Sitting in the Meantime

When we saw TobyMac in March, he said something that resonated with me. He commented about the length of time between his album releases and said that’s because he needs to live life between albums so that he has something to sing about.

When I wrote the one and only song I’ve ever written, I told God that I was okay with never writing one again because it took sending Tori to Heaven to have the inspiration and ability to write it. If that’s what it takes, I’m good now 😉

I’ve been mostly quiet on here for a while now because life hasn’t given me much content lately – which is perfectly okay! I am completely satisfied with life going smoothly, which it mostly has been (normal mother-of-twins ordeals aside).

However, as I blogged earlier this week, I’m now in a situation providing me with content…a situation I sincerely wish could be resolved but it’s out of my control at this point.

I’ve been sitting in silence, not pressing this friend to reconcile or respond, not offering further explanation as to my intent or my heart. Just waiting.

Someone recently used the phrase “sitting in the meantime” and I loved it. That’s where I am – sitting in the period of waiting for resolution. I’ve relinquished control (difficult) and am being still before the Lord, waiting for His guidance and for my friend to reach out IF they choose to do so.

And it’s challenging.

Because, in the meantime, I just want to fix things. I want to talk. I want to meet up for coffee and explain, yet again, that my words were not said out of anger but love. That there has to be a huge misunderstanding because I thought everything was good between us, but clearly there was some harbored resentment that caused this to blow up. That everyone makes mistakes and grace should be offered abundantly. But I can’t. Not until the other person reaches out.

I don’t like being in the meantime. There is no defined timeline, no rule book, nothing for me to accomplish except to wait and to pray, to work on my own heart and to ask God to use this to grow my own character.

Life will go on if this friendship ends, but not without some grief on my part. Unresolved conflict is so very hard for me to live with especially when I feel I’ve done all I can to live at peace with others (Romans 12:18).

If you find yourself – now or in the future – “sitting in the meantime” with no end in sight, run to the Lord. Read His Word. Trust Him. Remember all the great things He has done in your life and in the lives of others. He isn’t just watching from the sidelines – He is right there in the meantime with you.

“Is This Your First?”

It’s inevitable lately: when meeting new people who don’t know about Tori, they will ask if this pregnancy is my first.

Since I recently started a new job it’s happening fairly often. The first few times took me by surprise and I had to think quickly about how to answer: I could be truthful and tell them about Tori, or I could be mostly truthful since this is my first TWIN pregnancy and just say yes to avoid the uncomfortable truth.

So far, I’ve opted to just tell the truth, short and sweet, and allow the potential awkwardness (from their end) to exist.  I look at it as an opportunity to tell others about Krabbe, about Tori’s amazing life, and about the faith that has sustained us.

In each instance, I recognize that I have a choice: I can be truthful with joy or I can be truthful with pain. I can embrace the joy we have found or I can be miserable. 

I continue to embrace joy. 

The title of my upcoming book is “Even So, Joy” which I derived from two sources: the song “It Is Well With My Soul” –

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

and Habakkuk 3:17-19  –

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
    and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
    and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
    and the cattle barns are empty,
 yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
    I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
 The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
    He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
    able to tread upon the heights.

The Bible makes it abundantly clear that things are going to be imperfect here on earth. Once sin entered the world, it was inevitable that life would be terrible at times. Things are going to go wrong, our hearts are going to hurt, and sometimes it will seem unbearable.

But, the Bible also makes it clear that it can still be well with our hearts and our souls no matter what comes our way because all of this is temporary. Imperfect life on this earth should make us desire the perfection of what’s to come in Heaven. 

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! – 2 Cor. 4:17

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. – James 1:2-3

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. – Romans 5:3-5

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.  Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.  For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.) – Romans 8:18-25 (emphasis mine)

Our God is a God who redeems. He is worthy of all our praise, even when circumstances don’t appear to be praiseworthy. He knows the full story while we only know this current chapter.

You have a choice to make daily just like me; though our circumstances may be different, I know your life isn’t going perfectly.

Joy is something to be chosen and embraced in the uncertain times, in the “even though” or “even if” moments. For it is then that our faith grows stronger and we are reminded of God’s love, and the least we can do is share it with those who need it the most.

