DTR // {redefining the relationship}

Since Jaxton passed away I have had to re-define my relationship with God. I’ll be the first to admit that I have had an easy life. I’ve always been loved, provided for and protected. God and I have always had a pretty good relationship because it has always been going my way or benefiting me in some way. Subsequently it was easy to love him. When we got the prognosis that Jaxton would die I spent then next few months grieving, I cried, I hurt as deeply as you could imagine. Then I remembered my favored relationship I had with God and then I thought this isn’t really going to happen to me. Somehow it’s wrong or God will heal him and it will all work out fine (just like it always has). I was looking back at all the times God had loved, provided and protected me in the past and thought this was going to be another time like that. Somehow he really wasn’t going to die. We kept waiting for each prenatal or ultrasound appointment to bring good news, but it never came. We always left sadder and more distraught then when we got there, but still thinking the God I KNOW isn’t going to do this TO ME. When Jaxton was born he never took his first breath and had to immediately be intubated. What felt like just minutes after I finally saw him in the NICU I was being asked questions about what I wanted to do as far as “comfort care”? Josh and I had no plans to just let our little boy slip away with out a fight. So we chose a “heroic care” type plan. But still I was confidently thinking, “God is going to come through. It will all work out fine. He’s gonna live!” We did start getting positive news about the VSD, the Coarctation and him breathing on his own, I proudly thought, “God, I knew you would come through for me!” Even as his heart stopped beating I acknowledged his power and ability to do miracles and gave him all the glory and said “You can still do this! You can save him!” But now Jaxton is gone. The God I knew before… the one who Loved me, Provided for me and Protected me has forced me to re-examine and redefine my relationship with him. In doing so I realized something about myself that not only applied to God but other relationships: If I personally didn’t benefit from a situation was I still going to do it? Was I in love with God only because of the perks I was getting? Was I going to continue to give him my whole heart like I so often claimed I had done if I personally wasn’t getting something from it? If more bad things keep happening, then will I jump ship? This is a hard pill to swallow when you realize something like this about yourself. What are my motives on a daily basis? Unfortunately, usually they are selfish motives. What does it mean to deny yourself daily and pick up your cross? To me it means that I need to be sold out on God and expanding his Kingdom here on earth and for eternity whether it benefits me or not (but especially if it doesn’t). I started to read a book my friend Cami gave me called Holding On To Hope. She writes about the book of Job. I realized I could relate to Job on a very small scale. I could relate to feeling privileged by God and having a beneficial type relationship. Job had many things going for him and God provided for him is so many ways. Yet God allows Satan to take away all his children and livestock and servants. Then Job says something wise… (I’ll paraphrase) “Should we only accept good things from the Lord and not the bad?” So in regards to Jaxton… I’m still devastated, hurt, very sad and a different person than I was before he entered my life. I promised the Lord that I would wholly surrender to him… and that meant to give Jaxton over to him as well. But I couldn’t give him over with a hard heart it had to be genuine. Although my heart wasn’t 100% genuine (as if any mother’s heart would be) I had an understanding that Jaxton’s purpose on earth was fulfilled and I was at peace with that. Today I buried my son. It was the last time I was ever going to see his little white casket. I still could not believe he was not with us any more. That he was here and now he’s gone. This made it all so final.

