Thursday, August 30, 2012

Free as a bird.

One of the worst aspects of grieving is the feeling of being trapped. It is like the feeling of being cornered or pinned down while some punk bully pokes you with a stick. This insults are thick and fast. And you can hear the delight in their voice as your tears begin to overflow from the brokenness of your soul...

There is a reason the Bible refers to the Devil as the "Accuser". When you are weak and frail and broken into a thousand tiny pieces, you have no defenses. He capitalises on this opportunity and it is not possible to protect yourself from his viscious accusations. "Look what has happened! This is all you're good for! You are marked for pain and suffering your whole life! No matter what you do, it will always go horribly wrong, just to spite you! God does not love you! How could He? Look how weak you are!!! You will never overcome this!!!"
These are just some of the taunts I have had flung at me recently...

So, what do you do with that? What do you do when you have nothing left and you feel completely swallowed up by the darkness and hopelessness of your situation?

If you're me, you sit on the floor of the shower and cry... Not everything He said was a lie, you know. I am weak. And I will never overcome this... I am utterly helpless to get out of this situation. But, He was forgetting something very crucial. He was forgetting that when I am weak, then I am strong. Because I know that my Redeemer lives and I know that His power is made perfect in my weakness.

I am loved. I am loved beyond comprehension or wildest imagination!!! Of this I am more fully convinced than ever. How could I be so sure? Well, it went like this...

So I sat there, sobbing. It was that kind of sobbing that draws out every last ounce of your being so that you ache with every breath. It was the sobbing that flows from the brokenness of an utterly crushed spirit. I wanted to cry out to the Lord, but I was so consumed by the darkness that I did not have the strength, be it physically or spiritually, to muster even a whimper, let alone a cry. But His Spirit acts on my behalf. His Word gave me words in my hour of need....

"Let your steadfast love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise; then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me, for I trust in your word." (Psalm 119: 41-42)

The answer came as a gentle, tender whisper from deep within the Holy of Hollies, my heart...

"My Child, are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father... But even the hairs on your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows." (Matt 10: 29 -30)

With that Word in my heart, I looked my Accusor in the eye and I said out loud, "I am of more value than many sparrows and I refuse to be taunted any longer." And with that, He left. He fled. And I had peace. I was free.

I have peace..... I am free..... This is the freedom the Bible talks about. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I stand free and nobody can clam otherwise. I feel like a veil has been lifted and I am only just now beginning to see just how far reaching the practical effects of this truth are...

What is binding you today? What lies and accusations are you believing? If you are in Christ, this freedom is yours to claim!

Why should I feel discouraged?
Why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart be lonely,
And long for heaven and home?
When Jesus is my portion
A constant friend is He.
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me...

I sing because I'm happy
I sing because I'm free
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know He watches me!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The 'Journey'...

The more I read about it, the more I hear it described as a journey. "Grief is a journey". I guess a lot of people talk about grief this way because it is a good analogy. I can see how this experience could be likened to a journey along some kind of road. A long, winding road... the road less travelled. Grief can also be a very lonely road. And I don't think my road is made out of yellow bricks.

When I was a little girl, my parents owned a holiday house in the Bunya Mountains. It is a spectacular part of the world, tucked away in South East Queensland. A National Park full of beauty and splendor built around a mixture of eucalyptus and rainforrest. I am privileged to have spent many a vacation walking the tracks through that dense wilderness. My deep love of creation is largely founded on those memories. The best part of having a holiday house there was that it became so familiar. We knew the best walks to go on, the best places to go and catch tadpoles, the best areas to go spotlighting at night to see the possums and the frogs and the owls. However, there were a few occasions that we would stumble upon something new. I remember a few times when we went bush walking we decided to follow a track that we had not walked before. Most of the time we had not walked those tracks because we had not noticed them before. And usually we hadn't notice them because they were overgrown and not used often. They were the 'roads less travelled'.

There was one time when we set out on one of our standard bush walks when my brother noticed one of these 'roads less travelled'. In a rare moment of adventurous spontaneity, my Dad decided that it would be fun to try this track out, just to see where it ended up. Well, to be honest I don't remember many of the details, just the important ones. Like what was meant to be a short 1.2km stroll before lunch turned out to be a 10km hike through vastly overgrown terrain. It was hard and it was hot and we were so hungry! I also remember the barrage of complaints my Dad had to endure from his four hot and hungry children. But I do also remember at some points along the way moments of spectacular beauty. There was one section of the path that lead to a tall rocky waterfall. I remember being amazed by the size and beauty of it and I was disappointed when it was time to move on. I'm sure my memory is amplifying the magnificence of that waterfall, but I like the way I remember it. There was another spot where the dense humid rainforrest cleared and suddenly we were looking over a cliff face at acres and acres of National Park lands, as far as the eye could see. It was truely spectacular. Breath taking.

