said "No." The argument continued until they found me. I had not yet told Barrett because I thought that would just be something I would tell him on the way there or maybe even in the exam room. I need for him to stress about it for too long.

Barrett looked up at me and said, "Mason said I am going to get a shot, I?!" I told him yes, it was true, but it was nothing to worry about as it would only hurt like this - and I pinched his arm a little. He took a deep breath and rolled his eyes up at me and Mason and said, "That's not gonna hurt."

Off we go to the appointment. We are called for our turn to be seen. The nurse did all her things and as she is leaving she says, "Take off your clothes leaving on just your underwear. The Doctor will be in shortly."

Barrett just sat there with a funny look on his face.

I said, "Barrett just take your pants off and then you can slip your shirt off when the Dr. comes in the room. That way you won't get cold."

He looked at me with his hands held tightly to the top of his pants and shook his head "No."

I said, "Barrett you have to take your clothes off. Everybody does it."

He said, "Well then we have to go home."

I chuckled and said "We can't go home. What is it?"

He said with even more urgency, "We have to go home....I have on dinosaurs."

I'm not sure why dinosaur underwear was embarrassing.... but it was to him!?!

Mason and I are both trying hard not to fall to the floor laughing.

I walked in front of him as he sat with his legs dangling off the exam table and his back slouched against the wall, I put my hands on his legs and softly said, "Barrett they don't care about that. Don't worry, take your pants off now."

He leaned forward looking me straight in the eyes with the most serious tone and said,
"You didn't tell me about this."

Oh my, it makes me laugh again just thinking about it. ......So Funny!

After that day, his words "you didn't tell me about this" kept playing over and over in my mind. Don't you love when God uses the words right out of the mouth of babes to speak to you? You see, since Halloween, I have been saying those same words to the Lord. Halloween seemed to put me on the "Holiday train." All Aboard, hang on, here we go!! As everyone has warned, the first holidays will be so hard, I have dreaded them. However, I have found up to now, usually my anticipation of the holidays are way worse than the actual days have been. This is because as I have learned, I can't predict the way the Holy Spirit will comfort me on that day or give me grace for that moment.

I miss Brockie deeply everyday.

Holidays seem to serve as markers that time is marching on since I last held Brock. The emotions on those days are intensified. As I was trying to figure out just what it was about the Holidays, a friend reminded me that they are just days that we remember. You probably don't remember what you were doing 2 or 3 days before Thanksgiving last year, but you remember Thanksgiving Day. That is so true.

This journey since Brock died has been a day by day or moment by moment living. However after Halloween, I forgot all that and looked ahead. Until now each time I would think of the Holidays, God would remind me, Not today...that is not for today. But on November 1st, in my fleshy spirit, when I walked into Wal-Mart and the Christmas decorations were up... I did it.

I looked ahead.

This is the time of year that everyone is looking ahead, why not me?

I began to say to the Lord, "This is too hard. You have the wrong person. This is more than I can bear even with You."

I found myself overcome with grief but not the same had a new feel. I could not quite identify why it was different, but it was. I began struggling with anxiety. My physical health began to manifest all these feelings. As I was continuing to ask the Lord to show me what it was, He was faithful!

I did not realize that I had taken my focus off the day by day living that He calls us to. First He showed me that I had to back up and focus on today. Because I was struggling with my mind, I looked to Scripture to tell me what to think on. Philippians 4:8-9 says, "Finally brothers, whatever is true...whatever is right...think about such things."

What was true was that I could not think about the holidays - now through January 2009 - and begin to imagine how God would come through. Tomorrow is not true; when we think about tomorrow, we tend to leave God out. We either think nothing of Him there or we think too little of Him. His ways are not our ways; His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). I can't predict what way He will show Himself when that day comes.

Still, I kept finding myself saying Barrett's words of, "You didn't tell be about this!" You didn't tell me that the pit in my stomach, that was so strong the days and weeks just after Brock died, would return. You didn't tell me that every store I enter would bring an ache in my heart so strong I could feel it in my chest. "Christmas" is for kids. Every advertisement seems to taunt me that one of my kids are not here.

As I cried out to the Lord, I never doubted He was there, yet things were very still. He held me close as He was patient for me to sort through my feelings as I told Him every one. Somehow in His mysterious ways, He knows my fears and anxieties, yet He knows it is good for me to give them to Him.

