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March 25, 2011

Finding strength for the battle...

3/23/11

The last two days have been a complete roller coaster ride for my family and I, and to be honest, I've had a hard time coming up with something "positive" to get on here and say today.

I guess this week I have reached my low once again, and I'm trying my best to pull myself back up.

From phone calls concerning my hospital bills from Maddie's delivery, and phone calls closing up on Madeline's files. To emails from Baby center and baby junk mail coming to the house everyday, I've become a bit of a mess this week.

I haven't been able to escape it. I can't forget at all what I've been through. I have to go through this pain, day in and day out. It's right there in front of me constantly.

I've gone to the Lord for sustenance, and He's provided. But I still hurt so very much.

Then as my family all got sick this week, including me, I've had a set back. I feel like the sickness along with the other things I've mentioned are starting to wear on me. I feel weak and exhausted and I was beginning to feel at my breaking point, and so was Rick.

It was in that moment, in the dark with tears in our eyes, that we realized just how weak we really are. In that moment we realized just how humanly physically exhausted we really are.

It's been 10 weeks of putting on our brave face for our boys.
10 weeks of trying to fit back into the life we used to live.
10 weeks of being a family of 4 again.
10 weeks since we held and kissed our sweet baby girl.

It's been 10 weeks too long.

Everyday I feel like she's slipping farther and farther away from me. And she is...

Yet, everyday, I'm moving closer to being with her again.

It's hard. Oh so very hard.

No one can prepare their heart for this kind of pain. There are not words to describe it. Just pure agony day in and day out.

But...

I am so thankful for the Lord, because day in and day out I continue to run to Him and cling to Him.

He knows my prayers before I pray them. He knows my heart before I pour it out. He knows how many tears I cry. He knows my pain and He knows my sorrows.

He loves me.

At my weakest, sickest , most awful vulnerable state. He loves me.

He calms my heart when questions arise and he sends his sweet peace down to me. He puts His arms around me and whispers "It's okay, I'm here."

And He is.

Oh I don't know what Rick and I would do without the Lord. He is our Rock and our Salvation, our shelter from the storm, our song in the night. He is our Comforter.

I'm so very thankful that He is.

As I type here now, I am trembling from pain and exhaustion, and yet there is still such a sweet presence with me. I know the Lord is nigh. He walks with me everyday. He has never left me since my sweet Baby girl left my arms for His. She went to Him.

What a comfort that brings to my grieving heart. What a reminder of God's goodness in the midst of darkness and pain. She is with Him.

I may be weak and I am, but my Lord is my strength.

I am reminded of my husband's message that he preached on Sunday night, as he quoted the following scripture.

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

This same passage of scripture that Rick preached from is the same one that has been on our hearts this week.
For the spirit is willing...
But our flesh is weak....

We know what we need to do to stay strong. It's what we have been doing. We read our Bibles, go to Church, witness to the Lost, love our boys. This is how we heal.

Our spirit is willing. We know what to do. We know how to survive in this new life we are living, and we have even had days of pure happiness and joy since.

But, since our flesh is weak, every little reason why and reminder can get us down. We can start to feel defeated, and when we get to this place, that is when Satan tries to get in and get the victory...

It's not going to happen. There is too much good coming out of this.
And as my Mom Vicky just told me "We've just got to get our boxing gloves on, and fight a little harder," that's what I'm going to do.

I'm going to fight harder.
Pray harder.

My flesh might be weak, but the spirit of God in me can win any battle.

I'm going to win!

So, as I'm feeling a little defeated on this day, will you pray with me?
I could really use your prayers. I need strength for this battle.
The battle that has become my life.
The battle for happiness in the midst of sorrow.
The battle of setting an example for my precious boys.
The battle of love and life and the right now.

Oh Lord, please give me the strength for this battle in my life that I need to overcome. I give all the glory, honor and praise to You.

Psalm 73:26
My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.


11 comments:

  1. Natalie, we've never met, but I sure have enjoyed reading your blog. It has strengthened me so much. You are a strong person, though you may not feel that way at times. God has certainly put His hand on you and your family. As I read this post, it made me think of a song I've heard. Thought you may enjoy it and that it may speak to your heart. It is called "He Understands My Tears" by The Isaacs. You may have heard it before. Look it up, if not. I think it may be a blessing to you. Prayers to you today and every day...Brittani from WV.

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  2. I just wrote a comment about as long as a book, and when I went to hit "post comment" there was an error and it disappeared! How frustrating. Anyways, I'm out of time now, but I'll try to comment again later. Just know that I love you and I'm praying for you!

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  3. Oh love, I'm so sorry you've had a couple of very rough days. I hate to hear that, but I'm proud of you for being honest. You might feel that it shows weakness, but I think it shows strength. It's not easy to bear your heart honestly, but it helps others see the reality and depth of your pain, and gives insight into what others might be facing.