That is the sort of journey I feel like I'm on at the moment. Having walked through 5 miscarriages, there is a certain familiarity about this season of grief. But loosing my perfectly healthy Hudson boy at full term, exactly one week before our scheduled c-section... this is a different path. This path is vastly overgrown and rugged. The air inside the rainforrest is not warm and humid as in the summer. But it is the trapped-in, bitter cold air of the mountain winter. The Forrest all around is thick and the light is shut out by the blanketing canopy overhead, as if to mock my uncertainty. It is not clear which way the path ahead will lead and there is no way of telling what is coming with the next bend. At times the path is narrow and slippery, and you have to support yourself with the unreliable moss-covered vines hanging from the branches of the trees above. Sometimes the side of the path suddenly drops away completely and you're left teetering along the edge of a cliff. Some parts of the path are so steep and so slippery that you need to crawl on your hands and knees, in the mud, to steady yourself. And there is no way of telling how much further the path will lead. I am cold and I'm frightened. And I wish I had never set foot on this path. I long to be in the warmth of home, but that place of peace seems so far away that it is hard to imagine ever finding my way back there again.

But if I stop for a moment and let my soul be still, I can see that I am actually surrounded by unspeakable beauty. The trees in the Forrest are tall and dark, but they are also magnificent. The Forrest is also full of life. I'm not alone in the wilderness!! The birds are merry, there are wallabies grazing in the thickets. Even the moss covered vines that I resent having to rely on at times are very beautiful in their own way. It is good for my soul to stop and take in the beauty. The beauty does not make the path ahead any easier, but it does make it less frightening. It assures me that there is peace to be found in the midst of my confusion.

Grief is a journey. But the path is unpredictable and the length unknown. It is cold, frightening and unnerving. The instinct is to run. To try to get away from the fear. But it is good to stop along the way. Don't run... the path ahead is long and unpredictable. If you try to rush through it, you will be more likely to loose your footing and run out of strength. Walk at your own pace. Take time to stop and seek out the beauty. Look for what is beautiful. You will be surprised by what you see if you just give yourself time to stop and look around. Savor the beautiful moments along the way because it is from these that you will draw strength and courage when the path once again awakens your fear.

I will close by sharing one of the beautiful moments I stopped to savour today. Two verses from an old Hymn that tenderly drew me out of myself and opened my eyes to the beauty that is all around...

Fair are the meadows, fair are the woodlands,
robed in the blooming garb of spring:
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
who makes the woeful heart to sing.

All fairest beauty, heavenly and earthly,
wondrously, Jesus, is found in thee;
None can be nearer, fairer or dearer,
than thou my Saviour, art to me.

I am not not alone in the wilderness!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

For My Hudson Boy

I have not written on my blog for a very long time. I think I've been afraid to incase my world fell apart again. It started out as a place for me to articulate my thoughts as I tried to navigate my way through a season of brokeness. After a while, I didn't feel so broken anymore and life got busy, so I stopped writing.

But I'm back now. Back in a season of brokeness, and in need of a place to write it out... I've not had a lot of success with journalling in the past because it really just ends up being a massive pitty party and I'm most often discouraged to read over previous entries. When I blog, however, I don't feel the freedom to just mope around in my own sorrow because there is potential for other people to read it. With this in mind I am forced to consider what is actually true and what is not. The truth is that there is hope to be found. I am still confident of this, I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Below is a record of my inspiration for re-opening this blog. It is the Eulogy that my brother read on my behalf at my son's funeral last month. Hudson Charles King was stollen from this world far too soon, but he has left behind a legacy of tremendous blessing. I have learned so much from him and, for me at very least, the world is a richer and fuller place for having had him in it, even though only briefly. To loose a child is to open your eyes, and the world will forever look different. I only hope that I can honour him as I try to communicate the beauty that has been revealed to me through the blessing of my little Hudson boy.

From Hudson's funeral on July 25, 2012.
First of all I would like to thank you all so very much for coming. It is so precious to Andrew and I that we have this opportunity to share our little boy with you. We are so very proud of him and will take every chance we are given to share him with as many people as possible. Before I get too much further I want to apologise in advance if this drags on a bit, but this is my moment to boast unashamedly, and I’m going to make the most of it.