Always be real and genuine, of course, but always be pointing others toward the hope and joy we have in Jesus. It has been said that light shines brightest in the darkness, and this has certainly been proven to be true in my life. Our decision to choose joy after losing a child stands in stark contrast to the way much of the world would react. And that’s kind of the point. We should be different as Christians in this world.

I will continue to be honest and share that the twins are actually child two and three for us, not our first. I will embrace the potential discomfort and awkwardness that the other person may feel and I will point them to the glory of the Lord and the hope and joy He brings.

Even so, it is well with my soul.

Parenthood and the Unexpected

Brennan and I never expected our lives as parents to go this way – who does? 

No one has a child expecting to only have them for a few years and then lose them. This is not normal.

And yet, that is where we potentially are, defying the natural order of the way things should be according to God’s plan.

We are stuck in a waiting game: waiting for a miracle that may not come; waiting (and dreading) for her to pass; waiting for the disease to progress (while hoping for improvement with every test); waiting to see the purpose of it all. Waiting.

Waiting is terribly difficult no matter the circumstances; but, in the case of families like us, this waiting is the worst possible kind. 

We are told the average life expectancy and live each day aware of the potential remaining months of our child’s life, but also knowing that some exceed that expectancy. 

We make long term plans knowing that we might have to break them; or, we hesitate to plan anything more than two weeks out because we just don’t know. We wait.

We don’t know what tomorrow holds – no one does. But, our circumstances seem different than most. We know that a tomorrow looms ominously ahead where, without a miracle, our Tori will leave us far too soon. We don’t know what that will look like, but we have an idea because of those who have passed before.

It is a struggle between wanting to keep her here every possible second, but also wanting her to be free from Krabbe and to join Jesus in Heaven as soon as possible so that she doesn’t suffer any longer.

This isn’t what parenthood should be about.

However, that doesn’t keep us from living in the moment and loving Tori fiercely and passionately today. That doesn’t keep us home, afraid to leave the house. 

Rather, this has inspired us to fill her life with normal experiences that we would do with a healthy, typically developing child. To truly LIVE life with her by our side.

Having a list of experiences to accomplish has filled our hearts with such joy and excitement. We are truly having an amazing time fulfilling each item on the list and creating memories. 

If God heals her in Heaven, we will cherish these memories with her for the rest of our lives. And if God heals her on earth, we’ve simply got a head start on a lifetime of adventures and experiences to enjoy together.

Unexpected circumstances can derail us or they can push us forward – it’s a decision we have to make, daily. 

And we choose to live.

Instant Gratification and Formulas

Our culture has become so obsessed with instant gratification and three-step formulas to solve any problem. 

With the technology available to us today, we are able to find answers to just about anything in a matter of seconds. Or, we can find a formula that will lead to answers or success if only you “follow these three steps.”

We have become so conditioned to be able to have what we want when we want it, and waiting is nearly unheard of in our culture today.

Waiting is a discipline that so many of us lack. Just look at the amount of consumer debt in our country! People are impatient.

I know this mentality has leaked into my prayer life and into my expectations of God, as hard as I try to fight it.

As I pray about Tori and her healing, my thoughts often wander to wondering if there are steps I am not following…as if there are magic words that would instantly make everything better. Obviously, that is not biblical and I know that. But it happens. 

I watch her regress and I observe her pain, and my mind desperately seeks the secret code, the perfect combination of words that God is waiting to hear. And I want Him to heal her NOW, not later.

But our God isn’t like that. Our God created time and He doesn’t operate within our concept of it. The Bible tells us this:

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. (2 Peter 3:8)

For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours. (‭Psalm ‭90‬:‭4)

So, even though I want her to be healed NOW, I must trust the timing of the One who created time. The same God who created everything we see is the same one holding Tori in His hand and He knows her future. 

He isn’t a God of formulas or magic spells. His Word tells us that we are saved by FAITH through God’s infinite grace, and not by works (Ephesians 2:8). When Jesus healed in the Bible it was because the sick believed in Him and that He could do it. They had faith.

Jesus didn’t heal everyone instantly in the Bible – there are a few situations where He waited so that His power could be displayed in greater ways. Lazarus. The Centurion’s daughter. His own resurrection. The wait was always worth it.

And it is that same God to whom we entrust Tori. Whether her healing will happen here or in Heaven, we know that His timing and method are perfect, no matter how hard the time of waiting may be. 

We will pray, and we will patiently wait for Him to move.