The God I knew before… the one who Loved me, Provided for me and Protected me… is still the same God. It’s just different now. It’s a different love. A deeper love. A comforting love. //  It’s a different way of providing. Providing friends and family to watch Jake. Providing support. Providing physically and emotionally. Providing a beautiful baby for me to love for 14 days. Providing peace that he is in heaven. //  A different Protection. Protecting my heart. Protecting my relationships. Protecting my wholeness. It’s all just so different. I could go on and on about how God provided for us during this time, But I’ll leave it short and just say HE DID! and still does even today. That’s why this next part is so hard to admit to. YES I have a strong faith in God. I have grown to love him and all I’d be lying if I said everything was back to normal. My heart has been a bit hardened when it comes to praying, but especially for healing: Unfortunately, I am in a stage where I tend to roll my eyes when someone asks for a prayer for healing. Hoping they get a good outcome but wondering “Why bother to pray for it, God’s gonna do what ever he wants anyway.” It saddens me that I feel this way, but my wounds are fresh from being vulnerable and getting hurt. I put my whole heart into believing God could and would heal Jaxton. It might take time to trust in the powers that God has and not be hurt or jealous when I hear of a baby who is healed. I’m being honest and I know it’s hard to hear. It’s hard to say. It’s hard to admit. It’s embarrassing. I’m on a new journey trying to understand the God I very much LOVE and TRUST. I look forward to what I learn about him and for him to show me a new side of his love for me. I am still getting used to this new relationship. The comfortable and cocky relationship I was used to for 29 years is gone. Thinking “everything will work out” and “it will be fine” is long gone… Maybe that’s good though. Comfort leads to complacency and what good is just being comfortable? World changers aren’t complacent they are uncomfortable. I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for me in the future!  🙂   So once again I will quote Job, “Should we only accept good things from the Lord and not the bad?” I have already seen the way I have changed as a person, the way the world has changed because of my son. It was bad for me and my family to loose him but good for the world that he was here. I look forward to seeing him again and that makes me smile. I am thankful for God letting us know that it won’t end at just the 14 days but I’ll get to spend eternity with Jaxton and Jesus!!! What a wonderful thought!

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17 responses to this post.

  1. your honesty humbles me…daily. i love to see you growing in your relationship with God. i love you so much! ❤

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  2. Posted by Jen on April 6, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Lisa, your posts always make me consider God’s power, I feel like it’s a question you’ve been confronted with. We believe God does have the power to change things, really anything. But God doesn’t always do that. Is it because of us? Because of our little faith? No, because you are loved and because your faith is great.I don’t think I would have been able to trust God the way you have. But I had a professor say something a month or so ago that stuck with me and that I think of when I read your posts. She said God’s power is not a raw power. God’s power isn’t a manipulative, presto-chango power. God’s power is LOVE. God’s POWER is love. I can’t say that I completely understand it or can explain it. But I believe it. God’s power is love. I have a feeling you probably can understand that better than I can right now. I’m not sure if that’s helpful or resonates with you, but I felt like maybe I needed to share it. My prayer is that God shows you and your family what that means. And hopefully you can share it with all of us.

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  3. thank you thank you thank you

    i’m feeling some of these feelings you have shared. all my life i have been comfortable with my relationship with God. not a lot of stretching. and now as my little one grows i am not giving up on God, but i can’t help but feel like he’s forgotten me sometimes. i know thats not the case. i just want to know the outcome now, but i have to wait for Gods timing.

    glory baby by watermark

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  4. Posted by Debbie Vinall on April 7, 2011 at 12:27 am

    I totally appreciate this. this is where i’ve been at for some time… kind of stuck here… it helps to read how you are growing through this place. I miss you my friend. Wish we could go have that pedicure we never had, or another starbucks date. (were our 2 year olds ever really that small, that starbucks dates were possible? 🙂

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  5. I can completely relate to so much of what you said. Please know that although I haven’t commented in a bit… you are still in my prayers. I know this journey, this side of Heaven is a looonnngg one and difficult, but you have my prayers for the Lord to continue to comfort your heart and carry you through. I have found that with the hurt and pain has come such a deeping and richness to my relationships with others and God that was never there before. Praying for you!

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  6. Posted by Connie Burroughs on April 7, 2011 at 2:33 am

    Dear Lisa,
    My prayers for you have been many, but my words to you have been few, because we came very close to losing our Megan as a newborn. Even after she was healed, I struggled with similar questions that you are struggling with today. I couldn’t help but wonder, what I would be feeling and what would my relationship with the Lord look like if she hadn’t made it? I struggle for a long time with those questions, but finally came to some of the same conclusions you have. I will continue to pray for your journey.

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  7. The truthfullness of this post strikes a deep cord in my heart. Thank you for continuing to share your journey, we are all learning and growing through your message.

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  8. Lisa,
    We don’t know each other, but I have been following your blog from Budapest. Our family came to Hungary two years ago to serve as missionaries. Your post was so honest and real, and I can relate to the redefining of a relationship with God. I too lived a comfortable life until God called us to missions and I left everything behind that I so deeply loved. It was harder than I ever imagined it would be and I had some of the same questions about how God could love us and call us to such difficulty. Looking back over the past two years, I now know God in a new way…through hurt, disappointment and pain.