    I have had something on my mind that I've been meaning to share with you for a few days now, but then I read this, and you had written exactly what I was going to say! You wrote how each and every day that passes without Maddie Grace here, is one more day closer to being with her again. I love that thought. It seems as though things sometimes need to get worse, before they can get better. Your days without her are multiplying, but it just means that you're that much closer to seeing her again.

    I am reminded of the post you wrote about the cracks. You are filled with cracks right now, but now is also the time when the most light will be able to shine through.

    You are better and stronger for knowing her. She has made you who you are today, and who you will be tomorrow. When your lives have been turned upside down, and your "normal" is nowhere in sight, you start to grasp what is truly important in this life. Faith, family, friends, etc....these are the things that really matter. I pray that Maddie's life will continue to help you grow into the strong and beautiful woman that you are, inside and out!

    I remember coming to the point when I could actually think of Belle, and thank the Lord for taking her Home. I mean truly thankful and glad for taking her. It took years, but I can honestly say from my heart, that I'm thankful for what the Lord did for her. He took her Home, to a perfect place. A place of no sin, no sorrow, no suffering, and no pain. We all desire for our children to know Him, to live their lives for Him, and eventually, to be with Him. Our girls went straight to being with Him. The ultimate goal and reward for every Christian. It's like going right to the finish line of a race, and getting 1st place. :)

    Even though your lives will never be the same, your lives will be better, because of her. They already are.

    My desire is for you and Rick to someday not just be "ok" with the fact that the Lord took her Home, and not to just accept it, but to be truly thankful for it. It is not something that's easily attainable. Only the Lord has the amount of grace and strength it will take to help you get there. Your journey is not easy, but it will be a more beautiful one. My mind has visions of a mountain climber right now....It must be one of the most difficult things to do, but I bet when they get to the top, it's all worth it in a moment when they are surrounded by majestic and beautiful views that convenient roads cannot lead to. Your journey is not convenient or easy, but it will be worth it. I hope you have some beautiful views along the way to help you press on. I love you friend, praying for you.
    P.S This is not anything like the comment I had written before that was lost, but I hope it was meant to be. Forgive my ramblings!

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  4. Sweet Nat, I love you so much...and I'm sooo sorry to hear you've had such a rough week, bless your little family's hearts all being sick at the same time...but yet, it is encouraging to see that even in your weakness you are turning to God & trusting Him. Someone once told me that if we didn't have struggles or weaknesses then we'd never need to rely on His strength. I'm so glad I NEED Him, I'm so glad to see that you & your family NEED Him...without the Savior our lives are empty, hopeless, & joyless...I pray that your posts will point people who are trying to overcome their weaknesses & failing realize that they need to accept Christ as their personal Savior..OR remind other Christians that we need Him every day, every hour in joy or in sorrow.
    I'm praying for you, Love you!~heidi

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  5. Thank you girls for everything you said. I really needed that. Love you.

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  6. Oh, Natalie, I am praying right now. I will continue to pray. 10 wks is such a short amount of time. I'm praying.

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  7. I have been reading your posts since stumbling on here, and I woke up this morning and prayed for you with my family at prayer time. You were on my heart. The Lord does love you so much. I will continue to lift you up as you walk through this trial. The beauty is that when you are weak, you know where to go for your strength, and you are running to Him, the God of the universe that created you. I know that only He can sustain you, and I know He will. He will carry you as you trust in Him. Love to you today, Cara

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  8. Natalie,

    Your name is once again today at the forefront of my mind and heart. Please know that you ARE loved and so is Maddie! Your strength has been a source of strength for so many who have faced or will face a similar dark hour. Leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms...you will win!!!

    Love ya!
    Rebecca

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  9. Natalie,
    You may be weak you may feel defeated. But you have so many cheering you on, praying for peace in your life.
    In this wicked world we live in, it is difficult to find true peace. But leaning on God and your family for support will pull you through. Don't worry that your baby girl is slipping from you. She is NOT. She will always be in your mind and you have all the sweet memories with her to keep. Remember that God holds a special place for her in his memory. She is Safe. I know its difficult to see past today but tomorrow is on its way and soon you'll find relief and acceptance with this beautiful mess. You will learn to do things in madeline's memory and to comfort others. That will keep her "alive". Her story, your story has touched lives including mine. Hugs mama,
    ~Felicia

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  10. Dear Natalie,
    I love the strength and grace that pours out of your posts. You and your family, especially beautiful Maddie Grace, have been such an example of the Lord's mercy. While I always get teary when I read your posts, I also love the strength that exudes from it. God bless you!
    --- Megan

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