One day as I was saying those words of Barrett's again in my head, He reminded me that was the same place in my spirit that I was in on the night Brock died. My spirit so strongly did not want to do this. I remember thinking, "Lord, ask me to do anything, but don't ask me to do this. Not my precious son Brock!"

On the night Brock died, my sweet college friend Wynn called from California. She had already walked through losing her Mom as a young woman. She said, "Nita, I know it hurts, but you have to go through it."

After we hung up, I told the Lord, "Ok, if I have to do this, then please lead me ever so gently straight through this, not letting me step to one side or the other to ease my hurt on anything but You." I asked Him to use every ounce of the hurt in my life, Drew's and the kids' for His Glory.

I wept at the Lord's feet as I realized that I was stiff-arming the Holidays. I think I thought that I would not have to go through the Holidays. I'm not sure if I was hoping Brock would be back or that Jesus would come again. Either way, I hoped I wouldn't have to do this. Instead of letting the reality of my situation sink in slowly, I had let some bitterness take root. I was thinking, "I don't want to do this...

I don't want to miss dressing up that cute little one in a costume. I don't want to give Thanks on a year that feels so wrong. I don't want to make out a Christmas list for only three children. I don't want to ring in a new year.....I want to do this one over!" Gee, as I write this, I see again how ugly my flesh is.

But that is truth.

Once the Lord led me to the place that I could see it, I began to identify it and give it to Him.

So once again in my chair on that morning, I told the Lord. "I don't want to do this, but if I have to, I ask you again Lord to lead me ever so gently straight through these Holidays, not letting me step to one side or the other. Help me to trust You as You have been so good. Help me to have eyes wide open to see your goodness"

That same day, I received a card from a friend that said she was praying the we would be "overwhelmed by God's goodness this Holiday season." God is good, and I will give thanks that He is leading me by His righteous right hand . I am sure that at the end of these Holidays as I reflect on His Goodness, I will once again say to the Lord in a different way, "You didn't tell me about this."

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10


Henley on the Horn said...

Thank you for sharing, sweet Nita. Your words are so precious. We continue to pray for you & hope you had a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Anonymous said...

What a precious story - I can totally imagine one of my boys reacting the same way. And isn't it amazing that God can use dinosaur underwear to speak to you! We serve a wacky God. :-) May he bless you for hearing his voice and for listening to what he has to say to you. You are still in my prayers.

Paige S.

Brigett Roobin Floyd said...

Nita, I think of you so often and am so amazed and comforted by your strong faith. You are such a testimony to what wonderful things that God can do in our lives if we only trust in HIM!! May God hold your hand and give you great peace this holiday season. We all know that one day you all will spend Christmas with Brock once again (and this time nothing will ever have to separate yall again.) Thanks for sharing your stories. God Bless You and you beautiful family!!!!

Henley on the Horn said...

Just wanted you to know you are constantly in my thoughts & prayers. did I miss Asa's birthday? Happy birthday!!! Love to all of you

Abigail Kraft said...

Hi Nita,
Barrett's story made me laugh. What a great way for God to brighten your day. :) Kids have such a wonderful way of doing that...they just always radiate this kind of innocent joy...and it's contagious! :)

I feel such compassion towards you with your struggles through the holidays. I don't know what it's like from a mother's perspective, but Thanksgiving was just a few days after the death of my little sister, Anna. I remember feeling like celebrating was a futile thing to do...It didn't make sense to me that everyone could go on laughing and eating and being happy when my sweet little sissy wasn't with us. My heart hurt whenever I saw the world going on without stopping to give me and my family the time of day. Christmas was a difficult day for all of us...Anna's gifts didn't sit under the tree as they were supposed to, her bright smile wasn't there to light up the room. With the solemn spirits of those holidays, we clung so tightly to each other and I know that the only thing that kept us going was Hope Himself. Jesus Christ is the only person who can give us peace and joy in the midst of pain. He gives us beautiful reminders that He is with us through the smallest things--a smile from a stranger, a sunrise or sunset, sweet things that people say, etc. God has no limits in the ways he can touch our lives with His love!

Hang in there! I'm praying for you!
In His arms,