    I am praying that God will continue to reveal His loving nature to you and your family as you begin to heal and find new hope.

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  9. Thank you for writing this. For writing what your heart is saying all over your blog. It’s meaning to yourself and to others.. is amazing. Everything isn’t always going to end up peachy— BUT, you will learn something new and you will grow stronger and deeper in your relationships (including the one with God).

    God bless you and your family– and God bless your heart. I hope it grows stronger in your new direction of thinking.. everyday.

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  10. WOW! We lost twins at 22 weeks 13 yrs ago & I struggled so hard with what you just wrote about. i was a young pastor’s wife, always had been a chrisitan….it was rough! But I worked through it over time. However i had little support. Then 7 yrs ago we had a beautiful son, who was born blind with a rare disorder. God has helped me walk this much easier, maybe because I still have him to hold. However I roll my eys a bit about healing & we pastor a pentcostal church that has healing as part of its doctrine. Thanks for sharing. God bless!

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  11. Posted by Julie on April 7, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Wow! Your honesty is awesome and amazing!!!! I know several Christian mothers who have lost children and I do believe, that through all of you, people see what a true love for Jesus is!!!! We don’t understand. And we don’t have to be happy about it. And God understands we can be angry at Him. But through your anger and your tears, God is using you all to show others what the true love of Christ is and that you’re not just a “fair weather friend.” “Why does this happen to us who have died to live; it’s unfair.” I KNOW you would rather have Jaxton here in your arms rather than anything, even the good that’s coming from all of this. Yet you are being obedient in your “rawness” and for that I respect you so much! I pray that God eases your pain and fills you with the hope and happiness of being with Him and Jaxton one day FOREVER!!!!! Kinda makes ya want His return to happen NOW, huh! 😉 God Bless you Lisa!

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  12. I just cry big splashy tears at the thought of your last moments with your angel. Loving on him, telling him how much you loved him, reminding him that he will see Jesus. Heartbreaking and beautiful all at once. Thank you for sharing your story and your heart with us.
    Blessings~
    Meg

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  13. Posted by cami snyder on April 7, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    “I don’t understand Your ways, oh but I will give You my song, I’ll give You all my praise.
    You hold onto all my pain, with it You are pulling me closer, pulling me into Your ways.
    Now around every corner and up every mountain, I’m not looking for crowns or searching for water from fountains. I’m desperate in seeking, frantic believing, that the sight of Your face is all that I’m needing. And I will say to You…it’s gonna be worth it, it’s gonna be worth it, it’s gonna be worth it all” (song by Rita Springer)
    Lisa, I am believing with you that all our pain & all our joy WILL be worth it all, just to see His face.

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  14. Posted by Dawn Ward on April 9, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    God bless you and your family. Thank you for your honesty. I cry each time I read your posts. You are an amazing woman of God.
    Praying for your continued strength.

    Dawn

    Reply

  15. Posted by Christine Martinson on April 12, 2011 at 12:55 am

    Thank-you Lisa for sharing your heart! I have once again been humbled and convicted about the way I should live my own life on this earth! Yes! Die to our flesh and live for Christ whether we personally receive benefit or not! Love that.

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  16. I didn’t feel shocked, offended at anything you said. Your heart is beautiful and those feelings are only natural. I believe your surrender and trust in the Lord is real, but like you said you are still very much wounded. Your wounds make you even more beautiful. I’m glad you plan to read A Thousand Gifts, I’m reading it now, you’ll love it.

    I am praying for you all regularly. Much love, your fellow Glendora-ian.

    Reply

  17. Posted by Gina on September 8, 2013 at 11:58 am

    I can not imagine why you went through and continue to go through…but know this…your story inspires me everyday and I know that even through your heartache, you continue to make a difference in so many people’s lives! And because of that I know that God still loves you and has never left your side and he understands your heartache. He uses the strong to help the weak, and although my words are probably not the most comforting, as nothing anyone can say can make it better, know that you are always in my heart! HUGS!!!

    Reply

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