First things first… this little boy is perfect. I’m so thankful that I will not remember my sweet Hudson as anything but perfect. I am so sad that no one else had the joy of knowing this little guy like I did. I had a lot of fun with my precious Hudson.  I want to tell you as much as I can about him. This little guy had spunk! My body almost fell apart just carrying him to term. I remember having mild panic attacks just thinking about what he was going to be like when he finally got out. I could barely contain this kid on the inside, let alone as a toddler, or a teenager.  There is no doubt in my mind that he was going to be the first of the three kids to get stitchers, or break a limb, or both. He was such an active bubby. And when he moved, he was not half-hearted about it. He was not going to have the grace of his big sister, or the tenderness of his big brother. He was just going to be big and bold in everything he did. He was most active at night… every time of night. I loved going to bed and feeling him just romp and play. I haven’t really slept since I was about 20 weeks pregnant. I’m actually really thankful for the lack of sleep now because it has given me such precious memories. I was not allowed to lie on my back, and he was most content when I lay on my left. I would usually concede defeat at around 2 in the morning and get up to eat ice cubes to sooth my heartburn. He liked ice too. He would kick his little feet right up into my lungs and tickle inside my ribs with his little toes for a while. Then he’d finally settle, and we would both manage to get three or four hours sleep. Most mornings I would wake up early to a bout of hiccups. He loved the water too. We had lots of fun in the bath together. He really never stopped moving, he was just active all the time. I was so looking forward to watching him grow up on the beach. This is a perfect place for active kids to grow up. I was looking forward to teaching him to ride a horse. Our kids are going to have so many great adventures out at Aunty Betsy’s place. I’m sure he would have managed to get every bit as dirty as Eliana does digging holes with Uncle Fenno.  Towards the end I became convinced that he was a thumb sucker, just because of the way he moved at times. The nurses tell me that he was sucking his thumb when he was born. I really love that. I sucked my thumb until I was about 7 years old. He was a Mummy’s boy. I could not be more proud of him, and I miss him.


To my family I want to say thank you. You have all been an unspeakable blessing to Andrew and I over the last days. To have every one of you drop everything in your life to come and walk along side us has been amazing. We feel so loved and so secure. I don’t think I will ever be able to fully express  just how greatful I am to you all for providing this love and security for us. Thank you for the way you have loved Jordan and Eliana. Simply knowing that our kids have been in the secure care of a family who loves them and knows how to walk with them  through their own journey of grief has made the horror of this situation more bearable for Andrew and I. You have all done an amazing job. I know that we are all just flying by the seat of our pants through this, but I just want to say thank you for doing all the right things at exactly the right time. I love you. My family and Andrew’s family, I love each of you so dearly and I could not be more proud of the way you have carried yourselves and carried our little family through this.


Andrew, Thank you. Can I just tell everyone that I am proud of this man. There is not another person on this earth that I would rather walk along this crappy road with. It is an honour to be called your wife. Watching you walk through this last week has made me fall in love you 1000 times over. There are no answers to the questions we have, and there is no right way of getting through something like this. But you Andrew, have done everything right this last week. You are a man of such character. Grace, integrity, strength, humility -  these are the words that come to mind when I think of the man that you are. You are courageous. I have always known this about you. But in these last 10 days you have gone above and beyond what any man should ever have to and nobody in this room could deny that you are a godly man and that you have lead your family well.


I know one question that many of you are anxious to ask is, “am I going to be OK?” The simple answer is no. There is nothing about this situation that is ever going to be ok. Fifty years from now I will still weep on July 17. The path that my family has been asked to walk is too difficult for anyone to undertake, and nobody should ever have to look at a little white box that now carries their child. No amount of time or reflection will ever heal what has been ripped away from me. I look in the mirror, and all I can see is a broken shell of the person that stood there 10 days ago. But I do now have to speak of what I also know to be true. Hudson is gone, and we will not have the priviledge of enjoying him on this earth. But my God remains, His love still runs deep, and His faithfulness endures forever. For those of you who know us well, you will understand that grief is not a new journey for Andrew and I. One small blessing from this is that we have learned a few things along the way. Horrible things happen because this world is broken. The world we live in is not the world it was designed to be. And sometimes horrible things happen for no other reason.  And yes, God could have stopped this horrific thing from happening. He is able to do that kind of stuff. Don’t you worry, He knows just how angry I am that He didn’t do that this time. And there is not now, nor will there ever be an answer to the question of ‘why?’. But one thing I have learned from grief in that past is that whatever has been broken, whatever has been crushed by the evil things in this life, God will redeem it for the good of His children and the Glory of His beautiful name. He is a God who does not change, who loves His children and who is not distant. And the times when I have nothing left in me but to lie on the floor of the shower and cry until my bones ache, He will be there with me. He knows my pain and it hurts Him too. But He is also my Redeemer. In the past He has shown me that the seed of faith that He planted in my heart many years ago grows with the pain of grief. And that beautiful seed bears its richest fruit in the darkest of days. So no, I am not OK. I am a broken person and will forever be changed by the loss of my beautiful Hudson boy. But I am not ashamed of my brokenness, because I know that my Redeemer lives. Jesus loves me. This I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak, but He is strong.