Thursday, August 28, 2008

Love

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Before we were told that Timothy had Edwards syndrome, a friend was struggling and found strength in this verse. I will never forget our discussion that day. Through her pain, she found comfort in Gods plan. I was touched by her ability to trust God without understanding what his plan involved. At that time, this verse became dear to my heart. I didn't know that a short 10 weeks later I would be clinging to those words. I would roll those words around in my head over and over. Trust in the Lord...lean not on your own understanding...

I have been told by many people that I am a strong person to be able to be able to get through this time in my life. Each time I have heard that I think, "What choice do I have?". God didn't ask me if I wanted to go through a high risk (and scary) pregnancy just to hold my newborn baby for a couple of hours then watch as they buried him the the ground. If he had given me the choice I would have quickly said "no, thank you"...well, to be honest I would have yelled "NO WAY!!!" But now that I have met Timothy, I'm so very thankful that God didn't give me a choice. Instead he gave me a blessing. I have a brand new understanding for the word "Love" and I have a very different relationship with God.

I really wish that I could tell you that I have always had a wonderful and perfect relationship with my Savior. Unfortunately that would be a lie. I have often struggled. I have never read the bible cover to cover. I haven't spent my life diving into bible studies. Verse memorization has always been very difficult and I struggle with understanding the Word even in the simplest translations. I am not a scholar and often times I listen to my friends and their understanding of the bible with a sense of awe. I have always wanted to have the knowledge to have a religious debate or witness to someone in need but never felt like I was good enough.

As much as I struggled with my "book smarts" I have a true and genuine love for God. I have relied on him and trusted him to guide me when I was lost or help me when I was broken. He has been a constant in my life since I was a very small child. I vividly remember the day my name was written in His book. I was 6 years old and at vacation bible school. I came home and excitedly shared my joyful news with my mom, "God is in my heart!!"

Through out my life I have known many types of love. Love first entered my life when God chose my wonderful mom and dad. They always made me feel safe and secure. They cared for me and taught me how to stand on my own. They gave me a sister and brother that taught me about the ups and downs of sibling love. Our relationships have grown to be very important to me.

As I became a young woman God lead me to my wonderful husband, Kevin. He gave me unconditional love. I learned how to love my husband through my anger and my frustration, during the happiest days of my life and the darkest. He completed me. He's my lobster. (okay... that only makes sense to a few close friends, but they totally understand!)

After 4 years of marriage, I was blessed to learn about the love a mother feels for her children. A love that begins at conception and never ends. The moment I met my first son, Austin, I was simply amazed. I looked into the face of my little baby and felt a love that knows no bounds. I watched him grow and enjoyed every moment with him. I remember thinking that I couldn't possibly love anyone as much as I love my son. When my sweet Emma came into my life I was amazed as I felt my heart grow. This is when I learned I was able to love all of my children with the same level of depth. What a wonderful realization! Now I was really ready for more and we were thrilled when Kadin joined our family.

I have been blessed to know the love and support of true friendship. The love of a friend is priceless, timeless and doesn't know distance. I have learned to lean on these friends when I need them most and accept their support without feeling any guilt. We can give each other complete honesty and know that the love we feel for each other will never change. I love my wonderful pumpkin patch crew and would like to thank you for all of your cards, phone calls, emails, girls nights and prayers.


Through out the years I have known God's constant love. Sometimes he was so close that I could feel his arms around me and there were days that he felt distant. He has spent time teaching me, guiding me, and leading me. He was also preparing me to learn a new lesson about love. He gave me a wonderful gift that included a very new kind of love. A special love that not everyone has the opportunity to experience. He gave me Timothy.

One month ago today, I met my tiny son, and knew that I loved him so much that I had to let him go. Yes, it felt like I was giving up my heart and I was filled with pain and sorrow. But I was also filled with peace. I wanted my son to have the best life possible. I wanted him to have joy, happiness and peace. When I looked into his eyes I knew that he was destined for greater things. I knew that I couldn't make him better or take his struggles away from him. With all the love that I had for him, he needed more then I could give him. God asked me to trust him with my son's life. To let Timothy go to the Lord peacefully.

I made a choice to give Timothy's life to God. You might remember that used to say "What choice do I have?" I didn't have the power to save Timothy, or make him healthy, but I had the power to... trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. I made the choice to trust God with Timothy's life. I know that he is singing with God and he knows more love then I have felt in my entire life. A love that God is saving to share with us when we have been blessed to enter His kingdom.

One month ago today my life changed. I will never be the same. I have a very different relationship with God now. I am able to trust him differently and I have a better understanding of his love and protection. I have no regrets and wouldn't choose to change anything in the last 7 months. I have grown spiritually and emotionally. If God came to me and asked me to do it all over again I would choose to trust in His plan and rely on Him to provide comfort, joy, peace, and love throughout times of trial.

6 comments:

Susie Merrell said...

Wow! You are such an inspiration and witness. If only the rest of us could have this kind of attitude......

The Earnhardt Family said...

Real, you are so real, I am SO very thankful for you! It fills me with joy to hear how much the Lord has been working in you and thru you, and that you have an even closer walk with Him with all that's happened. You allowed your heart to be open to him and his direction, his peace, his comfort...even in the midst of "no understanding". Continuing to pray...wonderful things are happening...even in the midst of deep sorrow. Again, thank you for being real!

The Earnhardt Family said...

Oh yeah, and yes, he is most CERTAINLY your lobster! I can see you two holding your claws in the tank... :-D

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jen for sharing those beautiful words. You are such an encouragement to me. You are in my prayers.
Annette

New Mom and Dad - to-be said...

I remember meeting you for the first time - I think it was at the Plett's for the superbowl or something... but I remember you only had Austin at the time and were sharing how you weren't sure if you could ever love another child as much. Life is an amazing thing. You never know what is just around the corner... but I'm so glad to know the One who does! Your blog is such a beautiful testimony of the journey your life has taken and God's continued hand through it all. Thank you for the privilege of sharing in your story.

Ron and Keri said...

Jen, I am so thankful to know you. You have always inspired me in the way that you love your children. You delight in them and, like I've told you before, it has caused me to step back and choose to delight in mine (even in the midst of the not so delightful moment!). Thanks for continuing to share with us what God is doing in your life...I'm still learning from you. Love, Keri